Monday, November 02, 2020

Understanding the Middle East

Dun worry about it. I don't and nor will you ever understand what happens in the Middle East.

 It was a combination of things that coalesced for me. Our friend Marie in London wrote and posted photos of her visit to Afghanistan in the 1970s. It was a great place for young travellers to visit in the 70s and while I am sure the pure as driven snow Marie did not partake of what many backpacker travellers did in Afghanistan, young people had some crazy good times there.

The same day I read Marie's post I listened to a podcast, and a Kiwi (New Zealand) comedian Pax Assadi with an Iranian Muslim father said, 'you see a couple of hundred mad Muslim men on tv each night who seem to represent the Middle East and you judge all by them. You don't look at those going about their daily lives, working hard and bringing up families with much love and care while striving to have their children well educated'.

It is all too easy to judge the Middle East as being populated by 'mad bastards', but don't. Just don't. 

12 comments:

  1. We do seem to do it, but I agree there's millions of good people in Arab countries, just a few mad ones...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wish I could visit. I'd like to see Turkey too. I have an online friend in Morocco, but she doesn't seem very happy with life there. I've always wanted to visit Italy and Spain. Switzerland looks beautiful but maybe too rich for me. My nephew's wife worked for years in Norway and dreams of returning and says its wonderful. I do wish I could see the world.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great way of describing it. Most people in the world simply want a safe, secure and peaceful life.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also have the desire to take a vacation to the Middle East, if I have the opportunity.
    I think the Middle East is an exotic place.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sister married Palestinian man back in the 60's. He was/is adorable. Before he retired, he managed a sheltered workshop in Erie, PA. He makes his own hummus and other Middle Eastern treats, such as baklava. "Jedibel" is how he pronounces "gerbil." Who could ask for anything more? Anything Moor? (OK, I"ll stop.)

    ReplyDelete
  6. My daughter taught in Kabul at the American University of Afghanistan. There are lots of very, very good people there who are struggling to change their world. Unfortunately, the power is held by religious zealots. They have been at war for 40 years. It's all that some people know. There is courage there. Humanity there. It is also a place where a woman can be stoned to death because she dared speak back to the shopkeeper who cheated her. (He falsely claimed that she had blasphemed, and that was enough to incite a mob.) It is a heartbreaking place where children grow up never having known childhood. Two of her colleagues were kidnapped and held for two years. Terrorists attacked the school and students were killed. And the first concerns those injured students voiced were: 'Is the school going to reopen?' It is a hard place. I find it ironic that we are willing to base a people on their leaders. If America was held to the same standard, where would that leave us, what with tRUMP?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yeah..dont judge a book by its cover.. sometimes what tv show to us doesnt represent the real thing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wish we'd stop bombing them into democracy for starters. That might help. I've known many Muslims in my life and they treated me with far more courtesy than was ever shown them.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  9. All Muslims I met so far which came from different countries, like Egypt, Morocco, Tunesia etc were people like you and me,with a completely normal life which had made studies and worked the once which are behaving like savages are those who can't read and write and listen to those who shout the loudest ! Our Bible had also been a weapon in the middle age and even before, it was the only book and only a few priests could read !

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is difficult, but I think the portrayal that we see is seriously off.
    Himself has gone to Iran (twice), Turkey (twice), Pakistan and Egypt (twice) and never been met with anything but kindness. Lots of kindness. Kindness of the sort that I doubt often happens in western cultures. I certainly have not heard of anyone noticing that a visitor to our country looks lost and taking them home for lunch... And yes, their culture is not perfect and has some grave inequities. So does ours.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's hard to remember the rest of the country, any country, when all you see on TV news is the bad stuff. I see things that make me say "well, I'm never going THERE" (like I could afford to travel, ha ha) But then I see magazine articles and read on blogs about others travels and what lovely times they have. I know in my heart most of the world is a decent place, with decent people and if I ever get the chance, I will travel.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for linking to Marie's pictures -- fascinating! Of course it's true that the vast majority of people in the Middle East (or anywhere, really) are just trying to live their lives peacefully. It's the agitators who get all the attention.

    ReplyDelete