Friday, November 6, 2009

My Idea Of A Good Time

A relaxing weekend means getting involved in a book about fairytales, handsome princes, far away places ----

Forget that!!!!

I've put my nose into a book on the history of the Middle East.

Well, a "brief history", the book says.

There is absolutely nothing brief about it. And if this is the condensed version, inow I understand why so many people just simply do not know, or care, about what is transpiring in the Middle East right now.

I have always remained permanently on the fence when it comes to the various Middle East conflicts. Even before I begun to read of its history over five years ago, I always knew that it would never be appropriate for me to make comment on any of it without fully informing myself of the facts. And given that I still, to this day, don't have a thorough understanding of it all, I have no intention of taking any "sides".

Instead, I continue the push, not only on myself, but on others, to look beyond the modern day stories that are evolving as we speak, and consider just how deeply entrenched the battle-like mentality of not only those of the Islamic faith but Christians themselves! Before anyone passes comment about how pathetic wars are and how everyone just needs to "get along", we all need to understand that these battles have not been created by modern dictators or war hungry western leaders, but that these battles date back to the times of AD 66, through to the Sunni and Shia battles of AD 600, up to the Ottoman Empire and right through to the 6 Day in 1967.

I wish people would spend their time reading rather than passing comment on modern matters of which they simply do not understand their context.

Do those young men in the Gaza Strip, throwing bombs at others, understand the history of their descendants? Do those guys in US army greens, playing war games with expensive artillery, even know who the Byzantines were? That the name "ottoman" isn't just a name to describe the person that collects the neighbourhood garbage? I suspect not. Because if they did, I would expect that they would all hesitate to get themselves involved in a situation which seems, at this moment, impossible to resolve.

We owe it to ourselves to understand the landscape, seek further knowledge of its history and then start on even footing going forward. That even footing can only be established when all parties - Christians, Muslims and Jews - recognise the atrocities that each have forced upon each other and then move forward. We may never get to a point where each party appropriately acknowledges who caused what (and it may be that all parties are equally to blame), but we are never going to find that pathway to peace if we do not begin to address the past.

1 comment:

  1. I cannot for the life of me, see how anyone could be having a good time reading about all this, you also will never understand why, even if you read a thousand books on this subject. But good luck anyway. You must be bored, is it raining in K.L.