Monday, December 24, 2007

Sami's good and I like some of what he does for Syria like his syrianhistory website. Most of the time though, I do worry about his articles. Why do I feel so uncomfortable whilst reading them?

8 comments:

DUBAI JAZZ said...

He forgot to mention Michelle Ma'dinli, the point-forward and super star of the great Al Jala'a basket ball team of Aleppo..I mean this guy is adored by Muslim and Christian girls of Aleppo alike. I wish I have a fraction of his popularity..

The Syrian Brit said...

I don't know, Wassim.. WHY do you feel uncomfortable reading this??..
It actually made ME feel good.. and proud..

Abu Kareem said...

Wassim,

SB beat me to the punch. I also on a number of occasions have problems with what he says but not with this particular article. Your enigmantic objection left me wanting to know exactly what it is that bothers you about it.

Wassim said...

Well, forgive me if my answer is still vague but I'll try to mention some of the things which make feel uneasy. The article is admirable and says many nice things, but I don't have a problem with the subject matter. It is the context and direction of the article. Why as Syrians do we have to feel it necessary to explain how successful we are in creating harmony between different faiths. How many hoops do we have to jump through to gain acceptance, and by whom?

Does Sami really believe that the conflicts in the Arab countries are religious and not instigated by movements supported by foreign countries? That the Shia/Sunni problem in Iraq and the region or the problems in Lebanon are due to problems with reconciling various religions within the state? I have a problem with this narrative, if that is what he is assuming. Is this article written with a background of religious tensions in the region? Or are these tensions a by-product of something else?

We all know that Christianity is an integral part of Middle Eastern societies and that it has continued to exist happily within countries that have majority Muslim populations. We don't have to keep harping on about it just because of the ignorance of others. If you have a sister, you don't have to keep telling her you love her because she's your sister. You know this and you take it for granted, move on...

What do you guys think?

Abu Kareem said...

Wassim,

I understand what you are saying and agree that some of the wording sounds more like pandering. On the other hand, given the target readers, who are as you suggested clueless, the tone is perhaps appropriate.

I disagree, however, with your suggestion that all of the Middle Eastern secterian and religious tensions are manufactured elsewhere. Certainly, foreign interference plays an important role. Such interference is successful, however, becacuse there tap into intrinsic, unresolved problems. Such as, among other things:
+ Shia marginalization in Lebanon by both Sunnis and Christians.
+ The Muslim-Coptic tension in Egypt
+ The Christian fear of intolerant Muslim fundamentalists.

You may have ready political explantions for all of the above but one cannot ignore the intrinsic problems.

Perhaps my views are shaped by my years in Lebanon. You would be shocked about what one sect would say about another behind closed doors -and I am talking pre-civil war here.

Wassim said...

You've got a good point. That's why I didn't elaborate on why I felt uncomfortable, it was just a vague uneasiness. Speaking of Lebanon, I just spent Christmas day with an individual who detest Muslim's with a passion, but not me and my family (of course) because we are moderates and not like those "bad" other Muslim's. She verged on the hysterical at times - again, just against those bad Muslim's.

}:o

The Syrian Brit said...

This time, Wassim, it is Abu Kareem who beat me to voicing (pretty much word for word) my reply to your comments..
As for your 'friend' who detests Muslims so passionately, the World is full of such narrow-minded individuals.. on both sides od the divide... and what's more, it is the actions and attitudes of such individuals (on either side) that fuel such reactions amongst their counterparts on the other side...
Lastly, Wassim, there is no apostrophe in "Muslims"!.. (Sorry to be so pedantic, but this apostrophe business is always a bee in my bonnet!!..)
:)

Wassim said...

AK and Syrian Brit,
True, your words are on my head, I guess sometimes I get a bit over paranoid and read too far between the lines. Probably need to relax a bit!

As for the apostrophe, I actually saw that but couldn't be bothered to repost the comment :S I'm getting sloppy!