A girl in Damascus sits at home and watches the rain fall. The droplets of water begin to take on a wider significance – bringing to mind peace, conformity and isolation:
“Then it occurs to me. In those shimmering globules of water I see those people who hold peace in their hands. They are the droplets that didn’t get swept away by the stream. The stream that is the rush, the too fast pace of modern life. The stream that seems to intensify the eagerness for conformity to make it into the pool of success. Previously, looking at this same scene on my window, I might have perceived the solitariness as painful isolation – a misperception shaped by my own experiences. But I plainly see now that there is a distinct advantage to remaining apart. One can watch the world with multifaceted perception while retaining one‘s uniqueness.”
Reflections on the New Year’s Eve Massacre in Alexandria
“A SENSE OF BELONGING” writes against the attacks on Coptic Orthodox Christians in Alexandria, where 21 people were killed and 170 injured following an explosion outside the Church of St. Mark and St. Peter.
A sense of belonging tries to provide context and a voice of moderation to events. The couple write that the attack may have been due to the perceived to the presence of Christian converts to Islam being held in monasteries in Egypt against their will – a claim the individuals involved apparently deny – and to the presence of Salafalism in Alexandria, a peaceful branch of Islam which stresses coexistence, and which the writers suggest some believe may have been taken too far.
After the explosion Christians in the city rioted, some outside a Mosque, while the piece covers some of the religious and confrontational chants made by Christians and Muslims against each other. The post also goes onto to talk about the ‘cry for love’ and councils that “although the government failed in its promise despite measures to bolster security this should not result in the wholesale dismissal of the social contract.”
Eltahawy blogs about Walid al Husseini – aged 26 – and arrested in the West Bank at the end of October for blasphemy against the “prophet” and the ‘Qur’an’ for posts made over Facebook.
Eltahawy suggests that though ‘neither the first nor will he be the last,’ Husseini’s fate is a reminder that the ‘red line of religion’ remains ‘indelible’ in the ‘virtual world’ too.
The post goes on to discuss ‘self-appointed custodians’ of the faith and ‘religious bullies’.
Beirutspring returns to the topic of the ‘Bustros Harb Law’ that would ‘prevent Christians and Muslims from selling property to each other for 15 years’, in order to safeguard ‘national coexistence’.
For beirutspring the suggestion is one ‘where we look in the mirror and realize what a farce we have become’. He lists many of the prejudices, enshrined in law, which are justified under the ‘tyranny’ of concerns for ‘demographic balance’. These concerns, he points out, cannot even be questioned - a population census has not been carried out in Lebanon… the results might upset the ‘demographic balance’…
The Moor Next Door provides two in-depth but interesting book reviews – one on Henry Kissinger and another on Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms. Neither is light reading, but hopefully he's summed up all the really good bits...