Thursday, January 04, 2007

Learning from the Past to Change the Present

One afternoon over the holidays I spent an hour or so reading the archives of Into the Sun, a blog run by an Iraqi-Canadian whose pseudonym is Gilgamesh. Her entries cover a wide variety of topics, some of them public, others private. She always has something interesting to say. Yesterday she contrasted the differences between how the West and the Middle East view history.
I love reading history so I can learn more, but we should also read history in order to change and make things up for the better, I always thought philosophically speaking, that history is a line in progress, maybe I am putting the west in mind, the kind of people that put archaic concepts behind and fought for their economic, civil and political rights, there is such thing as a minimum wage job in the west and that’s for a reason, women earned their rights because they fought for it, people separated religion from state and that was earned and was done for a reason, of course everything is relative, we do not have any modern leader that has announced publicly that he is an atheist, and nothing is perfect anyways. But the western liberal history is a progression and history is moving forward and the world can not bare its shortage at all, especially that the evangelical, extreme right is there, even its existence as a faint is dangerous, again the world can not bare its shortage, but in the Middle East, the soaring height of ignorance is disgusting, history does not move forward, history just moves into loops, it does not breath and be exposed to sunshine to kill these germs, it is the Mahdi that we are waiting for and the victimized notion of the self and its reflection upon a creation of a repeated history, unlearned, it is the definite fight with the Zionists, therefore no solution is to be found, it is the Middle eastern history, especially Iraqi history that is going into loops, into circles, not willing to be enlightened, forgive and to be forgotten. It is a rare incidence, if not it does not exist, that we have a new government in office, it has always been a huge mess, what does that tell us about us Iraqis?


Another blogger whose archives (The Moor Next Door) I've been reading is an Algerian-American named Nouri. He is a very articulate and well-read high-school senior who wants to be a historian. A few days ago he talked about leaving his hometown, New Haven, Connecticut.
Leaving my city -- the city of New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, United States of America – is the problem I am faced with at this very moment. The city has not been lost in a terrific deluge, as scientists and “liberals” predict it will as sea levels rise. New Haven has not been swallowed up by class or ethnic conflict, as it has been during brief periods in its past. New Haven, as residents often complain, is not doing anything: but I am. I will soon be in northeast of here, in Boston; or southwest of here, in New York. And education is my push factor; funny that, as New Haven is a university town.

New Haven is not my ancestral city. There are no great clans of Lums that ever called this city their home, at least none that were related to me in any relevant way. My parents both migrated here. My father came for the very reason that I am leaving: to pursue an education. My mother came as a girl so that her father could work for the Byer Corporation in one of New Haven’s suburbs. I have no immediate family in the area, save for a few close relatives who live beyond the city limits. I have been to cities in foreign countries with more people who were related to me by blood, and I am perhaps more enamored with what happens, and what has happened, outside of this little port city.

Yet, as much as I try, I cannot help but be saddened by the thought of going elsewhere. The patterns of life in a small college town are different from those in large cities, even those with a multiplicity of learning communities.
Both the United States and Canada, countries that attract immigrants from around the world (despite what OBL and the Mad Mullahs of Iran say), are fortunate to have these two as citizens.

P.S. I suggest going to Nouri's sidebar and clicking on his four-parts series where he answers questions about his life and views on current issues.


Today Marshmallow26 writes about Kool-Aid. Check out her blog (which includes some photos of snow from a recent trip to the north of Iraq).


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