Sunday, August 15, 2004

It Takes a Following to Make an Ayatollah

Juan Cole, blogger of Informed Comment published a great article on Shiite leadership today in Iraq in the Washington Post today. He has some detailed info on Shiism & the current situation in Iraq, esp the role that Ayatollah Sistani & Mokhtadar Sadr have played in the political spectrum.

On a happy note, the Iraqi soccer team defeated Portugal 4-2 which is a great accomplishment since Portugal was a gold contender in the Euro Cup a couple months ago. I have always believed that Arabs in general are very strong people because they have seen so many wars & still manage to smile & are so hospitable. My experiences in Jordan confirmed it & I think the same, if not more, can be said for the Iraqis. I'm really happy that the people of Iraq have something to celebrate despite the dire situation in their ravaged country.

People say the solution to resolving conflict is dialogue. On Friday, I met with a great woman who has organized an apolitical monthly Muslim-Jewish woman discussion group over the past 18 months. I've been invited to one on Wednesday and I'm really excited to meet the Muslim & Jewish women who are trying to bridge the gap of hatred & misconceptions. I also came across an event that will take place in September in Duluth, Minnesota. It has been organized to facilitate dialogue between Palestinians/Muslims & Jews - I talked to the organizers & I hope to make it in spite of my busy schedule during the school year. What I'm really looking forward to is a play that has been organized by Muslims, Christians & Jews called, "Children of Abraham." News can get so depressing & it is people & events such as these that revive my hope & inspiration...