Why I Love the Arab People

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Tyler, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    There is way too much animosity on this board between the fiercely pro-Israeli and fiercely pro-Palestinian. (Although these terms seem less and less apt as time moves on. Pro-Israeli ought to mean wishing for the continued existence and success of Israel, which very likely necessitates the creation of a large Palestinian state with full and equal rights. Pro-Palestinian does not necessitate pro-Hamas, though a strange number of people around the world seem to have taken to interpreting it thus.)

    So, in the spirit of good faith, in the effort to bridge the gap just a little bit, let's all just say some good things about each other. There's too much Israeli-hatred, Jew-hatred, Moslem-hatred and Arab-hatred in the world, and on this board. Let's all be a bit sentimental for a second and heap some praise. Loosen the tension.

    Okay, so why do I love Arabs? Music and food. I'm a total music nut and I don't think anyone has ever done music as well as the Egyptians and other traditional Arabic music. Hamza El-Din is still one of my favourite musicians about 8 years after being introduced to him. Food? Well, I'm sure most of you have had various Arab foods in your life. Lebanese is normally my favourite. My friends and I used to make frequent 2:00 am runs downtown to the best Lebanese shop in Canada.

    In fact, if I could choose only one music to listen to for the rest of my life and one style of food to eat; Indian would come up high on both lists. (I know India is not 'Arab', but does sport a rather large Moslem population.) Right up there would be Lebanon and Egypt.

    Okay, so of the many things I dearly love about Arabic culture and life, food and music are the two highest on the list.

    What do you love about Israeli, Jewish, Moslem or Arabic culture?
     
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  3. Vkothii Banned Banned

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    I find the history of the Jewish people fascinating; that they managed to retain a coherent social/political structure even during their dispersion around the world. Although this is a Western meme, it's something I think most people admire, one way or another.

    Unfortunately the original theme has been somewhat distorted, and the supremacist theme has replaced it to a large extent. Germany for example adopted the idea recently, and turned it back on its "inventors", or its believers.

    The Hebrews didn't invent the idea, though, did they (of retaining a history and constructing a theme around it).
     
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I like the Arab people because of their attitude to life, they live a calm and community oriented life which involves a lot of tea and social networking. They are close knit and generous. You have only to admire something and they will do their best to get it for you. They treat people with respect and hospitality and if you're ever in trouble and need a place to hide, you should duck into an Arabs [or Pashtun's] house. They will go above and beyond to help you.
     
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  7. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

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    Arab coffee is delicious, and I like the custom of being hospitable to every visitor. The hookahs are amazing, and belly dancing is Arab, right? Falafels are good, and hummus of course. I like the clothing, I always wanted one of those full length robes. If they didn't invent hashish, at least they named it.
     
  8. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    That's all very nice Sam, but I kind of meant this as an exercise in complimenting the side you typically "stand against" or work to deride. On sciforums I seem to take up the side that seems pro-Israeli - though in many other forums I'd be taking up the opposite mantle - so I wanted to make sure I said something I really admire about the Arab people.

    You already stand on the side of the Arabs. It's not an exercise in self-growth if you compliment them. A true reach out would be to compliment the Israelis. Or, seeing as how your condemnation seems to extend to all Jews, rather than just Israelis, to compliment Jewish culture.
     
  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know any Jewish Jews. Or any Israelis with Jewish culture. The last Jewish family I ate with, we had a meal of lamb and roast veggies with baba ghanoush on garlic toast. They are Palestinian Jews, but are probably atheist and have nothing that identifies them as Jews. I met a couple of Israelis last month, they were doing a pro=Israeli protest supporting Gaza. They were uncomfortable discussing Israeli actions in Gaza.
    :shrug:
     
  10. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    I've never lived in an Arab country and I didn't grow up with many Arab friends. But I've studied some Arab history, read some Arab texts and eaten Arab food.

    One doesn't require direct friendship with a people to admire their culture. I've never been to Japan and have few Japanese friends, but I know an awful lot about the Japanese and can name quite a few aspects of their life that I love.

    The point of this exercise is to ensure we're all humanizing each other. As you've complained before, too many view all Arabs (or Moslems, or frankly, brown people) as living under one negative tent. This is a gross error and leads to poor and often harmful understandings of the other side. The same mistake is made by those who identify as "anti-Israeli".

    Perhaps if you're unable to do this simple exercise your all-encompassing anti-Israeli and anti-Jew stance is more understandable. But it's a shame. Or, perhaps, it's because you've never taken the time to understand their culture, people or life. Which is equally disappointing.

    As in any science, political science requires cold calculation and reasoning. But as someone who so often appeals to the emotional response in others to the tragedy that has befallen (largely at the behest of Israel, Syria and other Arab nations) the Palestinian people, you ought to understand that such humanization and emotional connection can help to understand the other side as well.

    If you'd rather continue encouraging the view of Israelis and Jews as monsters, then I suppose you can just ignore this thread. But, it's a shame.
     
  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    I'm trying to think of what classifies as Jewish culture. If you'd asked me 10 years ago, I'd have no clue of Arab culture apart from their tales and what we know from the Quran. The Arabs have a history in India, their folktales are a part of our culture. But my opinion of Arabs is based on my living with them.

    What identifies as Jewish?

    If you asked me about the Polish people I'd be equally stumped. I have Polish friends, but I don't know anything Polish about them apart from their beet soup.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Arabic: The way of teaching by parable and fable - a wealth of stories that have double meanings, that at once entertain children and carry meaning for adults, so that they nourish the mind when remembered later.

    Judaic: The books, the depth expected and established in written prose.

    Both: the avoidance of over-mechanization of life, the ability to recognize and care about mathematics without reducing thought to bookkeeping.

    Neither: food, clothing, music, sense of play, sense of honor, ability to take a joke, recognition of the natural world.

    That's all from casual encounters within another culture - I've never lived among communities of either.
     
  13. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    ice:

    Expanding on yours , Arabs and Jews have both been mercantile so wouldn't bookkeeping and money matters be a prelude to interest in mathematics?

    You're kidding, right?

    Arabic food has worldwide appeal, I don't know anyone who dislikes it. I'm assuming that the humble Jewish bagel is not overlooked either.

    Clothing? Based on what? The Saudis? Arabic traditional embroidery and clothing is exceptionally beautiful. Sorry don't know much about Jewish.

    But clothin doesn't get better than this:

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    Many Indians shop in the Middle East for their lace and embroidered cloth. Their lush materials and opulent colours

    Sense of play, sense of honor: They are not fighters, they prefer to negotiate instead. Their sense of play and honor may not coincide with yours, but I'll take an Arab deal over an American bomb on any given occasion.

    Recognition of the natural world: Anyone can live in a lush green place. Try being addicted to endless miles of sand and sky.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    28,800
    To each their own. I don't have to wear the stuff, or deal with it, so no problem.
    I don't dislike it. I have yet to meet food anyone else liked that I didn't. But compared with Vietnamese? Italian?

    I did learn to put a little cardamom in the coffee, sometimes.

    The American and Canadian west is full of people profoundly attached to dry and sky. The North, also, in general. Central Asia. The song and story of many peoples, including such dryland dwellers as the Navajo and the Tuvan, contain ecstatic venerations of this or that landscape feature, spiritual recognition of the world of plants and animals. None of them seem any kind of Semitic. Your nature mystics seem to come from other peoples, not Jews and Arabs.

    But the thread is for other purposes, eh?
     
  15. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

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    arab buildings I mean look at the alhombra.
     
  16. John99 Banned Banned

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    i would like to be a rich prince, with a Ferrari or lambo.

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  17. Killjoy Propelling The Farce!! Valued Senior Member

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    We dig booze, and despise Russians.

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    Oh, wait... am I supposed to compliment them then ?

    Nice job on the SU-152
    Mean looking sumbitch.

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  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.cliffordawright.com/caw/food/entries/display.php/topic_id/23/id/98/

    I like Vietnamese, but not as much as Sichuan Chinese or Korean. Italian is very bland to me, my fave is tiramisu. I love harira, kabsa, kebab, muhammara [the wole platter of mezze really], labneh, Turkish chicken

    But I've only seen good Middle Eastern food in New York. My most memorable meal was with a Bedouin woman who worked as a caretaker, I sat in her room while she made a delicious meal whose name I forget, she quickly slapped out mini pizza like flatbread simply using her palms and let them down gently into a spicy stew. It was an a fast food version of musakhhan I think.

    I've heard about matzoh balls and potato latkes, but I've never had them. I do make a kind of potato pancakes I got off the web.

    My favorite Jews are Jon Stewart and Oded Fehr

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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  19. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Sam, you are failing miserably on this thread.
    Stop talking about how great Arabs are.

    Projects for SAM.
    1. Find a real Jew, and talk to them. See if you have anything in common.
    2. Find a place that sells Jewish Food and have a Jewish meal.
    3. Listen to some Jewish Music.
    4. Look at some Jewish art.
     
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Projects for SAM:

    1. Find a real Jew, and talk to them. See if you have anything in common.

    I've talked to many Jews. Unfortunately, they have Indian, American or Arab culture.

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    2. Find a place that sells Jewish Food and have a Jewish meal.

    Gimme an example of a place that sells Jewish food. Whats Jewish food? Is it like Muslim food?


    3. Listen to some Jewish Music.

    Paula Abdul? Michael Bolton? Billy Joel? Lisa Loeb?

    4. Look at some Jewish art.

    I would love to. Some examples?
     
  21. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    All kneejerk reactions.
    Bad attitude.

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  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    The only Jewish food I know is widely available is the bagel.

    I've never heard of Jewish music or Jewish art.

    Its like saying Christian food, Christian music, Christian art. Muslim food, Muslim music, Muslim art.

    Whats the Jewish equivalents? I really don't know. From my point of view, as an Indian, I have no association of any icons with Judaism. I don't even know what the inside of a synagogue looks like.

    When you say Arab, I know exactly what it means. What does Jewish mean?
     
  23. Tyler Registered Senior Member

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    Jewish music is beautiful. Jewish inspired music (written by Jews or Gentile) has often been some of the most beautiful I've ever heard. Check out some of this stuff for examples of Gentiles taking Jewish themes and making beautiful, beautiful fusion:

    Shostakovich's Jewish Folk Poetry
    Prokofiev's Hebrew Melodies
    Ravel's Kaddisch

    You can look some of the various idols of Klezmer or Mizrahi music as well, the latter of which I'd be surprised if you didn't like. Jewish art, as well, is readily available on the interwebs if you take the time to look.
    For the sake of culture (food, music, clothing, art, traditions, etc.) let's just take the easy route and say anyone or any peoples who self-identify as "jew" are jewish. Does that help your understanding?

    The reason this is even possible - whereas "Christian food" is hard to place - is because there really are very, very, very few Jews in the world. There are more Germans than there are Jews, yet we can easily place a Germanic culture. The Jewish one, due to diaspora, is of course more tricky and more spread-out. But you can find it if you look for more than a couple seconds.

    -----------

    On an unrelated note... I completely agree... Indians have a phenomenal sense of fashion. But then, with such phenomenal female bodies and beauties to work with, it's not surprising that they would spend more time thinking how to accentuate them. And Ustad Alla Rakha and Zakir Hussain are still the greatest of all time.
     

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