Enigma = The Middle East

Middle East

I have lived, on and off, in the Middle East for a long time. I have lived in Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Oman and Iran. I have traveled to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Morocco and Jordan. As of today, looking back, I have no understanding of why the people of the Middle East live in constant turmoil. Somebody asked me once why the people of the Middle East hated us so much. I answered, they don’t hate us, they hate everyone. The Iranians hate the Iraquis, the Iraquis hate the Turks, the Sunnis hate the Shia and everyone hates Israel.

Of all the places I have lived in the Middle East, only one place made me feel uneasay with dislike (a little softer term than hate), and that was Kuwait. I always had the feeling of inferiority and disgust living there. We were a scourge, unholy, our women all whores ourselves unclean. I didn’t really like it there, so we left at the first chance we got.

Israel was our most enjoyable tour, an amazing country with marvelous people. One day, as we strolled Diesengoff Street, window shopping, we heard a loud bang (it was a truck backfire). We looked around and saw that we were the only two people still on our feet. Everyone was on the ground, covering in place. That mentality comes from constant bombardment from their neighbors, Hammas, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the Left Bank. I always wondered why a culture so strong in intellect would live in such a constant state or turmoil. Every US President since FDR has made an attempt at creating peace in the Middle East, especially peace between Israel and Palistine. When I am asked why there can’t be lasting peace, I say they have been fighting for over 2000 years, there will be, most likely, no peace ever in the middle east.

The sadness is that it just gets worse and worse. Most of the young people in the Middle East have never known anything other than war, fighting and dictatorship. Many are tired of it and have moved to more peaceful lands. As we have seen however, they bring their hatred with them. They fail, in the most part, to assimilate and get along in their new surroundings. An enigma to be sure.