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  1. 29 Mar '17 00:00 / 6 edits
    Wilfred Thesiger (1910-2003) was a conservative upper-class Englishman of Christian heritage.
    He spent many months living with the Bedu (Bedouins) of Arabia's 'Empty Quarter'.
    These nomads dwelled in one of the physically harshest environments in the world.
    According to the common Western stereotypes here, the Bedu (poor Muslims
    struggling to survive) should be extremely 'greedy, barbarous, and cruel'
    (to quote what the title character said in the film 'Lawrence of Arabia' ).
    But Wilfred Thesiger grew to have deep admiration and respect for his Bedu friends,
    who lived according to their strict moral codes under conditions when
    supposed 'more civilized' Europeans could hardly have survived.

    "In the Empty Quarter we endured almost incessant hunger and, worse still,
    thirst, sometimes for days on end rationing ourselves to a pint [of water] a day;
    there was the heat of a blazing sun in a shadeless land; the bitter cold of
    winter nights; incessant watchfulness for raiders, our rifles always at hand;
    anxiety that our camels, on which our lives depended, would collapse.
    ...
    All they [the Bedu] possessed were their camels and saddlery, their rifles
    and daggers, some waterskins and cooking pots and bowls, and the very
    clothes they wore; few of them even owned a blanket. They possessed,
    however, a freedom which we, with all our craving for possessions, cannot
    experience. Any of them could have found a job in the towns and villages ...
    but all would have rejected that easier life of lesser men. They met every
    challenge, every hardship, with the proud boast, 'We are Bedu.'

    When I joined them I asked for no concessions; I was determined to live
    as they lived, to face the hardships of the desert on equal terms with them.
    I knew that I could not match them in physical endurance, but with my family
    background, Eton, Oxford, the Sudan Political Service, I did perhaps think
    that I would match them in civilized behavior. When the test came, with
    near-starvation, thirst that clogged the throat, weariness and frustration,
    it was humiliating to fall short. All too often I would become withdrawn and
    irritable when they entertained chance-met strangers on our dwindling rations;
    highly resentful when they stood aside, pressing them to eat more, insisting
    that they were our guests, and that for us this was a 'blessed day'.
    ...
    I have never forgotten the open-handed generosity of the Bedu with any
    money they had acquired, no matter if it left them penniless; their total
    honesty; their pride in themselves and their tribe; their loyalty to each other
    and not least to me, a stranger of alien faith from an unknown land, a
    loyalty tested more than once at risk of their lives."
    --Wilfred Thesiger (_A Life of My Choice_, pp 398-399).

    Even when they themselves were close to dying of hunger or thirst, the Bedu's
    code of hospitality required them to share all that they had with passing strangers.
    Once he had become accepted as their honoured guest, Wilfred Thesiger
    came under the Bedu's protection. The Bedu would fight to the death, if
    necessary, to defend him from every enemy, whether it be a raider who wished
    to take him hostage and hold him for ransom or (hypothetically) the British authorities.
    Even if he had been an accused criminal wanted by the British, Wilfred Thesiger could
    have had sanctuary with the Bedu, living with them upon equal terms of freedom.
  2. 29 Mar '17 00:12
    According to an Islamic tradition, the Prophet declared that when a non-Muslim approaches a
    Muslim to ask sincere questions about Islam, the Muslim's obliged to answer as truthfully as possible.
    And the Muslim's obliged to allow the non-Muslim to leave to a place of safety.

    Taking it further, some Muslims have interpreted this to mean that, for some time, they have
    responsibility for the non-Muslim's well-being, including offering food or shelter to one in need.
    A Muslim host may offer a meal and lodging for the night to a non-Muslim homeless beggar.
    In some situations such as war, when the non-Muslim guest cannot readily return to a place
    of safety, the Muslim may feel obliged to continue protecting or caring for the non-Muslim.
    The non-Muslim's not required to convert to Islam. Yet, after experiencing this kind of
    hospitality, a non-Muslim may feel that Islam has inspired one's host to become a more
    compassionate and generous person and thereby be influenced to convert to Islam.
  3. 29 Mar '17 09:31
    I am off to Jordan next month for a two-week holiday. I have lost count of the number of times I've been asked about whether it's safe - questions people would never think of asking if I told them I was going to Berlin, Brussels, Paris or even Westminster!

    Of course there is a possibility of terrorism, there as elsewhere; but I think it much more likely that I'll be welcomed with the Arab hospitality you're writing about, as I have been previously on visits to Morocco and Oman.
  4. 30 Mar '17 01:31
    You mean like the kind that slammed into the two towers in NY on 9/11, that kind of Arab hospitality
  5. 30 Mar '17 01:44
    Originally posted by Eladar
    You mean like the kind that slammed into the two towers in NY on 9/11, that kind of Arab hospitality
    So says Eladar the hateful racist troll who apparently approves of the genocide of Muslims.
    Has Eladar yet visited the tomb of his apparent hero Baruch Goldstein?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Goldstein

    "Baruch Kopel Goldstein (Hebrew: ברוך קופל גולדשטיין‎‎; December 9, 1956 – February 25, 1994)
    was an American-Israeli physician, religious extremist and mass murderer[2] who perpetrated
    the 1994 Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in Hebron, killing 29 Palestinian Muslim worshippers
    and wounding another 125.[3][4] He was beaten to death by survivors of the massacre."

    "The gravesite has become a pilgrimage site for Jewish extremists; a plaque near the grave reads,
    "To the holy Baruch Goldstein, who gave his life for the Jewish people, the Torah and
    the nation of Israel." At least 10,000 people had visited the grave by the year 2000.[8]
    In 1996, members of the Labor Party called for the shrine-like landscaped prayer area
    near the grave to be removed, and Israeli security officials expressed concern that the
    grave would encourage extremists.[27] In 1999, following passage of a law designed to
    prohibit monuments to terrorists, and an associated Supreme Court ruling, the Israeli
    Army bulldozed the shrine and prayer area set up near Goldstein's grave.[28]
    A new tomb has been built, and still receives visits from Jewish pilgrims."
  6. 30 Mar '17 01:46
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    So says Eladar the hateful racist troll who apparently approves of the genocide of Muslims.
    Has Eladar yet visited the tomb of his apparent hero Baruch Goldstein?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Goldstein

    "Baruch Kopel Goldstein (Hebrew: ברוך קופל גולדשטיין‎‎; December 9, 1956 – February 25, 1994)
    was an American-Israeli physician, religious ...[text shortened]... stein's grave.[28]
    A new tomb has been built, and still receives visits from Jewish pilgrims."
    You are the nut job, but I suppose with your life it can't be helped.
  7. 30 Mar '17 02:26
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    I am off to Jordan next month for a two-week holiday. I have lost count of the number of times I've been asked about whether it's safe - questions people would never think of asking if I told them I was going to Berlin, Brussels, Paris or even Westminster!

    Of course there is a possibility of terrorism, there as elsewhere; but I think it much more likely ...[text shortened]... Arab hospitality you're writing about, as I have been previously on visits to Morocco and Oman.
    Directionally your intent here is well motivated and probably correct when one experiences local hospitality, but you are conflating the local hospitality with the presence of terrorism and the two are not connected.

    Coincidentally a colleague has just returned from week holiday their visiting Petra etc and she said it was outstanding. However, the quality of the ancient ruins experience is also nothin to do with local hospitality. She is a seasoned traveler, hiker, and visitor of ancient places and she said that she felt mostly safe, but their party had an armed guard with them at all times.
  8. 30 Mar '17 09:41
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Directionally your intent here is well motivated and probably correct when one experiences local hospitality, but you are conflating the local hospitality with the presence of terrorism and the two are not connected.

    Coincidentally a colleague has just returned from week holiday their visiting Petra etc and she said it was outstanding. However, the q ...[text shortened]... d she said that she felt mostly safe, but their party had an armed guard with them at all times.
    I'm not quite sure I construe your opening sentence. Do you mean that just because locals are hospitable doesn't mean there isn't also a terrorist threat? But I would never have denied that. Obviously I'm aware that there are extremists there and that the tourist industry is a potential terrorist target; and sure, I'm relying on the Jordanian government to protect me from that danger! But I still expect the majority of people I encounter will treat me with sincere kindness.

    I'll be travelling with a friend independently (not in a group), so I doubt I'll have an armed guard watching over me; although I have been led to expect a very high police presence. The Jordanian government is obviously not taking chances with their valuable and precarious tourist industry.
  9. 30 Mar '17 09:43
    Originally posted by Eladar
    You mean like the kind that slammed into the two towers in NY on 9/11, that kind of Arab hospitality
    Not sure why I should take those Arabs as representative of all Arabs, any more than I assume Timothy McVeigh was representative of all Americans.
  10. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    30 Mar '17 09:47
    I once slept in a Bedouin camp, in the Egyptian Sahara.

    Lovely sheep (or goat... God knows) stew and beer.

    We sat around a campfire with them playing some music.
    Don't know, reminded me of gypsies for some reason.
    I'd have to check the photo's, but I don't remember any women there.
  11. Standard member HandyAndy
    Non sum qualis eram
    30 Mar '17 14:40
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    I once slept in a Bedouin camp, in the Egyptian Sahara.

    Lovely sheep (or goat... God knows) stew and beer.

    We sat around a campfire with them playing some music.
    Don't know, reminded me of gypsies for some reason.
    I'd have to check the photo's, but I don't remember any women there.
    You're not feeling sheepish, are you?
  12. 30 Mar '17 20:35
    Originally posted by Eladar
    You mean like the kind that slammed into the two towers in NY on 9/11, that kind of Arab hospitality
    ""The only good Lebanese is a dead Lebanese. The only good Arab is a dead Arab.
    Long live [Israel]. Death to Lebanon and death to the Arabs."
    --Patrick Syring (longtime US career diplomat, 2006 voice mail to the Arab American Institute)

    'Death to the Arabs!' is a popular chant by racist Jewish mobs in Israel.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Syring

    "William Patrick Syring, who uses his middle name, Patrick, (born August 30, 1957 in
    Toledo, Ohio), is a retired American career diplomat who was convicted of threatening
    and violating the civil rights of James Zogby, the Arab-American president and founder,
    and other senior employees, of the Arab American Institute during the 2006 Lebanon
    war.[2] Syring pleaded guilty to the charges June 12, 2008,[3] was sentenced to one
    year in prison July 11, 2008,[4] and was released early, in January 2009.[5]"
  13. 30 Mar '17 23:44 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Teinosuke to Eladar
    Not sure why I should take those Arabs as representative of all Arabs,
    any more than I assume Timothy McVeigh was representative of all Americans.
    The racist troll Eladar has a long record of attempting to incite as much hatred of Arabs,
    Muslims, or some other non-white peoples as he can.

    I suspect that more than a few writers here like to believe:
    "The only good Arab is a dead Arab."
    --Patrick Syring (longtime US career diplomat)
  14. 30 Mar '17 23:51
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    I once slept in a Bedouin camp, in the Egyptian Sahara.
    Lovely sheep (or goat... God knows) stew and beer.

    We sat around a campfire with them playing some music.
    Don't know, reminded me of gypsies for some reason.
    I'd have to check the photo's, but I don't remember any women there.
    _The Poetics of Military Occupation: Mzeina Allegories of Bedouin Identity Under Israeli and Egyptian Rule_
    by Smadar Lavie

    Smadar Lavie, an Israeli Jewish anthropologist, criticizes Israeli racism toward the Bedouin.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smadar_Lavie
  15. 31 Mar '17 08:10
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    I'm not quite sure I construe your opening sentence. Do you mean that just because locals are hospitable doesn't mean there isn't also a terrorist threat? But I would never have denied that. Obviously I'm aware that there are extremists there and that the tourist industry is a potential terrorist target; and sure, I'm relying on the Jordanian government to ...[text shortened]... government is obviously not taking chances with their valuable and precarious tourist industry.
    Yes I agree with you.
    My response was to your post where you spoke about terrorism.