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Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!
why am I saying "Happy New year" at the end of January? you may ask. Today is the New Year in the Islamic Hijra calendar and a holiday all over the Middle East and every other moslem country come to that - so to all my/our Moslem friends everywhere - Happy New Year guys and gals! It is also Ashoora - the time when Shia'a moslems mourn the death of Imam Hussein (grandson of the Prophet Mohammed pbuh). For the uninitiated it's a strange time. People dress all in black and march up and down beating themselves with knives and chains and ropes and generally flagellating themselves. Gets pretty serious and blood flows. It seems positively mediaval to western eyes and in many ways it is but is serious stuff for the people here. Best of luck to them I say. They never bother me and we dont bother them so if they want to do this why the hell not? We live on a compound right round the corner from one of the most important Shia'a mosques in the Midddle East. Nobody ever bothers us or gives us any hassle. If we have music on in the car we turn it off as we pass the mosque, is called respect. When people try and tell you that all moslems are terrorists and anti-westerners, like most such sweeping statements it is bullshit. The vast majority are simply like you and me, ordinary folk who go about their lives in a quiet, generally happy way not bothering others so long as others show them and their beliefs respect. In Bahrain, there is a huge Roman Catholic Church, an Anglican Cathedral, several Hindu Temples and even a Synagogue (that last usually surprises the hell out of westerners!) Yes there are the minority that hate the West and want to bring taliban type ideas here but thats no different to anywhere else. Anti-Semitism and racsim are rife in the west from the KKK in the States to the fascist parties throughout Europe. People in glass houses shouldnt throw stones right? So if you know any Moslems where you live, wish them Happy New Year today folks. What price can you put on another person's smile when somebody simply reaches out and does something nice just for the hell of it!
till next time SET