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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Multicultural, Stupid

It's Multicultural, Stupid
September 18, 2009

The attack on America on Sept. 11 set off alarms everywhere. We were shocked to discover that few Foreign Service officers were fluent in Arabic or Farsi, the dominant languages of the Middle East. We didn't know much about Islam. Children grew up on the engrossing and romantic "Tales of the Arabian Nights," but few parents thought much about the implications of women portrayed in veils and harems, as the property of men.

College students grooved on "The Rubaiyat" by Omar Khayyam, the medieval Persian poet and philosopher, whose poetry was tailored to Western sensibility by the 19th century English translator Edward FitzGerald in "A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread -- and Thou." There's a small park on Embassy Row in Washington dedicated to the poem. The popular culture glibly entertained us with tales of flying carpets and genies popping out of magic bottles, and serious study of Islamic history and culture was grossly neglected.

Link to story:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/09/18/its_multicultural_stupid_98368.html

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