Middle East Monday: A Muslim meeting for peace

Hey folks, it’s not all bad news out there! Believe for change. Believe for better. There is power in hope and belief. 

Ahmadiyya Muslims: British convention of a religious minority persecuted abroad spreads a message of love and peace

 

7-Mosque

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Middle East Monday: How powerful is YOUR passport?

I lived in Israel and the Palestinian Territories for three years: 2006-2009. I knew there was a global inequity regarding the utility of certain passports. I knew mine was more of a door-opener than many. This reality was made painfully obvious by the restrictions placed upon the Palestinians I lived amongst. Most of them were unable to LEAVE the Palestinian Territories at all. They couldn’t go into Israel proper, they couldn’t get visas to other nations, and this greatly influenced their worldview, their concept of identity, and their sense of injustice.

Likewise, when I was in Baghdad in 2011, I talked with a number of people with a similar problem. However, for many of them, it was a matter of emigration. They wanted to leave Baghdad and they could not get a visa etc to do so. Thus, they were stuck in a war zone. That is absolutely awful. Can you imagine the sense of powerlessness, desperation, and hopelessness one might feel? Daily, friends and family are dying from acts of war and terrorism. You worry about your family, your kids’ safety, and your family’s income in the state of national instability. Not only that, you are exhausted from the daily journey of normal activities which could find you unwittingly at a bomb site, harmed or even dead. That is a very rough life.

Ironically, the following infographic doesn’t represent the Palestinian Territories! That is a further indicator of the lack of awareness about the issues therein.

So, wherever you are from, be thankful for the mobility you have – even if it is limited. Moreover, open your mind to have more compassion and understanding for those who are without some of the simple options you take for granted.

ALSO, what are you going to do with YOUR passport? It’s a key, you know. A key to new places, new spaces, new faces. It’s a courier train, taking your ideas from your norm to someone else’s norm. It’s a library that flies. It’s a thing of wonder, possibility, and beauty.

It’s a pass to other ports. Enjoy it. 🙂

 

Middle East Monday: Eric Metaxas interviews the “Vicar of Baghdad,” Canon Andrew White. – YouTube

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Me, Andrew, and Lina in Baghdad in 2011

 

Andrew White is a dear friend of mine. He is the person who invited me to go to Baghdad with him in 2011, and we went! We share a deep love for Iraq, the Middle East, hope for the nations, peacemaking, absurdity, and revolutionary risk-taking (otherwise known as “faith”).

If you would like to see him speak in person, you can sign up for the newsletter here.

 

Eric Metaxas interviews the “Vicar of Baghdad,” Canon Andrew White. – YouTube.

Middle East Mondays: One Woman Plants Flowers In Tear Gas Grenades

I lived in Israel and Palestine for three years. My heart still beats and laughs and rolls and tumbles in a cohesive scramble of love and vision for that place. I long to see peace reside there fully. The story of one woman’s prophetic planting is sweetly inspiring. May it prompt the question: “What can I do toward peace?”

 

In A World Torn By War, One Woman Plants Flowers In Tear Gas Grenades As A Symbol Of Peace.

Middle East Monday: An Amazing Way for Your Kids to Learn ARABIC!!!!

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Our One Year Old Godson Learning Arabic

It’s a possibility-charged Middle East Monday here at upsidedownbethelehem.com!

I’ve been cogitating about how to help people be equipped for understanding and loving the Middle East in increasingly direct and effective ways. Well, one way is to do what our really fantastic, smart, kind godson Jonah is doing: learn Arabic! OR help your kids or important kids in your life learn Arabic! Jonah is one. His parents lived in the Middle East for a couple years. His grandparents still live there. Before age six, is the statistically optimal time to learn a language. Granted, Holy Spirit can trump that and help one learn language at any age, but still, it’s extremely useful to facilitate language learning in young children.

So, I highly recommend the Little Pim language learning program! They offer all of the following languages!

 

 

Right now, you can get 15% off all products using the following link!

http://littlepim.refr.cc/37GP8CT

Plus, they offer free shipping on all U.S. orders over $50!

It’s really amazing to get the complete set, which includes the teaching DVDs, a chart, AND a stuffed animal version of Lil Pim, the animated panda who narrates the program. I love the fact that Jonah can sit with Lil Pim to learn Arabic while watching Lil Pim teaching Arabic on a screen! It’s very connected!

 

Check it out today! Order the program! Start the learning journey!

And if your child, or a child you know, is learning Arabic as a second language, please do share about that in the comments below! I’m sure we can encourage each other by sharing our stories about language learning!