Broad Brush Can’t Capture or Sum Up ‘the Arab World’

One thing traveling widely has taught me: every country should be viewed in its own context — its own history, culture, geographical position, political situation, and peculiarities, instead of imposing our own values and making broad-brush statements about Muslims, Christians, Arabs or Jews or “violent” regions of the world. I am trying to teach my son who is in the seventh grade how to look at the world. In the “Arab world,” for example, look at each country and try to learn why it is the way it is: you find kind and enlightened people nearly everywhere, but especially in Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, and Oman.

I’ve met Americans who’ve had good experiences in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Granted, American tourists aren’t flocking to Iraq, Iran, or Yemen right now, but that day will come again eventually.

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