Chaos as Yasser Arafat is buried

What is it about Arabs and chaos that seems to go hand-in-hand?

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6 thoughts on “Chaos as Yasser Arafat is buried

  1. I listened to one reported try and describe what was going on, but everything he said was drowned out by the huge roar of gunfire, yelling, and general mayhem that was going on in the background.

    In the ancient Near East, the motif of mourning is one that is accompanied by more expressive activities– wailing, tearing of clothes, etc. One wonders (without wanting to sound too Orientalist) if that same cultural tradition has simply been carried on in some for to the present day… 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>Lance

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  2. Said turns in his grave…! 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?headlife.blogspot.com" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>

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  3. I know, I know. But at some point you can’t help but see cultural/linguistic similarities between then and now. The whole women-cover-their-head thing is mentioned in Middle Assyrian laws fer cryin’ out loud! So I dunno… 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>Lance

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  4. Pardon my Saidic ingorance, but I always thought that his issue was primarily a dispute with the assumption that Western culture was the norm by which all other cultures were to be judged. Why would he object to Lance’s conjecture? 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?http%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogger.com%2Fprofile%2F5058781">John Crawford<>

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  5. Er, don’t tell JC, but having never read Said I’m guessing when I say he’s also about the perception of the Oriental Other. So because we know these swarthy Semites have always been prone to fits of emotion and loud, undignified behaviour, then the reaction to Arafat’s death is par for the course. 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>< HREF="http://www.blogger.com/r?headlife.blogspot.com" TITLE="ronan at jhu dot edu">Ronan<>

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  6. Yeah– Ronan, I won’t tell JC if you won’t. But one day, I WILL actually sit down and read it. Alas.

    I always thought that some aspect that modern enlightened scholars want to stress is how the Middle East isn’t some staid cultural wasteland where things are always as they were. So me linking current actions by Middle Easterners with some 3,000+ year-old notion might not be fair. Or might it? Definitely not EVERY time, but surely it works in some cases. Right? 

    <><><><>Posted by<><> <><>Lance

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