Reviews | Western cultures must stop normalizing violence in the Middle East

young people in Western cultures, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southwest Asia, and parts of North Africa are often viewed as violent places, full of terrorists, and dangerous for travel. They see the people there as poor and their homes in disaster. places. Whenever the conflict in the region escalates, these stereotypes are perpetrated.

The last American military planes left Kabul Monday, leaving thousands of Afghan citizens who aided US soldiers under Taliban control. Many Americans avoid discussing their own country’s involvement in the conflict – convince oneself that the Middle East is correct a violent place.

These views are not an error. Think about how the media presents this region, especially in our lifetime – famine, war, poverty, discrimination against women and more. Although these are the same issues that all other countries face, the media focus too much on them in these regions.

For example, dozens of significant advances in archeology and anthropology are carried out in the region every year, Lebanon legalized medical marijuana And one All-girl Afghan robotics team made inexpensive mobile fans to help fight COVID-19.

Our generation has not often been exposed to the media who say otherwise – that the Middle East is more than the center of the world’s war. If you’re in your early twenties like me, the history of the world has basically been defined by the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Most soldiers killed in suicide bombing at Kabul airport August 26 were babies when the war in Afghanistan began.

My generation is more than familiar with Islamophobia. Islamophobia was not new, however, even before September 11. Western fear of the Eastern “other” has existed for centuries. western ideas about the Middle East are simple and narrow-minded – stemming from a lingering ignorance of the cultures and religions of the region.

Ideas east to west have been around for thousands of years. From the 5th century BC. Greco-Persian War, Greece – in the west – considered themselves Standard. They regarded the Persians in the east as violent, barbaric and simplistic.

Unsurprisingly, the Eastern and Western Empires were not monoliths and these stereotypes were often wrong. For example, the Persian Empire leaned heavily in religious freedoms, while Greece was home to the infamous Spartans – some of the most violent and formidable warriors of the time. It almost seems that the stereotypes should have been reversed, and these east versus west motives still exist in the media today.

The Middle East, Central Asia and the SWANA region were much sought after territories for hundreds of years. From battles for religion to the growth and decline of empires, the region has gone through many power transitions. Arguably, it would make sense if it was the fragmented and politically insatiable region that frequents the evening news today.

Although it can be presented as such, the Middle East has not always been so. In fact, we owe to the Middle East some of mankind’s most important scientific, literary, artistic, architectural and Islamic innovations – the world’s second largest religion.

Despite hundreds of years of intermittent conflict, there are many periods in the Middle East comparable to life in the golden ages of Paris, Rome, London or New York. In fact, just 50 years ago, Afghanistan experienced its own golden age.

Cultural differences will always be difficult for people to approach, but they can be found everywhere – between New York and Los Angeles for example, which are, oddly enough, another example of cultural differences between east and west. And there’s absolutely a big cultural difference between, say, Pittsburgh and Kabul.

But just because there are differences does not mean that we are not all people who need food, water, safety and shelter. This does not mean that violence in the Middle East should be accepted as normal or that violence should be the main thing. only thing presented about the Middle East in the media.

Dalia Maeroff writes primarily on issues of psychology, education, culture and environmentalism. Write to him at [email protected].