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BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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More to the Mid East than terror

Americans’ exposure to the cultures, societies and people of the region we call the Middle East is mediated through the news, on television and in print.

Whether it is the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, the war in Iraq or unrest in Iran, most of the message we receive from the media is a negative one.

When blood is shed and unrest prevails, we hear about it: People killing each other, angry mobs, suicide bombers, tanks, insurgents.

Since Sept. 11, this stream of images and words from the Middle East has both intensified and polarized toward a mostly negative impression.

The Western world began to perceive it as a region known only in terms of oil fires, uprisings, women denied entry to schools and the constant threat of terrorist attacks.

To counter these images, The Sun recognizes the importance of fostering a mutual understanding in the face of the challenges lying ahead for this nation.

Many students spend at least a semester abroad, returning to share their experiences. Past a close-knit circle, however, their stories go largely untold.

It is for this reason that The Sun has been running an ongoing series entitled Cradle of Civilization, intended to let these students relate to a broader audience what they’ve learned.

Readers have been taken to countries such as Israel, Lebanon, and Morocco, with more to come.

Nowadays, we find it important for those of our generation to be informed not only of current events involving the Middle East, but of the encounters that students have had in their travels abroad.

Too often, these are the stories that do not get told in the media. They are the stories of mutual understanding, personal growth, and a willingness to see ourselves across the cultural divide.

In a time key to the future of relations between not only Israel and the Palestinians but also the West and the Middle East, it is critical that the next generations understand where the roots of the brewing tensions lie.

Harvard University’s much-publicized curricular review strongly recommended that studying abroad become a central component of the undergraduate experience.

A former president of the U. has advocated a “transnational” approach to learning and research, one in which the importance of experiencing other cultures and ways of life is underscored, and in which borders themselves are transcended.

Witness the Bridging the Rift Center, to be constructed on the border between Israel and Jordan. Both countries are set to shift their boundaries in order to accommodate this unprecedented collaboration among several countries and professors from a variety of disciplines.

Without these views, students are left merely with pictures of slingshots and bulldozers, Osama bin Laden and flag- burning mobs in order to form their impressions of a religiously, ethnically and culturally varied region homogeneously, and inadequately, labeled only as “the Middle East.”

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