The Others in my Life

This week’s blog topic asks us to look at the ‘others’ in our community. Naturally, when we think about others we tend to image those who are physically different than us. Those who look different or speak differently. This gut instinct makes it difficult to reflect on the others in my community. Not because I am some holier-than-thou post-racial person, but because my community, for the most part, looks just like me. Continue reading

Barriers between Me and the Middle East

A responsible student of any foreign culture recognizes that barriers exist between themselves and the people they wish to study. Some barriers, such as the physical type, can be easily overcome with a simple visit or move. Yet others, such as cultural or linguistic barriers, require much more focused and disciplined methods. Within my own study of Mesopotamia, easily identifiable barriers exist between me and the people and culture I try deeply to understand. While differences in language, education, and history are easy to recognize, the method to overcome these barriers is not. Continue reading