Friday, March 13, 2015
Lament of a Cosmopolitan Arab
Abdulrahman Al-Rashed, the general manager of Al Arabiya TV, has lamented that the Arab World's penchant to willfully destroy the evidence of past civilizations suggests that its pre-Islamic antiquities are better off in the West. UNESCO, the sectarian government of Iraq, the odious Assad regime, the Egyptian generals and the archaeological lobby will no doubt disagree. Yet, CPO sees parallels to China. There was a time not too long ago when fanatics devoted to Mao's Cultural Revolution purposefully destroyed an untold number of cultural treasures and hounded those with knowledge about them sometimes to death. Now, the Chinese have regained their appreciation of their past, and luckily they can turn to America for access to both artifacts that have been treasured here as well as knowledge about them. Hopefully, that can happen in the Arab world too, but only if UNESCO and its allies don't get in the way.