We need back the Phoenicians rule of hospitality


Back to the familiarity breeds contempt concept of Mark Twain, but this time the talk is not about familiarity with truth, it is about the familiarity of old concepts that we refuse to abandon.

Our memes seems to be as strong as our genes. Even with such amazing advancement in technology and changes in our life styles, our memes evolve in a slow pace. Some people fight hard to keep theirs intact.

The news of the man shooting westerns in the downtown of Amman intersect with my readings of Paulo Coelho novel ‘The Fifth mountain’.

The man shouted “Allah Akhbar” while shooting those westerns who he seems to believe are against his God. In the novel which is about the life of Prophet Elijah in the year 870 BC, the struggle was between two nations, one which were the Israelis, who believed in one God, and the others, the Phoenicians (lebanese), used to still believe in multiple Gods, their main was Baal.

Prophet Elijah fleed Israel because the king of Israel issued a statement to prosecute all of the Prophets at that time (obviously they had many back then) based on his wife Princess Jezebel request. Jezebel was a Phoenician. Her secret plan was to marry the king in order to convert the people of Israel to her faith which she believed to be the truth.

Prophet Elijah fleed to Phoenicia, the place where he most probably would get killed, and they was about to do so except that they had a custom of hospitality that they couldn’t ignore. Phoenicia was based on merchants. They used to be a peaceful place, they lived on travelling and trade goods with other nations. That is why they had to came up with the hospitality custom. They believed that they have to treat their guests right in order of other nations to treat them right when they travel for trade.

We have evolved from fighting between one vs multiple God(s), to fighting between people who follow the same one God but in different paths. Unfortunatly, we were able to keep the violence while forgetting about the rule of hospitality.

Hospitality used to be a feature of Arabs that I am proud of. I won’t let such mad man reuined it for me.

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