I wish to start this article by first making sure readers fully understand what culture is and can fully distinguish nations, races, tribes, ethnicities, etc….. from cultures.
Culture is generally defined as the “Pattern of Human Activity” or as they say here in America the “Way of Life”.It is important to know that several cultures can co-exist within the same country or amongst the same race or ethnical group, even if those cultures are in conflict in many aspects, as long as all follow the same established civil rules.
Having clarified that issue, I would like to discuss the two dominant cultures which exist today in the Middle East.To make this article more interesting (or less boring), I will not mention any cultures by name and let readers figure them out.My objective here is not to glorify or condemn countries or populations, but to make sure readers get a better understanding of the roots of the “Ways of Life” in the Middle East today.
As mentioned above, there are two dominant cultures in the Middle East today, whose impacts can be noticed in every country, within all races and ethnicities, and amongst those practicing all religions.One culture promotes life while the other insists on the after-life.One inscribes tolerance while the other pushes for dominance.One establishes equality of all genders, races, and faiths, while the other promotes superiority.
One culture insists on joy and celebrations, while the other seeks mourning and suffering, in quest of the promised afterlife.One understands how human life is intertwined with all other life forms be it animals and plants, while the other ….. well, the other has not evolved that far yet!One culture believes in creating good things, the other believes in taking.
One culture has devised wages for labor, while the other has yet to fully abandon slavery.One culture makes sure every child is exposed to love, the other considers love as a deterrent to roughness and toughness.One believes in ruling the hearts, the other trusts only the rule by terror.
As a result of these cultural characteristics, followers of one culture are generally peaceful, insightful, smart and kind, while those of the other culture are generally rough and dumb.
Influences of these two cultures can be sensed in every country in the Middle East and well beyond.It is of outmost importance for the world to recognize the long term ramifications of supporting the wrong culture, as they appear to have in the past couple of centuries.
In the recent past, as it appears to many of us Iranians, to maximize profits in the Middle East, certain powers in the west preferred to deal with and support the rough and dumb. We have all paid the price for that miscalculation and will pay even more dearly if we don’t change course.