Let’s seek understanding [Archives:2003/04/Focus]

January 27 2003

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I read with horror today the views of several Americans who had taken the time to write you regarding recent political events. Please allow me a moment to state an alternate opinion.
In this conflict there is obviously two opposite sides, but there is also a middle and this is where we must place our efforts. There will always be the political fringe and radical zealots who have nothing but hate in their hearts. But on this earth, we are all brothers and sisters, and we will get nowhere with violent words and deeds.
It seems to me the only way out of this very difficult dilemma is to try to bring those with moderate views closer together. It is important for Americans and Muslims alike to consider the other’s viewpoints.
For example, I think it is important for Americans to hear exactly the concerns of the Muslims in this world. I think it is important for us to address their concerns and move towards a more acceptable foreign policy. American children and Muslim children all deserve a right to grow up in a society where they are loved and respected, where they have food, and water, and an education. Deep down, I believe, we all want the same things. But this must happen through negotiation, for what can follow violence but retaliation?
It is important for Yemenis and Americans and all the citizens of the world to find our middle ground. If we give an equal voice to negotiation, and to those who would consider the other’s viewpoints, we can advance peace on this planet most effectively. For example, I go online daily to foreign newspapers to get the viewpoints I cannot in local newspapers. I encourage you and your readers to do the same. We must begin to see each other not as enemies but as brothers and sisters. I am not Satan, and nor are you. We are all children searching for hope.