Need to appreciate Arab culture in USA [Archives:2003/681/Letters to the Editor]

October 30 2003

David Lockhorn
Ohio, USA
[email protected]

The issue of appreciation of Arab culture in the US probably needs to be addressed at a couple of levels.
The first is terror. 911 and periodic bombings are rea. We actually believe that most people trying to kill US citizens are Arabs. It does not follow that all Arabs are trying to kill Americans. 300 million people trying to hurt the US and her citizens would do a great deal more damage than the violence we are seeing.
Clearly, the terror groups only have a membership of a few thousands. Most of those appear to want a career out of terror and seem to be shying away from anything dangerous to their person. The challenge is to find and neutralize them.
On a broader scale, a great deal can be done to present Arab countries, people and traditions. The growth of Sana’a from 50 thousand people in 1970 to 1.3 million today is staggering. Photos of your country and the buildings in the old town are beautiful. These views are not seen by most Americans. Offering travel opportunities and archeological expeditions could involve many thousands of Americans in your culture.
Partnering your educational institutions with American Universities opens the door to year long studies abroad between countries. Your nation may have to help with professors of Arabic to teach here in the US.
The barriers are not as profound as television images portray. The majority of all countries are friendly, decent people.