The topic of this month’s Myth Salon is Making Sense of the Middle East. We in America are deeply affected by realities that take place on the other side of the world. We may think that our relationship with the countries of the Middle East began with the discovery of oil in the mid-20th century, but it starts much further back, and Muslim influences and contributions to the west run far and wide – including preserving much of Aristotle’s writings and bringing them to Spain.
We are honored to have Dr. Zaman Stanizai, an expert on the Middle East and a fellow member of Pacifica’s faculty, this week in a slight departure from our usual format. He will lead the discussion, and he will lay out the schematic of who the players are and how the traditions and beliefs of the Middle East often provoke concern among westerners. I am confident that Thursday evening will prove engaging and informative.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, the inauguration of President-elect Trump is the following day, January 20 – and Trump’s involvement in the Middle East is for some reason less discussed than his relations with Russia. If you are interested, check out this 2016 BBC documentary: Hypernormalisation. It has received very mixed reviews and may suffer from a bit of hyperbole. You be the judge. Here is the link: