In this article in NYT by Thomas Friedman, he observes some heartening signs of moderates speaking up.
Backlash to the Backlash
Published: September 25, 2012
One of the iron laws of Middle East politics for the last half-century has been that extremists go all the way and moderates tend to just go away. That is what made the march in Benghazi, Libya, so unusual last Friday. This time, the moderates did not just go away. They got together and stormed the headquarters of the Islamist militia Ansar al-Sharia, whose members are suspected of carrying out the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
It is not clear whether this trend can spread or be sustained. But having decried the voices of intolerance that so often intimidate everyone in that region, I find it heartening to see Libyans carrying signs like “We want justice for Chris” and “No more Al Qaeda” — and demanding that armed militias disband. This coincides with some brutally honest articles in the Arab/Muslim press — in response to rioting triggered by the idiotic YouTube video insulting the Prophet Muhammad — that are not the usual “What is wrong with America?” but, rather, “What is wrong with us, and how do we fix it?”
Click on link to read full article:
EnglishTranslation by Gabriele Campbell, 2010
Poem was written in 1848 after the elimination of entire British Elphinstone’army in 1842 during the First Anglo-Afghan War. There was only one sole survivor, William Brydon, an assistant surgeon, depicted in picture by Wikimedia Commons.
Snow like powder from the sky softly falls,
When before Djelalabad a rider halts.
“Who’s there” – “A cavalrist from Britain’s army
A message from Afghanistan I carry.”
Into a guard-house they guided him
And made him sit at the fire’s brim;
How warm was the fire, how bright was its shine,
He takes a deep breath, and begins to explain.
“Thirteen thousand men we had been,
When our outset from Kabul was seen – Now soldiers, leaders, women and bairn
They are betrayed, and frozen and slain.
“Dispersed is the entire host,
Who is alive, in the darkness is lost.
A God to me salvation has sent – To save the rest you may make an attempt.”
Read full poem by clicking on link :
By Jeanie Riess
Writers are often told to write what they know, so it should come as no surprise that many of the most famous characters in literary history are based on real people. Whether drawing inspiration from their spouses, friends and family, or finally, after decades worth of work, inserting themselves into the text, authors pull nearly every word and sentence from some element of reality, and most often, that element is people. Many characters, like Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (based on real-life beatnik Neal Cassady), come to mind as obvious, but this list is for the real-life literary characters that do not get recognized enough, and who deserve as much credit as their fictional counterparts.
1. Prospero (The Tempest, 1611)/William Shakespeare
Considered Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest is the artist’s farewell to the theater. Prospero is the island’s great magician, and with his powers he controls the tortoise-like character of Caliban and the sprite, spry Ariel. Prospero’s magic is in his books, and he decides when the Tempest should arrive, and who should come along with it. Sounds an awful lot like a playwright, doesn’t it? Prospero writes the script and wonders, like Shakespeare understandably would, what the future will be without him and his power. With frequent allusions to “the Globe” (the world, but also the name of Shakespeare’s theater), it is difficult to miss Prospero’s likeness to his great creator. Shakespeare critic and scholar Stephen Greenblatt says that the play brings up all of the “issues that haunted Shakespeare’s imagination throughout his career.” By writing himself into his final play, Shakespeare reminded the world of his own immortality as a public literary figure.
Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/Ten-Famed-Literary-Figures-Based-On-Real-Life-People-169666976.html#ixzz27XdYQ8YE