Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi: Muslim and Christian Arabs should visit Jerusalem

This year Jerusalem was chosen as the Unesco Arab capital of culture. What Unesco doesn't understand is that Arabs only honour Jerusalem in their minds and with their rhetoric, and that there is no real support for the Holy City.

Recently the Egyptian minister of religious endowments, Mohammed Hamdi Zaqzouq, called upon Arabs and Muslims to visit Jerusalem, that mythical place that exists in the minds of hundreds of millions of my people. I say mythical because as far as we in the region are concerned, it exists only on television and from stories we hear from travelers and visitors. In our minds Jerusalem is no different from El Dorado, Shangri La or Atlantis. In the last few decades there has been an encroachment by Jewish Israeli settlers around the city's Arab districts. Jerusalem is losing its identity as an Arab and Islamic capital. We must finally admit that a large part of the blame rests on our shoulders. MORE HERE

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