Once again, the 25 monks of St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai are feeling the threat of barbarian revolutionaries destroying the world’s second largest collection of ancient Greek Christian manuscripts.
The Greek Orthodox monks and the Jabaliya Bedouin tribe, who are the area’s majority residents, have shared land, food and friendly relations since the monastery was built centuries ago. The Jabaliya are believed to be descendants of the Byzantine soldiers who built the monastery in the 6th century, and many of them continue to guard the monastery as their own. “The monastery is a very special place for me and all Bedouins. It is a holy place for all religions. Our ancestors built St. Catherine’s,” explains Ramadan, 26, who has been a tour guide at the monastery since he was 15.
Another Bedouin resident, Faraj, just out of Friday morning prayers at a nearby mosque, adds: “[The Jabaliya and the monks] have been here for so long that we have grown together. We’ve been through times when we had to share our food and gardens. We share everything, we always have. There is even a mosque on the monastery. We don’t use it often anymore because our population is too big now, but it is a still a symbol of our friendly relationship.”
Yup. Bedouin Muslims.
On Saturday Glenn Greenwald tweeted: “RIP Helen Thomas, a true pioneer in so many ways, who really understood the purpose of journalism.” We replied by reducing our 2010 queries to fit the Twitter character limit: “Name one way, without referring to her sex.” Greenwald gamely attempted an answer: “Being a highly accomplished woman in a male-dominated field is pioneering–so was her adversarial posture to those in power.”
Not only did he fail to meet our challenge of avoiding sex, but “highly accomplished” begs the question.
Yes, Helen Thomas was a true pioneer, immortalized by Vaughn Meader in his First Family Album, Volume II, “An Evening with JFK.”
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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)