imageI will have the supreme luck to go to Oxford in a week. I am invited by the Anglican Church, but attending the symposium, there are a number of other faiths. Muslim, Buddhist and even Jews (me).

I have been looking forward to the meeting for quite some time now, and the trip has been wellplanned.

The significance of the meeting is quite large, since it is the first of its kind, at least as what I know of.

What is really happening here, and what are the political implications?

Oxford really represents the good part of british intellectualism, stars of international academic importance are natural guests there, and off cause residents.

But what does that have to do with the peace process we are currently trying to achieve?

Well, Oxford has, for a long time, been interested in the Middle East, in a long tradition of Egyptologists and archeologists, the Middle East has had the attention of many an expedition and even adventure. It has even reached mainstream popculture through the films such as Indiana Jones. Where scholars travel to the Middle East to unravel all its treasures there.

There is one person, that kind of impersonates all this, and really gives true feeling of what all the Egyptolists have been through; Lawrence of Arabia.

To understand what we are doing today, you cannot understand anything unless you understand what Lawrence brought to the Middle East. Lawrence was a boyscout who turned into a researcher who turned into an Arab who turned into a poet.

This man was and is yet the only western who has really understood the Middle East on its own terms, and have been able to relay his knowledge to the political world.

Hence he has been the only Western who has really been accepted by the Middle East as a serious partner in all the conflicts there.

So how may we read his legacy? First of all, he was a character that people from the Middle East really liked. He was honest, skilled, learned, a true warrior and most important; a true poet. The Middle East have always had a soft spot for the warrior poets.

On top of this, there were other truly important traits to his person, that can tell us a bit about his succes as a Western mediator. He was impartial. He liked Jews as much as he liked Arabs. He, singlehandedly talked Churchill into giving Jews a state. Yes Churchill had his political ideas, but Lawrence did it, because he truly liked Jews, and believed that the world would be better with a homeland of the Jews.

Then he had a good relationship with the Arabs. Why? Well, first of all because he really understood Arabs. Arabs are heirs, as all other Middle Eastern countrymen, to the glorious civilization of the Middle East. The civilization that gave us almost everything, and he therefor understood and liked the Arabs for what we are; a proud, civilized people.

But there is one very important angle to the ideas of Lawrence, and that was the fact, that he was anti imperialist. You can tell about a man, if you know about his friends. Lawrence was friend with Churchill, the leading British general, and Joseph Conrad. Joseph Conrad was the leading critique of European imperialism of his days. Epic works as “The heart of darkness” still stands as a testimony to the fact, that imperialism in Britain was not all opium wars and thugs in India. The most prolifent example of this anti imperialistic actions done by England or the British empire, was the realization of Israel, and the somewhat haphazard creation of Arab states. Lawrence did not get his way all the way through, but he came through to some extent.

This is really the legacy Oxford has to offer the world. A legacy of understanding and peace.

Now, I feel, that I have often been misunderstood, and some who have followed me, has been misunderstood. Among them the leaders of the EDL.

My project, and those who have followed me, has never been about imperialism or the degrading of minorities. On the contrary, it has been about justice and honesty, and about freedom and democracy.

This has lead me to many an adventure, as Lawrence in a way. I have been awarded the friendship of his higness the pope Francis, the good mr. Al-Sisi, mr. Netanyahu, high higness mr. Rouhani, mr. Barack Obama, mr. Putin, ms. Merkel and so many other.

Why? And what is it really that we may solidify and realize in this meeting in Oxford? It is really, on the political level, the legacy of Lawrence. His ideas about the respect for the ancient culture of the Middle East; the Hittities, the Assyrian, the Egyptian, the Jews, the Arabs, the Persian.

This is truly what the Middle East is thirsting for; recognition and acceptance for what they have contributed to the world at large. So much they have contributed, and so little do people know.

In a way the world comes full circle after the Mohammed Cartoon crisis ten years ago. Denmark started this, and it really made some people angry in the Middle East. I was the intellectual defender of Denmark of that time, still am, and here I go on a peace mission.

This is what it is truly about, a Conradian understanding of the world, as a place where we are all entitled to respect, and finally a true meeting of peace between the leading scholars of the West and the East.

Who knows what will come after that, but one things is certain, I go as Lawrence of Arabia, with a true understanding of what the Middle East is, and not as an enemy.

G-d bless the peace we may find.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.