Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Book review: They say we are infidels, by Mindy Belz

I've rarely read a book that made me feel so bad for not paying too much attention to a lot of small phenomenon taking place in the Middle East. Of course, I am reading daily about the latest political and geopolitical positions about the war in Syria but in a sea of information I am rather tempted to look at the big picture. In this big picture the plight of Christians and the tremendous efforts to survive and challenges to escape are rarely featured.
Mindy Belz, editor of the Christian-oriented publication World Magazine, traveled often to Iraq, Jordan and Syria and got in touch with leaders of the faith or simply believers telling their stories and trying to escape. Not many are successful, among them many community leaders, brutally killed, kidnapped as a way to terrorize entire communities. 'Wherever there are Christians, they come and chase them', is one of her many observations from the intensive ground reporting work. The sense of the everyday life is completely distorted, and simple facts and gestures are read differently, based on the current terror threats. For instance, after explosives were often hidden in packages of spices, 'Residents grew to fear the smell of cinnamon' in the Mosul area. There are many more examples which offer a different view on the everyday life in this part of the world, that doesn't often appear in the big media. 
Personally, I've found extremely worrisome the huge number of lives took away during this what seems to be a neverending conflict. Just think about how many people are affected when one person dies. What happens then when thousand of people are killed just in a couple of hours? Terrible.
When it comes to the political decision makers, the author is outlining also the failures of the current and past American policies, that although pledged in favour of a non-involvement, ignored the human aspects and created a vacuum of power where nothing was put after the intervention to put an end of the Saddam Hussein regime. 
It is a book well documented and written, with many details and facts. To be read because we are humans that should not be indifferent by the fate of other humans.
Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange of an honest review