From the outset of their respective civilizations Jews and Arabs evolved meaningful and powerful synergies in ways the two people envisioned their origins, beliefs and heritage. These deep parallels and values they both hold as essential and precious, have survived for millenniums. In fact, Islam “incorporates Jewish history as part of its own. Muslims regard the Children of Israel as an important religious concept in Islam”. Both are defined as “Semitic”. Over the millenniums both have drawn and learned from each other’s experiences, ideals and cultures.
While there are disparities, and relation between the two people have not always been amicable, even nowadays the two remain in dialogue. Sharing both the dark and bright pages of Judeo – Arabic narrative of coexistence is not only vital to understanding dynamics of history that has carried us to the present but empower us to reflect on the paths forward, preventing historic mistakes from repeating themselves.
In the aftermath of Holocaust, formation of Israel triggered stresses and conflicts seeding distrust, discourse and wars. This unsolvable state of affairs overshadows deep historic and cultural bonds and commonalities. The longer this status quo persists the deeper grows the void between the two people. Politics, power-play, short-sided ambitions, spur nationalism, fanaticism, negativity and hate inflaming blinding gloom, enticing the ravenous propaganda manipulated by political and fanatical leaders on both banks of the thorny fence.
As the grains of time fall such reality solidifies into a status quo in which new generations grow thinking it as norm. Where will this lead, not just for the Jews and Arabs but the World already distraught by humanity’s inflicted stresses and disregard for Nature and the planet’s balance.
Wiser man have said that the time of darkness represents opportunity for those who dare to look reality in the eye and will to risk grander ideas. I deem the time has come for juxtaposing habitual focus on hostilities by creation of a space dedicated to celebration and hailing the Jewish and Arab voyage of shared origin, beliefs, mysticism, myths, cultures and rich heritage seeded by ancient brotherhood.
Yet the above is just one of many of humanity’s plagues. Other religions, cultures, ways of life, beliefs and perspectives collide against each other. Hence, maybe the proposed exhibit space ought to include others. This would force us to seek out, distill previous commonalities and synergies between us as Humanity at large, so to then highlight these despite and above all else that differentiate us.
This space could be designed so that all religions originate for the common need, then dispersing onto own paths focusing on uniqueness of particular identity, beliefs, visions and ideologies. Yet, towards the climax, they would begin to merge back into the present time that will challenge us to consider how we may jointly advance into the future with better understanding and appreciation of our differences or even despite them? Are we capable of envisioning a future in which it is tolerance, respect and shared desires that define us all?
This physical space would embark its explorers on an interactive and fully immersive Odyssey through time and space richly embroidered with eras of shared mystical stories of creation, heritage, imaginative ideas, ideals and visions of the future. May this space be termed the “Mirror”.
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