May the Peace of God
the Prince of Peace
be with you
pacify your heart
The cab was entering the roundabout, I pointed at a nearby spot and signalled the driver to stop there. I clumsily got off the taxi with my camera and bag and he thanked me for the little tip. “Ma’a salama,” I bade farewell to him with my broken Arabic as he began to drive away.
Those were the last words in our short time together.
Those were also probably the last words between us in this life. What’s the chance of us meeting again? A traveller from thousands of miles away, and a taxi driver among the thousands of men of the same trade in Amman.
I started walking to the church to meet Pastor Hanna Massad. It was 2011.
When God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful in Genesis, the land was still virgin and undefiled. Adherents of the three major monotheistic faiths have since taken this commandment literally, populating the earth and multiplying descendants, as with other peoples on this blue planet.
Before the Holocaust there was the Merchant of Venice, before the Merchant of Venice there was the Spanish Inquisition, before the Spanish Inquisition there was the Simon of Trent, and before the Simon of Trent there was the Black Death, before the Black Death there were the Crusaders…
The book Trent 1475 documents the proceedings of a blood libel case in Trento, Italy in the year 1475. A Christian boy was found dead and his Jewish neighbours were framed for it. This child, Simon, was once considered a martyr being killed in a ritual murder. His case contributed to anti-Semitism in the European history, which reached its apex in the Holocaust – six million Jews were murdered in that horrific genocide. Eventually, in 1965, Pope Paul VI removed Simon from the Roman Martyrology.
History doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We do not exist in a vacuum. To understand the present we have to consult the past. And history is not just ink printed on dead trees, it is about real living human beings and all that surround them. Nor it just one subject in the school curriculum, for it may lend itself to the betterment of us as individuals and as a species, if we are to pay attention. Paraphrasing George Santayana, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
The question is, have we started learning?
More than 200,000 people have been evacuated and 700,000 affected. At least 7,000 houses were destroyed and numerous others damaged.
Below are links to the initial work reports of several NGOs and online donation forms:
Do not withhold good from those who need it, when you have the ability to help.
– Proverbs 3:27
Yesterday night, the Occupy Central community organized a music festival to greet the eviction order handed to them by the High Court. Lots of youngsters vented their emotions via loud music.
At 10-month, it may be one of the longest continuously running Occupy movements in the world. Many others had been put to stop, gone into hibernation from time to time, or become protests that are being held at regular intervals instead.
Amnesty International Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Coalition for a Free Burma co-organized a film screening of a documentary named My Rohingya at Kowloon Union Church yesterday evening.
The documentary was produced by a female reporter (Thananuch Sanguansak) from Thailand and focuses on the Rohingya people, practically a “stateless” people living primarily in Burma/Myanmar, and also in nearby countries like Thailand and Bangladesh.
The hour-long video is also available on YouTube, but the version shown last night was provided by the local UNHCR office and came with Chinese subtitles.
When I was in Amman, Jordan, a Japanese student once asked me, “What do you think about the situation in Tibet?”
I was totally dumbfounded.
In the past week, there were two public memorial services for Tibet in Hong Kong. So I grabbed the opportunity to educate myself…
Better a meal of vegetables where there is love
than a fattened ox where there is hatred.
– Proverbs 15:17
Garbage City (17 photos)