|Where Are Our Historians?|
- Monday, March 24 2008, 21:12:13 (CET)|
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We don’t produce many academics or real writers…not just teachers but historians of the first rank….except, of course, for Dr Joseph and you can see how we treat him. If the way we react to him is supposed to discourage any of us from studying history at its highest levels, it must be succeeding. We just now have our first fellow Assyrian studying ancient Assyrian history and that’s good. But do any of us dare study our modern history? I mean besides the church documents and personal observations, which can’t pass anywhere for real history, studied dispassionately to wherever it leads?
It isn’t just Dr Joseph we accuse of being a spy in the pay of the CIA or the Jews….we call any scholar who disagrees with Fred Aprim such names. Which of us could endure upper division history courses on the Middle East? We’re raised with our prejudices full-blown and anyone who taught us that Arabs, for instance, were welcomed by our forebears as liberators from Christian oppression would be derided and blasted with the same accusation of being in the pay of somebody to “deny our history”. This is odd….I mean that we will never be able to field a fully competent and grown-up historian….rather we seem content with amateurs and downright charlatans…and imagine what our physical health would be if we visited medicine men and voodoo practitioners rather than qualified and certified and taught-by-somebody-else doctors and surgeons? You guessed it; we’d be a bunch of sick puppies….which we are, in our heads.
There isn’t one of our nationalists who could endure even a single course in modern Middle Eastern history. If he tried he’d run out when the effort got too great…when the professor turned out not to accept Shlimon’s “first hand account” of Muslim “persecution”…or Gewargis’ explanation of forced conversions to Islam…or anything that questioned our martyr’s lists. Our version of Assyrianism dooms our people to a life time of ignorance in favor of jingoism and posturing…instead of academics we pour over Aprim’s books and Rosie Malek-Yonan’s yawner of purple prose. This is embarrassing, or would be if we had any real pride.
As brilliant as our doctors are and our engineers and anthropologists are in their own fields…none of us can bear to study modern Middle Eastern history which is, after all, our true modern history, whatever we think our ancestors were.
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