Horrific news from Gaza that Vittorio Arrigoni has been brutally murdered by his captors, a radical Islamist group with a bone to pick with Hamas. This cowardly act was perpetrated under the banner of and in the name of Islam.
Take a look at his Facebook profile picture, above. It's not just about him, is it? His last post on Facebook was on Wednesday and it was about 4 Palestinians killed in a Gaza tunnel.
His murderers are supposed salafis, people who espouse taking Muslim societies to what they were during the days of Muhammad, going back in time almost 15 centuries.
I wonder how many condemnations of his murder there were today at the Friday prayer sermons all over the Islamic world.
Not many, I hazard to guess. And in that lies a portion of this part of the world's problems.
I don't know what happens after death but Vittorio deserves peace. He sailed across the sea to show solidarity and lend a hand. The gratitude I am certain he was met with by the long-suffering civilian population of Gaza will now forever be shamefully overshadowed by this despicable murder committed by homicidal fanatics.
Another expression of Arab youth discontent. The Gaza Youth Manifesto is here.
UPDATE: The hotel has now backtracked. Unfortunately it seems that the blame for this expensive exercise in bad taste is being placed on the jeweler's shoulders.
The Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE, has put up an $11.5 million Christmas tree. Well the tree cost around $10,000 but the various decorations and ornaments cost over $11 million. So if you're thinking that a Rolex under your tree is expensive consider that the Emirates Palace's tree has millions and millions of dollars worth of jewelry on it, including a $1 million necklace. [Source: The National]
Meanwhile, the online Arabic daily Elaph ran an interesting story about the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Gaza. I didn't know that there was a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Gaza, which goes to show how much I know.
Apparently it has become a favorite leisure and study location for Gazans looking for peace and quiet.
Elaph's report speaks of "delightful scenery" which probably goes to explain why Gazans have chosen it as a favorite park of sorts.
The cemetery occupies 40,000 sq. meters and contains the graves of 3691 Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in World War I. The cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. [Source: Elaph]
A man on a long journey through a perpetual desert.
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