Who am I? Maybe a bit of a too philosophical question to start with, but let’s try to answer it anyway. My name is Tim. Starting this blog I’m twenty-five years old and I live in Leiden, a small city in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is, in its turn, a small country in Europe. And Europe is far away from the Middle East. So why start this blog you may ask?
First of all this region of the world intrigues me. In a banal way; I like the food, the music and its movies. But my interest in the region lies even more in its people, its culture, its landscapes and its history. This history seems to me to be one of many struggles and injustices. A history of Injustices in which many including the west and for a large part Europe has left its mark. From the first world war and the creation of the Sykes-Picot agreement, the occupation of Palestine, the many wars that develop from the divisions in the region, the meddling of western powers defending there interest’s to the invasion of Iraq and the birth of the Arab spring. Many things happen in the Middle East, good things and bad things. It is precisely this turbulence that leaves me wondering about the region, wanting to increase my knowledge. This I have done by reading books and news, watching documentaries and movies and by trying to talk with people from the region.
While getting to know more about the Middle East I was also getting more and more bewildered about the attitude, or the lack of any attitude towards the Middle East by western media. A region where so much is happening and where many people are suffering. Especially now with the war in Syria. The lack of self-criticism on part of the west. Being indecisive when a country, for example Syria, needs help and being so fast to intervene when its own interests are involved. Superficial coverage on the regions developments and the way the Middle East was depicted in western media led me to scavenge the internet for more useful sources of information on the actualities in the Middle East. For some time I had a long list of Arab news sites where I would get my information. Getting the information I find interesting proved to be a bit of a task. That’s why I decided to start a blog where I would post the news that I found to be most interesting. This way I could keep myself informed and hopefully, as a bonus, keep other informed about what happening in the Middle East.