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The son of a Shia father and a Sunni mother, Ali was born in Baghdad in At this time in Iraq's history, the country had a Muslim heritage but was a secular, diverse society. Neither of Ali's parents prayed, fasted, or visited the mosque. He and his friends grew up listening to Western pop music and watching Western films. They studied at a school established by American Jesuit priests in the early twentieth century I guess, historically, you can swap out Muslims for other communities—Irish, Italians, blacks, Mexicans. For fear of the consequences, either at home or abroad, many Muslims opt not to identify their faith on military forms—just as some Jewish soldiers did during the Second World War.

Talib Shareef, the former Air Force officer, estimates that only a third of Muslims in the military declare their faith. About four hundred thousand of the 2. The Pentagon acknowledges that it does not have accurate records, past or present, for Muslim service members. When sorting through military records, historians have had to guess based on names—such as that of Captain Moses Osman , the highest-ranking Muslim in the Civil War, or Wilbur C. Islam , who died in the Korean War. They only started keeping a tally in June, , when the cemetery took charge of ordering headstones.

Ayman Taha is also not counted among the Muslim war dead at Arlington, even though his headstone is clearly marked with a star and crescent. Taha, who had gentle eyes and a mustache that curled across his upper lip, was born in Sudan.

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He came to the United States when his father worked for the World Bank. Taha died in Iraq three years later, in , leaving behind a wife and an eight-month-old daughter. He is also buried in Section 60, at grave site Kareem Khan—no relation to Humayun—is not counted among the Muslim war dead at Arlington, either. His headstone , at grave site , bears the star and crescent. Bush Administration, on the day he endorsed Barack Obama, in Khan had died from a roadside explosive in Iraq, a year earlier.

Kareem Khan was of Pakistani descent and grew up in New Jersey.

Khan, who loved the Dallas Cowboys and made several trips to Disney theme parks, was twenty when he died. He was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Muslim service in the U. Hosein is of Indian descent; her parents emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago, but she considers herself more Bostonian than Trinidadian. She rose to lieutenant colonel during decades in the Army Reserves.

She wears a hijab in her personal life but was not allowed to wear a scarf in uniform. Hosein once tried to bridge the cultural chasm by leading optional workshops for the U.

Anti-Muslim Activities in the United States

These are a small minority community , Muslims of Asian origin, who were transported to the Holy Land by the Ottomans at the 18 th century. Today they live in two villages in Galilee [ 5 ]. They use local non-cultivated medicinal plants collected in the wild, as well as cultivated plants, in the manner of their Arab neighbors. No use of special plant species had been recorded. During the last 40 years several ethno-botanical and ethno-pharmacological studies have been conducted with the aim of learning about and conserving traditional medicine and the medicinal uses of plants, animals, and minerals by different ethnic groups.

The studies were done by different scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines such as medicine, anthropology, pharmacology, botany, and folklore. Because the data extend over four decades, and were gathered by different methods and skills, their analysis and synchronization remain a difficult and even hazardous task, although it is possible. This survey yielded information on the medicinal uses of some plants [ 12 , 13 ].

Prior to this field survey a few smaller-scale studies had been conducted over the years [ 14 ].

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Several regional surveys have been published as well [ 11 , 15 , 16 ]. The traditional medicine of the Bedouins in southern Israel was investigated by A. Himself a Bedouin born in the Negev, he interviewed dozens of informants, recording the use of medicinal plants, wild as well as cultivated [ 17 ]. A member of this ethnic group, Y. Raiany conducted research on their traditional medicine and materia medica for an MSc thesis in pharmacology, interviewing 57 informants.

This unpublished work, recording medicinal plants, which was written in the early s [ 18 ], has become an important source, together with newly published book on the special diet and traditional medicine of Yemeni Jews [ 19 ]. Ben-Ya'akov researched Iraqi Jews' traditional medicine and presented it in a two-volume book. It contains a vast amount of information on the traditional medicine of this ethnic group in Iraq, the names of healers, and the techniques, methods, and medicinal materials used by Iraqi Jews in Iraq and in Israel.

He interviewed scores of healers, recorded booklets of some of the most important of them, and reported on the use of medicinal plants [ 20 ].

A Muslim on the Bridge: On Being an Iraqi-Arab Muslim in the Twenty-First Century

The Persian Iranian Jews have kept the habit of using their special traditional materia medica better than other ethnic groups in Israel. The Persian materials, some of which are unique and used only by them, have Persian names and are sold in several instances in specialist shops in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem [ 7 ]. Pikel conducted and published research on the traditional medicine of the Iranian Jews in Israel, based on interviews with a few remaining healers, describing the substances 65 medicinal plants and their uses [ 21 ]. A study on their materia medica is being conducted in Israel. We found it extremely hard to obtain information from the healers for fear of competition and other reasons.

Israeli-born students were not acceptable as interviewers; students of Ethiopian origin did better, but still not well enough — they recorded only the basic materials personal observation. Research of the medicinal substances of the Ethiopian Jewish community in Israel will apply qualitative methods based on accepted ethno-botanical and ethno-pharmacological principles [ 22 , 23 ]. We intend to interview twenty prominent elderly sages of this ethnic group who are known as healers, or are sons of well known healers. Ethiopia has a unique bio-diversity, and a great many medicinal plants used and traded extensively in the past have been recorded among its wild flora e.

The survey of the late s complemented the ethno-botanical survey of the s. It covered medicinal materials purchased at stores and not available in the wild.

Humayun Khan Isn’t the Only Muslim American Hero | The New Yorker

The survey made it possible to prepare a summary list of all the materials in use today in Israeli traditional medicine. This list opens a window to a whole and usually hidden world of medicine, traditions, and customs that still persist in Israel and neighboring countries [ 7 , 24 ]. It includes information regarding medicinal substances of all ethnic and religious groups in Israel. Quantitative data on materia medica of the Land of Israel ethno-pharmacological market survey. Missing from the list may be wild plants known to be used in folk medicine today, as they were used in the past.

These plants are still gathered by the traditional healers or by the patients themselves in open spaces, and are not regularly sold on the markets or at spice and drug vendors' stores. Other ethno-botanical studies examined some of these plants and their uses among the diverse communities and minorities in Israel [ 12 ]. The combined results of our survey and those of the ethno-botanical surveys provide a reliable picture of the totality of folk medicinal materials in use among the many and varied religious and ethnic populations in Israel. The researchers who conducted the ethno-botanical survey published a comprehensive list of the medicinal plants of Israel, including wild flora; that list contains species of plants [ 13 ].

Quantitative data on Materia medica of the Land of Israel including the ethno-botanical survey. Plants yield most of the medicinal materials, a persistent feature evident in medical literature throughout history [ 3 , 24 ]. The vast majority of plants sold in the stores as popular remedies are cultivated, and only a few are wild. This is understandable, particularly considering the argument that wild plants are collected privately and used widely on a non-commercial basis by the patients or folk healers; this is why they were not found in the shops or included in our lists.

However, the greater part of the local medicinal plants are wild, and far fewer 28 are cultivated: almonds, apple.

Geographical location is crucial issue in the case of the wild plants, mainly due to the unique differences in, hence bio-diversity of, climate temperature, humidity, wind, rainfall , elevation, soil, and other abiotic characteristics. The wild flora of the Land of Israel's southern Negev and eastern parts Rift Valley and Judean desert consists of desert and tropical plants, while the northern part Carmel, Galilee, and Golan Heights is more replete with Mediterranean species. These are wholly different from the desert plants that are used regularly by the Bedouins of the Negev and the Judean Desert, such as ben tree Moringa peregrina L.

A few plants that grow all over the country are used by all religious and ethnic groups in northern as well as southern Israel and the Middle East; two examples are the castor oil plant Ricinus communis L. There are very few inter-ethnic differences in the use of wild medicinal plants in Israel apart from those due to climate and geography. An example of such a difference in use of cultivated plants is Jews mallow Corchorus olitorius L. But due to religious laws it is not consumed or used medicinally by the Druze [ 3 , 24 , 26 ].

In this research, spices and condiments are included as medicinal substances, in addition to their important role as foodstuffs. Almost all of them are known as medicinal plants in different cultures. The different Israeli purchasers and consumers of medicinal plants buy spices and condiments for their medicinal properties, their nutrition, and in some cases even as incense e. The use of animal organs and products did not flourish towards the end of the second millennium; this is understandable in light of changes of patterns of medical practice among consumers of traditional medicine, and perhaps also in connection with changes in moral standards and attitudes to animals and their use in medicine [ 24 , 27 ].

Nine substances are imported into Israel; however, the data clearly show that most 8 of the local medicinal materials obtained from animals originate from wild species, and only a minority 3 from domesticated species.


A possible explanation is the massive stock of animal products in the general stores; also, patients and folk healers may prefer to buy products such as cheese, milk, meat, eggs, chicken, and animal parts, which are used in folk medicine, in non-specialist shops, where good quality and freshness is promised. Therefore, the folk remedy vendors in the shops and markets sell mainly traditional products derived from wild species and special animal products unavailable in regular shops, such as wax and hard dry cheese.

Because most of the population in Israel is urban and far from wild animals, and because the nature preservation laws are strictly enforced, products from wild animals are found in only few shops [ 28 ]. Geographical location is crucial in this case too; for example, the Sinai desert Bedouins make medicinal use of several Red Sea animals [ 29 ]. Inorganic material likewise is used much less than plants. The explanation for this discrepancy seems to lie in the users' perception that some inorganic materials used in the past are poisonous.

We may also mention that in the past too, in all cultures, inorganic substances formed only a small part of the inventory of medicinal materials [ 24 , 30 - 32 ]. The great majority of the materials used in folk medicine in Israel are of local origin, very few being brought in from other countries. A comparison makes clear that wild and cultivated plants, for eating and for use in folk medicine, are collected in open areas, fields, and plantations by patients, healers, and folk medicine practitioners. These plants did not appear in the survey of shops and markets, but we made a point of not overlooking their use. Recall also that a large proportion of the imported plants that appear in the list are spices originating in Asia, as well as local and imported condiments.