Monday, August 04, 2003

Robert Speirs has a site called Conundrum - the Cosmic Pilgrim which is worth looking at. (I mention this mainly because he took the time to comment on this site.)

Conundrum calls attention to a good bit of commentary in The Christian Science Monitor about the hoped-for revitalization of the marshlands at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, home of the Marsh Arabs for millienia. Wilfred Thesiger's The Marsh Arabs, an account of eight years living among the tribes of the marshlands, is said to be a travel classic. I haven't read it, but it's on my list, and it just got bumped up several notches.

Whether the marshlands will heal themselves following Saddam Hussein's systematic destruction during the 1990s is one question; most likely, given enough time, the answer is yes. Whether the indigeneous tribes will return is something else altogether.

By the way, Conundrum comments on the fact that the Iraqi marshlands are commonly thought of as the location of the Garden of Eden:

No word on whether Cain's descendants will claim the "right of return" to their former "homeland" from which they were expelled by the Great Imperialist God of Zion. But wait a minute. That would be everyone. From one guy. And wait another minute. How did that happen, anyway?
Actually, it's a pretty common misconception that since Cain killed his brother Abel, he must therefore be the father of the rest of us. But even if you believe the Bible -- especially if you believe the Bible -- it's not true. Following that little incident out in the field (some prefer to call it a "misunderstanding"), Adam and Eve went on to have another kid named Seth. Seth was the father of Enosh, who was the father of Kenan, who was the father of Mahalalel (try saying that out loud), who was the father of Jared, who was the father of Methuselah, who was the father of Lamech, who was the father of Noah. Noah built an ark and God come along and wiped out everyone else on earth, which presumably included Cain's descendants, who were a bunch of troublesome punks to begin with.


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