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Below is a copy of Ronald Nahas Gorab's letter published in El Mercurio (main newspaper in Chile) in December 2007.

Due to the conflict in Iraq I’ve noticed that exists a great lack of knowledge and confusion regarding the Arabs in our country. I think that it has to be considered in the first place, the following:


Not all the Arabs are Moslems (there are more than 12 million Christians);
Not all the Moslems are Arabs (in Turkey and Indonesia, they aren’t);
Not all the Moslems are extremists;
Not all the extremists are Arabs .


The main foundations on witch the Arabs sustained are, the family, religion and hospitality. Besides one of the five "obligations" of the Islam, that says that one must do charity and alms to the needed people (the statistics says that is approx.2.5%).


Lowell Thomas, who traveled with T.E .Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia), said that the Arabs are completely different from the occidental people because they measure the solids and weight the liquids, they mount the horses from the right side, they read from right to left. Even its language, very rich in words, privileges the style over the substance. Their clothes(the way they dress), the general behavior ,even the way they communicate with God (without a middleperson) are absolutely different to the Occident. Is the reason why this region hasn’t capitulated to the majority of the occidental values.


People just disqualify the Arabs because they considered them to be violent. The Arabs societies are the ones with less criminality in the world. As if the terrorists were born like that and not the product of the aggression and humiliation of other powers.
WE are talking about a millenary culture that originated 3.500 years B.C. (the pyramids in Egypt were built 1.000 years after). The contributions of the Arabs to the occidental culture are many. While Attila destroyed the Balkans, Italy and France; the Arabs tribes gathered in poetry festivals along with scientists and philosophers. Plato, Arquimedes and Pythagoras traveled to Egypt to study their advanced culture. During 700 years the knowledge of Ibn Sina was the basic text for the European students of Medicine.


Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo and Cordova in Spain, were the intellectual centers at that time. The Arabs believed that the earth was round while the Europeans thought that is was plain. They created the sextant, discovered the numbers, including zero, introduced the coffee and chess (the words "jaque mate" means dead king in Arab ).


During the X century, Cordova had 700 mosques, 70.000 houses and 70 libraries, all with a population of 500.000 people , while Paris had less than 10% and London was at that time a village. Cordova also had the first streets lightning in Europe.


As a descendant of Syrian, I visited my ancestors’ house in the city of Homs and realized that it had more than 400 years old. Homs is called the city of the blue stones and is the place were the majority of the Syrians in Chile come from.


I admire the North American people. I have thoughts of friendship, family and of business. I regretted the attack on the twin towers and I considered it a barbarity. Nobody deserves this violence nor the north Americans nor the Arabs .

Ronald Gorab,
Published in " El Mecurio"
December 2007