Different mustn’t mean threatening

Regarding the recent letter from Linda Dorsey (“Experience belies fear of Muslims,” Jully 20), I, too, had a positive experience in Muslim countries, traveling in Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey where I lived for nine years, 1969-1978. I felt safer there than in Los Angeles.

I taught school for the Department of Defense a few miles from the Syrian border. I went to Syria on three-day weekends, and visited Roman ruins, crusader castles.

 On a cross country trip, my headlights blew out. I stopped in a village but was told maybe tomorrow, no parts, so I went on, driving slowly. When I arrived, six hours late, my Turkish friend asked why I didn’t stay at the village. “I was afraid to.” His response was “You silly girl. The headman of the village would have put you up, he and his wife would have slept on the floor, across the doorway with his rifle to protect you.”

Issues at borders were expected, but I took school kids to Troy, and visited Roman and Greek sites, castles, amphitheaters, towns. Even during the Arms Embargo from 1974-1978, the Turks did not blame us for our government’s action.

That hospitality still exists in the Middle East and it goes back to Homeric times, where Odysseus was treated with hospitality.

If only Americans could stop assuming a threat where none exists. Not everyone who is different from us is a threat.


 The Register Guard

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