Forget local history books that don't fully account for a civil war and other setbacks that ruined the country and follow the money in Lebanon's tortuous slide from "Switzerland of the Middle East" to dysfunctional entity par excellence.
Often films and stories from Israel and Palestine concentrate on the conflict between these two cultures, rather than life as it is experienced on the ground; daily life amid stoning, shooting and bomb explosions.
Because of music's inherent abstractness, it is the most fundamentally subversive of the arts. It says something very specific, eliciting overpowering responses, and yet it has the luxury of being able to claim that it has said nothing at all.
By calling his enemies "savages," Netanyahu reveals that he is unwilling to view the Palestinians for what they are: a people of several million strong who dwell in the same land between the river and the sea, and who are as unwilling as Israel is to leave.
Let's leave aside for a moment the fact that Fox News does not have a history of questioning Christian scholars on their own bias in studying other faiths. What interests me is how our culture decides who gets to discuss and write about the Other.
While Palestinians have suffered from their own negation by the other side, it is impossible to overcome that by attempting to present only one point of view. Such an opportunity was made available to Palestinians in Jerusalem recently through a documentary.
Last Saturday -- the same day the United States and Iran were having "constructive and useful" discussions on Iran's nuclear program in Istanbul -- the New York Times published a piece titled, "Seeking Nuclear Insight in Fog of the Ayatollah's Utterances."
I'm not telling you to go click a "Like" button for Middle Eastern art. Rather, you should treat it simply as... art, putting culture in its proper place by avoiding the reflex of judging a work simply on the basis of origin.
With mosques functioning as the local centers of Islamic faith and the object of renewed Western suspicion, it is undeniable that mosques also help keep alive the memory of the divide of civilizations that once rent the world irreparably in two.