From the first word in this volume to the last, I was gradually overcome with joy, and after each page my astonishment increased and my heart and emotions were filled with amazement.
Understanding the Arab world
In the 21st century the Arab
world is mostly associated with
conflict, religious extremism and
oil. Arabs will often point to
support in the West for the state
of Israel, and their struggle to
emerge from 20th century
Western colonialism as being
significant factors in the way
they are perceived in the media.
It is important then to remind ourselves of the importance of this region in history. For the region where people today speak Arabic played a role in biblical history from the Garden of Eden to our Lord’s death and resurrection in Palestine. Many of the people of this region claim descendance from Abraham, and their language, Arabic is related to both Hebrew and to Aramaic spoken by Jesus. It was the emergence of Islam in the 7th century that caused the spread of this language through much of the Middle East and across N. Africa.
The Arab world also has a rich Christian heritage, though the proportion of Christians is much reduced through emigration. Christians and Muslims have grown apart, living parallel lives in the same country with all the mutual distrust that brings. A large part of Al Kalima’s mission is to try to bridge this divide by presenting Christ to Muslims through high-quality literature.
When we commission a new book we first of all find out what it is that our readers would like us to explain to them. To understand the Arab world you need to talk to Arabs.