Q: We see so much tragedy and slanted viewpoints on the news about the Middle East. Are things really as tragic there as the news portrays?

A: That depends on your viewpoint. If you support the Zionist state of Israel, you will have a very different outlook than if you hold basic humanitarian values and sympathize with the oppressed Palestinians. The brutal tyranny we witness in certain totalitarian nations is no different in the Middle East than it is in the Far East or, closer to home, in Central and South America. Tyranny is tyranny. Evil is evil. There are good and bad people everywhere, including in our own home countries, no matter how “civilized” we consider our more developed Western nations to be. One thing I would add is that I have never experienced welcome and warmth in the developed West as I have in the Middle East. I live in Saudi Arabia, which is a wonderful country for a Western Muslim. The political environment is stable, my work is infinitely more rewarding than it was in America or England – the two countries where I lived and practiced before moving to the Middle East – and personal freedoms are balanced by sound religious principles. I cannot speak for all Middle Eastern countries, but with regard to Saudi Arabia, it is my favorite country, and contains my favorite people, and I have called it “Home” for over 23 years now. I hope to live and die here.

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