Tag Archives: the world

We’re sorry Isis, we got it wrong…again!

2 May


The atrocities committed by ISIS are known to the vast majority of people. In the UK we have recently been exposed to yet another terrorist attack which ISIS claimed ‘responsibility’ for. We have seen it on the news, we have read numerous analyses of it in the papers and listened to radio reports on security measures in and around Westminister Palace. Nevertheless, none of ISIS’ atrocities are new to us, their crimes against humanity are well observed by media outlets. Yet not many of us realise that ISIS is a name we made up, that unlike al-Qaeda which is a direct transliteration of the older terrorist organisation’s name, ISIS is something unrelated to this relatively new monstrosity.

Their name is Daesh, which we in the Anglophone world, translated into the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’ then created the acronym ISIS out of this translation. Some poeple would shrug their shoulders at this and say we call them whatever we call them, it doesn’t matter. But as a matter of fact it matters, because by making up an incorrect name we have also created a confusion between two entirely unrelated entities. Isis is the goddess of fertility and motherhood in ancient Egypt. Her iconography alongside her son Horus has a direct influence on the development of the iconography of Mary and Jesus. ISIS, or Daesh as we should appropriately call it, on the other hand, claim themselves to be Muslim (though many Muslims would disagree with this) and if they could they would destroy all traces of ancient Egyptian heritage as they have done and continue to do with world heritage sites in Iraq and Syria, needless to mention their recent attacks in Egypt.


Mislabelling anything is misleading enough, but mislabelling evil can lead to bigger horrors by allowing it to disguise itself in forms we revere and cherish.

So once again… We are sorry Isis, goddess and mother of mothers!



A Touch of the World

13 Aug

I have recently joined a website called CouchSurfing. The main aim of the website is to create a world community of hosters and travelers, so that people traveling cheap could find free accommodation and good company of locals every where, but my aim of joining was to meet new people and make some friends. There is nothing wrong in that as there is no obligation on members to host people. Afterall not every body has got a big enough place.

A few days ago, I saw a post on the Sheffield group; someone had suggested going out for a walk on the Rivelin valley. We went out yesterday, we were eight people of six nationalities: British, German, Polish, Egyptian, Japanese and Chinese. None of us had ever seen the other before. We walked for two hours until the end of the valley and came back, four hours in total, quite a long walk. We broke the time by talking to each other. There was a lot to talk about since we did not know each other. We spoke about everything; our different cultures, our backgrounds, our studies, work, politics, anything we could talk about.

It was a fascinating experience, a worldly one in every sense of the word, as though we had managed to sneak peek into old Babylon with its various peoples, cultures and languages. Each one of us was a viceroy for a day, a representative of a distant culture that he was not very much in touch with anymore. Wa walked along the old river, pouring our experiences in it, dropping in its fresh water words of English in many accents and colours until we came back to the starting point, the end of the walk. We will meet again, maybe somewhere else, maybe as different people, but as humans we definitely will.