A recent New York Times story, “Laying Out Cities, Saudis See Window to Modernity,” is unsettling on a number of levels, including the Times’ implication that Saudis are not modern, among other ethnocentric commentary. However, what is most disturbing is the Saudi Government’s trajectory to, in many ways, integrate American suburban designs in its King Abdullah Economic City, a new 65 square-mile development at the edge of the Red Sea projected to be completed by 2012.
Last week, I wrote about the killing of Iraqi Christians by extremists in the name of Islam. Unfortunately, events over the weekend require me to return to this topic yet again. Just after midnight January 1st, there was a deadly attack in Alexandria, Egypt on the Saint’s Church. Twenty-one people were killed and some 79 were injured as a car bomb exploded outside of the church after New Year’s Mass. Not only is this event tragic but it puts the Coptic community in Egypt on edge ahead of their Christmas on January 7th.