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A Field Day in Saudi Arabia 

 

By Rainbow 

Habib unlocks the giant doors to the Islamic Museum of Saudi Arabia with a digital swipe card and the airconditioning systems and lights automatically flick on simultaneously. He enjoys his job as curator, and looks forward to another day of showing tourists around the museum. He especially enjoys the looks of awe and curiosity on the school age children when he impresses them with his knowledge of history and old Islamic culture. Soon after 9am, solar powered tourist buses arrive and excited school children pour out and run up the steps towards the museum door while the teachers call out for order. These children are from the State of Palisrael; a thriving country situated on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea and populated by people of mixed ancestry - some are dark, some blonde, some in between. The year is 2104. 

Habib smiles as his first batch of eager learners appear and he leads them to the first exhibits where the children's excitement turns to awe.

"This, children," begins Habib, "is where the story of Islam begins."

The children look at exhibits explaining the historical beginnings of Islam and watch a short film of the life of Muhammad. They then move slowly through history, stopping to look at ancient Korans, swords that belonged to Muslim warriors, and then clothing exhibits showing dummies wearing various burqas and veils. The children giggle at the veil with the eye mesh and ask Habib how they managed to see.  

Slowly, the children move to the a different flavour of exhibits and their giggles turn to gasps when they see photos and short films of the WTC attacks of 2001, the Russian school hostage massacre of 2004, the bombings of French kindergartens, the Olympics, British football stadiums, maternity hospitals, children's parties and simultaneous bombings of Christmas day church services around the world. The children shake their heads in amazement, feeling so much gratitude that they live in this age of Awakening where wars, nationalism, communism, religionism and all the other isms are a thing way back in the past. They wonder if these humans were different types of humans in those days; they seemed so ... different.  

Next the children are lead to the Age of Awakening exhibits.

"This," says Habib, "is how we began to wake up to what we were doing."

First he shows them the Political Correctness Exhibits showing copies of laws being passed to stop anyone complaining about Islam. The children shake their heads in amazement and some laugh. Habib continues;

"Then after the Christmas day bombings a few years later, a group of Islamic dissidents who had been trying to educate people on Islamic ideology began to be heard. At last the people listened and started marching on the streets and wanting an end to Islam and Political Correctness. The change in thinking gathered momentum when the media got on the bandwagon. Only half the usual numbers went to Mecca that year, an eighth the following year, and only a trickle after that. There were great threats and more bombs, but each attack helped fuel the debate against Islam and its violent ideology and the terrorists started to lose their power. The pilgrimages to Mecca ceased in 2060, mosques opened for tourism, and here is a film clip of the great Koran and hijab burning celebrations around the world in 2065." 

The children's faces look to be cheering the people on the filmclip who were throwing large books and funny clothing into the fire while singing and dancing and cheering and hugging each other. The film cuts to other places around the world where there are tears of happiness on people's faces as people all over the world danced together in the streets.  

Habib leads the children to the next exhibit where another film clip shows the Great World Apologies of 2080 from grandchildren of terrorists. They have tears in their eyes as they speak, and the children peer over each other to see. Some recognise well known heroes that are in their school history books alongside Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther.  

"Was your grandfather a terrorist like that?" asks a small girl with wide eyes. Habib smiles; how many times have children asked him this question, including his own.

"No, my grandfather was a sheikh who taught Islam."

The children gasp. 

"But he was a good man with a good heart; he just thought he was doing the right thing in those days," continued Habib.  

"This is the reason for this museum, children, to let us never forget this lesson in history. Always think, read and educate yourselves; think for yourselves! Never resort to violence to solve problems!"

Habib pauses and looks out at the bustling main street in Mecca filled with happy and free people and in a quieter voice, adds;

"I just wish my grandfather could see the world today...."  

The teacher's voice cuts in;

"Ok, children, line up now! We are going to the sea for a swim and to look at the beautiful marine life. Jeddah has the prettiest underwater sceneries and the most amazing fishes, then after lunch we go Mecca to see the Old Mosque there ."

The children cheer; "Yay! Swimming!"

They pile into their solar bus. Oil had become redundant many years ago and Saudia Arabia had to open for tourists. They also had to open the doors to immigration and now Saudi was populated by a variety of people with different backgrounds and ancestry. His wife has a Korean Jewish background.

The next bus was pulling into the carpark and the children from Australia and Iran were lining up. Habib smiles at their innocent and enthusiastic faces.

Then he sighs and says to himself;

"If only the grandfather could see how it all turned out...."  

 

 

 

 

 

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