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Today's word on

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Those were the days:

"The way I had it is all gone now. The bars are
gone, the drinkers, gone. There remain the smartest, healthiest newspeople in the history of the business. And they are so boring that they kill the business right in front of you."

--Jimmy Breslin, newspaper columnist, 1996 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jim Doyle)


Finding 'The Patriot' in my Egyptian soul

By Sarah Ali

January 12, 2005 | Being the only foreign-raised child and half-breed American in my circle of friends, I was encouraged to watch the movie The Patriot. After being told that it would make me appreciate more what my American forefather went through to create this great country, I borrowed the movie from a friend.

Among my friends and family I'm known for my attacks on America, and accusations against the American people. Not that I think America is a bad country, don't get me wrong. I just have my own opinions towards the attitude of the American government and people. Just so you know what I'm talking about I guess I better let you know what my opinion is, basically I think Americans are egocentric and self-absorbed. They think they're really the only important people on the planet. Americans truly believe that the world would fall apart without the U.S. presence in the global arena. True, the United States is a very powerful country, but contrary to popular belief they are not the only country that has power.

Now back to The Patriot. This movie documents the individual struggle one man and his family face during the Revolutionary War. A hero of the fierce French and Indian conflict in early American history, widower Benjamin Martin, played by Academy Award-winning actor Mel Gibson, is initially reluctant to get himself and his family involved once again in a war. But when the English army cause the series of deaths to close family members, he is reminded of his life's purpose. Martin realizes his failure to contribute to the cause would further endanger all he holds dear. His son Gabriel, played by Heath Ledger, encourages him to remember the importance of freedom and helps him realize that the only way it can be achieved is to fight for the nation's independence from the British. Eventually they both join together in leading the fierce militia of South Carolinian farmers against the brutal English army.

While watching the movie, I felt true compassion for this man who had lost so much and yet was still willing to put what he had left at risk for the greater good. Even though I had studied this event in my history classes throughout my school years, this movie brought it to a whole new reality. It was no longer another stupid story in the American history books I'd read reluctantly in my younger years.

I've never really had much interest in American history because in comparison to my Egyptian heritage, it had no chance in capturing my attention. Pharaohs, mummies, and pyramids, every aspect of the thousands of years Ancient Egyptian civilization dominated history just seemed so much more exciting to me. However, I have to admit, even though American history is only a couple hundred years old, those couple hundred have been packed with emotional times where brave men died by the thousands. When reflected upon these events bring out the patriot in all of us.

I must say, I am proud to be a half-breed American. Proud that so many courageous men and women, who lived before me, saw the greater benefit to being so devoted to their country. Now it's not a surprise to me why Americans act the way they do. With a history filled with events like the Revolutionary War to be backed up by, who could blame them.


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