Monday, April 14, 2003


The Iraqi war is of interest to many of you--as it is to me--because of the country's Biblical connections (obviously we all have many reasons to find it of great interest). No, I'm not talking about the Apocalyptic interpretation du jour, but rather the Biblical history there. My middle-school aged students in Bible class had looks of shock when I pointed out to them that Abraham was an Iraqi (forgive me the anachronism). Of course, since the Garden of Eden was likely in modern day Iraq, I suppose we're all Iraqis by heritage. Babylon--home of the Tower of Babel--and of Judah's captivity, also endures in Scripture as a symbol of opposition to God. But I digress.

Getting back to Eden, Coalition forces moved into the area believed to be the place where God placed the Garden in Genesis. Residing there now are people known as Marsh Arabs, apparently a group Hussein believed to be in the way of his vision of progress. Hussein has been forcing out the Marsh Arabs and systematically draining the wetlands there. A new group called Eden Again is making plans to restore the ecology of the area to its pre-Saddam state.

Someday if some stability comes to the region, perhaps it will open up to those of us who would love to see that Eden, and maybe follow travel from Ur to Babylon to Haran and beyond.

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