"Letters to a young Muslim" by Omar Saif Ghobash

 rezensiert von Margareta Wetchy

A book for everyone interested in modern Arab societies - and their relations with the West. For everyone lost in the uncountable possibilities of the modern world. Religion? No religion? Tradition? Modernity. Education. Science. Politics.

Omar Saif Ghobash, an Emirati diplomat, writes letters to his 15-year-old son. He doesn't guide him through life. He doesn't offer him a recipe for pursuing life. But recipes for how to think about life.


In shorter and longer letters, the father reflects on his own life, having grown up in the United Arab Emirates, living through phases in which he sought freedom, others in which he loved the clearly demarcated path of life that Islam seemed to offer. He recounts various moments in life in which he himself felt gone astray since he lost his own father when he was still a child. He now tries to support his son with his considerations and experiences, yet never without giving his son the chance of choosing his own path of life.


“Fifty years ago, you could go to mosques, read Quran, and then get on with your daily life by going to work, earning an income, and raising your family. Today it is possible to spend your evenings reading hundreds of fatwas, or collecting videos of suicide bombings (…). This means that we are, each of us, able to intensify and magnify the emotions that we would normally feel.” (40)

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