Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., (www.intermat.tv)
a television company which executive produces programs and consults
with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc.
is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television
in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the
Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery
Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery
Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted
Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation
Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.
July 5, 2007
Post Independence Day Musings
The 4th of July has come and gone and, at least in the U.S.,
it was not celebrated by any major acts of destruction. Iraq
and Afghanistan tick on with their deadly beat but all in
all, it was a rather mellow day, allowing for time to think
and breathe and, for me, read.
I finished a novel, ALI AND NINO, a small, mostly forgotten
work with the name of Kurban Said on its cover. Kurban Said
may have been a Jew from Baku in Azerbaijan who converted
to Islam or Kurban Said may have been a combination of the
Baku native and a German Baroness. The man was named Lev Nussimblam,
whose life was chronicled in a biography titled, THE ORIENTALIST.
From my reading, I suspect Kurban Said was really Lev Nussimblam
who utilized the German Baroness as a nom de plume to allow
him to publish while he was living in Nazi Germany as a Jewish
Sound confusing? It is. However, I highly recommend both books
because they give insights into the collision of East and
West and how they affect the souls of individuals caught in
the crush of two cultures. I recommend the reading because
to understand that collision and its affects on men and women
are profoundly important to understand today.
As I read the headlines of the New York Times on the 5th of
July, the profound effects of this collision, this crush of
cultures is chronicled in the paper. The results of this include
our need to know and understand events which a generation
ago would have seemed irrelevant in America. We must now watch
closely events in Pakistan, where a drama between the government
of Mushharraf is playing out with a group of potentially militant
Muslims who have holed up in the Red Mosque. We are working
to understand the new leader in Turkmenistan. How many of
us even know where the country is? Yet it is important to
Not since the late Dark Ages when the military might of Islam
threatened to roll over all of Europe has there been such
tension between East and West. In Germany, plans for a mosque
in Cologne have the city divided in its feeling, with a fear
of a loss of German identity simmering beneath the surface.
Yet, why should Muslims living in Cologne not have a Mosque
in which to worship? The discomfort there models the fears
many of us feel, admitted or not. We are faced with a huge
cultural force we do not understand and which seems to have
found reasons to hate us at every turn, with hate turning
to brutal actions, leaving men, women and children dead all
over the world, from New York to Baghdad to Kabul.
In college I studied Medieval Islamic Civilization and came
away with an appreciation for Islam. Were it not for their
scholars in Cadiz, Seville, Baghdad and Alexandria most of
Greek and Roman civilization in its written form would have
been lost. Christians were busy destroying the writings of
Plato, Socrates and Cicero while Islamic scholars were busy
translating and preserving.
Saladin, when he conquered Damascus, left all the Christians
alone and gave them the right to continue to worship. It seems
Saladins acts of civility and generosity have been forgotten;
Islam evidences a visceral hatred from some that has left
us in the West stunned and afraid while saner Islamic voices
still seek their voice.
A generation ago Roberts was dissecting the effects of 19th
century Western hegemony in his book, THE TRIUMPH OF THE WEST,
examining how Western technology and mores had swept aside
all else creating, if not a complete political empire embracing
the globe, a social and economic empire that was transcendent.
Ah, poor fools we are
As Western countries occupied the globe, infusing their conquests
with their technology and languages they seemed to have missed
the fact our technology wasnt necessarily welcomed and
that underneath the conquered surface generations of discontent
and dislike were burbling, erupting in acts now that threaten
to turn our most gruesome genies against us.
It seems both sides are digging their trenches, to endure
a long, painful standoff. And yet at the end of the day we
are all of the same race and we have learned the gift of communication,
a gift from however we perceive God and it is
high time to use that gift for more than polemics.