The Seizure of Palmyra

PalmyraSource: Ilja Leonard in nrc.next, Netherlands, May 22

When the homeless and the refugees ask us for help we close our eyes, our ears and our borders to them. But when a pile of photogenic stones are besieged we scream blue murder. And I know why: Palmyra is ours…. The Romans built the city, so our historic roots are at stake. It is part of our culture and we want to show that it’s important to us….

We feel a personal bond with this pile of stones. The dead and homeless Syrians, on the other hand, are totally alien to us and leave us cold or make us afraid. Clearly it’s easier to show solidarity with a bunch of pillars in the desert than with hundreds of thousands of victims of war.

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One response to “The Seizure of Palmyra

  1. I’m afraid that feels right, though I’m not sure who all can properly lay claim to the Romans as progenitors.