Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

On behalf of the entire staff here at Drive and Dish, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours. We'd like to thank you for taking time out of your busy holiday schedules to visit our little basketball blog. We hope that our efforts bring joy and cheer to your web surfing sessions, especially in this holiday season.

May there be peace on Earth, good will toward man, and may all your hoop dreams come true.

Oh, and for your viewing pleasure, we've included the following pictures of Christmas from around the world. We hope that you'll enjoy them.

Once again, Merry Christmas, and thanks for stopping by:

Above: Christmas in Aleppo, Syria

Christmas in Beirut, Lebanon

Christmas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Christmas in Tokyo, Japan

Christmas in Athens, Greece

Christmas in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Christmas in Moscow, Russia

Christmas in Bern, Switzerland

First image (above text): Christmas in Copenhagen, Denmark


Last year, Drive and Dish showed a Christmas scene from Prague, Czech Republic.


I guess Drive and Dish isn't the only blog that thought a "Christmas around the world" post would be a cool thing to publish. It was on Christmas eve that the editorial staff here at Drive and Dish made the decision to create such a post. As such, we spent several hours scouring the web for pictures of Christmas celebrations from far and wide. The post was published on Christmas morning.

But after Power Line blog attached a similar "Christmas around the world" feature to a post that originally offered musings about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinijad's Christmas address to the UK on British television (yes, you read that right: as a special Christmas gift, a British television network invited the kufir [infidel]-hating, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran to scold the British public for their evil ways) on Christmas night, people will probably just think that we ripped the idea off from them.

Who knows, maybe they ripped the idea off of us.


Cedar Falls Hawk said...

dude, isnt syria like a middle eastern country or something like that?? do they even have christmas over there?? and how bout some pics of christmas in iowa city or cedar rapids??

Have Jumpshot Will Travel (a.k.a. Trashtalk Superstar) said...

Syria is a majority Muslim country, but Christians make up about 15% (and possibly more) of its population. And Christianity existed in Syria long before the Muslims conquered the nation.

Hell, St. Paul had his epiphany while on the road to Damascus. And Paul evangelized in Syria, Cyprus, Greece, etc. What's more, Antioch was a major center of the early Christian church. And Antioch it became such within a year or two of Jesus' death.

Christianity has a long history in Syria, and many early Syrian Christians played major roles in helping to shape and spread the faith. Today, Christians are a religious minority in Syria, but believe it or not, they're not subject to the kind of persecution in Syria that they face in most other Middle Eastern countries.

Syria's ruling regime belongs to the Alawite Shiite Muslim sect. Alawites only make up about 10% of the Syrian population, so the nation's rulers belong to a religious minority (which may make them more sympathetic to other religious minorities). What's more, Alawites are an ancient group who are considered apostates, or Kafir, by most other Muslims. And, strangely enough, they share many beliefs with Christians.

Syria is one of the most -- if not the most -- religiously tolerant counties in the Islamic world. Most of Iraq's Christians have fled from Iraq to Syria to avoid persecution/genocide at the hands of the jihadists.

As for celebrating Christmas in Syria, Christmas is celebrated openly. Even more interestingly, Alawite Shiites celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday.

By the way, don't mistake my acknowledgment of the Assad regime's religious tolerance as approval of the regime's other transgressions. Syria represents a complex foreign policy dilemma. The Syrian regime of Bashir Assad is pretty bad, but they're not as bad as some of the other groups that could take over the country.