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「中東にて」 菊池絵美 in the Middle East  by  Emi Kikuchi

2005年 07月 29日

「Into a human being - The Middle East」 「人間の中へ――中東」 



a recommendation from Ms.Yuriko Koike,Minister of the Environment

               小池 百合子(環境大臣)

 二十一世紀に入ってからの世界は、イラク戦争をはじめとして、紛争続きで、真の 解決はいつの日かと、出口が見えない状況が続いています。世界平和を話す時、その 根っこには、「中東問題」がいつも横たわっていることは知られるところですが、で は、その「中東」たるや、どんな地域なのか、なぜ、あんな凄惨なことが繰り返されるのか、まだまだ、正解を答えられる人は、きわめて少数です。こうした、反応が出 るのはまだしも、日本では、地球の裏側の出来事と、無関心な人たちが多いのも、現実です。

Emi Kikuchi’s “Into a human being-The Middle East”
- Ms.Yuriko Koike, Minister of the Environment

Since the start of the 21st century, with the Iraq War and continuing conflicts around the world, we live in a time in which true solutions remain elusive. When talking about world peace, the “Middle east Problem” is widely known to be at the heart of the matter, but very few can provide the real answers to such fundamental issues as: what defines the Middle East, what sort of a region is it, and why do these horrible things keep happening there time and again. Despite such views, the fact is that many people in Japan consider events taking place on the other side of the world to be of little consequence. Emi Kikuchi is a sensitive young woman who, after visiting Kashmir, the troubled land at the source of the India-Pakistan conflict, became concerned with the issue of religious strife, and from that interest was drawn to the Middle East, where she experienced the reality of that world. There, living amidst the people of a region at war, she had the experience of covering her ears from the deafening noise of low-altitude bombing raids, cowering from suspicious individuals, encountering terrorist bombings, and having guns pointed at her. She shared the fears of the people around her, grieved with them, and prayed alongside them. What comes through the accounts of her experience amidst these lives of desperation is an overflowing desire for peace. Clad in the traditional black dress of women in the region and sharing in their daily lives, she was able to capture their thoughts and words in ways regular journalists could not. As a scholar, Ms. Emi goes beyond mere travel writing, adding insightful observations on important historical and religious aspects of each area she visited. Hers is an original and authentic style of writing not yet seen in Japan. Moreover, her background observations contain astonishingly penetrating insights and truths. Considering what extensive libraries we have in Japan yet the paucity of books on the Mideast, Ms. Emi’s book is sure to play an important role as reference material on the region. “Into a human being-The Middle East” covers the history, politics and other aspects of each country in the region, as well as lifestyles, circumstances and expectations of their peoples. Also included are details on the Palestinian refugee camps throughout the region. Moreover, walking herself on the sacred paths of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths, Ms.Emi explores in this remarkable volume the fundamental ontological questions: “What does it mean to be a human being?” and “What is God?”

As a student at Cairo University – where Ms. Emi attended – in the 1970s, I experienced the Yom Kippur War and witnessed first-hand the international political turmoil unfolding across the Middle East. I hope that Ms. Emi will continue to be concerned about the world’s problems, seek answers to the troubling things she sees, and contribute to world peace. I believe that the human race can and will use its intelligence to discover the key to assuring happiness for everyone and ultimately achieving world peace. I heartily commend Emi Kikuchi for putting into practice the well-known exhortation in Japan: “Young people, be ambitious!”


by Emi_Kikuchi_jp | 2005-07-29 03:10 | my writings 著書

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