What not to read on an Arab airline

On my recent trip from the UK to Nairobi, we transferred through Dubai. With four long flights and two all-night/day layovers each way, I figured that I might get a chance to get some significant reading done for my dissertation, so I carefully selected a range of key books based on size/portability. Unfortunately, I didn’t think very much about the contextual environment of my trip. On nearly every leg of the journey – going and coming – I was seated next to a very devout Muslim (twice of Pakistani origin). Each flight, we had great neighborly discussions, but when I eventually reached into my carry-on to pull out a book, I suddenly decided that maybe I should just check out the in-flight video selection.

Here’s is what I had with me:

  • Luke-Acts and the Jews: Conflict, Apology, and Conciliation (Brawley)
  • Luke-Acts and the Jewish People (Tyson)
  • Luke-Acts and the Restoration of Israel (Ravens)
  • The Jewish Wars (Josephus)
  • The NT in Greek (This wound up being the “safest”, least offensive option.)
  • The Theology of the Old Testament: Israel’s Gospel (Goldingay) – my “in-hand” weighty tome (see previous post).

Naturally, my selection for the return flight was much more benign. Still, even with a more benign selection of reading, I had to finesse my my way around the fact that I’m studying the “Hopes of Israel”.

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5 thoughts on “What not to read on an Arab airline

  1. steph says:

    I doubt very very much that a devout Muslim who felt comfortable having neighbourly conversations with an Englishman (or so I thought until you spelled neighbourly wrong!) who was more than likely Christian, would have been offended by your choice of literature.

  2. Ben says:

    You’re right. I guess I was just feeling a little self-conscious.

    That I was an Englishman to you is funny.

  3. steph says:

    Your bad spelling gives you away but I should have guessed anyway since you look like the twin brother of David Ker 🙂

  4. Ben says:

    The Brits complicate words with unnecessary letters. I’m waiting for the Kiwi’s to throw off their colonial legacy and start spelling like they talk; every vowel should be a shewa. ;-).

  5. steph says:

    I’ve got a book about it – it’s called ‘new zild’ and an Australian one called “Strine”. But then again we just continued the old language for the convenience and international communication, while you invented a new one. We have another language belonging to this land we are very proud of – the true language of Aotearoa, te reo Maori. 🙂

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