As a small child our first family home and school were in the city of Byblos. It is daunting to think that the city I grew up in is in fact the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world!
Byblos is said to have been founded by El, the god of Phoenicians, but archaeological evidence of settlements dating back around 7000 years was found on the site of the city. Byblos(Greek for Papyrus) is the name that was given to the city by the Greeks around 1200 BC due to its importance in the papyrus and cedar wood export in the region, especially to Egypt. Egypt had very close ties with Byblos and about 60 letters were found in the Amarna tablets in Egypt that were written by the king of Byblos requesting aid from Akhnaten, the Egyptian Pharao, in matters of war.
On this site the famous sarcophagus of Ahiram, King of Byblos was excavated.
I adore the history of Lebanon and just the thought that most of it remains a total mystery, makes me tingle!
This is Lea, she is 7 years old, she was born in Germany, lived there for 2 years, moved to Shanghai and has been living there for 5 + years. Her parents are a mix of Lebanese, German and American. She holds both the German and the American passports. When you ask Lea where she is from she has to think of the best answer to give you and in which language to deliver it. Most of Lea’s friends are just as mixed if not more and most have a hard time tracing back their roots.
I imagine what the world was like prior to integration and mixed race marriages. I wonder what this phenomenon of crisscrossed roots is causing on our planet. Everything that happens here is causative of something, a shift of balances. Our roots have a great influence on who we are, so I wonder what kind of role all this mixing plays in our lives and in our destinies.
Lea has developed a great fascination with the desert the last few days and is determined that she will move there and ride a camel to school every day. Is that one of her roots activating? The root that made her hair curl suddenly in the last year?
Today Lea and I were buying flowers for her (she still believes if she has flowers in her room all the time, a fairy is bound to come sleep in one of them), when we met this little Chinese boy. Ever since we moved to China five years ago I have enjoyed watching the interactions and magic that goes on between foreign and Chinese children. It is almost like you can see the integration take place through the looks, gestures, words, sounds, playfulness…
Maybe the answer to many of the world problems lies in a better integration of cultures, to the forming of real world citizens that care more for the welfare of the planet as a whole than the interests of their own nations. Maybe…