Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Run-in with Jihad - Part I

Jihad:

1: a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty ;

also : a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline

2: a crusade for a principle or belief


This is a blog about an amazing coincidence.

It starts here, in the chapter I wrote about my time in Saudi Arabia.

My Saudi Arabian memories had been mostly bad up to this point. I’d been delayed at the point of entry to near starvation, and I was later kicked out of a city for not being a Muslim. Outside those unfortunate blips however, I’d been mostly treated with respect, been approached with a kindly curiosity, and was even invited to sip tea on plush red carpets on several occasions.

Then, turning my conceptions of Saudi Arabians completely upside down, I came across Majid and his friend.

If you haven't already, click on the above link and read my chapter about Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, the remainder will confuse you.

It was two years later, and I was in Morocco now. I’ve read the

New York Times a handful of times in my life. This was one of those rare occasions it came across my lap and I found this article.


If you can't read it, I found another posting of it online, here.

The second paragraph caught my attention.

“He went to Iraq seeking Martyrdom because of the recent events there,” Abdullah Al-Enezi said of his younger brother Majid, who had been training to be a computer technician.”

Could it be the same person I'd met two years previously?

I scoured through the rest of the article, then immediately went to my old diary from 2002.

This is what I found.


Here’s a translation of my atrocious handwriting. I've edited out other addresses for privacy reasons.

Tuesday October 29th

Stopped in Tabuk with a broken muffler pipe. Two local teenagers helped find a garage, then drove us to Pizza Hut. (They) Paid for our lunch without telling us. (Then they) Drove us back and paid for the welding on the Beach Buggy. Then (they) gave me a gift, traditional Saudi Headdress and beads. (The) Nicest thing a stranger has ever done for me. We then drove off to Jordan and spent the night in the desert. (majid.r.enazi(at)hotmail.com)

I later tried the email address, it didn’t work.

I’ll do a future blog on how Jihad relates to Majid in both instances, the generosity and the holy war.

I've crunched the numbers on the liklihood of Majid Enazi being Majid El-Enezi on another blogpost here.

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