I’ve never been the most outwardly patriotic person, but if I was traveling and felt that a stranger had developed a good opinion of me, I would let slip that I was American in a small bid to bolster U.S. soft power. I was fighting bad perceptions with good ones, promoting peace and understanding. Because when you break down any word, ideology, or religion in isolation, you’ll quickly realize it becomes meaningless.
What to do when you hear ‘allahu akbar’
Adriano Massou

I can totally relate to this because I do the exact same thing (let it casually slip), myself being Saudi, a nationality that is caught up in a whole hefty slew of not so great connotations. I found your piece truly brilliant, and chapeau to you too on your own personal introspection as well as encouraging it in others. We can all afford to think a little bit more about these ‘black and white’ terms, different ideas and beliefs we’re exposed to in this globalised world. Nothing is formed in a vacuum and to truly understand our fellow human beings we need to respect and think more deeply about their own circumstances, underpinning beliefs, and how they got to where they are, even if some of these may seem uncongenial to us at first.

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