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Andrew Patterson

Let’s go back to the time of the Babylonian Empire, when there were only about 160 million people were living in the world and Babylon had ¼ of the world’s population. The writing was Cuneiform and the records were made in clay that was baked. India had developed symbols that represented sound that the trained mind could turn into language. Babylon meant “Bab Allah” or “Door of God”. And what happened to those 40 million after the Tower of Babel fell?

Built on a square design with the Euphrates River flowing through the middle, its walls were made of adobe, large sun-dried clay bricks that were 40 feet wide and 80 feet high and covered with baked ceramic tile. The soil came from trenches below the walls that were then filled with water. One king built a terraced hanging garden with watered trees on top to please his wife who came from mountains to the north of Babylon where the climate was much cooler.

Egypt was a later center of learning that developed hieroglyphic writing that used pictures for sound. And the Egyptians also developed a paper from papyrus hollow reeds that grew in the water of the Nile. Slit open and flattened out, a second layer would be laid on with the reeds laid in the opposite direction.

A seafaring nation of Arabs was established in what is now called Lebanon. They made ships from the tall cedar trees of Lebanon that created another colony in the Bay of Tunis, called Carthage. Carthaginian ships of the Barca family blocked the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea and controlled southern Spain they called Hispanya ("Hidden Land" in Old Arabic) and embarkation and debarkation, getting in/out of a boat.

Egyptians created a large library at Alexandria, and the Lebanese Arabs asked the Egyptians for papyrus in exchange for transporting Egyptian goods to make their library at Byblos. The Greeks learned to read and write at Byblos, so the first letters of Arabic were Aleph, Beth, which became Alpha Beta, or alphabet. And the name Byblos was used by the Greeks for Bible or The Book.

As the Greeks were the first Europeans to read and write, most of our technical and scientific words come from the Greek language (telephone, telegraph, television = voice from afar, writing from afar, vision from afar). But the Arabs on the Red Sea Coast gave us algebra and higher math which Newton used to base his calculus on. Important for us all not to forget to respect others of different nationality as fellow humans and not terrorists. In Voltaire’s time, learning the Arabic language was the sign of an intellectual.

And composers of Europe such as Grieg, Rimsky Korsakov, and Russian composers composed music with Arabic themes which in today’s world, anything Arab, Islamic, or diverse is denounced if not vilified.

Andrew Patterson was born on a dairy farm two miles south of Sullivan on Feb. 13, 1930. He has attended eight universities for a total of 10 years, lived in 10 countries for 28 years, traveled in 50, speaks and writes Spanish, reads French and German, has written seven encyclopedia articles, and numerous reports and studies for World Bank, Pan American Union, and Economic Development.

Descendant from 15 American Revolutionary ancestors (16th was Cherokee), history is his life's blood, as is telling the truth. He states, "The day I stop learning is the day I am dead,” and “The hardest thing in life has been to unlearn what has been taught to me as the truth.” He has learned there are many men who have stopped WW III from China, Russia, and other countries and it cost them their life. President John F. Kennedy was one of them.

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