Friday, February 17, 2012

The Blasphemy quiz and the Suez Canal

The Suez Canal by Mornby
The Suez Canal, a photo by Mornby on Flickr.

Blasphemy quiz
1) Translate "Peace (be with you)” into Arabic: a) shalom b) salaam c) shazam.
2) Re. the scene where the Bedouins are strafed and have to move their camp. Where did the Turks get airplanes in 1916? a) Germans b) French c) British.
3) The scene is Feisal's tent. “Recite, then, as much of the __ as may be easy for you ... and seek ye the forgiveness of God. Verily, God is forgiving, merciful ...” These are the opening words of the a) Qu’ran b) Bible c) Baghavad Gita .
4) The scene in Feisel’s tent is unusually respectful of Muslims. I say “unusually” because of the traditional attitude: a) Western world's lack of respect for Muslims b) low Muslim self-concept c) all they have is oil, fine Persian rugs and chewy date fruit.
5) Lawrence quotes the Qu'ran. How would he know such material?
a) movie producer explained it to him b) his momma c) his Oxford education.
6) In 1915 the top British priority in the Mid East was protection of a waterway important to their shipping and movement of warships. What is the name of this key passage, which connects the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean? a) Arabian Sea b) Panama Canal c) Suez Canal.
7) In explaining to Feisel the reason for Britain’s worldwide power, the British officer puts an emphasis on England's __ . a) technology b) discipline c) skill d) wealth.
8) In the early 1900’s the city at the center of Islamic art, business and scholarship was not Mecca, nor Cairo. It was: a) Medina b) Damascus c) Jerusalem .
9) According to Feisel, do Arabs love the desert? No. Then what do they love? a) fountains and gardens b) mountains c) ships and oysters.
10) At the desert’s edge Lawrence spends a night concentrating on the Arab dilemma in their feckless fight against the Turks. He has a breakthrough. What is his solution? a) attack from the sea b) attack at night c) attack from the desert.
11) A cruel and terrible desert must be crossed by the Bedouin.
The desert is the a. Sahara b. Rub al Kali c. Nefud.

The Suez Canal is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, says Wikipedia.

Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows transportation by water between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa.

There is an alternative to the Suez Canal: travelling around the Cape of Good Hope at the south end of the African continent. This was the only route before the canal was constructed. It is still the only route for ships which are too large for the canal.

In the early 21st century the long route has enjoyed increased popularity because of increasing piracy in Somalia.[57][58] Between 2008 and 2010, it is estimated that the canal has lost 10% of traffic due to the threat of piracy, and another 10% due to the financial crisis.

An oil tanker going from Saudi Arabia to the United States has 2,700 miles longer to go when taking the route south of Africa rather than the canal.[59]