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A Christmas Carol

I’m sitting here in the hotel coffee lounge surrounded by at least thirty small schoolboys dressed as Father Christmas ready to sing Christmas carols in Arabic and English. This is a part of the world where education is important, school uniforms are neat, the children are polite and well-behaved and almost everyone celebrates Christmas, even though the average family wage is 300 a month and the population is mostly poor. I’ll try and upload a camera photo.

Some of these children are Christian, others are Moslem and when I told my driver this morning that in England, some religious groups are offended by the open celebration of Christmas. He couldn’t grasp the idea. “Why” he asked, “Christmas and Eid are for the Children” it shouldn’t matter what religion you are, why would anyone be offended?”

I tried to explain how in Britain that it’s very easy to be offended and that there’s a whole legal industry devoted to generously compensating those people in the minority who feel offended by the majority but he said and I quote, “If people come to live in your country they should follow your traditions and customs.”

Now this was an old Jordanian taxi driver, who perhaps the same acute level of common sense as the average London cabbie. Perhaps he should be advising our own government on what’s politically correct and what’s not.

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