Friday, November 20, 2009

Leo Africanus 4

In this section, Leo begins to settle after meeting his new wife Maddalena, whom he met through the pope. She was a convert from the nunnery who was with child. The pope dies and a new one takes his place. The new pope is less accepting of non-believers and artists. Many artists take refuge in Tunis, but Leo is arrested for having a pamphlet that goes against the pope. During the year he is is jail, the pope dies and is replaced and Leo's wife leaves him for Persia. Leo then finds his life long friend and travels.

I found it strange how different the popes were. I couldn't believe that one of the popes believed art to be blasphemy. If this idea had caught on, or that pope had stayed in power longer, our world would be in a completely different place. And I'm really glad that it didn't. It was also interesting to read about how the pope called for every man to be clean shaven. Leo did not want to submit to such requests, putting himself and his family in danger. It's a strange concept to me that facial hair could get you into legal trouble. These are the small peepholes into a different life that make me want to learn more but also make me thankful for the freedoms we have now.

I also found the article to be extremely interesting, especially reading about Al-Qaeda's tie into the Arab world. I enjoyed reading the predictions of the future for the Arab world in the article (including a non-violent revolution).

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