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).