Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Stories of Kings and Battles

I've begun watching a couple TV shows I had skipped. The White Queen, and its follow up The White Princess. Not done with them yet, but I've seen enough to conclude the stories are about the WOMEN not the men. Of course, the titles gave that away from the get go, but it's the MEN who were the kings, and fought the battles, and died ( or didn't die) fighting for their beliefs and causes. Yet the main characters are the women.

And certainly, the women are portrayed as very strong characters. But thankfully, these women are not out on the battlefield with swords striking down dozens of male warriors attacking them. No. These stories are based on reality, not some fantasy of a woman besting dozens of battle-hardened men, like in that TV show I talked about recently Into the Badlands, or that other show, Vikings.


Okay, I don't doubt some women Vikings may have donned a sword and joined their male counterparts on a battlefield, but that doesn't mean they struck down dozens of other Vikings twice their size as if they were nothing more than a box of Cheerios. That is so fake I can't even watch Vikings anymore.



No these strong women are strong because they have to deal with a lot of adversity from behind the scenes. And it's behind the scenes where the camera is rolling. We see the women at home as they prepare for the results of the battles that are being waged in their family names.

As anyone who knows history will tell you, these shows are based on the real life historical events surrounding the War of the Roses, or England's civil wars that occurred five hundred plus years ago. And it was these wars that finally resulted in a joining of the houses of Tudor and York, as the current show, The White Princess details.




Fortunately, England is not ruled by kings or queens nowadays. Nor should it be. Their "kings and queens" are only figureheads now, and have no power whatsoever. Nor should they. Any country who is still ruled by a "king" or "queen" is a backward country still embedded in the dark ages. Several Middle Eastern and African countries are still governed like that. When will these stupid countries which are still ruled by monarchies ever going to grow up and join the modern world?

But I digress. My point is that women can be portrayed as strong characters without running around beating and killing people. Like in Downton Abbey. And in these White Queen/Princess shows. It's refreshing to see it done realistically. And it's a relief that I don't have to watch a woman beating up and killing people by the dozens every time I watch a show. Although that still happens in lousy TV shows much more than I can bear to watch. Sheesh.


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