Urban Arabs of the Middle East

Step outside and smell the city: cats, men’s cologne, cigarette smoke, fresh-baked bread, car exhaust, and spiced coffee. See older women dressed all in black selling lemons and fresh mint on every street corner, men walking by selling tissues from their pockets or sunglasses from racks atop their heads, and children playing soccer or grabbing bags of chips from kiosks. Most are Muslim, with an Orthodox Christian minority. They are all taught to follow and not to question, to “check the boxes” and hope that their goodness outweighs their bad in the end. Drivers honk their horns in patterns that indicate their own language, understood by each cyclist, bus, and donkey cart in the street. One motorcycle is transporting a new door, another seats a family of four with an infant asleep in its mother’s arms. There are fast food restaurants, shawarma (Middle Eastern sandwich) vendors, and sushi carts, a wild mix of the expected and unexpected. It’s overwhelming, exciting, disheartening, burdening. There are resources available, including the Word written in their heart language, but many don’t know how to access it. There is much work to be done, many seeds to be sown. Pray for the salvation of the urban Arabs.