World View: Bethlehem Celebrates Roman Catholic Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve

This morning's key headlines from

  • Web site appears to have been fixed
  • Bethlehem celebrates Roman Catholic midnight mass on Christmas eve
  • Saudi Arabia student campaign to stop misuse of Mohammed's name

Web site appears to have been fixed

Yesterday I asked readers to let me know if they've been having problems with the GenerationalDynamics web site. I received dozens of replies, and almost every one reported significant problems (500: Internal server error). Users said that they had to click Refresh several times before the error disappeared.

Dealing with Network Solutions/ customer service is a nightmare. They shuttle you from one "expert" to another, requiring repeated wait times on hold, and none of the "experts" seems to have any idea what's going on. Talking to Network Solutions/ customer service is worse torture than waterboarding.

However, I was able to open a new support ticket, and report that scores of users were having internal server errors with their servers. This information caused them to escalate the problem, and apparently is was fixed around 12:30 pm ET on Tuesday.

Thanks to everyone for your responses. They made a big difference. And additional thanks go to those who appended messages of appreciation for the daily World View column to their response. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Bethlehem celebrates Roman Catholic midnight mass on Christmas eve

Girls dress in traditional clothes at Bethlehem Christmas Eve celebrations (Deutsche-Welle)
Girls dress in traditional clothes at Bethlehem Christmas Eve celebrations (Deutsche-Welle)

Thousands of Palestinians and Israelis, as well as international pilgrims and tourists, arrived in Bethlehem on Tuesday to witness the Roman Catholic midnight mass at the Church of the Nativity, where it's thought that Jesus Christ was born. Visitors included Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and European Union foreign minister Catherine Ashton.

The region of Bethlehem and Jerusalem is unique in the world because it's the homeland of world's four monotheistic religions -- Judaism, Western Christianity, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and Islam. It has thus been the epicenter of almost every major world war for millennia. The people visiting Bethlehem are aware how easily some dispute could spiral into a major conflict, and so the chances are that every visitor will be on his best behavior.

There is one more midnight mass to be performed at the Church of the Nativity in this year's holiday season. Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7, and there'll be a midnight mass in Bethlehem on January 6 at midnight, as well as in Moscow, Athens, Cairo, and other places with Orthodox Christian communities. Deutsche-Welle and LA Times

Saudi Arabia student campaign to stop misuse of Mohammed's name

A group of Saudi Arabian students from a university in Jeddah are starting a campaign aimed at honoring the name of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. Apparently it's common practice in Saudi Arabia that if you don't know the name of the person you're talking to, even a non-Muslim, then you call him Mohammed. Even worse, very often the name is used in this way in a pejorative sense.

According to one college professor:

"The prevalence of using ‘Mohammed’ in this inappropriate way surfaced around 15 years ago and I remember we never used this name to call unknown people or workers before. Unfortunately, we as Muslims and members of the Saudi community disregarded the sanctity of the name until we arrived at a point that we began to use it to show our resentment toward strangers."

This pretty clearly indicates this pejorative use of the name Mohammed is generational. I would advise these university students to take care, because the unintended consequence of their campaign is likely to be more widespread use of the name in this way among young Saudis. Arab News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Network Solutions,, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Mahmoud Abbas, Catherine Ashton, Saudi Arabia, Mohammed
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