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The Seven Pillars: Journey Toward Wisdom

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Tag: hero

Excerpt from “American Icarus: A Memoir of Father and Country”

The following excerpt describes my research into my father’s service during World War II as an airman for the Army Air Force Air Transport Command—a massive operation that supplied the troops abroad with ammunition, medicine, bombs, and money, and that ferried German prisoners and wounded soldiers—and how learning about this period in his life changed my perception of him and his wartime service.

“The Knight of Faith”: Imam Husayn’s Chivalry at Karbala

Among the most extraordinary examples of heroic chivalry not only in Islamic history, but possibly any history, is the martyrdom of the third Shi'a Imam Husayn. On the day of 'Ashura, October 10, 680, on the plains of Karbala near the Euphrates river, Imam Husayn, the Prophet Muhammad's second grandson, was mercilessly slaughtered. As warriors on both sides closed in, Imam Husayn and his party found themselves grossly outnumbered. This gruesome, bloody and tragic event, along with its ceremonies of commemoration, is "the beating heart of Shi'a devotion." Shi'a Muslims regularly evoke the centrality of Imam Husayn's martyrdom in the proverb, "Every day is 'Ashura; every place is Karbala."

A World of Loyal Dog Morality

One of my favorite aspects of chivalry is a curiosity about peoples' ideals. If we all sat down - coming from our different cultures, upbringings, and viewpoints - and wrote down our highest ideals, would there be common themes?

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