For years, while working, I have watched world crises come and go. CNN changed the way war was viewed. As their satellites delivered the same images to countries across the globe at the same time, we viewed the images together. I noted another revolutionary development happening in the past weeks in the Middle East : The Arab World, The Israeli World and The Western World all reported the same facts regarding news from Lebanon.

I have been involved in international affairs for over 30 years and never before have I seen this. Always the first problem was even designating a set of facts to which everyone agrees.
Not this time – Al- Jazerra [Arab] and Dekka [Israeli] are running compatible stories. Minor differences, but the key is minor.

If the world can begin to see the same facts while recognizing that each group carries different emotions regarding those facts: then we will have made true progress in a part of the world that is easy to think has just been walking backwards.

Lydia Talmers-Nieuwoudt, an American, lives in South Africa. Her passion has been the interaction of cultures as she lived and worked in over 14 countries since 1976.

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