I'm a huge fan of almost anything that has to do with Middle Eastern culture. I'm especially a big fan of Middle Eastern author Khalil Gibran and Syrian Poet, Nizar Qabbani. I want to share with you a piece by each of them. I'm sure after reading these short pieces, you'll fall in love with their work as well.
"In a country where thinkers are assassinated, and writers are considered infidels and books are burnt, in societies that refuse the other, and force silence on mouths and thoughts forbidden, and to question is a sin, I must beg your pardon, would you permit me? Would you permit me to bring up my children as I want, and not to dictate on me your whims and orders? Would you permit me to teach my children that the religion is first to God, and not for religious leaders or scholars or people? Would you permit me to teach my little one that religion is about good manners, good behaviour, good conduct, honesty and truthfulness, before I teach her with which foot to enter the bathroom or with which hand she should eat? Would you permit me not to mention the torture of the grave to my children, who do not know about death yet. Would you permit me to teach my daughter the tenets of the religion and its culture and manners, before I force on her the Hijab (the veil)? Would you permit me to tell my young son that hurting people and degrading them because of their nationality, colour or religion, is considered a big sin by God? Would you permit me to tell my daughter to revising her homework and paying attention to her learning is considered by God as more useful and important than learning by heart Ayahs from the Quran without knowing their meaning? Would you permit me to teach my son that following the footsteps of the Honourable Prophet begins with his honesty, loyalty and truthfulness, before his beard or how short his thobe(long shirt/dress) is? Would you permit me to tell my daughter that her Christian friend is not an infidel, and ask her not to cry fearing her friend will go to Hell? Would you permit me to argue, that God did not authorize anyone on earth after the Prophet to speak in his name nor did he vest any powers in anyone to issue ‘deeds of forgiveness’ to people? Would you permit me to say, that God has forbidden killing the human spirit, and who kills wrongly a human being is as if he killed all human kind, and no Muslim has the right to frighten another Muslim? Would you permit me to teach my children that God is greater, more just, and more merciful than all the (religious) scholars on earth combined? And that his standards are different from the standards of those trading the religion, and that his accountability is kinder and more merciful? … would you permit me?"
Source: Middle Eastern Poetry