The Middle East Revealed
Susan Hodson is a Melbourne GP but one of her main interests is the history and cultures of the Middle East. Susan fascinated the gathering with a large collection of photos and her interesting perspectives on Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. She acknowledged the enormous suffering and conflict there at present, but wanted to remind us of the prosperous civilisations of ancient times. This was the Fertile Crescent and the cradle of many inventions such as farming, use of fire, grain production and discovery of metals to improve tools and utensils. These valuable discoveries allowed many people to live together as a settled community yet still feed, clothe, house and look after large populations. They were also responsible for early writing, counting, commerce, sanitation and domestication of animals.

Building methods improved greatly. This contrasts with Australia which lacked a variety of large grains, reliable
rainfall and animals suitable to help with farming such as donkeys and cows. It was much harder to establish large
permanent communities.
Susan also knew a great deal about the Silk Road, Alexander the Great, slavery and the rise and fall of Empires but
time did not permit much detail. We could have listened for hours!
Susan was presented with a wooden angel representing our donation to Angel Flight.

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