History versus telling the truth

By Yousuf Awadh Al-Azmi

History is the memory of states. – Henry Kissinger. There is no argument that writing history is something very sensitive, as it presents events experienced by nations and countries. It should present events honestly, as it is supposed to be, away from any ulterior motives or interests, so that these events become a witness of eras and periods. The best job a history writer can do when he is not able to bring out the truth, is not to write.

It is out of honesty to keep silent than to forge history or celebrate falsehood. History has standards and basics that are supposed not to be changed regardless of excuses and reasons. It is not possible to make all stories equal; rather the distinguishing factor of oral story is knowledge about many mental and ethical matters. You think a little about your daily life with your family, job and friends. You consider how many times the truth was manipulated that you were witness to. But you kept silent about it, and people dealt with it as a truth, although it is purely a lie!

There are tools a researcher cannot ignore while writing history with its periods and eras. It is his knowledge about sciences that support the science of history, because it is uncommon to find a researcher in history who knows philosophy, or is knowledgeable about sociology, and for sure he will not be ignorant about the science of politics, as well as other sciences the researcher cannot ignore such as the theories of old and new Arab criticism. Also, it is important, before anything else, for a researcher and history writer to be known for being honest and wise, and these two traits are the ones to lean on before getting into scientific research and any science.

Writing history is a great responsibility that may constitute forging truths and injustice to things the researcher deals with, so the credibility principle is the base from which he moves. If a researcher is under certain pressures to change the structure of the historic event to be discussed and documented, it is wise the researcher does not write about this event at all, because to be absent while keeping your ethical standards is better than being insulted and thrown in the basket of suspicions!


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