Monday, August 07, 2006

Todays World

(I writ this piece yesterday but unfortunately I didn’t have the time to post it, so please excuse the “time” phrases.)

I was planning to publish a post yesterday about my day, but I came home too exhausted to even switch on the computer, and with my last ounce of energy I just managed to get myself changed and off to sleep. Awake from 9 that day I left the house at 10 in order to attend the march against the war on Lebanon and the inhumane acts of injustice committed on the Lebanese people, which was taking place in central London. To be completely honest I had no idea this was taking place, but my friends organised the day so that we could go together, and I’m glad we did. However due to unforeseen circumstances !!! We arrived at the march at 1.30 even though they were due to start at 12, but we saw that they had just set off. There were thousands of people taking part; banners and flags of white, red and green were held with pride as far as the eye could see. Looking around me I saw people off different races, nationalities and religion united for the sake of one cause, it was a shame thought to know that the reason behind this unity was truly one of shame, but I was reassured by the fact that acts of evil are understood universally. My presence there felt like a tear in the sea, and with that I still felt that my presence made a difference and I was proud of everyone who had made the effort to attend, and wrote their name in history to condemn. (With this I'd like to give a HUGE shout out to my friends who are going to change the world: A*-Z-J-H-I-J J).

I know what I say next may be seen as an act of selfishness, it may rip away from me all the sensations I felt that day, and that warm feeling I gained by taking part, but I would be lying to myself if I tried to convince myself otherwise. Throughout the march I could not forget, not for one second the fact that I was an Iraqi the fact that my country was also being ripped apart by a stronger force and that now years have passed and people are beginning to practise their silence. What’s happening in Lebanon pierces my heart from the very bottom, but I’m scared that this shall be “today’s news” and tomorrow it shall be like Palestine and Iraq before it, and then a day will come when the Arab world will say “ukiltu yowm ukil al thawr al abyath”. I never thought the day would come when, car bombs killing innocent lives in Baghdad are seen as everyday normalities, because this has become the case. I feel peoples warm moist emotions have dried up in order to keep up with the harsh, heartless, ways of this time. At that moment I hated the world I lived in, and the reality, which forced me to accept the current state in the Middle East.

As we continued, passing the American embassy (which received harsh words from the crowds) we reached the final destination of what was a successful protest, the houses of parliament. Many guest speakers, peace activists and MP’s spoke to the people, repeating words we have heard so many times before, “Cease fire now”, “shame on Tony Blair”, “End the war”. Walking back we bumped into a journalist who was watching the events and seemed keen to interrogate us as a group of Muslim girls. After engaging in conversation, I noticed he stared long and hard at a friend of mine who had a sticker of Sayed Hassan NasrAllah on her, he questioned; Do you believe everything this man, who you have placed to close to you heart, says? Without hesitation we replied, yes. This seemed to worry him. He continued, so you agree with what he has said, and support it? Again we agreed. He then began expressing his main concerns and the reason to why he had initially stopped us. However he first explained that we was deeply delved in the concerns of the Middle East, in all its colours, and had spent most of his life “discovering it” he explained he even had a half brother who was Iranian. His main issue though was the fear growing inside him of the message being given out to Muslim youth. He seemed to condemn Hizballah, and their message of fighting. Why? He questioned, do Muslims place this great importance on death, and dying for Allah, this great urge you have to die as martyrs? If this is because of love for Allah, whey don’t we see this love you have for your God while you are alive, where is it, he asked? I am Jewish he revealed. We don’t feed this message of hate and jihad to our children. He seemed to be working towards peace; he wanted to see love between the enemies of time. Yet the only way he saw that this would be achieved is if we stop the barbarism, the ignorance, and the blind following behind those they see as terrorists. His words ran circles inside my head. After all this, he wanted to see Hizballah cease-fire?? What planet did this guy live on? I know there are those whom its in their best interest that the world be blind, but I did not know they were succeeding. He then asked if we watched “Al-Manar” news, relying yes, he ceased this opportunity to attack the Arab media, and condemn them for sending out messages of jihad to the youth. Wanting to get as far away from this conversation as possible I eventually succeeded, but he still made sure his message was clear to us; don’t support the movement in Lebanon, because apparently we have done so without thought, but instead we must question their motives and principles. I left the journalist behind, and instead picked up hatred and anger towards the Arab world that have allowed us to be the “chewing gum” (as they say) of the west, in the mouths of those who are somebody’s and even those who are nobodies.

Isn’t it funny though that the chewing gum seems to be the Shia? In Iraq we are silenced, and in Lebanon targeted? The reasons for this I believe have nothing to do with politics but instead are what we have inherited from history. Ever since the creation of the Shia, after the death of Imam Ali (a.s) his followers have been suppressed, oppressed, hidden and fought against. We seem to have inherited this “second seat” Ideology, and now in the case of Iraq when we are finally given the voice, this is new to us; therefore look at the consequence. So is it really a surprise that we are still targeted? Not really when you study the times of the Imam’s. Today was the birth date of Imam Ali (a.s), watching the celebrations on Iraqi TV, live from Najaf, Iraq; I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life, for so many reasons.

Final thought:

My neighbour’s cat died yesterday. Aged 18. I discovered his sad parting from this world as I strolled in the garden and found him lifeless, motionless on the neighbour’s lawn. As our neighbours came home from a day out, I told them the news from across the fence. The mother and daughter ran towards the cat, picking it up and stroking his fur as tears rolled down their checks. After some time as the skies got dark, I went outside in the garden to find that they had built the cat a shrine like feature?? The cat was placed inside a cardboard box with candles and flowers around. The young daughter informed me that they had done their prayers for the cat and were saying their final goodbyes before it was buried. The mother, sitting beside it with her glass of wine sat sobbing like a small child. After a while she called for me from across the fence. She wanted me to know that she knew it was silly for her to be crying over a cat when there were babies dying in Lebanon. She felt like she had to justify her tears to me by explaining she had bought the cat as a kitten even before the birth of her children. Yet she still thought her tears and hurt offended me because there were people dying everyday in Iraq and Lebanon a point she stressed over and over again. I found myself pitying her, and in the name of neighbourly love I found myself comforting her with the words, “the soul is precious no matter whom it belongs to” (at the time I meant the cat). …Now I find myself revising this statement. She carried on expressing her hate for Blair, Bush and the non-existent state of Israel, her confusion to why countries are unable to live in harmony despite differences in faith and opinion just as we Christians and Muslims were able to live wall to wall. As I walked away I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, laugh at death, laugh at the world, or cry for the cat.


Blogger Little Penguin said...

There's something we need to make clear to ourselves and to the non-Islamic, non-Arab world:

1- Supporters of Sayyed Nasrallah are not sheep. They support him because they feel he does what they cannot do. There is no 'blind faith' in what he says or does and we have to question everything he says or does, simply because he is a representative of the anti-imperialist faction in general and of Shia Muslims in particular.

He is only human and he is prone to making a miscalculation of some sort - but for the time being, we see nothing wrong in what he has done so far. However, we will continue to keep an eye on what he does and analyse it carefully before deciding whether to support his decision or to distance ourselves from it.

The only ones we have absolute, blind faith in are the divine chosen leaders, whose credibility, vision and sincerity is undoubted. That issue is very deep, however, and will require much more explanation.

2- The journalist made a valid point in that we are spoon-fed the hatred of jews, americans, non-muslims and anyone who doesn't glorify Arab heritage despite our rotten reputation and vulgar vanity when it comes to being a civilised society.

If you come across Educational Curriculums of some Arabic countries such as Syria or Jordan, you'll see what I'm talking about. The bias is unmissable. They only teach Arab History (we all know how gloriously humiliating it makes us feel) and NOT ONCE were we told about European philosophers, artists, poets or whatever.. Arab.. Arab.. Arab.. and any lesson that did not serve as a bill-board for that attitude was used to make the world look unanimously set on getting rid of us and taking all our goods.

Even in cartoons, for crying out loud! I mean, cartoons are meant to teach children love and forgiveness and sacrifice and generosity and all these wishy-washy stuff.. but in Arab land, a cartoon has to teach children that "god's chosen nation" is the claim of the evil ones.. when I watched this cartoon some months ago, I was shell-shocked. The actual cartoon was showing the German invasion of Austria but the dubbing made it sound like it was Israel - I know Israel is a terror state but when you teach a child that, you've got to explain why and make it clear that not every Jew is Israeli. The over-whelming hatred for Jews amongst Muslims these days stems from their connection to Israeli Jews - not many people know that they may not approve of what Israel dows in the name of Judism.

Anyways.. It's got to be a balanced equation.. not Bush's double standards and not Arab stone-age-mindedness - if that's the word..

The late cat was my age, eh? Well, Inshallah when it's my turn to stop breathing I won't be put in a card-box. lol

8:17 am  
Blogger Sincerity said...

Thanks little p. for the contribution. Much appreciated :) I actually agree with much of what you’ve said, I know that we must sum up our views as a "balanced equation" if we are to escape the blindness they accuse us of. Like they say; one mans freedom fighter, is another mans terrorist. That’s not about to change, this has been the world for as long as we’ve known it, there have always been two sides of the same coin.

However I seem to disagree slightly with your 2nd point.

“The journalist made a valid point in that we are spoon-fed the hatred of Jews, Americans, non-Muslims and anyone who doesn't glorify Arab heritage despite our rotten reputation and vulgar vanity when it comes to being a civilised society”

That’s not necessarily the case, and not in all Arab societies, you just said that we have minds to think for ourselves. EVEN Nasrallah’s actions you say we analyse carefully before supporting. I don’t understand why you have taken such a strong stand against Arabs? Why do you doubt their ability to live as a civilized society? I know that their politics are.....well let’s just not go there. But the last time I checked, I don’t believe I found a perfect/even near perfect society anywhere in the world?

To be perfectly honest I know there’s not much Arab heritage to be proud off, fine I agree, and I agree with you that sometimes its taken too far (i.e. your example of the education systems in the middle east and the example of the cartoon) but I also know the Arabs are not the only side to spoon-feed their children hate? This conflict has been raging on for years? You know that. What’s been the fuel? Do you really think that’s about to change, as long as new generations are being bought into this world? I don’t think so, because both sides will continue to “spoon-feed”, you said yourself, its got to be a balanced equation? There you go, I balanced it for you :) don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s right, it can be very complicated at times, I’m just stating the facts. However I think you’re right to say that there is confusion, or should I say ignorance in relation to the mixing of Jews and Israelis, they are not necessarily one. Roughly though, I think were speaking more or less on the same lines because more or less I do agree with you.

One final point id like to say though, is that even though its in human nature to work towards fairness and balance in all aspects of life, and surly this is the right way to be, but one must make clear where they stand, at the end of the day, “one mans freedom fighter”, remains their freedom fighter. America is sending military aid to Israel via Britain, and the Arab worlds “thought” of aiding the “defence movement” as I like to call it, in Lebanon, are seen as acts of “terrorism”. Maybe we should think about that. I don’t support widespread hate of “Jews, Americans, non-Muslims and anyone who doesn't glorify Arab heritage” but I believe one must speak out against all that is not just.

Ps. Loool I actually envied the cats burial ceremony, he got more than what most Iraqis are getting now, I’m not talking about the candles or flowers not even the cardboard box, but the household actually felt sadness, grief, sorrow, unhappiness, misery, depression, gloom, melancholy, call it what you will, they were sad. In today’s world I don’t sense much of that? They actually wore black the next day?! A cat?! The day has finally come when I actually see that an animal’s life is more precious than a humans, I’ve heard about it, but now I believe....

1:24 am  

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