Monday, July 14, 2014

Malala Day #strongerthan violence

     There are some who fight against injustice, some who fight for social equality, some for their freedom, and most of all, all battles are aimed at getting the basic human rights an individual cannot live without. We are encountering a fight for living in dignity in Gaza, where innocent blood has been shed for many decades now.
     But on July 14th, which is this specific day, I was proudly invited to blog for a cause very dear to my heart, Malala Day, a day that calls for the fight for education. Malala was the topic of my first blog post; she inspired and still continues to inspire me until this very moment. This young girl, who was shot by Taliban because she wanted to go to school and learn, symbolizes the hope of millions of oppressed girls who are fighting for education. She symbolizes strength and patience, and proves to the world that the most dangerous weapons a human being can use are books and pens, going to school and striving to learn more. Malala wants to use Malala Day this year to ask everyone to raise their voices to say: we are #strongerthan those who use fear, intimidation and violence to stand in the way of every girl and boy's basic right to an education.

     Why do you think Taliban shot her when she had no weapons on her whatsoever? She had something they feared, a thing beyond all their arms and bombs and kamikazes. A weapon that could help the upcoming generation overthrow them few years from now, a thing they would literally 'kill' to strangle and eliminate; the will to learn. International as well as "local terrorists" that are well known as 'some political and religious leaders' use the tactic of ignorance to control the masses. When a person is not aware of their own rights, the impact they could make to stop these people from inflicting consequences of their satanic and wrong decisions, they will stay silent and oppressed, thinking that those who have arms are the ones that get to rule the country and manipulate people's lives. Ignorance makes you vulnerable and gullible. And this is not only happening in Afghanistan,  it is occuring close to us, in Syria, Egypt, even in Lebanon. People are being brain-washed with religious myths and empty promises, to kill and terrorise innocent souls, to oppress and control others the way they are controlled. It is a vicious never ending cycle and all of it is taking place for the simple reason that a lot are not getting the proper education to let their mind flourish, to let them be aware of the change and impact they could make, on the way they could stop the massacre and killing of thousands of individuals around the world.

     On this day I would like to proudly state that we are not yet #strongerthan those who want to silence the masses, but we could be if we start thinking critically about what is happening around us and how we could stop the fundamenalists from taking over our countries and spreading hatred between sects, specially in Lebanon. We could be #strongerthan the ones who would want to keep our communities in the dark, who would want to give a bad image about Arabs and Islam in particular. We could be, the only thing we have to do is provide proper and basic education for everyone, to invite the younger generation to pursue the fight for their right, the one that will embrace their inner strength and let them grow, so they could be the transparent and tolerant leaders we would want to see in the near future.

     Last but not least, Happiest Birthday Malala, to many more years of accomplishments.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Never Forget

April 13th 1975. A day of one of the most brutal downfalls of the Lebanese History. A date that will remain engraved in the hearts and minds of millions, a date that has announced, for many, the beginning of one of the worst nightmares a human mind can witness.

I was reading just yesterday As Safir and An Nahar newspaper covers that date back to the Civil War, Taef Agreement, and the Israeli War during the Lebanese American University's Model Arab League commemoration of the Civil War. There were so many covers with headlines that made me have chills and freeze; massacres in camps, bombings of civilians and hospitals, killings and blood sheds on checkpoints. One headline in particular caught my attention. It stated "Beirut is burning, and no white flags are raised" I stood still and stared at it. One of the students that I was training noticed and approached me by asking "Which one do you think is worse, the war with Israel or the Civil war?" I did not answer immediately because I had never asked myself this question before, so I had no possible answer. The only thing I told him was "I will let you know"

This article is my answer to him.

Being attacked by a foreign "group of people" (I wouldn't consider the fight with Israel proportional), having our hospitals and Red Cross convoys, civilians' homes, infrastructures bombed is shameful and humiliating. What is even more humiliating is having this foreign power occupy our capital which represents our state's sovereignty, as well as the southern territories of our beloved country. Being under occupation, thousands of martyrs' lives taken away was definitely a "hit the bottom" for us.

But what cannot be tolerated nor forgiven is the fact that thousands have perished on the hands of people from their very own country, neighborhood, region, and even religion just because they had a different political belief. What cannot be forgiven is that heads were cut, people were bombed, bodies were mutilated, women and kids were raped and men were abducted and tortured because of their sect by people who share the same blood and fall under the same flag that should unite us all; the Lebanese flag.
What is enraging me most is that on April 13th 2014 almost 39 years after this dark and barbarous phase our country encountered, faces from that specific war are still in power, and people are still following them blindly and re-electing them despite the gallons of blood on their hands. Almost all of them remain unpunished and still roam around the country in their fancy cars, with sheep clapping for them wherever they go.
So I guess to me, the civil war represents the absolute reincarnation of inhumanity, mainly because it has been done by us Lebanese. Our parents and Grandparents have allowed unwillingly this war to take place and to last for a long period of time because of the lack of knowledge and faith in Lebanon.

On this day, I would like this article to be an open call to the Lebanese Youth, to not let this regretful event to occur again, and that is by choosing their representatives freely during the next elections, to open their eyes and protest against those who want it to happen again.

May the souls of all martyrs rest in peace.

Never forget