Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Please Don't Tell me Not to Sympathise with the French

I've noticed that there are quite a few of my friends who don't feel the same way as I do about the horrendous attacks in Paris. They seem to think that I don't care about what's happening around the world (Beirut, Syria, Gaza, Pakistan, Japan, Kuwait, etc). That would be very wrong. I, for one, care very deeply. No, French lives do not matter more than other innocent lives lost. But the incident that has occurred in Paris has a different slant to it. It is an attack on our way of life, our joie de vivre. To co-exist happily is to be tolerant of each other, even if our beliefs are diametrically opposite. I believe some Westerners see co-existence threatened, but then the ISIS monsters would win.

It is hard for me as a Westerner to find the right words to express my opinion and not sound
disingenuous. An accomplished Kuwaiti artist and poet, Dr Shurooq Amin, says it with a crystal clear clarity of understanding.

"We have gotten so jaded about war and lives lost in the Middle East that when lives are lost in Paris or NY it seems more shocking. It's not that lives are more valuable in Europe. It's that we, as Arabs, have been viewing Europe as our safe haven: the place we escape to, the paradise in which we seek joy and freedom, the future with hope for our kids or for us to retire in. Losing security in Europe is not shocking because the lives there are more valuable than Syria, Iraq, Palestine or Lebanon...absolutely not. Rather, it is because we lost our "escape" plan, our illusion for a safe future, our Plan B. No where is safe anymore. Earth has been invaded by the worse disease it has routinely known throughout history: dogmatic ideologies. As I said on BBC Arabia , it's time for the educators, the liberals, the creative minds, and the giant hearts (there are still good people out there, even those that have money and power can be good; not all are corrupt or greedy)'s time for an intellectual revolution. Change people's fixed ideologies and you can change the world." ~ Shurooq Amin

1 comment:

Always great to hear from you :O)