Sunday, February 26, 2006

I recieved and email from some person asking to write an essay on cicil rights in the middle east. I write the essay and sent to the site. I dont expect to winn anything but i did for me, to let go some of the feelingi have inside. I though of sharing it on the blog. If anybody is intersted in writng an essay too, here is the site http://www.hamsaweb.com/index.php.

Our Way…. My Dram

The dawn has come, but no day yet. After a sand storm all the corn were ripped off the earth and the ones which remained died standing. But the when the storm ended, people came out of their houses and looked at their corn fields, devastated by their loss, the realized that the corn could go, as long something else remained.*
The dawn has come for us, we know what we want, we know what we do and don’t have, when know our goal. What we don’t know, is how to get there, how to reach our goal.
Westerners often imagine Middle Eastern countries, or to be more specific, Arab countries, are still living in that period of time when A Thousand and One Nights was written. They imagine people riding camels, sheiks with concubines feathering them, a land where the entire horizon you old see in the desert, ignorant people whom only concern is to fill their bellies and sleep with their wives or concubines.
Partly that is true, we, Arabs, still live in those days mentally. We haven’t evolved to see what has come to the world, what changes have come to pass during our long lethargy. We missed a lot, during our prolonged slumber that it is very hard for us to catch up with the rest of the world, especially in the issue at hand, civil rights.
As I said we are not ignorant as they think we are, nor as weak. We are just dormant, drugged by both our regimes and the western world which claims it has come to help us get rid of these regimes, when all it does is nothing, if not worse than the regimes they call suppressive.
In battle for civil rights, there is no help, if one can not help oneself. Nobody can help you get what is rightfully yours, if you are sitting and watching them taking it from you. Whoever comes to help is seeing to his own interest, not yours.
We think that violence will solve all of our problems, and through the strength of arms we could reach our salvation. Contrary to what they say, that is not true. We only have to take a look at history to know that many of the grate steps towards civil rights were won by peaceful demonstrations, strikes, and boycotting.
The people in Montgomery won the battle against segregation in the city transport system simply by walking. They were determent to reach their goal. An old woman was asked whether she was tired of walking or not, she replied that her legs were tired but her soul was not. Determination won the battle in spite of all the horrible, vicious, and violent reaction from the white-dominated state police and administration.
At the end they won, their only weapon was their determination and faith. The saw their goal so vivid and clear, and the path to reach their goal, although hazardous and perhaps could lead their demise, so straight.
Although we have made some steps towards recognized our rights in the Middle East, and less steps towards practicing them, we still have a long way to go.
In the United States they say an educated consumer is a good customer. What we really need is educate the people in our countries about civil rights, we need to tell them what they are missing, and what opportunities they might get when they speak freely, what change could they make to their society if they discussed it's problems both positively and openly, what could they gain from being able to criticize their government, and how that government could function better. Education is the corner stone for everything, if you want to people to believe in what you are saying, u must talk to them, convince them with what you are proposing would make their life better, motivate them to change by promising them that they would end up better than they are now.
When the black community in Montgomery boycotted the bus company, they didn’t just get better seats in the bus, they felt better about themselves, they felt powerful, able to change their reality from being lesser to the with race to equal. They had both them moral and material incentive to move them, and they did it all without shedding a drop of blood. Many on these people were illiterate, few with college degrees, but all of them knew that they were doing, all of them knew exactly what they wanted.
In the middle east, we have many people with college degrees, and many other with higher degrees, and at the same time we have one of the highest illiteracy percentages in the world, but what we lack them most is prospective. We have the incentive to change, we have the means to make that change, what we don’t have is the will to do it. And even if we did it, we wouldn’t have any idea what to do with it, it would look like giving a computer to person to someone who just came from the 15th century. We need to learn, to educate ourselves and our brothers before making any move, we have to take things slowly one step at a time to reach our goal, to change. All change starts from within, everybody can change if they wanted to, everybody can change the world if he or she had the will power to do it, and most importantly, everybody can change his or her own world.
But lets say that we reached all that, lets say that we reached our dream, and we won our battle for equality and civil rights, there is still one major problem in our society, women rights. A society, and society can't get anywhere when half of that society is left behind, this situation can get you forward, because when u make a step forward, u will be pulled back by the other half which you left behind. Arab women are not equal to Arab men no matter what they tell you. women are considered a lesser and weaker sex. In some Arab countries they don’t have the right to vote, in Saudi Arabia they don’t even have the right to drive a car, let alone that they are forbidden to go anywhere without their male guardian, they are forced to wear hijab that covers them from head to toe, they wont even let them in official building if they weren’t accompanied by their male guardian. They are denied they right to learn, to go to school, to choose who they would marry, to work, and other matters which any women in a civilized country would take for granted. At the beginning of the past century, women, in Europe and America, fought for their rights, under very harsh circumstances similar to those we are living in the Middle East in our current time. Eventually, after a long tiring fight, they won. However the circumstanced may seem similar, we have something very different, religion. Islam is very considerate for women's rights, Muslims are not. Men interpreted many verses from the Quran not they way they were meant to be, to gain control over women. In a male-dominated society, some issues are considered taboo, and anybody who discuses them should expect serious consequences, and one of these issues, if not one of the biggest, is women rights. Denying equality for an important part on society is a major setback in our way to reach our goal of gaining civil rights, but what is bigger than that is that we that we don’t even discuss it, we don’t realize our mistakes, we don’t repent.
As I said earlier, we must change from within before we can change out surrounding. We must realize that we have the power, and once the wheel is turned, there is no stopping it. We must educate ourselves, we must figure out what we are doing wrong, before pointing out fingers at our governments or foreign conspiracies. We must believe that we are equal, we must understand our duties towards our country, and be ready to sacrifice what we hold dear for the sake or its progress.
That is how we reach our goal, that is what we must know, that is what we must do….. That is my dream.

*the 1st paragraph is taken from "The grapes of wrath", by John Steinbeck.

1 Comments:

At 8:20 PM, Blogger dadmanly said...

Lord,

What an important dream, the best of all possible dreams.

Don't stop dreaming, don't settle, don't succumb or surrender to the forces of ignorance and darkness.

We in America live in what is the fulfillment of our ancestors' dreams. We salute you, and wish you strength and perseverance. We are all your brothers and sisters in your desire to make the dream the reality.

 

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