Over 1500 people in Syria were killed within minutes on Wednesday. Minutes.
I think the saddest thing about the chemical massacre in Syria is that we will all, eventually, move on. Probably soon, hopefully not, we will have another massacre on our hands that we will raise awareness for and address. But the lives lost will still be lost.
Think about it, at this very moment, people are being bombed on while we sit in the comfort of our own homes. To some degree, we’ve already moved on as we use Facebook, enjoy morning coffee, and go back to our lives as though nothing happened.
I don’t think the human mind is capable of comprehending tragedy. Think about your life, and all that you’ve lived through and still have yet to see. Multiply that by 1500. All that was lost within minutes on Wednesday. Now multiply that by ~100 times, thats all that has been lost in the past 2.5 years.
Worse, those numbers don’t include the millions who have PTSD, lost their homes, limbs, family members, hope, happiness, childhood, and everything they and their families have worked for all of their lives.
That’s the true meaning of massacre. That’s the true meaning of tragedy. That all that life was lost, all that life will never be the same, all that life never had a fair chance, and the consquences, as large as they are, escape us.
While Egypt is in turmoil and 35,000 refugees have fled Syria in less than a week, it is really easy to look at it all and feel discouraged. It is even easier to contemplate giving up on both situations entirely. While it looks like nothing good is happening, I would like to let you know that many good things are happening. Not to say that we should stop paying attention to the bad things, but we should give some of our attention to the good things. They do deserve our attention as well. I love lists, so here’s a list:
While everything looks pretty grim, all that has gone on recently shows that these revolutions will not die out easily. 100,000+ Syrians have died, and the Syrian people are still at it. The Egyptian people have endured massacres, moved forward, backward, up, and down, and they are still not giving up on freedom. Our revolutions have not only withstood the test of time, they have persevered through the extreme hardship, death, destruction, and so on. Even more beautiful, our revolutionaries still smile. Despite all that they have seen and experienced, they still have enough hope, joy, and strength to smile.
2. The children of the revolution are not lost.
Of all those who do suffer because of the revolutions, children probably take the biggest hit. Children cannot go back to school, have lost their homes, parents, family members, and their childhood. However, these children have not lost their innocence, hope, and strength. The children of our revolution continue on. They still play together, work together, smile together, have fun with each other, and they still have hopes and dreams for the future. Furthermore, according to statistics, 255 babies are born every minute all over the world. A new generation of gems is coming. What we do today, will be who they are tomorrow. Things may look dim now, but we are not working for the now, we are working for the later. A later that belongs to them.
3. Our revolutions are one of the biggest acts of love ever.
Our revolutions challenge the current world order, not to change today, but to change tomorrow. We all knew the revolution was not going to be easy. The 1982 Hama Massacre, 40 years of oppression, and disappearance of relatives who spoke out against the regimes was a strong indication of that. Yet, we embarked on the revolution anyway. We did so beacause we love our countries, our people, our family, and the new generation, so much so, that we sacrifice our comfort and our entire lives to fight for them and provide freedom for them. Take a minute to think about that type of love, that level of love, and what that love and dedication means. Internalize it.
So while we can focus exclusively on those lost, detained, and tortured, to our own detriment, it would behoove us to pay attention to what we are fighting for, who we are fighting for. While the lack of response from the international community, division of people, and bickering among people is outrageous and discouraging, think about all the people you’ve met because of the revolution, all the good you’ve done since the revolution started, how you’ve changed since the revolution started. I don’t know about you, but I do know that I needed saving, and Syria saved me. Not only did Syria save me, Syria propelled me. Syria made me stronger, better, smarter, wiser, and happier.
Maybe Syria did the same for you. That alone, that personal impact that so many people have experienced, is enough reason to keep going.
Staying positive is hard when you’re surrounded by death, destruction, and devastation with no end in sight. But, remember that when you smile and hold hope, despite all that pain, the revolution lives on. Because the revolution we see today takes place in the countries of Syria, Egypt, and throughout the Middle East, but its heart and soul lives within you.
Recently, the Egyptian army overthrew the democratically elected Egyptian government. Regardless of political affiliation, targeting others because of their political views is a crime. While the Muslim Brotherhood is just as guilty of perpetuating civil unrest and terrorizing civilians as Egyptian forces, violence, from either side, is never justified. Protesters are just as guilty here for the violence, as they also had a hand in perpetuating it.
Here are ten things that have occurred in Egypt Today:
1. Killed 150 peaceful protestors: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/08/14/egypt-mohammed-morsi-sit-in.html
2. Security forces set fire to sleeping children’s tents: http://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/africa/6906-security-forces-torched-sleeping-childrens-tents-in-rabaa-al-adawiya
3. Egypt declares a month long state of Emergency because security forces storm camps in Cairo- they did not punish the delinquint forces instead: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23700663
4. Egypt declares this law to continue to “allow security forces to detain people without warrants, circumvents traditional criminal courts to keep suspects detained for years, permits interceptions of communication and restricts gatherings such as protests.” : http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/08/14/what-it-means-that-egypt-is-entering-a-state-of-emergency/
5. Egyptian police throw rocks and use tear gas on protestors: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/13/20005052-egypt-clashes-morsi-supporters-hit-with-rocks-tear-gas?lite
7. Press freedom has been put at risk: http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/08/14/press-freedom-at-risk-in-egypt-cpj/
8. Egyptian government appoints eleven new governors, all of whom are from the police and military: http://www.boston.com/news/world/middle-east/2013/08/13/egypt-rival-sides-upset-with-new-governors/5mGqCftKLjEMyjs2J6RwOK/story.html
9. Muslim Brotherhood supporters Attach Churches Around Egypt in Apparent Retaliation for Military Crackdown as 149 People Killed: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/08/14/muslim-brotherhood-supporters-attack-churches-around-egypt-in-apparent-retalliation-for-military-crackdown-as-149-people-killed/
10. Muslim Brother supporters Throw an Armored car off a Bridge and some protesters even carried guns themselves: http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/egyptian-protesters-throw-an-armored-car-off-a-bridge-and-other-incredible-images-from-cairo-20130814
An album of the all the chaos has been published. You can see it for yourself here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosaaberising/sets/72157635071774090/
So while you go about your day, please remember the people of Egypt, and all countries where people are dying for the right to live freely and pray for those who get caught in the violence.