Two days ago, while rearranging my library and my desk, I came across my diaries. I am not much of a diary person in the sense that I do not keep a diary every day. However, I do keep a diary of the books I read. Title, author’s name and favorite passages, paragraphs, and sentences, and the page number. First I underline the passage in the book with pencil and ruler, and then copy it all in a special copybook. So that later on I can reread those excerpts. Some are dated as far back as my high school years. Leafing through one I came across the following quote by Tolstoy;
“What is the cause of historical events? Power. What is power? Power is the sum total of wills transferred to one person. On what condition are the wills of the masses transferred to one person? On condition that the person express the will of the whole people.”
That is exactly why there is always turmoil in the Middle East. At first either I was too young or too inexperienced to know and understand its meaning. Even if I had realized at some point that there might be something wrong with the world round me, I was a teenager and as a teenager that was the least of my worries. And then the civil war started in Lebanon and I had to do what everyone else did then under the circumstances, live the day and try to survive to see tomorrow. Sort of a carefree existence from day to day. Some of my friends didn’t even make it that far. There was no internet, no facebook to keep in touch with the outside world. But then again most of the time, we didn’t even have electricity, and it was worse during the night. We relied on the small transistor radio that my father had to listen to the news and even music.
Now when I talk about those days to my children they laugh and ask “honestly mom how could you live in such circumstances?”
We lived in the same way everyone else did. That was the norm, we just got used to it.
“But I can’t understand how you could,” says my daughter.
Because we had hope, I had hope. I strongly believe that there is a tiny little something in the heart of everyone, that makes them go on no matter what.
If it weren’t for the uprising in the Arab world, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia, we wouldn’t even know that all people want in that part of the world is to live freely and with some dignity. We are too busy pursuing our dreams and fantasies that we don’t realize what is happening in other parts of the world.
“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work and look around you.”
The problem in some parts of the world is that some leaders have acquired power or have been given power to do their best for the people they represent. Yet instead, they have abused that power.
And although there have always been and will always be people in power who have used or will use that power for their own purpose, as human beings we all have the right to freedom and dignity no matter where we happen to live. Quoting Tolstoy,
“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”