In the comfort and quiet of my sitting room I watch the uprisings in the Middle East on different news channels. Although the coverage is different from one channel to the next, the scene they show is that of the people walking, marching in the streets, protesting, despite being fired at, endangering their lives, in the hope of a better future for themselves and for the generations after. In the process of doing so, they sometimes lose the most precious thing they have, their lives. Those who cannot wait, or are terrified with what’s happening around them, leave the country. If they can afford to fly they are already at the airport, while the rest of the people walk to cross the border to a neighboring country, taking with them whatever belongings they can carry. They are on the go. Libyans crossing the border towards Tunisia; it’s their first step. Watching them walk I cannot think of a better way to describe their move other than to quote Voltaire;
“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.”
Just like citizens of other countries did decades ago, like Lebanon in the Middle East, Kosovo in Europe, trying to flee their country for a safer place.
I personally do not believe in wars and in fact I am not a fan of war at all. I have lived in a country ravaged by civil war, and as a result I’ve lost so much, worst of all I’ve lost myself. The mathematician in me believes that every problem has a solution. And that we are human beings and as such we can think and talk and communicate with each other. Lots could be achieved through dialogue if we set our minds to it. Is it stupid to wish that maybe, just maybe, politicians could put aside their ambitions and egos and try to solve things peacefully? The people who leave their country in search of a more peaceful place are forced to move over and over again. It’s like the recycling theme has now reached the refugees. From Lebanon to Jordan to Syria to Libya, to Tunisia and so on…
I pray for the safety of those who choose to stay, my family among them. They are the ones who have established something, they have a job, a home, a family but mostly they have something else which I personally didn’t have when I left Lebanon to Dubai in 1984, and then once again Dubai to Montreal in 2006. Optimism. I pray that somehow all will end soon, without much human loss and to the benefit of the people. And as Voltaire said;
“Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.”