We Expect Things To Be Different

It’s Saturday morning here in Montreal. A morning like any other except it’s getting cold, which reminds me winter is coming. My heart feels heavy for two main reasons. That I have to face winter alone without my beloved husband, my soul mate, my best friend by my side. A life without him feels so empty. And it cannot be filled no matter how I spend my days or what I do. The only constant in my life right now is my writing, without which I cannot go on.

The other reason is that my family is still in the Middle East. In Lebanon, in a small village near the border with Syria. My mother, brother, uncles and aunts, and cousins and friends, all with their families, live there. And with all the talk going on about whether or not US is going to strike Syria I cannot help but feel sad and angry.

I am angry because innocent people are being killed every day and we are not doing anything about it. I am angry because we are first and foremost human beings and as such we are different than animals because we can think and talk. We can communicate! And yet we don’t do anything and let others decide our fate. Molière wrote:

“It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we don’t do.”

Last night I watched a youtube video of senator McCain being confronted by a Syrian woman. In the video the woman was literally begging the senator to stop the war. She mentioned that her cousin who was only eighteen was killed by the rebels, and was referred to as ‘collateral damage’.

And I thought since when did human life or the killing of innocent people matter in times of war?

Have you by any chance seen ‘Incendies’? A 2010 Canadian mystery drama film written and directed by Denis Villeneuve, adapted from Wajdi Mouad’s play of the same name. In 2011, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film is about the life of a Middle Eastern Christian woman during civil war. The New York Times named it as one of the 10 best films of 2011.

Nicolas Negroponte wrote:

“Like the force of nature, the digital age cannot be denied or stopped. It has four very powerful qualities that will result in ultimate triumph: decentralizing, globalizing, harmonizing, and empowering.”


My experience with civil war is also personal, having lived through it, in Lebanon. Unfortunately we didn’t have digital coverage or even global coverage at that time in the mid 1970s. After almost four decades we expect things to be different but they are not. It’s like life is nothing but a bad dream for all of us who are caught in it.

Adrienne Rich wrote:
“Lying is done with words and also with silence.”


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One Response to We Expect Things To Be Different

  1. Unfortunately, there has never been an era when there has not been conflict somewhere in the world. Here, in Canada, we are isolated from the horrors of war & the loss of innocent lives because some dictator or religious fanatic incites hatred and violence against a people that are different than themselves. Does our anger against those who go to war justify more killing? How do we convince those who are prejudiced against another that their way of thinking is wrong? It is frustrating to think there is so much hatred and I feel helpless to stop it. I am so sorry that you had to experience all of that first-hand. No one should have to leave their home because of violence. 😦

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