Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What the World Needs Now

[posted by Callimachus]

Here's a passionate, moving, and beautiful piece of life-story writing by Abu Kais. He tells, among other things, of seeing "a repulsive music video by a Lebanese singer I used to admire and respect: Julia Boutros."

Julia, a Lebanese resident of Dubai, felt a rush of excitement upon hearing one of Nasrallah’s speeches during the war, in which he addressed his fighters as his loved ones (Ahiba’i). So she turned the speech into a song.

In the video, Julia leads groups of children amid ruins, and children morph into masked fighters.

As a Lebanese Shia and a father, I was appalled by this video. Who gave Julia the right to prescribe a future of violence? As a critic of the July-August war, and someone who lived under Israeli and Syrian occupations, I was filled with anger at both regimes at various points of time. I will probably never forgive Israel and Syria for their crimes in Lebanon. But I will not prescribe death and "martyrdom" to my child.

Then he tells the stories of the parents and grandparents who raised him and taught him: All they endured in the blood-boltered 20th century and how they never swerved into the cult of death.

My grandparents are with me every minute of the day telling me to embrace life and look forward. They weren’t perfect people, but they did not allow anyone to stand in my school to tell me that the future is in sacrificing your life over a dead cause.

My grandmother would not appreciate that this singer is telling my child to take the door to death, when the door to life is wide open.

My grandparents would not appreciate a group of thugs hijacking the hope they carried in their hearts until their last day on earth. They would be sad that Shia youth are dying because to some, war does not end when the occupier leaves—it’s self perpetuating, a circle game where children grow up to be fighters, and new enemies are born every day.

Read it all, and cherish it.