Sunday, February 20, 2011

Everyone wants a piece of the revolution

Before we get into this, I'd like to clarify two things:
  1. I am fully aware that the situation we are in is most likely the result of years and years of bad government policies and opportunistic behaviour by a select few.
  2. I am even more aware that I will probably never make an impact in the real world, because my ideals are too extreme and frustratingly impractical.
Fortunately for me, and maybe unfortunately for you, technology has given me this platform to let my voice be heard, if only by a small number of people. I know that a lot of us are still high on the domino effect of democracy that started with Mohamed Bouazizi's desperate act of giving up on his country. Yet, we are struggling to find our own path, some of us asking for reform, others for a secular government. I am not quite sure, however, if we are just riding the wave of revolution or if there is a genuine desire (I had argued in an earlier post that I don't believe there is a real need) for change. Are we certain that we don't just want the desire to change, instead of change itself?

I look around me and all I see are individuals who are part of the system they want to change, benefiting from it and sometimes bending the rules when it suits their purpose. I see people demanding of their government economic reform, and asking it for more jobs for their followers. I see people lobbying for a secular government, claiming it's the other sect that is preventing it. I see people insisting on anti-corruption laws, and requesting a relative to make sure that their government application is processed quickly. And of course, time and time again, I see people ignoring others - in a queue, crossing the street, driving a car - as if they were not members of the same community they are seeking a better future with. I see you, because I am you.

The thing is, we can't ask for change, if we are unwilling to make it ourselves. So if any of us are serious about this revolution or whatever you want to call it, let's all take a long look at ourselves, and if we can't find anything worth improving, then we're not looking hard enough. And if what needs to be improved requires too much of a sacrifice, then we're not ready for it. And if we don't look at every single mistake, not just the ones that inconvenience us, as unacceptable, then we may never be.

You can join all the Facebook groups you want and retweet every piece of news you read, but the barrier of fear that was broken in Tunisia and Egypt is not the same as ours. Ours is much more difficult to overcome, because the enemy we fear is in us.

4 comments:

Annika said...

First of all I think you should dream big. Yes, probably your ideals aren't within reach. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to achieve them. If not for you, but for the generation after you. Isn't that the whole point?

I think the needs and demands are so different because the countries you are referring to (which, admittedly, took me a moment to figure out) are different from Tunisia and Egypt. The starting points are different. So, how could the outcome or even the process be the same?

I agree with you. There is a lack of awareness, of education. There is a lot of hypocrisy. You are taking a first step by addressing it. By living it - leading by example - in your community you might not change the ignorant around you. But you might give food for thought. As with everything else that requires raising awareness I believe every voice counts. Everyone's efforts have an impact no matter how little.

Le Coeur à Droite said...

Love what you wrote Lama.
Extreme and impractical... its me :p

I think you're asking too much of the people... there's a loooong way yo go ;)

Noora said...

It's hard not to want a piece of the revolution. I think, for too long we've been sedated with the idea that we can't achieve extreme changes, that the thoughts of changes or reforms have transformed, we've redefined them to satisfy our moderate reflections of what change really is.

It's important to slowly gaze at Tunisia, Egypt, and other aspiring revolts that are shaking our political foundations. The deconstructed order of society is not only on the fall-out of old, corrupt, hair-dyed dictators; but on the restructuring of the society's order. And in that order, the citizenry is put to test, and slowly left to take their steps towards "revolutionary" "historic" changes. Let's say they screw it up... at least it's their democratic effort to make such a change. If fear overwhelms the mind to create a change, we'll be waiting too long to ever see the effects of our imaginative rhetoric.

And if what needs to be improved requires too much of a sacrifice, then we're not ready for it.

Anonymous said...

http://mideastalliance.org/post.php?id=756