Thursday, November 27, 2008

Human Suffering Overload

A couple of weeks back I hear of this boy "Baby P" in England who died only 17 months old.

"After 17 months enduring abuse of an almost unimaginable cruelty, the boy had been reduced to a nervous wreck, his hair shaved to the scalp and his body covered in bruises and scabs. Physical injuries included eight broken ribs, a broken back and the missing top of a finger, while the emotional damage was almost incalculable. Despite it all, Baby P was said to have still attempted a smile."

And all of this was done to him by his own mother, and the two boyfriends she took after splitting with the boy's father.

And yesterday I went to this movie "TV's Promised Land" at the Film Week in KUniv in Khaldiya. And its filled with western depictions of Arabs/Muslims as demons, rats, snakes, mosquitoes and many other sub-human beings. And in the middle of that film, a pretty long scene of 4 Israeli soldiers who barbarically kick and torture 2 sitting palestinians. Midway through that scene one of the soldiers picks up a rock the size of 2 fists and starts hitting on of the men on the shoulders, ribs and head til he passes out. And then another soldier holds the arm of the 2nd palestinian and stretches it out so the other soldier holding the rock can hammer his arm to break it.

The whole auditorium were watching this horror on the verge of walking out... it was very literally "unbearable". After the scene mercifully stops we see the Israeli soldier being interviewed saying that "this" happens "everyday".

This morning I learn from a Palestinian colleague at work that the same two victims were actually born and raised in Kuwait and that he knows the video and knows the two men personally. He told me how they all visited them in the hospital when they arrived back in Kuwait. That just brought my anger and loathing of the soldiers' inhumanity to a much more personal level. These men survived thankfully, and I can go meet them if I wished. The injustice demanded retribution. Allah ilmusta3an. La qowata illa billah.

Then this afternoon I hear on the news about the 100+ victims of the terrorist attack in Mumbay. How the attackers unloaded automatic weapons into civilians indiscriminantly, men, women, children, it didn't make a difference. The buzzing bustling city is in crisis as I am typing away. By some group that calls itself "Mojahideen Decan", Decan being an area. And no one ever heard of the group before.

The whole world is in shock. Real, attention-demanding, bleeding throbbing shock and pain of completely senseless murder and killing.

I arrive to see a movie with my wife, "Taken", and I'm touched by the father's feelings for his daughter. Her guardian angel. Safety and protection guaranteed. Then by the end of the movie (I don't really care if I'm spoiling the movie, coz this bit has pissed me off) you see the ugly, old, bald arab holding the "virgin" daughter as a human shield with a "knife" at her throat. And guess what he's wearing... a bisht.

Where? on an oppulent yacht on the Siene river in Paris. With half a dozen world-class body guards with machine guns on board. And the pictures on the sides of his bedroom door are of hunting falcons and arabian horses.

Demonize me more if you please.

As I'm driving back home my radio's on BBC as usual. My mistake.

She starts talking about more dead people and more evil.

And I just flick it off in a reflex move of pure self-defense. I couldn't take any more.

My mind was filled to the brim with way too much human suffering and injustice and lying. I need a breather. Some time off from it. I need to stop listening to news for a few days at the least.

I gave like a 100kd to my dad because he was collecting aid to help some old expat who needed an operation. Just to try and relieve myself. And it worked a little.

And I thought that I should share this, and spill it out. And thought that, what use is it to listen and absorb sooooo much human tragedy and bad news?

Yes ofcourse it is necessary to be aware. otherwise you can't do any good. You can't help people you don't know are suffering.

But to what extent?? It just crystalized in my head that, I should just hang on to the first bit of bad news I hear, and if I can help with it, just do that and block other bad news until I do.