Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Coz the world as we know it will never be the same again...

I’m sitting here with a fractured jaw because some incompetent bitch (who probably bought her license and qualification to practice dentistry from an dodgy illegal joint in some alley) thought she knew what she was doing. I want to tie her down to that chair and perform a dozen root canals on her with all my knowledge on medical forensics and see how she likes it. Anyways, sitting here, feeling like death served on a cheese platter has given me time to think (& you know that’s always dangerous).

If what the Mayans have said about the world ending in 2012 is true, then as Muslims we have nothing to worry about since technically we’re all in the year 1432 innit. So that should give us roughly 579 years before the world goes to shit. Problem is, on most days it feels like we’re already there and time sure does fly… so 579 years isn’t as far away as we’d like to believe.

Just look at the last 5 weeks… it literally came and went. So much has happened and if January has set the tone for the rest of the year, then we better buckle up bunnies because it’s going to be one hell of a year.

It’s like 1948 all over again. If you’re like me and you love History, you’ll know that most of the events that occurred during 1948 have shaped the world we live in today... the beginning of the cold war and the Berlin Blockade, the year of the Declaration of the Independence of Israel and the Arab-Israeli War as well as the institution of Apartheid.

I woke up yesterday morning with a song playing in my head by Mike & The Mechanics called “Silent Running”. And for some reason this song reminds me of the current Egyptian revolt. Maybe it’s got to do with some of the lyrics:

“Teach the children quietly,
For someday sons and daughters;
Will rise up & fight while we stood still”

I don’t think that 26 year old Mohamed Bouazizi ever thought that his name would be synonymous with an unprecedented Tunisian Revolution. When Bouazizi woke up on the morning of the 17th of December 2010, I don’t think he anticipated that by the afternoon he would be hospitalized with severe burns, after having set himself on fire, protesting government policies.

Afterall, he was just another man in this world trying to earn a living to feed and support his ailing parents and younger siblings – as a street vendor selling vegetables in a cart. Any one of us could have been him. We’re all Mohamed Bouazizi to some degree. He, like the rest of humanity, only wanted a better life for himself and his family.

However, with Tunisia’s then-strict laws governing employment practices, Bouazizi did not have a permit to operate as a street vendor, and even though operating from a cart is not illegal in Tunisia, he still didn’t have enough money to bribe the officers when they came around (in what has been described as one of the most corrupt regimes in the world).

So when Bouazizi had his goods confiscated by the 45 year old female municipal worker, F. Hamdi, before she slapped and spat in his face, he was a little more than humiliated and frustrated. He then went to complain at the Governor’s office and following their refusal to see or even listen to him, he set himself alight and single handedly set in motion not one, but two revolutions and several revolts around the Arab region.

Sadly though, Bouazizi passed away from his wounds on the 4th January this year. He will never know what came from that fateful day – when in his deepest darkest hour of despair, a single act had sparked an entire nation into action, which in turn inspired and fired up people living in very similar conditions in almost every Arab state. And yeah he set himself on fire, but the world is feeling the heat.

There’s no doubt, the events are shocking and surreal and at the same time, way overdue. I mean 23 years? 30 years? Is that how long it took for people to realise that they didn’t want dictators robbing them blind and governing them under iron fists? Or have they known all along and needed someone like Bouazizi to come along and spur them on?

A few months ago I said that we were fooling ourselves if we ever thought that we had “freedom of speech” because speech is only ever free when it serves the aims and purposes of the ruling party. And this was exemplified in Egypt – with authorities cutting all communication lines, from cell phones to internet connections countrywide over the past few days.

There are many things about the Egyptian revolt that has me both amused and exasperated. For one, the difference between Hosni Mubarak and a monkey is that a monkey knows that it’s a monkey. I don’t understand which part of Fuck Off doesn’t Mubarak understand (it’s probably the part where Israel and the USA have him by the balls). Seriously, come on, no sane person will have all these people hating their guts and still be adamant about being their champion. That’s just beyond absurd.

Secondly, I read a few comments from a few Heads of State in the past week, and there were two that stuck with me. The UK’s David Cameron and the US’s Hilary Clinton initially stated that the Egyptian President is  a friend and an ally of both the UK and USA and that he is not a dictator. And then there were several comments from the Israeli senate clearly reflecting their own insecurities on what the uprisings in their neighbouring countries would mean for the future of the Zionist state.

And amazingly enough, every comment just screamed “me, me, me”. I want to ask David Cameron and Hilary Clinton if they’ve ever lived in Egypt under the oppressive regime of Mubarak and were they ever struggling to feed their families because they sure do know an awful lot about what is “best for the people” of Egypt. I’d like to know how the fuck can you sit there on your continental backside and pretend to know what these people have to go through every single day.

The light at the end of this tunnel is as bright as day… the people of Egypt have the right to choose and elect whomever they wish to govern them… REGARDLESS of what this means for everyone else’s foreign policies and interests in the Middle East. And if they don’t like it, they should shut their mouths, get the hell out of there, sit in their homes in their respective countries, knit scarfs and eat scones with strawberry jam and leave the rest of the world well alone. The rest of the world is tired of the UK and US putting their unwanted pennies in every jar they can find.

But see, with them, it was never about the people. Everything has always been about money and their interests and investments in Israel… I know that, they know that, the whole fucking world knows that.

As for Israel… shame. Scared much? How do you know that you’re an asshole? When you spend your entire life constantly looking over your shoulder, afraid that someone is going to sneak up behind you at some point and knock you the fuck out – because normal people don’t live that way. Normal people aren’t paranoid pricks.

And I seriously do not get the Military. Why defend a regime that has done nothing for you? And sure, there may be many Generals etc. that are bribed and paid off, but come on, even if there are 1000 of them, there are still over 100 000 overworked, underpaid staff that suffer under the same fate as the rest of the people. And what are they going to do? Fire the whole country? Kill ALL of them?

As for the people in South Africa, all the trade unions will be marching in solidarity with Egypt on Friday at 2:30pm. There’s nothing South Africans like more than a good protest. Bring on the toi toi. Given the chance, most would be at it all day, every day.... dancing in the streets and singing all their songs declaring human rights and freedom (they could release an album with the number of tracks they can belt out). It gives everyone a chance to work those quads and exercise their vocal chords for church choir on Sundays.

I do wonder though, if the world would indeed end in 2012 – but not in the physical sense as depicted by all these apocalyptic movies – but in a metaphorical sense. The end of an Era. We can already see it because no matter how things end in Egypt, one thing’s for sure, the world will never be the same again.

9 comments:

  1. Trips to the dentist 8-). Tauba. Feeling any better?

    And that was one helluva post! But so true. It's dismaying to see nations such as the USA and UK who claim to be guardians of humanity, human rights and blah blah blah saying it's all dandy, he's a good guy.

    And the story of Mohamed Bouazizi reminds me of Neda Agha-Soltan, the Iranian girl whose face became synonymous with the green revolution that happened in Iran after it's elections.

    This whole issue reminds me of something my mum said a few days ago regarding Pakistan, but is just as relevant in many other places:
    Everything is so expensive there, prices are rising, yet the cheapest thing in Pakistan is human life.

    Lovely post btw.
    Thank you for sharing.
    :)

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  2. Two things became absolutely clear in the Egyptian stand off - the hypocrisy of the leaders of the West and the bravery of the people of the East.

    I wonder how long can they continue and will it be a tragedy of Kerbala or the heroism of Tunisia. I pray for their success.

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  3. Nas - Thanks for reading and Very true... people have a higher regard for material things and wealth than they do for other people. And thats the tragedy of this contemporary world.

    mezba - I'm praying for their success too. For too long they've been complacent. Here's hoping they have a happy peaceful ending to all this. Still can't believe that Mubarak is like an evil pharoah. Didn't he ever read the account of Musa AS? Doesn't he know how this story is going to end? *sigh*

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  4. I am enthralled by these recent happenings! We are watching history unfold and as a friend described it - domino revolution effect. I wish I worked for a mainstream news organisation so I could be a journalist on the ground!

    Mohamed Bouazizi dies a hero and he probably did not even know it.

    The winds of change have begun!

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  5. I would gladly hand over all the money I have, and sell a kidney if i came up short, just to pay to run around inside your head for a day :)

    I love your writing.
    This paragraph deserves to be framed!

    "As for Israel… shame. Scared much? How do you know that you’re an asshole? When you spend your entire life constantly looking over your shoulder, afraid that someone is going to sneak up behind you at some point and knock you the fuck out – because normal people don’t live that way. Normal people aren’t paranoid pricks."

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  6. "...sit there on your continental backside and pretend to know what these people have to go through every single day." Exactly. Love this post.

    This knowing what people in Africa(as if its a country)are going through routine those in the first world have is ridiculous and arrogant. They cannot fully emphathise with or understand a nations upheaval when they and theirs have never experienced anything close to it.

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  7. Prixie - Winds of change are definitely here. I'm just hoping the change is positive ;)

    Kaloo - LOL, I'll take that as a compliment thanx :)

    CH - Exactly. Funny how the first world always has something to say... some advice to give on things they know nothing about! & welcome :)

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  8. OMG, I didn't know. I hope you are feeling better now.

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  9. Tazeen - I'm feeling much better thanks ;)

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