Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ignorance by choice?

A couple of weeks ago, my sister flew over to the UK for a week long visit.
Having not seen her since the summer - i was excited and ecstatic - we had a lot of catching up to do! (and she had half of liverpool to buy hehe)

Anyhow - one day over lunch, the subject of recent demonstrations that had taken place at her university campus (same university i attended in Egypt) was brought up. Now throughout the university's history, there have been several demonstrations supporting a number of different issues. The one she was speaking of was one in support of Palestine. She was informing me of how peaceful marches had been set up - simply marching from one end of the campus to the other - and people were giving speeches and trying to rally people up to join them - Nothing new there, just your typical university student demonstration.

However when she came to mentioning people's reactions to these marches and demonstration, and by people i mean, fellow students, her friends and other youthful individuals within her social circle. She said people were mocking those standing up for things they believe in, simply saying 'what good will come out of this' or 'how stupid!' Mocking Palestinians who were standing up for their rights, and trying to bring people to stand with them in solidarity.

Growing up we are bred with this underlying understanding that, whether we like it or not, there is some thread of brotherhood running between us (Egyptians) and other Arab countries. Whether or not we agree with their politics is a different matter. That we are to be outraged when the world throws any unjust actions toward then and we are to stand by them and up for them. Egyptians tended to be quite good with that - it may not have always been true politically but at the heart of the public these emotions were shared. However, today's Egyptians, the young ones, the future of tomorrow, show little promise when it comes to that. Or maybe this is only true when it comes to a specific segment of society.

A segment of society with too much wealth, luxury and comfort to care about what goes on outside the 'Bubble' they live in. Where the latest technological innovations and gadgets are a must have in every pocket and Designer clothing is in abundant supply. Where people's main concern is how to show up their social circle when it comes to appearances and possessions. Where they dont have time to care about the real issues of the world, or issues of their own country for that matter.

This brought a quote to mind that fits this perfectly - Benjamin Franklin was once asked when would justice be served, his answer; when those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. That kinda sums it all up doesnt it? This world will never see justice until the people who arent directly affected by injustice are as outraged as those affected by it. If enough people stand up for a cause - because they truly believe in it, whether or not it affects them, we might one day get somewhere.

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