Friday, April 09, 2004

Tips For Earthquake Victims

This is probably a bit of old news by now but it’s a nice article about the Arab [defunct] summit :

Tips For Earthquake Victims
Ghassan Charbel Al-Hayat 2004/03/29

Dear Arab citizen,

I hope you did not feel any unusual frustration yesterday. I hope you would not fall in the trap of worry and grief. I think you have enough experiences in order to be immune against the illness of despair. I know that the news you woke up hearing yesterday were not nice and soft. Nevertheless, let me ask you; since when did the Arabs' mornings pump positivism in the veins of citizens? You are certainly wise enough not to fall under the weight of bad news. You are wise enough not to let your mood depend on newspaper commentators and satellite channels experts. There is no need for anger, and no excuse for worry.

Anyway, you do not need anyone to draw your attention to the amount of exaggeration found in trendy expressions. Nevertheless, I wish for you to be extra cautious and careful whenever you face expressions such as "dangerous turn," "new page," "unprecedented start," "thunder-like news," "a new Nakba," "dangerous events," "the end of a phase," "the collapse of an entire world," "the bankruptcy of the Arab common work," and "an earthquake."

You certainly know that Arab Summits are gloomy. As soon as a date is set for a summit, politicians and journalists start pouring out expressions, and raising the hopes of readers and citizens; expressions like "increase in the level of present dangers," "facing challenges," "coming out with a united strategy," "putting implementation strategies," "confirming pillars," and "reminding of red lines." Recently, new rootless terms emerged, such as "restructuring," "civil society," "keeping up with international challenges," not to mention transparency and institutions. You certainly know that Summits are frequently considered innocent of all these accusations; practically held to stop the blamers, irritate the resentful, and control the aliens. Their biggest worry is to show the capability of the Arab family to meet under a same roof, and fight back the aims of the enemies and the envious who talk about divorce, lack of affection, spreading tricks, and preparing daggers.

My dear Arab citizen,

I know that Iraqi scenes incite your worry. I know that Sharon's crimes trigger your emotions. You worry about the flourishing of chronic issues in our Arab worlds, and the potential of the rise of an issue within every country.

I know you wish for less bitter bread, a job for your unemployed son, newspapers that do not talk about the same thing; you are tired of your present and worried about your future. However, experiences taught you that if the Summit were held, it would not change the course of things, even if its holding would surely be better than its postponement. I know you are asking whether the Belgian Prime Minister could have postponed the European Summit at the last second. I am advising you. Put aside Belgium and put aside comparisons. Neither the holding is a new page, nor is the postponement a big loss. It will be held tomorrow or the day after it my dear. Hold on to your daily work program and cool down your nerves. Go to your work smiling. Go to the neighboring coffee shop, have a mint tea, and follow the world activities. Sit down in front of the television at night. Leave the Greater Middle East (GME) to his people, and zap channels between Star Academy and Super Star, then go to sleep, and go far in the unconsciousness of the GME.

No comments: