Monday, August 02, 2004


Belated Thanks

The following is an e-mail message I sent to a number of friends living abroad in February 2003, a few weeks before the war, expressing gratitude to people who made a stand against the war. It is unlikely that it reached many of those people. I now feel that I have a duty to post it in the hope that some of those it was directed to may read it. They have been proven correct. There is no such thing as a clean war.


Dear All,

Following the events of February 15th, I was bewildered and amazed at what happened and I feel a need to share with you my feelings about what I think is a unique world event and to express to someone my gratitude!

Such a memorable day! Millions of people, all over the world took to the streets on the same day to protest against war on Iraq.

Even if war is not prevented, thousands of lives have already been saved! By making such a stand, people have let the bomb droppers and missile launchers know that they will be closely watched by a large number of people who care. So, when the bombs fall, they will not be as carelessly destructive as they would have been otherwise.

And all this took place before the event! People saving the lives of other human beings by going out to the streets to protest against a probable war!

It’s a new era in human history and development and the nucleus was our own misfortune!

On a personal level, this event has ignited some hope that my children may one day live, not in isolation, but as part of this world- in peace. A world in which people care about Planet Earth and the people on it no matter how far. A world in which, although governments may still have their own agenda, calculations and priorities, people have other, more humane priorities.

The past few months have been spent hectically making provisions for the worst and then brooding over probabilities and what-ifs concerning family, loved ones, country, … hundreds of possibilities! Suddenly, millions of people in far away places march to tell you that you are not alone! I am deeply touched.

A Special Note for Britain:

I lived in Britain … … at a time when the image of an Arab was an unpleasant one, to say the least.

That image was not improved by the oil embargo of the early 1970’s or by the Arab-Israeli conflict and some Arabs’ acts of misguided violence bred out of despair and ignorance. During all those years I can hardly remember any instances where the mass media had something good to say about my country or people.

Being rather proud of my heritage and my country’s contribution to human civilization (albeit very long ago), I felt a great deal of bitterness and resentment at that image.

Nevertheless, people -individuals- were generally civil, decent and compassionate. It is to the credit of the country and the people that I left Britain with mainly warm feelings for them.

And now, I have no idea of whether that image has changed or not. For decades, we have been isolated from the mainstream of life in other countries and those feelings were relegated to almost forgotten corners of memory.

Last weekend, this message came along loud and clear: the country is still full of decent and compassionate people!

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Listed on Blogwise