Life and Times Blog

Is it what it is?

I wrote this after reading a post by Shafinaaz, to be found here.
I wonder about how virtual personas, actual virtual conversations, really differ from the real life versions. My immediate thought was that the real life version had to be the more real version, as it didn’t offer the opportunity to “adjust”, its immediate, unlike the virtual.
But a second thought was that in the real life version, there is more noise too, more clouding of the real by perception, possibly less honesty of the individual due to personal shyness, or expressiveness.
Maybe the virtual offers a person to be more honest and brave, maybe that moment to adjust allows more honesty, better expressed.

I still wonder, I now try to draw whatever I see in the virtual that I dont see in the real, into the real.To test if it is there, and I just need to break some boundary with the person in the flesh, that has already been erased in the virtual.
I don’t like dichotomy’s, and I feel uneasy walking away from a real encounter, feeling that it didn’t match to the virtual.

I still don’t know which is the more true, and to an extent I wonder if perhaps I shouldn’t seek some harmony. That perhaps even if there is no harmony, I can still appreciate the virtual persona in itself, aside from the real.
Of course harmony would be best. There are real people that I don’t have virtual interactions with, whose company I treasure, why not the inverse. Virtual persona’s and people who’s real company I never partake of.

Knee jerk is to say that’s dangerous, that the real must always triumph, I don’t deny that, I’m not saying erase the real, I would even say prioritise the real a very very long way ahead of the virtual, but I am saying that the virtual has a value in itself, as a seperate entity. Gmail chat buddies, Facebook personalities, Twitter updaters, bloggers…

I don’t which is more real though, I do know I prefer the real, because its more emotionally real.More human.I also know that I enjoy the virtual.Not in spite of what it lacks from the real, but maybe because of it.And yes, I know that’s dangerous, because it may mean eventually I withdraw from the real, but I am vigilant around that, and as I said, I PREFER the real.

I’m waiting for my third thought on the matter, which may flip the first two.


July 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Martyr for minorities

Che Guevara
Martin Luther King
Mahatma Ghandi
Rosa Parks
Steve Biko
Simon Bolivar
Samora Machel
Omar Mukhtar…
Marwa Sherbini

Marwa Sherbini was murdered in a courtroom during a case in which she had sued her killer after he called her a “terrorist” due to her wearing her headscarf.The murderer appealed against his fine, and during the hearing stabbed Ms Sherbini 18 times.

Marwa was a 31 year old Egyptian pharmacist in a foreign country, who worked whilst her husband pursued a PHD, a mother of 2 with a third in her belly. On these credentials alone, her strength is evident.
It was in a public park, when she asked the murderer if her 3 year old could use a swing, that he labelled her a terrorist for wearing her headscarf, a symbol of gentle modesty.

This Woman did not bow to the easier course of action.
She did not frown and cringe, and slink away, indignant. She stood firm, and in doing so, one always stands tall.She utilised a system of true justice that allows for victims of hate speech to defend their rights, to bring this act of inhumanity to account.

Her 3 year old son, Mustafa, was in court that day to watch his mum, the lady who tucked him in at night, standing up to represent an entire universal value system.
Marwa Sherbini may not have lived through an extended period of struggle, but her individual act of courage, to go to court in defence of her civil human right against discrimination places her amongst historys heroes.

Marwa will always tower in the hearts and minds of every victim of injustice. She could easily have ignored the incident like so many others, dismissed it as trivial, giving the killer and all his kind further rope to breed their injustice.
Marwa did not.

She could easily have feared the consequences of being a noisy member of a minority.
Marwa overcame that fear.

Her husband could easily have persuaded her to hush her complaint, fearful of the consequences for his family.
Instead he rushed to her side.

Marwa is more than an icon for the oppressed; she is a role model for justice.Her murder is tragic. But I do not mourn her murder; I celebrate her courage.She should have been in the headlines the world over just for taking a stand, and in so doing re-igniting the flame for one of humanities most endearing qualities: Courage.

May every person who is marginalised, every person who is mocked for being fat, short, black, Arab, Jewish, female, albino, poor, or in any other way a target, take heart in the actions of your mother, your patron, Marwa Sherbini.
Draw courage to stand firm, to speak out, or at least draw strength from her in your patience. Never again feel like a victim. Do not feel pity for yourself, feel pity for your tormentor.
Feel pity for the feebleness of his mind that has succumbed to a perspective moulded by others. Feel pity for the shallowness of his esteem.
Never again feel like a victim.

Harvest your feelings to action, righteous action so that the divide between you and ‘them’ is filled with justice; not anger, not hatred.

Marwa Sherbini, may your soul continue with light to eternity, and may your actions be held in the hearts of all those in need. The soul of a martyr lives on forever in the next realm, and their memory in this one.

In celebration of her courage - Marwa al-Sherbini

In celebration of her courage - Marwa al-Sherbini

July 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments