Lessons Learned from the Unrest in the Middle East

* Once people are free of fear, they are free of oppression.

* Those who wait to be given their rights never get them. Those who decide to remain silent and expect others to notice them, are the ones who die silently with no one knowing that they actually existed.

* Tunisians recalled Abu al-Qasim al-Shabi’s poem:

“If, one day, a people desires to live, then fate will answer their call.

And their night will then begin to fade, and their chains break and fall.

For he who is not embraced by a passion for life will dissipate into thin air,

At least that is what all creation has told me, and what its hidden spirits declare…”

(Translated by Elliott Colla.)

And they broke the chains of their fear and revolted. Egyptians recalled  Mohamd Younis AlQadi’s words and Sayed Darwish’s melody :

“Egypt! Most precious gem,

A blaze on the brow of eternity!

O my homeland, be for ever free,

Safe from every enemy!

My homeland, my homeland, my homeland,

My love and my heart are for thee.”

They chanted Salah Jaheen’s words sung by Oum Kalthoum :

“The people advance like the light,

The people stand like mountains and seas,

Angry volcanoes, erupting volcanoes,

Earthquakes digging graves for the enemy.”

And their volcano of anger exploded. Bahrainis recalled Qassim Haddad’s words:

“O fire o queen of time

Where shall I hide you, 

while the dry stalk is the ruler of this place?”

(Translated by Frangieh)

And they embraced the spirit of fire and covered the streets with waves of voices calling for freedom. Libyans adopted Omar Mokhtar’s lion-hearted rebellion and his words:

“I believe in my right of freedom and my right of life, and this faith is stronger than any weapon. When one fights to rape and plunder,he may stop  fighting when his pockets are  filled up or  when he is exhausted, but when one fights for his country, he goes on in his war to the  end.

Injustice makes the oppressed a hero, while one’s heart who commit crime must be  trembling  no matter who tried to demonstrate pride.”

* Who said that words, arts and true leadership is not what inspires people and revolutionizes their spirit? The People, who can’t be inspired by their history, will not be able to create their future. And those who are cut off their roots, cannot maintain the greenness of their present, and cannot see the flowers of their future blooming.

 To be continued.


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