Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Why are we so mean?

I'm an Arab and a Muslim; two identities which have been synonymous with generosity of spirit, tolerance, honor and pride. For more than a millenia, Arabs have been famous for their generous spirit; Hatim Al-Ta'ee comes to mind - he slaughtered his most cherished steed so that his guest would not sleep hungry. And Arab honor and pride is unsurpassed. One and half millenia later... we have become petty creatures. We are no longer tolerant or generous of spirit, and we look with spite and envy at anyone else who is more privilaged or is generous.

I've been observing my fellow Emaratis for a while (UAE), and I've noticed a trend which I dislike and I think it's a veyr bad phenomenon if allowed to spread. When the Tsunami struck the coasts of Asia, nations around the world clamoured to help and bring relief to the victims of the tidal waves. In the UAE, people looked for different ways to help (cash, blankets, tents, food, etc..). But there were those few who, although they were sympathetic and were more than willing to send aid, but they were.. well.. mean! On many occasions, I listened as people pontificated on the real reasons behind the tidal waves. "Allah's wrath!", they said. " All those beaches and drinking and womanizing!", they said. It's like they were gleeful at the idea that Allah has punished people for these "sins".

Perhaps it is their way of finding a "rationale" behind such a catastrophe. I mean God forbid that it could have happened because of "geological" reasons! Noooo, there has to be a "divine" reason for it. And in line with the usual "holier-than-thou" attitude which we are drowning in, it is also very important for us to find people who are "wicked-er" than us, people who deserve God's wrath. It's our way of polishing our image, by tarnishing others.

Sometimes, I cannot hold my peace. I just *have* to lash out! And so I ask them if there is always a divine reason for a human tragedy. Their usual response is: "Of course! God works in mysterious ways afterall." So I ask, "Exactly what did my 4 siblings do to deserve the life of vegetables?! 3 of them died of severe retardation, and one lives with the body of a 20 year old young woman, and the mind and manners of a 20 DAY old baby." Or what did the millions of leaukemia stricken children around the world do to incur God's wrath?!

There is no reason or rhyme for human tragedy.. but there should be some reason behind our accusations and our meanness.

1 comment:

elyoum said...

It"s relief,honey.If that disaster was a punishment from God,then we should not feel sorry for them,because "God knows" ,they deserve it & who are we to question GOd!wouldn"t that make our lives easier?I mean what better excuse to relax & avoid any feelings of guilt,sorrow or responsibility .
This way we can enjoy our lives without worries or obligations towards those "sinners".