With all the hype of New year’s eve on where to go, what to do, who to hang with, it got me thinking of how much has happened over the past year; what I’ve learnt, seen, heard, read, watched, and all the experiences and emotions that came along with it. It seems that for a while now people all over, have tried to lead silent lives – silently going to work as an underpaid worker, silently watching overpaid bankers get away with millions while million others are left unemployed and homeless, and silently obeying leaders that have aggravated economic hardship and corruption for decades. Somehow, 2011 sparked an end to this silence.
What amazed me when watching Al Jazeera, Fox News, or BBC was the number of female protestors that stood apart from the crowds. For so long, women have taken a backseat in politics or political issues – this clearly wasn’t the case in Tahrir square, Benghazi or Wall street for that matter – where women of all ages and creed shouted for equality, freedom of rights, and an end to an oppressive and dominated regime.
What shocked my nerves for 2011 was a footage that was recently released, that showed a young unarmed female egyptian protestor, dragged down the streets by a mob of officers, only to have her abaya stripped off, with her chest fully exposed. If that wasn’t sexually humiliating enough, these police officers mercilessly attack her head and body with batons, while one officer ends it by stomping on her chest. Its questionable whether that poor girl even survived that brutal attack.
I know I can’t change the world and its affairs, neither can I change the ugly side of politics and its empty promises, but what I can change is,myself. May God give us the strength and courage to protect those that are weak, the patience to deal with ignorance, and protection against those that oppress.