Thursday, October 21, 2004

While They’re Dying…

I’m an Arab, and I’m so proud of it. But being proud doesn’t blind me to see some destructive facts in our countries, or watch some of the most annoying habits and really messed up mentalities.

While Arabs in Palestine and Iraq are dying, while they’re suffering from war, humiliation and all signs of destruction and injustice; while so many Muslims in other parts of the world are trying to survive injustice imposed by the countries they belong to day after day; while our societies have so many homeless members, so many sick people, and thousands of people who are in need for any kind of help, we, Arabs, are still concerned about looks and titles. Sad, but so true.

Differences in the social levels caused by financial differences in income or heritage is a fact that existed ever since the occurrence of mankind. No one can change that. People are not the same when it comes to money, whether we like it or not, there will always be someone to call rich and someone to call poor. But where’s equality? Equality in relationships, in how we deal with each other. Why do we still judge by how much a person’s “worth”? why do we still base our treatment according to a person’s last name? Why do we offer extra service to those who pay more? Why are we proud of having rich friends? Why are we hypnotized with the sight of an expensive limousine, and captured by a glittering tux? Why are we in love a stuffed purse? Proud of a house we own in every country we like? Why do we long to shake hands with a VIP? Take a pic with a celebrity? Why and why and why?

Where did the great loving hearts of Arabs go? Why did they change?
War? No good excuse any more. Arabs should wake up and save what’s left to be saved.
Instead of making a fight if someone didn’t address you with Mr., Mrs., or Mademoiselle! Instead of getting all angry if someone forgot to mention that you’re a manager, a businessman, or whatever! Instead of hating the world if the invitation you got didn’t have “dr.”, or “eng.” noted before your precious name! Instead of all this nonsense, why don’t you see that a person who believes his money is what buys him respect and attention, will lose everything the minute his wealth vanishes, the minute a richer person shows up. Enough is enough, I’m really fed up of watching people fighting over a silly thing such as “you call me MR. and know your limits”, is that power? No. We can all shout, we can all raise our voice, we can all lose it and start creating excuses that make no sense. Actually most of us are doing this nowadays, but is it any good? Our lives turned into a battle, whoever has more money and connections wins! This MUST end. We should all stop complaining about our life styles and the way we’re treated. Each one of us should start the change from within.

Be rich, but don’t base your treatment on showing off and scaring others if they fail to fulfill your wishes. Keep limitations while being modest. Raise your kids on the right concept of respect. Respect was never a letter put before your name, it never was a title called while addressing you, respect was never bought with money. Money can buy you a title, but can’t buy you respect. Because real respect is what others feel about you deep inside them, not what they show you out of fear or hypocrisy.

Respect is not what you wear, or where you shop. It’s not where you dine or where you live. It’s not in which hotel you stay in your vacation, it’s not which car you drive. It’s not your job, not your family name. It’s not the amount of money you left as tip, nor the jewelry covering your hands. Respect is much simpler than that. Respect is how you think, and how you treat people. Respect is how hard you work to win the love of others in the right way. Respect is who you really are.

Let’s clean our society from the useless titles, let’s live the freedom and equality that God granted us. Let’s forget about connections and money, and enjoy the taste of hard work. There are millions out there who could keep us busy 24 hours with their suffering and problems, let’s try to focus on them for a change. Let’s be the great Arabs we once were…