Freedom: Middle Eastern Style.

When talking about current events, one cannot help but mention the revolutions happening across the Middle East. This beautiful and uplifting spectacle carries with it not only a fresh outlook on the future of the region, but also a defining moment for the whole world. A region plagued with dictatorships and oppressive regimes, the revolutions have brought back to the table the values that these governments have taken away from their people. Dignity, freedom, pride, and self-worth are all values that have been taught, but for decades, not felt. The revolutions of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and many others have taught not only the Middle East, but the entire world how priceless and beautiful the fight for freedom is.

The Middle East, which has always been accompanied with words such as backward, third world, fundamentalist, and many other derogatory terms, is showing the world that its people are the most willing to sacrifice for a taste of freedom and democracy. They sent a clear message to the imperialist governments of the world: we do not need you to bomb our countries to give us your democracy; we will fight for it, and we will win. As Ghandi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” The Middle East has once again become the teacher, and the world, its students.

Unfortunately, some revolutions, such as Libya, were not given the choice of a peaceful revolution, but their sacrifice for freedom has left the world at a loss for words and humbled us all in front of their struggle. Yet, one cannot deny that the same generation that has been looked down upon is now gaining momentum and strength without the guide of its elders, but rather through each other and the power of technology. Now, the youth have gained recognition as the leaders of the revolutions that have changed the world in the course of a mere few months.

Let me end with an homage to these young leaders through the poetic words of the late Nizar Qabbani:

“Arab children,
Corn ears of the future,
You will break our chains,
Kill the opium in our heads,
Kill the illusions.
Arab children,
Spring rain,
Corn ears of the future,
You are the generation
That will overcome defeat.”

To a free Palestine, to a free Muslim world, to a free tomorrow, insha’Allah.