A few choose to queue, indicating their impatience by folded arms and tapping feet. Others return chastened to their tables littered with remnants from the first round, but their bodies stay tense, mouths quivering with injustice.
Leaving his family was not a decision Jihad took lightly. In 2014, reports of floating bodies from boats intentionally shipwrecked by traffickers flooded the media and Jihad says he was forced to make an unwelcome choice.
Europe is far more fragmented than North America. Movements do not sweep the continent like they do over the pond because the cultures and languages are different. Europe has no common culture and no common language.
It is the balance of power which determines whether an action crosses the line from hurtful to abusive. When the power dynamic is out of balance and the person with the power inflicts harm on the person with less–even when it is unconscious–it reinforces their position of power and becomes abusive.
And if predatory behaviour is as ubiquitous among men as it appears and as I have experienced it to be, statistically it is likely that my son will violate someone, at some point, in his lifetime. That could be anything from ignorant boundary violation to, god forbid, rape.
But there is no victorious ‘democratic’ ending to this story. In Syria the civil uprising has gradually been transformed into a full scale civil war. Sayid and his colleagues have all lost loved ones to this war and their political is personal. Sayid’s own crime--and why he is here--was to film government violence and put it up on YouTube, after which he was put on the list of wanted terrorists.
Our word choices, even if--or perhaps especially if--unconsciously made, reveal our attitudes, values, bias, education, self-image and purpose. For a man of letters like Stephen, who has made his fortune from a personal brand of verbosity, that means his objectivity in linguistic matters comes under question.
The shell which included social etiquette, consideration and interest in the outer world is broken. I feel a desperate need to be intensely focused on being sad and I resent any attempt to pull me out of my business of being so. Still, I will go through the motions, but I will not be happy. I do not want to be happy because that is just another attempt to invalidate what I'm feeling.
Are you crying because you've discovered our present world is far shittier and more abusive than you thought? Are you crying because YOU are far shittier and more abusive than you thought? Ouch, that's gotta hurt. So cry away but not in the company of people of colour--they know the truth already. Don’t beg them for forgiveness, after all you have albeit unwittingly, been part of a system which abused them.
It seems incredible now, but I once thought the notion of intentional families was a simple one. Who wouldn’t want a family actively chosen from people whom you love and who love you with their whole heart instead of some of those conflicted fuck-ups we are saddled with by blood and/or marriage?