Saturday, May 26, 2007

A-propo my previous post about freedom, here is a satirical poem, 'This Is Not a Western Conspiracy' by Saudi Reformist Wajeha Al-Huwaidar:

"When all the years of your life are stolen from you… and your vitality, your mind, and your soul are wrested away, all in the name of religion, customs, traditions… and an outmoded heritage - and you know that this has usurped your right to life - don't weep and don't cry, and don't imagine that this is a Western conspiracy against you; these are actions and behaviors that are a product of your own country. "

The poem describes the highly restrictive life imposed on women and minorities in the totalitarian corrupt "Monarchy" of Saudi Arabia. I try to imagine what it must feel like, to have to be covered in black garments in the heat of the desert, to be unable to move freely, run, walk unhindered by the heavy blanket you are forced to wear, see properly where you are going when your vision is restricted to a small peephole, as you try to carry out such a simple chore as grocery shopping or picking your child from school. To be told you cannot go to university not because you do not qualify but because of who you are, what your faith is. I must admit, I cannot. I can only admire those minds who, despite being stripped of their human identity, managed to get away and soar.

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