I am writing this as a concerned mother of two. In the aftermath of Paris attack, the immediate thought haunting my mind; is this is the world we are making for our kids? The attack brought into attention Beirut, Baghdad, Syria and other countries reeling with the Terror effect. I am ashamed to admit that when I read the news of any terrorist activities in Arab countries, I hardly try to get in the details of the news dismissing this as a part of their daily struggle. Things changed after this Friday the 13th as the terrorism, ISIS related news and articles formed the huge chunk of my news feed and a larger part of discourse as well. It made me sit and take notice and delve deeper into the subject. As I was reading about Syria crisis, (though Arab Spring was a part of assignment I did together with my students of Mass Comm way back in 2011) I was shattered by the images of refugees, almost 50% of whom are kids. Kids, the future and hope of a better and improved world are left without any family members and friends alive, they are forced to live a homeless, education less orphaned life. I looked at my children and shuddered at the thought of having them to live such a life, if something happens to us and this is not an unfathomable reality considering what the world is going through at the moment. Any zealous fanatic in the name of religion, God whatsoever can do that.
France and Syria might be on the opposite end of a spectrum in terms of the countries they are but the tragedies incurred are the same in terms of innocent lives lost. In between, there may be issues like Oil, Ammunition, Propaganda and Religious Extremism involved but the bitter question is how will that family less, homeless child be able to get its innocent, carefree childhood back?
As I go through the daily rituals of taking care of my kids-sending them to school, preparing hot meals for them and safely tucking them into the security and warmth of their own beds, I think of those children faraway, did they get something to eat? Are they sleeping well? What is the hope for them to live? I don't have the answers and I am scared about the future of my kids and all the children worldwide. Is this the hope and vision of the world we want to build for them?
The basic premise of 'all of us are born equal' that I try to teach them perhaps exists in my Utopian world. The discrimination of the people based on gender, color, race, religion and caste may be far fetched reality for them now but sooner or later they may experience it and the idea of an ideal world would shatter into million pieces. Do I want them to grow up in the global environment of violence, hatred and 'eye for an eye' attitude. We, as the citizens of this world share a collective responsibility to make it a beautiful place for our children. We are sailing in the same boat. Can't we give peace a chance for the sake of our future generation or is it too much to ask for?