Paul Eisen

Paul Eisen

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Pity Our Nation By Jafar M Ramini

It is at this time of year that people start to reflect on what has transpired throughout the last twelve months. I am afraid I am no exception.

The sad irony is that today, while I am sitting in Rome, breathing and experiencing ancient history and culture I cannot but remember that on this very day, four years ago, Gaza was raped by the Zionist occupiers of our land. Many innocent men, women and children were murdered. Many buildings were destroyed. Many schools, hospitals and homes were demolished.

During last month, the Israeli loathing for Gaza manifested itself yet again in the most vile and vicious manner resulting in more innocent deaths and wanton destruction. Their vying for our blood and lust for our land doesn’t stop at Gaza. It is happening all over Palestine, in Hebron, Beit Ummar, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarim and elsewhere. The most bitter of all is the utter Judaeisation of Jerusalem and the surrounding area.

In the meantime, our lamented leaders proclaim Pyrrhic victories and make false pronouncements of unity in confronting our common enemy. Other Arab leaders have made Gaza their Mecca in the last few weeks. They came bearing gifts and empty promises. Yet we are as divided and fragmented as ever. Which leaves me wondering; where is the Arab nation and where is the Muslim Ummah that I grew up believing in and waiting for?

Another sad irony is the unnecessary and unwarranted destruction of Iraq, Libya and now Syria. Why is all this so very sad? It is because our imported enemies are aided and abetted by our so-called Muslim Ummah and the Arab nation.

If I am getting morbid it is because exile does this to you. You are away from your home, from your land, from your people and wherever you look and whatever your eyes see is foreign, alien and unfamiliar. Here, I ask again, where is the Arab nation and where is the Muslim Ummah?

I am not going to dwell on this because I don’t want to feel too depressed nor do I want to depress my readers. I shall leave it to another exile, the poet, Khalil Gibran to say it for me.

“Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own winepress.

“Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero, and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

“Pity the nation that despises a passion in its dream, yet submits in its awakening.

“Pity the nation that raises not its voice save when it walks in a funeral, boasts not except when its neck is laid between the sword and the block.

“Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggle, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.

“Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpetings, and farewells him with hootings, only to welcome another with trumpetings again.

“Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.

“Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment deeming itself a nation.”

My friends, we are not a nation. We are, as Gibran said, divided and fragmented. We have become tribes with flags. And the Muslim Ummah, instead of being an Ummah, has become an instrument of our own destruction like a mutilating sword in the hands of our many enemies.

This is what has become of us and this is where our detractors would like us to stay. But, deep in my heart, I sincerely believe that there are still enough of us, Arabs and Muslims, committed to the cause who will not spare any effort to make us a nation, proud and united again. Our day will come.

Happy New Year to all.

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