Saturday, August 24, 2013

By Peace, we Can Change the World






When I visited the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin last January, I wondered about the reason they build these concrete columns black and gradually rising one after another. They told me that it represents the rise of evil. At the beginning, they are very small and you can put your feet on any of these columns, but as you go deeper, you cannot. It becomes higher than you and you can't stop it. Those words had me stop and think too much about the suffering of Germans during the war because they didn't stand against the rise of Hitler (the rise of evil).

Before leaving Germany, I visited Buchenwald Concentration Camp. The places made me think "here many people were tortured, here many of them were killed, here many of them lost their loved ones, and here many used to write their farewell letters filled with tears and fear". The place was full of sadness.

The ruminants of the war made me think about my country, Egypt. Why Egyptians didn’t stand against Nasser in 1967 to prevent a war against Israel? Nasser arrogance pushed Egypt into a war, which not only Nasser suffered from, but the majority of my people. If Nasser hadn't been stubborn, my people would have avoided the suffering which they had experienced during the war and what followed it until the peace treaty.

In 1973, Egypt entered another war against Israel But this time, Sadat was willing for peace. Later he went to Israel, signed Camp David Peace Accords in 1978, then the peace treaty in 1979. By doing that, Sadat stopped the continuation of the violence cycle and spared his people’s lives. Sadat taught us that by negotiations you can have gain what you can’t by wars.

The Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty isn’t the only time when negotiations spared lives and avoided war. Kennedy, by refusing the military solution, and insisting on a diplomatic solution in the Cuban missiles crisis. He avoided getting in the cycle of violence, which could had led to a nuclear war at that time.
I believe that most of past or ongoing wars in the world, exist only because of the stubbornness of politicians. Our leaders, by choosing confrontation, are pushing us to death every day. The cycle of violence will never end this way. violence breeds violence, and killing breeds killing. In wars, there are no winners, everybody loses at war. Only peaceful negotiations can save lives.

Egypt now is entering again the cycle of violence, with the conflict between seculars and Islamists. They have forgotten that they are citizens in same country. I wish that they can sit down with each other on the negotiation table to avoid a civil war, and to spare the lives of Egyptians. I can’t deny that the Muslim Brotherhood had used violence against the army and the police, but I want them to negotiate for the benefit of all parties. Yes, those who committed crimes should be prosecuted, but till then, how many lives will be lost? how many children would lose their parents? how many mothers would lose their children? how many siblings would wish for the past to come back to see their siblings who were killed because of violence? Negotiating with them today will help us avoid the outcome of violence tomorrow.

Aren't humans in that world aware that we breathe the same air? Don't humans in that world realize that we are in one world? Don't humans in that world realize that we should be different from each other in order for life to have a meaning? We are taught from a young age that the universe is based on difference, so why are we fighting each other now for differing from each others? We kill, prison, burn and hate the other, simply for disagreeing in opinion with us! Do you still have humanity? Or has intolerance blinded you and made you lose your humanity and legalize killing everyone different from you?.

We should teach our children the values of peace and non-violence. Then the world would be better. By negotiations, we can enforce peace, create a better future for our children, create an atmosphere of tolerance and living in safety with each other. Negotiation makes us enjoy everything around us. I still dream for better future, when I would feel, live and breathe freedom. So, please world, help me in achieving this dream!




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