This is an old debate but its a classic, I felt I have to have it on my blog at some point. Enjoy!
Imagine if you are deprived of doing one of the most essential elements to your survival. Communication. In consideration to the expansion of the human brain, language and social interactions amongst other things have played a vital role in the capacity of our brains today, compared with the early Homo Sapiens. We humans like to talk. We express ourselves through words, numbers, symbols and drawings. Some of the things that Cohen points out in his book is that we must be ready to back up our arguments and admit that we are scared if we discuss controversial topics such as God, religion and politics. We must face the fact that we might get killed or imprisoned for just speaking clearly, directly and uncensored. We must communicate in all forms with a thick skin and get ready to be offended and disrespected because when arguing you are attacking the idea not the person and there is a huge difference. So be ready to be offended or rebuffed because it is time to speak the truth.
Last October 2012, I attended the first “Dignity” protest, which was the first of a series of 7 protests in Kuwait during a period of sustained political unrest. For me, it was an opportunity to express my thoughts and be part of change and activism and most of all, documenting the event. My experience of the first protest was surreal. I saw the diversity of my fellow citizens, from different clans and varying sects of society and witnessed the blind obedience of the special forces to a dictatorial authority. Each individual was there to express himself or herself in a collective way, with the majority of attendees protesting against the Amir’s involvement in the parliament and certain amendments made. For others, they wanted to raise awareness about the prisoners in Guantanamo, as for myself, I wanted to push the ideas of separation of state and religion, the introduction of science and technology and freedom of speech (censorship). I believe these are the main issues that need to be brought to the forefront, not just to catch up with the rest of the world, but to truly take Kuwait of 2013 out of the dark ages. I got positive and negative feedback, which was expected, but most of all I felt the sense of freedom to speak my mind publicly, and oh how it felt so good. Some people argue that “Now is not the right time to talk about secularism and censorship, they have bad connotations, people are not ready”. I disagree with them, because there will never be a perfect time to speak. The protests were the perfect ground to raise awareness and interact with people of diverse backgrounds. I believe peaceful protests are the best way to communicate a mass idea. Now, the present, is the only now we have.
“You only live once.”
I also wrote about my experience and shared some of my photos on Egyptindependent.com
This was a one year project of documenting all my father’s books, notes, photos, articles, lectures and video in one electronic site. To me, The Khaldoun Alnaqeeb Archive was like a time machine of knowledge. He dedicated his life analyzing human behavior and its relationship to its country, politics and religion. His ideas could be the stepping stone to evolutionary progress of globalization and democracy in the Middle East.
- Video access via Youtube Channel, The Khaldoun Alnaqeeb Archive
- Website: The Khaldoun Alnaqeeb Archive
Courage and honesty are common traits in every human being. Christopher Hitchens, one of the few courageous enough to be honest.