Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Heretical Closure!

Many of laborers involved in the process of renovating our building are actually denaturalized Kurds, that is, descendants of Kurdish citizens that have been stripped away of their Syrian citizenship as a result of the 1962 census and the manipulations that took place at that time. In other words, they belong to the very group of people whose basic rights my team and I at the Tharwa Project are supposed to be busy defending, and are actually doing so, to the best of our restricted abilities.

My problem, then, is not with these laborers, who, in addition to being denaturalized, or even on account of being denaturalized have to work under extremely appalling conditions, especially with regard to safety.

No. My problem is not with these poor laborers. They are not the ones who destroyed our flowerbeds, our walls, our doorway, and our doors, and are busy screwing up the renovation job in toto. No. These would be the managers, you see, the Arab Sunni managers, to be specific, just like I am supposed to be (my Kurdish ancestry and atheistic tendencies notwithstanding). This is an internal issue then.

But the whole world is an internal issue these days, isn’t it? So that doesn’t say much really. The whole wide world is here and now. And all possibilities are present.

But renovating Syria, very much like renovating our building, requires competent managers, managers who are also sensitive to the rights and needs of their constituency, that is: their workers, their neighbors and their clients. But none is, unfortunately, available. The few that get brought in, the foolhardy few that accept to come in, are quickly sent packing, having accomplished nothing.

And so, there he is, the former Presidential advisor, Nibras El-Fadel, busy licking his wounds in Paris, where he is in good company.

I can’t blame you, Nibras. No, I can't. The messiah complexes inside all of us, these tyrannical urges to play the hero, the savior, God, are as deep as our unfathomable history. Sooner or later, we are all bound to be victimized by them. And we are all bound to fail. No one can save the dead, you see. No one. Resurrection is a myth. And Judgment Day is for the living, not the dead. And a judgment is indeed coming. And, like all judgments, it is going to be harsh. And violent.

Be glad you are in Paris, then, Nibras. In judgment times, it is better to be an observer than a participant, voluntary or otherwise. But...

...why can’t I have the luxury of becoming an observer? Why does everything inside me and around me always militate against this possibility? What am I destined to be? What kind of a lamb am I supposed to be? And on whose altar am I supposed to be slaughtered? And when? And how? And why? Why?

Why can’t my ink be my blood, so I can shed it profusely, unhesitantly, without a single pang in my soul? Why can’t all these gods around us, false and true, be satisfied by something other than blood?

What is it about blood anyway that makes it the ever indispensable spice of change, price of freedom, mark of fame, and infamy?

Why couldn’t it be semen? At least for this one time in eternity?

Still, no fate has been sealed yet. No fate has been sealed. Ours is but a constant quest for closure, and my quest is not over yet. For when it comes, I won’t know it, I won't even feel it.