I don’t want to sound like that guy who is so cynical of what he sees as the deterioration of our Arab societies, because that guy always sounds like an uptight ass. I admit I am that guy most of the time and I can’t help it. I know the “counter argument” has been that if you don’t like something then you should just look away; a solution which has served us well mind you. But I’m not going to kiss up to anyone just for the sake of being refered to as “open minded”, as if the opposite of accepting everything and anything unquestionably really did mean being “close minded”. Anyways, back to my point, I really can’t help it, and I’m saying this now because I’m reading the headlines on the AlBawaba website which I think are saying something…I’m just not sure what…
– Iraq: No deal on candidates for two key security posts as 16 die in attacks
– Palestinian national dialogue delayed
– Tensions back to Gaza Strip streets as Hamas force deployed
– Lebanon: Israel blamed for the killing of senior Islamic Jihad member
It seems all the headlines that come out of the Middle East are always depressing and sad; always about death. But practically right underneath those very headlines were the following ones:
– Lucy denies being jealous of Dina
– Soad Husni’s estate warns Muna Zaki
– Muna Shalabi launches ruthless campaign against Zeina
– Nancy Ajram denies having hot tea thrown at her
– Asalah Nasri and Tareq Al Arian kiss intimately live
So I’m conflicted: which headlines were more depressing?
I suppose this is not so much about how those second headlines are such a poor reflection of what we concern ourselves with, but more about the desire to see better headlines that have a brighter reflection. Headlines like “Arab first to discover cure for Cancer” or “First Arab to land on Mars” or “United Arab team wins the World Cup”. Anything for God’s sake is better than what we’re stuck with. Heck I’ll even take “Arab man in a mask and cape runs around city saving lives; pictures of his cool car inside”
Is this just a phase we’re going through? Will our great great great great grandchildren look back upon this time and refer to it as our tabloid years? Perhaps our dark ages?
Early on in Amr Khaled’s series called Life Makers he asked the Arab youth watching, to set their life goals, which is not an easy task. He would then get all these letters from different people. One girl in Saudi Arabia who I believe ranked first in the kingdom upon graduating from university said she was going to be the first to find a cure for cancer. Another guy from Egypt said he was going to write the book that won him the Nobel prize. And a whole bunch of others set outstanding goals. I noticed at the time none of them said they “wanted”, they just said they were “going to”.
I fear that 40 or 50 years from now I’m going to be watching the news and hearing about the number of people that died in Palestine, died in Iraq and maybe Syria (God forbid) and then change the channel to hear about Haifah’s daughter getting into a fight with Alissa’s daughter because they happened to wear the same dress to Hugh Hefner Junior’s Arabian Playboy party.
Then I’ll spend my senior years writing letters to the editors of random newspapers, all of which start with the cliche of all journalism cliches: “I am shocked and appalled! Shocked, I say!”
Yeah, I’m going to be that guy.
(But I’ll be in good company, that’s for sure)