Saturday, June 18, 2005

Faiza in America

May has translated Faiza Jarrar’s blog entry for her first day at the Conflict Transformation across Cultures summer program at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.

On the first day in class she noticed that many of the people participating were Europeans and North Americans who had worked in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. She wondered why these people would leave their countries to try to help other people. She concluded:
I think that when the western people collide with the truth of their live's emptiness of deep, noble meanings, they go in search of them in other countries, helping other people…their western governments were, in most cases if not all, the reason in destroying those countries, forcing the immigrations of those innocent inhabitants…

There are people here, in the west, who are honest, their consciences are alive, not corrupted yet, who suffer from deep spiritual crisis. I do not want to ridicule or make fun of them; for if I was living in that empty, contradicting culture, which is controlled by capitalism and materialism, that emptied life of its deep, beautiful meanings, I would have ended up with a deep spiritual crisis, like them, and I would have left my country in search of an experience with poor, tortured people on Earth, to help.
According to Faiza Jarrar, Europeans and North Americans help others because they suffer from “deep spiritual crisis” in their own countries.

And then Faiza Jarrar, ever the good Ba’athist, begins her diatribe against the evils of capitalism. She writes that “capitalism is a deformed creature, without a family, bearing grudges against those who live within families that keep principals, and the beautiful concepts that respect life. Capitalism strives in all ways to destroy and shred principals in societies; like religion, civilization, and the customs that give people a referential binding them under an umbrella of its own.” Yes, it does sound like she’s reading from a leaflet handed out by the Socialist Workers Party, doesn’t it?

This comes, however, from a woman who is herself a capitalist to the bone and whose husband maintains as many capitalist projects as he can finance. This comes from a woman who in the middle of Operation Iraqi Freedom made sure to get contracts signed to sell some water-treatment appliances to an Italian company! And yes, that was the water-treatment company that for nearly two years featured photographs on its website of top Ba'athists in full military uniforms.

On Monday, March 31, 2003, Faiza writes in her diary:
Our door bell was unexpectedly ringing!
A Red Crescent car parking outside our door, and a group of young men and women came out of the car.
I remembered them when they entered our guest room.
They came before the war asking for some water purification units for hospitals, and they took some catalogues and price lists at that time…
Now they came to buy some units.
We had some filtration units in our house, under the stairs.
We wrote the contract between us and them, and drank some coffee.
An Italian NGO was with them, Un Ponte Per, as a funding agency for the project.
We discussed the currant events, and criticized Bush and his administration.
I don’t think he cares for our critic.
We are going through this Hell alone.
At the time I wrote in a blog entry called “War and Its Discontents”: “One thing you have to admire about the Jarrars is that even in the middle of a war they have the presence of mind to sign contracts and make a profit. This is not a family to discount. They will prosper in Iraq whether democracy prevails or whether Uday and Qusay rise from their graves to take back Dear Old Dad's Country.”

Perhaps Faiza Jarrar should move to North Korea, a "socialist paradise."

North Korea
Population: 22 million
GDP: $30 billion
International estimates indicate that 1/3 of all North Koreans are malnourished, and this is with international food aid. How many North Koreans die each year of starvation is unknown.


South Korea
Population: 48 million
GDP: $925 billion
South Korea is a prosperous, capitalist nation. It should be noted, however, that even though some Koreans are atheists, while others are Buddhists and Christians, they do not consider themselves as "soulless."

I guess Faiza Jarrar, as a good Muslim, would like to see all the Kaffirs executed anyway.


Helena Cobban, Faiza's friend, born a Brit but who now lives in the Great Satan (surprise, surprise!), reveals in an essay entitled "Religion and Violence":
I grew up in England, as an Anglican, which was really a sort of religious “default option” there. My first professional work as a journalist I carried out as a foreign correspondent in Lebanon, mainly in the 1970s. In April 1975, eight months after I got there, the civil war started. (It was very good for my career, by the way. I had my byline on the front page of the London Sunday Times several times when I was still just 23 years old.)
Heh heh. Indeed.


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