Thursday, December 24, 2015

The village orator and me. End of year essay.

During the war, with electricity being off and generators still not being trendy, we used spend our time reading voraciously. Actually, our school had a scheme of giving prizes at the end of the academic year and invariably my brothers and I would land books. Two of such books were "Al Ard Al Kadima" (the old earth) and "Woujouh Min Al Ard Al Kadima" (faces from the old earth), both by Youssef Habchi El Achkar. He spoke of different times of life in villages, which I guess with time have become quasi obsolete. If you can get a copy of these two books I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so.
I suppose today, the day before Christmas, is as good as any to recap the year that has passed us by. I am not going to bore you with details, since I always extrapolate to go to concepts anyhow. I guess, "Khatib al day3a" or the Village Orator, one of the stories in the books, best sums up this year. And heck, just in order not to spoil it to anyone, in case you wish to read it, I will not tell you details but just inform you that this is a story about principles. About a man with principles. No more, no less. He was called names, made fun of, and what not. But in the end his principles were his principles.
Sure, the words of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche did cross my mind: “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster... for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.” At times I was wondering if through this monster chase, I too was becoming a monster of some sorts in the name of principles.
Today however, I look back - like the village orator - and know, just know, that even with the monster chases and the abyss staring back it was worth it. For the simple reason that I wake up and know that, not only I had principles, but that I stood up for them and that makes it worthwhile.
Was it a "good year"? Well, it was a bit better than the grueling 2010-2014 disaster-filled ones. With time I shall look at it more impartially, perhaps learn to be kinder in my assessment. Someone wrote to me before "I hope a scandal would erupt and would kill your blog like them" (referring to me standing up with Brofessional Review).  Little do they know, that in times of trouble (or whatever they think of as scandal) the real character of a person is revealed - you have seen my character through my writings, arts, lectures, social contributions and all that. Just today two former students acknowledged how deeply I have influenced them in their life.
The village orator would have been proud.