Monday, May 15, 2006

Night of Determination

Well, I was determined to bring everyone I know, but not even my best friends would come join us in our solidarity. Did I mention these friends were girls? Girls!! Seriously, I'm interested in fashion and watching Channel E! too but come on, you can have other interests, it's dooable! Read newspapers in the morning, flip through your fashion mags, gossip, go to the gym, learn Mandarin, attend cultural, political, social events! Broaden your horizens! (OK don't get me started on people who have been going to London for years and only know Oxford St. and Knightsbridge!) Yet, my wonderful guy friends showed up, and just like us all Kuwaitis commented, critisized, mocked and expressed disappointment.. aaaaaaahhh when are we going to start appreciating activism folks? Even if there is one person walking the streets, creating awareness of an issue someone truly believes in is something which should be respected! Not mocked!

I got to the i3tissam at about 6:35 and was surprised, not at the small number of people (cuz I thought I was late) but at the number of families present enjoying their time as well as expressing their stance. Little kids in huge Nabeeha 5 t-shirts, elderly sitting on the chairs that have been kindly placed (ya36eekom alf 3afya shabab) and everyone in the middle people from all ages were there.

I have to admit, I too was disappointed with the relatively low turnout. The organizers worked extremely hard and went all out to the smallest details, from the t-shirts to the flags, and the mural to the music. God! The music!! Took me back straight to my childhood, when everything was smooth, simple and carefree. Funny how the sound of music can bring back not only memories but a feeling, a feeling that your soul has been carrying for decades, locked and completely forgotten, but it only takes a few notes to ignite it.

A few hours later, the crowd started to get bigger, and bigger...

Speakers? Oh, not a dull moment with them all from the youngest most anonymous to the renowned, well-respected personalities. For those of you who know me, I'm all about freedom of expression, however, as a minority group labeled as "liberals" and "young" (labels that have been following us since we started being activists) we need public speeches to show maturity, respect, motivation and substance, to become respected by more factions and not look like we're "enemies of the state." A couple of speeches bothered me, ME!! The girl whose opinions friends and family refer to as "min7arfa!" But guys, there is a fine line between bold and disrespectful, cheap shots; and what has to be taken into consideration is our situation in the social and political arena, we're young, our methods are new in terms of our culture and we have to take baby steps to win them over, and eventually join forces. Disrespectful, harsh remarks like the ones were made, is just 1 point down for us.

As optimistic I am about creating awareness and practicing a democratic lifestyle, as much as I wish that we're not just pictures in newspapers to the public, faces that are limited to certain backgrounds and social status. I know it's not our fault but after every event I attend, I can't help but hope that the crowd evolves into unfamiliar faces.

Speaches kept getting better, the atmosphere was patriotic, peaceful (insert image of children holding flags), fun and full of soul. I missed the 29 MPs who came in around midnight right after their meeting so I can't report what that was like except what I had been told is that it was beautiful, meaningful and full of emotions, a perfect act of support for a young group of activists...a perfect end to a great night.


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