Fear, loathing and survival in the land of the dead A.K.A the Middle East

Painting by  Chiara Aime

Painting by Chiara Aime

If you follow the news long enough, you will be declared mentally retarded, so don’t!

Be it a bomb, a drone, a missile, some war somewhere across the border!

Whatever the reason is the results are always the same, some number of casualties!

You will feel sad, you will cry for all the dead people and you will be heart broken.

You will pray for Paris and Beirut and Lebanon and Syria and Palestine and Lybia and Egypt and too many countries you can’t even count!

It’s always declared an act of terror!

Sometimes when there is an earthquake I expect them to declare it an act of terror.

You will wake up next morning to find your country declaring war against terrorism.

But they have no idea who to point their finger at so it’s always the land of the dead.

I will refuse to be called a terrorist because of a scarf on my head or because I didn’t write on my Facebook #prayforparis or because I live in the land of the dead or…

You know what? Go ahead! Call me a terrorist! I don’t even care…

Will you come to kill me? I’d open my door with the brightest smile on my face.

How we survive here is we pretend we don’t care until we genuinely don’t care.

We fake it till we become it!

Lybia is just a walk from across my border and palestine is walk across the other side of my country.

Do you have any idea how many people die on our border? I call it the land of the dead for a reason. I am right in the middle of it all.

But we pretend we don’t care about whats happening in our land and we fantasize.

That someday we can get a chance to go abroad and start a new life in a safe haven.

We dream that maybe we can have a way to get out of here

We imagine we’d be safe and happy and loved and rich in your land… If only we can run away, to the city that never sleeps, the city of love, the clean streets, the safe lives,..

Oh you guys are living the dream!… Until you’re not any more.

Until you get a taste of what we’re going through and then our dreams are crushed!

The same terrified look on a child’s face.

The same tears in a woman’s eyes.

The same burns on a man’s arm.

We are the same! We thought we are safe in our pretty little bubble until we were not.

The president will wake up from his beauty sleep and make a statement and other countries will applaud and unite together.

The internet will buzz with the news of what happened, where and how many died.

The mystical question remains unanswered… why?

Passant A. AbdelAal is an Egyptian with a severe addiction for reading novels and a passion for poetry, who writes bits and pieces of poetry and musings.

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