Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For Libya

husband asked me to publish this idea. and so i wrote. and he emailed to libyantv.
been a while...a long while. so happy to see family and friends in Libya back online. so am back too. planning to get serious with my writing and make a career out of it.
quite hard though since i can't write without my heart in it...usually it gets me into trouble. This time however, it is something more tamed and full of love. here goes:

A National Heritage Site for The New Libya
The rubbles and ravage caused by the war in my homeland is nothing as compared to the forty two years of inner desolation of our people. The liberation amidst physical damage now brings forth vision for the future of new Libya. Beginnings may be awkward but our hopes are fueled with almost everything we see- the breaking down of the tyrant’s strongholds, lifeless bodies of martyrs, ashes…But the bright light I see is in the vast accumulated wealth of the previous regime- properties, villas, cars, yatch, weapons, silver, gold, bronze…in all kinds of forms. These all seem to be up for grabs for every citizen who has gained access into their abandoned properties, after all, Libyans deserve this. The question however remains, how do we, as a people of peace and honor properly appropriate this wealth that cost billions?
Let us all be reminded that every piece of expensive property of our once oppressor is a symbol of a martyr’s blood, or tears of our mother, sister, friend, or sweat of our forefathers. Not a single piece deserves a place in any Libyan home. Everything, and I mean everything, including Aisha’s piano and golden sculpture, the water or tiles from their swimming pools, chandeliers, spoon and fork from which they ate from, mukets from where they once sat upon, talking and laughing over sumptuous food and the most expensive tea while a large part of the country suffers in poverty…Every single piece deserve a prison where people of the New Libya can mock at glory turned upside down and in honor of all the heroes who fought for the country’s freedom.
Let us create a National Heritage Spot for these things----although these were acquired by unclean hands, these are reminders to keep our integrity, so that a death in the family, the memory of our tears and wounds, will never be put to waste. Every single dime or penny that goes into this place through tourism will go to the Heroes Fund- equal shares to the families of the martyrs. We all should know that those who died fighting for freedom also died to leave a lasting legacy. Include photos and names of the soldiers and martyrs, gun shells, all kinds of weapons,---all for the glory and honor of the New Libya, and as reminders that these things are used for defense and never for offence. Include all expensive perfumes of the cruel family, to remind us of the stench of the massacre and their merciless murder of women and children. Include the dresses of the women in their family, to remind us of the rape of our beautiful mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters. There are countless more…that I can hope to leave to a Council to decide and organize if Libya would open up to this idea.
My hope that no single thing that was taken out of the former regime’s houses will have its place in any Libyan home. Remember, all these deserve a prison. All these deserve to create for us a memory of our sufferings, our revolution and a prime example of what we never should become. We are already wealthy, full of love, and peace and honor. What we need is fortitude to keep our character strong as it always had been so we do not lose sight of what is essential----FAMILY and FREEDOM.
Let us consider this: A NATIONAL HERITAGE SITE- for Ghadaffi family’s properties…sort of a Museum of Madness that will consequently honor the Libyan people and at the same time keep their feet firmly on the ground.
From a Libyan Son: Tarik Khalifa Farjani via Noeme Grace Tabor

Friday, April 22, 2011

For Libya From the Philippines

We think about you as always...
Although I have been quiet for a long time, my daily life is actually directed towards going back to you again.
I gather seeds here in order to plant them there and share the fruits to my home country. But for now, some plans are put on hold as we wait for your birthing pains to end and welcome a new world for you.
Here is a little i wrote and read in my class almost two months ago, just two weeks after Feb.17. And here's also a link for my country to see that we do still have heroes. These are very close friends of ours in Libya, Filipinos considered as "sons and daughters of Libya." To my good friend Noel and my dear 'sister' Nang Grace: we are proud of you. Thank you for being there for our Libya.

Now here's a speech read in class:

There is so much in my system right now that needs to be unloaded. Today I go back to school after two absences in my Current Trends and Issues in Education. I don’t know how I am going to explain in order to be excused from these absences. On the other hand, a big part of me would rather choose failure in class for my absences than failure to involve myself in the latest world issue in which I am very much a part of: the chaos in Libya and the people’s fight for their freedom.
For the past week, beginning February 16, I and my husband had been monitoring what’s going in his country. We knew right after Tunisia (west of Libya) and Egypt’s (east of Libya) revolution that Libya would follow. We are not activists but we are well aware of our country’s history, capabilities and limitations – both Philippines and Libya. We only have hopes to make our life better. The reason why we went back to the Philippines 15 months ago is for me to attain a higher degree education and go back to Libya for there is greater potential to earn more there, spend less and raise funds to invest here in the Philippines. I guess all these plans will be put on hold for quite a long time now that in terms of economy, Libya crumbles. We do not really know what to do right now. We live, eat, breathe information from the internet. We take shifts online. We even get info ahead of CNN and BBC- from my community there in which my uncle (my mother’s only sibling) has been a part for almost 20 years…my uncle who introduced me to my husband…my uncle who has been supporting us ever since we got married; from my husband’s family, who, thank God, wisely chose to be on the safer (neutral) side…choosing to stay alive for the children (and with great hope that they stay safe and that the men in the Farjani household continue to stay put until now) and most of all, from our main Heroes- the Libyans online, the new journalists in twitter, audioboo, skype…we saw videos- so graphic- of the killings and other atrocities by the dictator prior to them being showed by international media. In as much as the people there could not sleep, we also could not sleep here. The horrors we experience is of not being there and not knowing what’s happened to our family as the phone and internet connection is sporadic.
We help with spreading signature campaigns, re-tweeting, relaying info, participating in CNN online, even my FB acct. has been filled with videos and commentaries and news on Libya. Friends who work with Mindanews, - froilan and Bency printed a story based on PM’s I sent to them. Then, the unthinkable happened that I had to delete all posts on Libya in FB. Only Libyan knows the demonic capacity of their regime- to trace people so efficiently as CIA’s do and husband warned me that they might trace us and murder our family there.
Feb.25 Fri- I switched tv chanels- 30 (abs cbn), 15-bbc and 40-cnn…watching Libya’s attempt to take down their leader and watching Philippines commemorate EDSA revolution. I wept uncontrollably. The second time this week. The first time was from my uncle’s message on my fb wall that said verbatim:
Hello ping! Its good your Tita veron has connection with the FB here at their villa in Zanzour.I am reporting to work today per order of our company.Many Filipinos are going home and the embassy is repatriating them.For us ,the company is assuring us and advise us to stay.Sayang if i go home for it will be final exit and i will not be able to get my end of service pay which is quite a huge amount. Anyway pray that this trouble will be over soon and you will be benefited especially for the future of the kids. Miss you all.
Then the next message is this (right after the killings in the Capital):
We have decided to finally go home!! Just waiting for the embassy to arrange repatriation of OFW in Benghazi after that we might be next if we are still here! To james- lucky you, you have escaped a day before it all begun! Amal expats were transferred to Ras as the camp was looted and also the rest of the expats will be moved soon to a safer and accessible place.

He is a hero not just of my family, but of our country.
What filled me the time I wept, watching a revolution from the past…and a revolution that is happening in the country of my children, was that of conflicting emotions. I have gathered that Libya is my country now as much as Philippines is. Now I know what it is to have what I can only call as a truly ‘global spirit’…I wept because the cry of people, human beings, are all the same- that of freedom. Before, it sounded so relative to me, definitions subjected by culture, economy. But now, no.
Freedom is to live life without fear, without oppression and repression.
As I watched the EDSA anniversary commemoration and people giving commentaries- esp. on how far have we grown since that day, and on Marcos saying ‘we could have been like Singapore now…’ I can only say that WE SHOULD BE THANKFUL, for we are a free nation, and that looking at how the oppressed and repressed people of Libya die for freedom, it makes me ashamed at the so many complains I have belted against our government. We should be thankful because while corruption, economic problem, over population are our ONLY major problems and THAT we still have the ability to work, to study, to learn, to grow,…
I remember the movie Pursuit of Happyness. Will smith’s character reflected a symbol of the life of the people in Libya now. The attitude of FIGHT prevails. We Filipinos had that. But it stayed and stopped in EDSA 1986. Perhaps we are being awakened by what is going on in the Mid east and Africa now. Perhaps this has been happening for a long time but we are on pills and needed a bomb to wake us up. I hope this is the final bomb to get us involved because I could barely stand this war.
So what has this to do with my school excuse? I do not know. But I wish to tell my classmates, my teachers, and to add to the essay I submitted two weeks ago- on “how to promote or advance the Filipino race”…I realized how shallow I was and while my rhetoric may be essential, they are common. I learned INVOLVEMENT in a big way this past week. I learned that APATHY can be a crime greater than murder. I learned that the real horror of war is not the killings, the bloodshed or in dying…the horror is in dying alone. The horror is in knowing the rest of the world is just watching and talking about it, but not doing anything. This makes me want to scream. Worse, world leaders are weighing the cost between human life and oil. It is sickening. This will also be the first time in the past 15 years that I will not be watching the Oscar’s.
The world fails to remember that humanity’s capacity to REBUILD or BUILD is greater than the capacity to destroy. Let us pray that the world will have enough courage to face economic failure- brought my natural and human disasters, in exchange of preserving life, and of freedom. Remember, the world was built not by material wealth but by human hands and hearts. Remember that prior to discovering oil and gold, there was first of all- religion, philosophy, and the discovery of humanity’s capacity for creating the world that we are in now. Let us not destroy this. Let us get involved.
I do not intend to campaign for activism, but I claim I have become an activist through this experience. I see the light that this shed in terms of this subject: Current trends and issues in education. The light that reminds me of a favorite (seemingly cliché-ish) movie quote: From mighty ducks starred by Emilio Estevez whose character of a coach was mocked by this statement: “those who can’t do, teach”. Though this deserves in depth analysis, this I can add: I am not mocked. I teach because I can be a journalist, a doctor, a nurse, a political analyst, a dynamic artist…I teach because I know, I know because I am part of the story of humanity. And I can ask and convince people to get involved because I am involved.
I realized that one can never fully grasped the extent of humanity’s need unless he is within that circle. I am in this circle right now and I hope more and more will get in. I am in a mass that ate up my self containment.
There is nothing more authentic than putting your whole heart to where you are. People are more effective leaders when they are authentic, true to themselves, humane. Leaders should never underestimate the common man’s ability to discern and identify a person with good intentions.
While this opened my eyes to international law, functions of int’l org., global economy, role of media, etc- it also opened my soul for humanity- for the people.
As I write, people are being killed. My MIL called- a miracle that she’s able to get thru. My husband’s family belong to the upper mid class, lives in the suburbs where chaos is absent. But as one Libyan woman interviewed by cnn said: “there is abig difference bet quiet and worrying quietness.” Mama said they are all ok. Of course they are, because if they say something negative, they will be arrested n perhaps killed.
Our situation right now- here in the Phils., is also uncertain for we are source of income comes mainly from Libya. We have bills to pay next month and everything is closed in Libya. But we have hopes, and plans. Because we are in a free country. Though it will be very difficult, at least, we are still able. The country provides opportunities in order for us even just to get by. This is enough for now- planning, and then, executing these plans- of job hunting.
Maybe in due time I will get to share stories of courage, but now is not the time for we need more of that. Involvement calls for this. I am asking you to sign ….and also my account in fb.
I am sorry to have taken up your time. I hope I am not just heard. I hope this message sinks in. I used to believe that what matters is that at the end of the day I am a Filipino. While it still matters much to me, there is greater weight now in the fact that at the end of the day I look back and say I have valued life, and I look to my children’s eyes and say, there is so much in life that I should continue to live and FIGHT for it.
I see children, women, young and old men dying---getting killed all because of their dreams. These dreams are not like ours- to have a big house, own a car, to get a higher degree in education, buy whatever we want, to look like movie stars…their dreams are what we consider non-luxury- to live with dignity, to live without fear, to have a choice, freedom of speech…
I wish it will sink in us that these people are our mothers, sisters, children, brothers…
At the end of this day, I can say that I am truly human and am living my main purpose- as a Filipino, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend. Maybe all of us can continue building on our dreams but on a different foundation- and this foundation is the compassion for humanity.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cheers