butterflies and bombs

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Calm, comfortable, secure.

Three words that describe a butterfly cocoon. When I was a child I loved looking at pictures of butterflies, so imagine my disbelief when I found out how they are born. Butterflies are fairies who don’t speak and have wings made of magical dust. They’re shy, quick and if you ever happened to have one sit on you – anywhere on you – you’ll feel that they really are fairies.

The people of Gaza are all butterflies to me, still in a cocoon of sorts. A very real and a very different kind of butterfly community. Their cocoon is chaotic, terrifying and so fragile that it breaks all around them, it falls apart all, and it blows up all over the place.

But to me they will be beautiful, vibrant, and serene when their hardships fade away.

Things have been turbulent for the people of Gaza for a very long time . But recently, I’ve been getting news in pictures, texts and videos from most of the people I know. I’d like to thank Facebook for adding to my list of nightmares – even though I pray every night before I sleep, I still get bad dreams.

It hurts me to know that that is someone’s reality.

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I’ve always tried my best to pray for everyone who is oppressed when I remember my Allah, my God عز و جل‎. But recently, I was exposed to the fact that I am not doing it enough. I felt guilty. I saw children covered in blood, parents crying over the dead bodies of babies, and I saw youth being forced and tortured and beaten. It is not something any parent would wish upon their child, or brother or sister or friend. It’s something I don’t even wish upon people I dislike.

It is so easy for us to say things like – I hate him so much I could kill him / I will find him and hurt him if I can / They are beasts and deserve to die / They are so awful they shouldn’t exist.

You see, when you wish someone didn’t existed, it’s another way of saying that you want that person dead and wouldn’t grieve or be upset if they did happen to die. Do you honestly want that? We don’t stop to think about what we say.

How easily do we ask for such things for other people? And over things like jealousy, petty fights, differences.

What is being done to the people of Gaza -and many different places around the world regardless of faith, race, color – is horrible and vile and it’s inhuman. Even the statistics point at clear injustice – around 200 Palestinians killed, 1500 injured, whereas 2 Israelis killed (I’m not even sure if it was 1 or 2).

That is the truth. Bodies are piling up in Gaza and not anywhere else.

All these statistics and visuals really scared me this past week. In fact, I had joined the battalion of people who were sharing and posting such news all over their social media websites. My Instagram, my twitter, my Facebook, and even my texting apps like Whatsapp and BBM were used by me to spread the message.

But something else occurred to me and this wasn’t until I was exhausted and overwhelmed and waking up from awful nightmares every other night.

The amount of time I spent on social websites sharing and discussing the calamity which is occurring right this moment, was so much more than the time I spent remembering those people I felt for, and praying for them, and asking my Allah, my God, عز و جل‎ to help them and protect them and ease their hardship like He has promised in His beautiful book.

I even argued with my best friend. I love my best friend and I hate arguing. But I argued and forgot for a few moments that she is sensitive and has a tender beautiful soul and if I show her those pictures and videos then she would be upset and wouldn’t be able to see them. I forgot that. I forgot that I’d become desensitized to real-life violence in the minute way that I thought it is normal for everyone to see it.

Now I have minimized talking about Gaza, sharing pictures and videos all over the internet, and I have maximized the time I spend remembering them, and asking my Allah, my God عز و جل‎to ease their hardships.

This is something I want anyone who is fighting in the name of humanity to know – Spread  awareness but remember that what is easy for you to see might make someone else weep. It’s extremely important to spread the awareness but start within your own home. Tell your parents and family about the wrong that is being done, and ask them to tell their friends. Meet your neighbors and make yourself a community that works together, prays together, peacefully protests together. This is very difficult to do in Saudi Arabia because “community” has a very limited definition, especially if you’re an expat.

Some of you might accuse me of asking to numb down tumblr_m92z6cH6UT1r75xe0o1_1280the awareness, but honestly – do you really think posting everyday to the same people on your facebook and Instagram will spread the message? What really matters is where our voice is reaching – into the chaotic newsfeeds of Facebook, or towards our Allah عز و جل‎ who is listening to what our hearts desire/want/need even when we don’t speak.

So, the best thing to do is to remember our Allah, our God (عز و جل‎) the Most Merciful and Most Forgiving. That is how we can help Palestine, Syria, Burma, and every other place where there is hardship; within our homes, in the street, oppression by parents on their children, oppression by children on their parents, oppression by governments on the people, oppression by the people on themselves, oppression by us upon our own souls.

Insha’Allah, I’ll be in Makkah in a couple of hours, and I intend of spending every second I have on praying for everyone who is facing hardships. I love Makkah and I feel so blessed to be going again. ❤

We – the rest of the world that sleeps in comfort and security – are butterflies, and our cocoons have been soft, calm, comfortable and secure. But who says their edges won’t make them butterflies? They are already more beautiful in their soul than we are because hardship is a test from our Allah, our God, عز و جل‎ and theirs is greater than any of us will ever know.

Lots of Love,

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