Tattooing is the most misunderstood art form in Japan today. Looked down upon for centuries and rarely discussed in social circles, people with tattoos are outcasts in this country, banned from most public spaces such as beaches, bathhouses, and even gyms. Tattoos have an extensive history in Japan, and to truly understand the stigma behind them it is essential to be aware of their significance. The first records of tattoos...Read More
The following entry was written by 11th grade student Jawed in response to the bombings that occurred in Boston on April 16th, 2013. Jawed hails from Kabul, Afghanistan. You can read his original post on THINK Spot.
Whenever I board a plane leaving Kabul, the first thought in my mind is that at least until I come back to this place, I won’t be as close to violence anymore. Yesterday I was proven wrong. When I heard from one of my classmates that there was an explosion at the end of the Boston Marathon, my heart dropped and my legs felt uneasy. In the minutes that followed there were explosions of memories in my mind from both the early and later stages of my life in Afghanistan – of those terrible bomb explosions and terroristic attacks that have taken place many times just a couple of miles away from my home, and of those days when I expect to be woken up around 4:30 AM by the voice of “Imam” from the nearest Mosque so that I can just pray for getting through one more day on this planet. Instead, it is the sound of bomb explosions, RPGs and AK-47s that awakens me.
However, this time was different. I’m not sure if it was because I was in a totally different and unfamiliar city when it happened, or if it was because I was terrified just looking at the reaction of my friends at school, or if it was due to the mass cyber coverage of this inhumane incident because you have that in Afghanistan. Very unfortunately, these events take place so often that it is on our 6:00 PM news every day.
It was no more than a couple of hours later when the news from Iraq and Afghanistan rushed into the international media. The Boston Marathon claimed the lives of three people, whereas in Iraq and Afghanistan, a total of around 70 people lost their lives yesterday – not counting the hundred who have been injured. And that is only in Afghanistan and Iraq. The moment I came to my full senses and tried to grasp this handful of recent events from around the world, one thing struck me: the obvious correlation between these events and politics. More importantly, I thought of the people whose lives were taken from them and of those whose homes will be taken over in the name of the “fight against terrorism”. I couldn’t sleep last night just thinking about this. About what nation is next to pay for the actions of a very small group whose mind is just wrapped around a narrow ideology. Thinking about what the consequences will be for the normal citizens around the world who live in conflict zones and have no control whatsoever over what the large community of terrorists is doing in their areas. In some cases, it is because they do not have enough education about the current situation in their communities to recognize that they have given shelter to terrorists, OR because they can not do much even if they do know because they will lose their lives if they report to the government. After all, that’s what terrorists try to do: bring fear and terror into our lives.
Despite all this, I am hoping and will work towards, as someone who feels responsible for the living in this era, stepping up and going against whatever stands against humanity and threatens our lives. I will work toward seeing that no government will take any kind of action in a hurry that will have a larger, indirect and negative impact on the lives of the normal citizens who live in unstable areas on this planet because they are not the ones responsible. They are just citizens of this planet like we are. Maybe they are not as lucky as we are to have all the privileges in life that give us the opportunity to educate ourselves, but the true enemies are the ones who play the chess game of politics up in the castles.
My prayers go out to all the families who are grieving the loss of their loved ones, and to those in the hospital next to their loved one in Boston, Urugzan AF and Iraq.