Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Lady of Hope: Benazir Bhutto

May her soul rest in peace!

My mother, Mehrangiz Kar, has not stopped crying since the second we found out about Bhutto’s death. She has not left the house. She is writing things and trying hard to type them on the computer with her fresh typing skills…and she cries and cries. I go out, go to work, come back, go to a movie with friends and come back and she is still crying…I say goodbye to her, I greet her and she does not hear any of my words. My words have become hollow bubbles in the air.

I am feeling suffocated by all of this. Looking at the pictures and video clips of Pakistan, I want to scream and just be angry. Crying will not satisfy the anger embedded in my young soul.

I feel I really lack political and I guess in general life experiences. Other than the chaos that we see on TV and read about online and in the media, I cannot predict much about Pakistan’s future. Growing up, I would hear Bhutto’s name at least a few times every night from the Persian section of different international radio stations. Her name was a familiar song to my ears.

A friend of mine called me at 3 am to say that he cannot fall asleep and not think about the lives of millions of people that changed in an instanse by Bhutto’s death. Another friend says, “It was extremely expected and yet catastrophic.”

I am deeply saddened by the tragedy of her death which is going to—and already has—end many more precious lives. I am worried for Benazir’s children. I am worried for Pakistan’s future. I am worried for my dear college friend, Rehan. I am worried for all of those anonymous Rehans in Pakistan. I am worried….

But being worried aside, my mother’s swollen eyes, the sound of her weeping and the furious noise that her fingers make on the keyboard of her computer terrify me. These things terrify me. It is the pessimism that I cannot take anymore when it comes to places like Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries in the region. It is the pessimism that is suffocating me and is murdering my desire and ability for positive thinking about the current and future condition of the region I call home. I cannot take the pessimism anymore. I almost feel as though I should block the political and historic experiences and wisdom of the older generation; it seems to me that those experiences have stolen hope from their faces.

I almost want to deceive myself with simplicity and lack of experience. I want to feel that if we remain hopeful and work (every one of us in our way) toward a better future, something (even if it is minor) good could happen. I cannot take this pessimism. We, the young generation, cannot let this pessimism conquer our bodies and our minds. I am scared of this hopelessness. It terrifies me!

Is not hope the legacy of our Benazir after all?


At 6:17 AM, February 24, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful tribute to a beautiful women who meant to do so much for her country inspite of her failures. She really lived up to her name and was Benazir...

we share Pakistan's sorrow and hope for a better future!


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