mardi 6 décembre 2011

An Internet Guy Celebrating the 10th of December

This is my first post in English..


Why in English !!? ..why not? 


I mean after all, this is my blog, and I can write in any language I want!




And today I'm willing to write about.. human rights ! 


Why d humain rights? Why not? 


I'm not used to it, but there is always a first time for everything!




I think that promoting human rights is an important national concern. It is commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being. And every one seeks to Promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women's rights, children's rights, and the protection of minorities; and to coordinate human rights activities with important allies and regional organizations.




Ok then :




I'm a Tunisian man , living in 2011, the year of the Revolution ! It is definitely the year where people’s voice is heard. What people want to say, however, remains yet to be heard !




Actually it is the year that civil unrest topples every regime that people view as unjust!!




Anyway, as I mentioned I'm an "internet" guy,




and soon, it will be the 10th of december. 




So how come ... A young, Tunisian "internet guy" talks about human rights in revolutionary conditions?




Not easy huh? Especially for a guy who is supposedly good at criticizing only! 




I think that, in a country taking the first steps in democracy, this 10th of December needs to be celebrated in two themes: the right of being different, and transitional justice, as a human right.




I will start with the first point, the easy one.






After all those years of fossilizing one way of being or doing anything: the one single voice, the one single picture, the one single opinion, the one single way of thinking..
Today we are starting a new era, a new life and a new beginning .. 
But could we escape the burden of bad habits? 
Pavlovian conditioning is known to be powerful.
How many years would it last? I have no idea , but it did last more than 50 years that one time..for sure !
When people are not used to accepting differences, when in a country politics, media, theater, cinema, are controlled by old men, whose mindset is still trapped in the seventies… To sump up that point of view: the other is necessarily "evil." 


When in a country, a dictatorship that has ruined everything and raped education. Even when you are smart and able to graduate college, and work hard, the government would confiscate your cart still!
When graduated students, engineers, doctors are not even aware of the importance of their history and its glory,
when people are addicted to football, act, live, think and behave like they were in a stadium... 
When exclusive attention is given to the role of the media: emergence of overt racism at football matches!
As you can tell, in football, you are always "the good people", and the others are your rivals. 
In football mentality, you have to defend your team and always stick to its side, even when it is the wrong side to take. This behavior is very similar to what is known as 'football hooliganism'!!


Who is wrong? Who is right? What counts the most, however, is: Even when it is easy for your team to manipulate others, even for nothing, you'd feel that your identity or your civil right are threatened. Media never changed and is always ready to serve that "nothing" !!! 




When in a country, there are huge differences between regions, lifestyles, level of political awareness, and even opportunities!
When people are racing for everything: "I have to be the smartest, the richest, even if it's on the expense of the other, even if the other has to become the poorest" .. It is a serious issue of feeling an urge to be compared to the other!


When people who have been oppressed for so long, but have no way to react or speak their minds, that oppression, that accumulated oppression turns into hate.


When you combine all the above... being different, makes you a sinner .. makes you guilty of being different.




So today, the right winged wish is actually 
in favor of centralizing political power in the hands of the leaders of the government. 
While the left-wing is in favor of distributing political power to the people.
Politics of the Right is associated with conservatism.
Politics of the Left is associated with liberalism: Everybody should think like them.
Just like the left winged, poor people want everybody to be poor like them.
Everyone wants others to be like them. That would make them feel better about themselves, and more secure.
However, .. there is an exception … The rich, the wealthy people , do not want everybody to be just like them...
And ... Tunisia is trapped somewhere in between.




So, on this 10th of december, how will the right of being different be saved? And most importantly, by whom?




Personally, I think it's the duty of intellectuals, politicians, and the media to raise awareness, to try to make people understand what "difference" means, and not see it as a threat, 
how to accept that people are more similar than different, and that all people (no matter what color, size, ability or age) want love, joy and security. Messages heard or observed make a big difference. 


They are able to set respect as a model to follow in our everyday interactions, and show that to people by implicating positive messages in stories, television programs, shows or even advertisements. 




But, let's be honest.. Our intellectuals, media, and politicians are left winged; our media and intellectuals are old ! And they are fighting each other still, like it has always been since the Seventies. They are doing all that they can.. to win, to erase and eliminate the other.


They are even the reason why things are getting worse today.




Additionally, they remained quiet (most of them anyway), they lived with and did not mind the devil (most of them as well) and they got used to comfort .. And now they are too old, too distant from people, that we can expect anything from them (expect insulting or diabolizing the other).




So, is it really this dark? Are we that lost?! Is one of the fundamental human rights to be lost?
Not sure.




Yes, our intellectuals, politicians,and media, are intellectually sterile (the majority); in terms of innovation, proposing efficient solutions, accepting the other.. But who cares anyway?!




A new intellectual class is born!




The internet "class".. the internet generation!




They are young, well educated, and most importantly, they seek no revenge or payback. 


They were not there at universities when ideological conflicts reached their peak.
They either were not there ..or maybe they were too young when the USSR and the Berlin Wall fell down.
They didn't witness Islamism in Tunisia and in Algeria and the problems that came along.. And what's alarming is that: they have a mass destruction weapon: HTTP.




This internet generation is smart, and not influenced by Europe or the US, like their fathers were. They realize the limits to their democracy and freedom, they gained a better immunity against CNN and Al Jazeera. They can seek the truth, and make their own analyses. 
And they are not afraid of making mistakes. They know they will learn from them.


We have 2 million internet users in Tunisia. Great! Does that mean that we have 2 million watchdogs protecting the right of being different?




Unfortunately, not yet.. Remember all those "when"s I mentioned above...
They apply to the 2 million internet users as well.. 
So, the watchdogs, have to also face "hate-dogs" on the internet, and the "hate-dogs" outnumber the others.


But, the internet generation, who managed to escape, and handle the "when"s, will always be there.
And I think that they are our only hope today; our hope to protect and promote the right of being different.


If it was my call, December 10th would be the occasion to celebrate the right of being different and the internet generation who is fighting for it.



the second part, human rights and transitional justice.. will be in the next post.. If I manage to find time.. (Internet guys, are always very busy)