Angry Arabiya

We had one of those hard conversations with Rosa today on the way home in the car from somewhere. A few years back, a difficult conversation might have been about where babies come from, or what’s wrong with someone when they do drugs. These days, it’s about the complicated political realities going on in the world right now.

Not that those realities were ever simple. But I think that we are going through a firestorm now, the cusp of a wave that will change our old world into a new world, like certain other pivotal points in history, the death of Caesar, the destruction of the Alexandrian library, the creation and use of nuclear weapons. Like G’Kar said in Babylon 5, “The future is all around us, waiting, in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.”

So we had this very interesting conversation with Rosa about Angry Arabiya, who I’ve been following on Twitter.

She is a protester in Bahrain on a hunger strike, whose family, also involved in protests, was abducted by the Bahraini government. I mentioned to Adam that I was thinking about her now that it was the 6th day of her hunger strike and wondering if she was okay, and hoping that the government would relent and give back her family. Rosa, listening from the back seat said, “Well, why doesn’t she eat?”

So we navigated a careful conversation to explain that sometimes people do things like that to try to exert the only control they have over a very bad situation. And that while it’s not okay to go on a hunger strike if you don’t want to clean your room, Angry Arabiya is trying to save her family in the only way she can, and trying to change her country.

Rosa asked, “Will they give her family back?” And I wished I had an answer that was more optimistic, but I don’t have faith in autocracies, or even in politicians. So I had to say, “Maybe. Maybe they won’t want other countries to be mad at them, but maybe not.”

Rosa asked then, “What happens if they don’t?” And the only answer I could give her then was, “Well, she might die.”

So we sent her a message on Twitter, so Rosa could tell her that she hopes she will get her family back.

Here’s to hope. I think Angry Arabiya’s really determined to do this. So Angry Arabiya, hang in there. There isn’t much we can do from another continent but send you messages, but the whole world is watching. Like Shroedinger’s cat, sometimes observation is enough to change the course of events.

If you see this post, and you agree, send her a tweet, post on Facebook, anything, especially if you’re a writer. You know as much as anyone that words matter. Communications and information are changing the world. This woman is risking her life, and it’s real, it’s happening. It’s not fiction.


One Response to “Angry Arabiya”

  1. It makes me feel sad and powerless that political expediency rules of the health and lives of others. Should the US do something about this? No. Should the UN? That’s what it’s there for, of course it should. Why Libya and not Bahrain? I hate politics.

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