the way we let men burn

January 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

so much in this world leaves me speechless.

men are setting themselves on fire here in egypt.  they are burning themselves alive as an expression of desperation.  but egypt is not tunisia and the way things are continue as they have for seemingly forever in most people’s memories.

Police forces prevented and arrested an Egyptian man from setting himself ablaze in front of the Egyptian parliament today morning. The man was identified as Saeed Abou Amany, a civil servant.

At least five Egyptians have set themselves on fire in Cairo and Alexandria since Monday, protesting unemployment and living conditions in the country.

but for how long can we go on pretending as if we are not burning with rage?  with hunger?  with a yearning for a life better than the one that we have been promised–and even those promises are shattered glass on a concrete floor?

i say we, not because i am egyptian.  but because i am a human animal who has been suicidal enough times to know how numb you can feel that setting yourself on fire seems like an answer to the un-answerable question.  am i still here?

i can make a list of all my privileges and oppression identities, but really that doesnt matter in the end.  what matters is how do we respond to this call from these men, some of whom are no longer here?  how do we respond to the parts of us that we numb, refuse to feel anymore, or do we simply, lazily, apathetically keep allowing men to set themselves on fire in public squares in response to the way things are, the way we are, the way we let things be?

because i know i am not the only one in this city who when reading about the man above being arrested and prevented from setting himself on fire thought, he would have suffered less if he could have just burned rather than be in the hands of the police.

this is not a suicide bombing.  this is something else.  something that does not attempt to destroy anything but the body, the self, and the world that they know.

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