Crossing Graveyards

Brother Dan,

This semester has passed by so fast, yet it was so exhausting. I don’t know, I kind of feel that the day itself passes slowly, but the days collectively are passing REALLY QUICK, does that make sense? I don’t know man.
I’d like to think we’ve learned a fair amount from and about each other this past semester. It was a nice experience to contact someone I knew nothing about living across the Atlantic and just exchanging our thoughts about various topics from nature to politics, and sort placing another brick in the bridge between the two cultures.
We were required to give our final dispatch a title, mine is “Crossing Graveyards”. Now that may seem a bit harsh, but I really think we did somehow somehow try to cross graveyards. It is an unfortunate truth that between our two cultures (and probably between every human being and the other) there are graveyards full of murdered people, from the innocent Americans that were killed on 9/11, to the victims of the invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan/etc..This game of politricks my friend, continues to widen the gap that is these graveyards, and mutual hatred has risen from the flames of our ignorance.
And every time a concerned but ignorant Lebanese person, or a concerned but ignorant American person, tries to look upon the other, his fragile near-absent and empty vision trying to cross a sea and an ocean, all he can spot is his fallen comrades that were buried in that graveyard. It frightens him, disrupts the whole of his stability, shatters his soul into little pieces afraid of looking anymore, he stops, and turns away, with that vivid image that he still remembers, he starts to form his assumptions. Both being on their own sides lacking both empathy and strong vision, they can see as far as their own murdered comrades, but the eye of their mind refuses to extend its vision across to the other side and see that the tragedy has scarred both ends of the graveyard and all that is in between with death and sorrow. Why? Because it hurts, because the truth can kill, the truth strikes and splits mountains in half, and every time the lightning produced by the friction of lies exchanged as bullets, strikes, truth strikes back with double the force, and only the willing can see the eminent light that strike radiates. Those who live in fear, will blame, the other end and will propagate hatred, those who live for love, will harness the energy that is that strike, and use it to fight back, but fight who? You? Me? Who? The King has always been a monster, a monster with several heads and each head with several faces, and only the sophisticated have seen all his heads and faces, all the blood that leaks out of his pockets full of gold and other false riches. But what can the sophisticated do?
“What position was available for the sophisticated, in the light of this continuous split between thought and reality, the position of the outcast, or the position of the servant of the king?…There was no choice for the sophisticated in a world like this, except between conforming or death. Between speaking the language of oppression and its regime or to speak the language of silence.”  – Mahdi Amel.
I have never been to the US, so that direct exposure to the American culture has not been available to me, but I’ve met a lot of US citizens whether face to face or through the internet, and have engaged in many conversations with them and some of which are my friends. Lebanon is one of the most Americanized countries in the Middle East, a lot of people here are often afraid of speaking Arabic and rarely use it. I was like that, but I’ve recently started changing that, I’ve been reading books in Arabic, writing in Arabic, and using it much more frequently. The main medium I use to learn about the American culture is through conversing with Americans whether face to face or through the internet. Some other ways are reading books written by American authors, some of the TV series I’ve watched etc.. I love exploring other cultures and I frequently attempt to cross those graveyards and add more and more images to the whole album and just put these pieces together. I’m still 18 years old, so I have some years left to gather more and more pictures.
Writing, to me, is one of the most important if not the most important medium of them all. Everyone should write, whether they’re good or bad at it, they should write. Put down some eternal words on a paper and let them live on through everyone that reads them, even if the reader is only yourself. This course allowed all of us to open up more and more and collect more and more pictures to add, and I’m glad about that. I’ve personally learned a lot of things about the environment. There was this one topic that appealed to me the most when one of my classmates presented it, ecofeminism.
It was interesting seeing terrorism through your own glasses, that can never hurt.
Anyway, it was a great experience, and I loved it. We should all work on giving those murdered comrades a better burial, a better more close to the truth image reflecting them, and to behead the beast that killed them all and will continue to kill if we allow him. And if I die placing one brick, or contributing in placing one brick in the bridge that has yet to be built between human beings, then I am content.
Have a good life brethren. I salute you.

Your Comrade, Ahmad El Amine


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