Friday, August 14, 2009

Being an Islamic Youth in War

Watching Christine Amanpour's special, "Generation Islam," on Muslim youth in Iraq and Afghanistan early in the wee hours of the morning, I wept in sorrow intermittently for the lost of innocence. I wept in anger intermittently for our role in such destruction. Who will protect these? Who will love these? God is love.


rebecca said...

Oh, Judith, there are never any winners in war, now are there? It is heartbreaking especially when we see that those that wage wars are safe and sound while young men and women who have not yet begun to live or have young families waiting for them at home must now fight and die and, if they're lucky, they get to return home. But at what price?

And, then, there are the babies, the young, the mothers, the elderly of Iraq and Afghanistan - victims of an ideology that perhaps they may not fully share yet must carry the weight and its scars.

Suheir Hammad, a Muslim poet, gave a very powerful poetry reading on what it was like for Muslims who are Americans fighting the war after 911. She had two brothers fighting in Iraq under the U.S. flag. Her reading, Affirm Life fills you with a quiet of new knowingness because once again, we had failed to fully see.

Blessings to you my sister friend and I will look out for Amanpour's special.

Judith Ellis said...

Rebecca - The program was heartbreaking indeed. But what was very clear is that people the world over want the same things: love, respect, and provisions for family.

Thank you for the introduction to Suheir Hammad. I will read the link you have given here. In reading about her brothers some would probably think it unfathomable. Otherness can be such a divisive force. Thanks for the link.

One of my dearest friends, the acclaimed poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, and her dad have written eloquently on the subject too. I have written more than a few posts of her and her dad here. Do check them out. We have known each other for 14 years and became dear friends immediately. One of Naomi's poems has a permanent place on this blog.

Blessings to you too, my sister friend. I know you will find the Amanpour special worthwhile.

Judith Ellis said...

Hey Rebecca - Just heard that Suheir Hammad and Naomi are going to be presented an American Arab Book Award next month here in Michigan. How cool is that? I will now read more of Hammad's work. She's being awarded for "breaking poems" and Naomi for "Honeybee." Waay cool! I'll be there for sure. It promises to be great!