The Six Degrees of Separation
Have you ever heard of the theory “Six Degrees of Separation”? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_degrees_of_separation . It basically claims that any 2 individuals on Earth are connected (or separated only) by 6 people. I haven’t seen the movie with the same title, but those who have would know what the theory is about. I, personally, believe that nowadays with the internet, social websites and ease of travel we are definitely more connected than that. I, for instance, have discovered that I’m separated from Obama by only 2 individuals (degrees). Shall we stick to the original theory?
Why am I saying this now? Well, everybody should be aware that nobody is disconnected from what’s happening in the world. I will take advantage of this theory to ask for more help for Syria. The story below is imaginary, but do you agree with me that it is very likely?
A young Syrian boy, called Adel, was once coming back home in his small village in the countryside of Idleb. Adel may have been only 11 but he had the will of a bull. That morning his mum had begged him to stay home because of the terrible incidents of May 2011. She had heard from the store’s owner that men from the army and security forces were firing their rifles at random just to scare the people and send the message that protesting against the government was prohibited. Adel’s mother made him his long cheese roll while still begging him not to go school. Adel had agreed to play in a very important football match after school and there was no way he was going to stay at home like babies and let his team lose. His father, a hard-working peasant, had to agree with his youngest son. After all, the boy was going and coming back by the mini-bus that took all the village children to the neighbouring one where the school was. Nothing could happen! Well, that day, Adel was brought back in their neighbour’s arms, his eyes open with fear and his heart asleep.
Janine really hated her job. All she had to do for 8 long hours was put the cigarette packs in boxes and get them ready to be exported. She hated smoking herself, but people in France, Europe and the whole world had that constant addiction to the lethal substances. Being the simple middle-aged French woman she thought little about whether she was directly harming people. She resolved to convince herself that if she hadn’t taken the job, somebody else would have. Besides, people have the choice to whether they wanted to smoke or not. SHE wasn’t forcing any smoke down anybody’s lungs. Where was this tobacco from, though? She didn’t really care either! Some colleagues said from India, China, Turkey and others said from SYRIA!
In Damascus, everyone in every governmental office was busy gathering cash and transferring money. Some of this money was collected and transferred to Swiss banks to make sure corrupt businessmen, the ruling family and high-up officers would continue to bathe in money if they had to flee the country. The other part was hurried to Iran and Russia to get more snipers and bullets. Munir, the manager at the General Organisation of Tobacco was frantically sending off all the profit that his organisation had recently made so the army and security forces could buy much needed reinforcements to kill the protesters.
In Iran, in a big government ammunition factory there was a man with a white beard who wore white gloves. His job was much like Janine’s. He had spent his whole life working in this factory. He, however, had a burning conflict going on in his mind. From the first day in the job he knew he was doing a bad thing. He tried to convince himself that he was only helping defend his country. He told his wife that he was helping the republic and the Iranian people, but deep down, he knew he was simply contributing to killing people. He prayed and prayed for forgiveness. Only last year, he promised God and himself to retire early. All he wanted was to be able to provide for his son Mahmoud who was studying law in America. While silently packing those deadly pieces of metal, he couldn’t help but wonder in whose body they were going to find home.
Mahmoud was a good young man with a bright future awaiting him. He received his parents’ monthly allowance to hurry and pay his university fees, his Green Card fees and all the other fees. That day in Washington DC where he studied, there was a meeting for the American government to discuss whether they wanted to impose sanctions on Al-Assad and his relatives or not. Syrian protesters and their advocates were in front of their T.V. sets waiting desperately for America to lift its support for the regime in Syria, when Hilary Clinton announced in a press conference that Al-Assad should be nicer, implement some changes because otherwise, he was about to lose his legitimacy. Mahmoud, deeply disappointed, imagines that Hilary’s drinks and coffee during the conference were paid from his fees. He curses himself.
Alshabbiha, Al-Assad’s thugs and criminals rejoice after hearing Clinton’s statements and start using the ammunition they just bought from Iran to kill more people in Hama, Dara’a and Homs. They start recruiting more young men from around Syria and tell them they were chosen to honour their country by defending it from the “armed groups”. One of those young men was called Rami from Aleppo. He was young and naive and desperate to rid his country of the vandals.
Rami’s mother bade him farewell, crying for fear of her son being killed but reassured herself that God will protect him because he was doing the right thing. Those armed groups had no place in Al-Assad’s Syria and were to be fought off. She had once been a teacher and had taught her students books of “Patriotism” and preached that defending the country was an absolute honour.
A week later Rami came back to his mother looking like he’d seen a ghost. He was allowed to go home because he was wounded, but he actually came back because his soul was wounded. The young man had become a killer. A children’s killer. He confessed to his mother between sobs that he was forced to fire at people protesting without any arms on them. At first he complied, but then he started shooting in the air like a madman. In a blink of an eye he had killed a mini-bus driver who was driving school children home thus killing all the children aboard.
What they still don’t know, though, is that Adel, the eleven-year-old had been Rami’s mother’s student a few years back. A very bright, but stubborn boy, he was.