By Dr. Farah Akram.
Everyone all over the world had excitedly looked forward to the New Year fireworks, but many Pakistanis do not hold the same enthusiasm for the future as we enter into year 2017, especially since media, in all forms has been focusing on how unfortunate year 2016 was.
Indeed 2016 took away some legends from us and they will be missed sorely. However, Pakistani media has developed a knack for delivering news that is bad and worse, seemingly intent on squeezing every last drop of optimism and positivity from our minds and hearts. And it’s not just Pakistani future that troubles us but also that of Muslims all over the world – Syria, Rohingya, Yemen, Palestine and now Turkey – to name just a few.
Any news about these topics brings up the same questions over and over again – Why us? Why Muslims? Why Pakistanis? Why Arabs? Why so-and-so sect? And that’s it. People ask these questions, maybe ventilate some of their stress and then go back to their lives.
In my opinion, these questions need to stop. It’s been done, Muslims do seem to be targeted mostly, but not entirely and multiple theories have come up as a means of explanation– be it a conspiracy of other countries or the fact that we are too busy dividing ourselves into different groups and then fighting among ourselves. All in all, many people have suffered, many families have been shattered, many lives lost. And no answer can justify this inhumanity.
Why are we wasting our time with questions? Are these even the right questions? If we see humans suffering do we really need to ask which county or religion they belong to? Would that in any way justify violence? These questions are just a bunch of meaningless words in a world that requires meaningful action right now.
So let’s make 2017 a year of action instead of questions. Actions speak so much louder than words, so one positive action would speak volumes in this dreary world. Let’s aim to make 2017 a chain reaction of positive deeds aimed at helping mankind, one optimistic step at a time. If we aim to make 2017 a year of prosperity for humanity in general, then there is no way that Pakistan in specific would not benefit from it in some way.
Pray. Protest against senseless violence against humans – it does NOT matter what country they hail from or the religion they choose to follow. Donate to the organisations that are helping humans all over the globe – these volunteers and staff workers are putting their lives at risk everyday indiscriminately. All you have to do is donate from the comforts of your home AND unfortunately you have many causes to choose from. And spread the word.
Let’s make 2017 better by replacing despair with hope, rants with prayers, hate with love and the most effective, let’s replace questions with actions. May Allah guide us to all that is good and right. Ameen.
Dr Farah Akram. May Allah guide us to all that is good and right. Ameen.