The Trial of Arab Leaders
By Rachid Acim
Morocco World News
Beni Mellal, Morocco, May 23, 2012
The winds of change are almost gone. Few creatures survived the horrible thunderstorm. We are but now first smelling a little fume mounting in the air, the wreck of an old vehicle of a mad driver, landing us into a ditch, after having crashed into many beautiful vehicles.
Many victims were stretched out on the ground and corpses were everywhere. Poor children were screaming aloud about starvation. Old sheikhs were sitting nearby the mosques praying in despair. Women were in their houses sorrowing intensely for a sweet memory of some husbands who will never show up again.
The lost cats in our streets are not meowing as usual. The crazy dogs are not barking, either. Panic took over human faces. What we could also see is a herd of hyenas cowardly scavenging on rotten fruits and vegetables, fighting one another in utter ferocity, whom is going to accumulate the biggest amount.
The mass protests in the metropolitan city stopped for a while and hope came back to the distressed souls. As the monster was following our actions, beholding what we were about to do in our play, we raised our hands up in peace and spoke with one voice collectively, “Long live the people! Long live liberty! Long live human dignity!” This monster is crazy himself, like the mad driver. He relishes the killings we’ve committed in the name of democracy, huge massacres we reveled in for the promotion of human rights. He is double-faced, untrustworthy.
Before spring, we were suffocated. We were almost annihilated, devoiced to even articulate or answer our urgent needs for the bathroom. So-called ruthless dictators have fallen down, one by one like autumn leaves.
Was it a hazard? A Tunisian street vendor changed the course of human history in a second with one signal. “No to humiliation! Yes to dignity and self esteem!” are phrases that have been buried with Mohammed Bouzazi, the landmark to Sidi Bouzid.
Bouazizi had a quarrel with a Tunisian policewoman named Faida Hamdy. She was older than him but somewhat disrespectful. Where is she? How is she feeling now? None can tell for real. What offensive words went in both directions? Who ignited the fire first? These are questions that should be raw material for human rights apologists and discourse analysts.
If the world is to be divided into evil and good, Mohammed Bouazizi is surely the epitome of the latter. He is virtue itself. He spoke spontaneously to modify a little bit of the arrangement of our social classes. Those who are above need to look below and those who are below can now breath out, mount up and look also through the balcony the good natural sceneries around.
I guess Bouazizi wasn’t influenced much by Marx or his pupil Althusser. He had no theory to dwell on but dignity and again self esteem.
Who can imagine that money could one day bring regret, intense sorrow, and melancholy. Who can visualize that fortune and wealth would someday result in depression and frustration? Money is a big game. However, few are keen on playing it!
The overturned Zin el Abidine Ben Ali flew to Saudi Arabia after the revolution to cleanse himself of mortal sins. He could have stayed at home and asked for forgiveness. Yet, his sins are uncountable, hard to bear. Escape was one resolution. He never allowed any public gathering. He never allowed access to Facebook and YouTube. He never allowed people to pray more freely, do their pilgrimage and other religious duties. Everything was under control. Everyone was monitored. That was cruel indeed! But he is in my view the luckiest! He is still cherishing his succulent meals of Carthago palaces.
His fellow Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian leader is not in a good position to envy. He silenced his people for so many years, stocking them in hatcheries and cemeteries with the dead, whilst he was relaxing with his family in golden sand resorts next to Sharam as-Sheikh, city of peace, away from the noise of Cairo and Alexandria. He was neither kind nor good-hearted as his age may suggest. Strangely enough, one can note that he had his name pinstriped throughout his suit. That was his favorite dressing style whenever he met presidents and officials of other countries. What arrogance, sir.
His son, Jamal Mubarak, long presumed heir to his ageing father, was more sarcastic in a press conference preceding the revolution. When asked about some Facebook youngsters who were strongly determined to take to the street and denounce Mubarak’s regime, he had no way but to laugh loudly and invite another man from the attendants to answer the question. Same blood. Same talk.
The next leader whose end was very tragic was the Libyan president Muammar Ghadafi. No matter how cruel he might be, we should not have treated him that way. He is badly the wisest leader of Africa, who would frequently comment on any complex issue, rendering it understandable to the average man. In his own words, “I’m not a president. I’m a philosopher and a historian.” He was a man with many personalities, but faithful to his Bedouin identity.
Strikingly, he kept loyalty to one of his wives. After he was slain, a silver wedding ring was engraved with the date he married his wife, Safia. His personality kept changing in the Libyan bloody scenario like a chameleon. He speaks a lot but acts a little. If he chose another direction, it would have been better for him. But snakes die out of their own venom!
The turn came to Abdellah Saleh, the Yemeni leader forced from power in the wave of popular uprisings. He was not different from those above. He never kept his promises. His security forces killed and injured a large number of people. He was subject to an assassination attempt where four bodyguards were killed and other officials were wounded. His face suddenly turned dark. It betrayed serious crimes he committed against his people. Indeed, he is very lucky.
The other leader clinging to power irrespective of the demonstrations calling for his resignation is Bashar al-Assad. He looks firm, defiant and so complicated. We must be cautious enough Syria isn’t Tunisia. It isn’t Egypt or Yemen. And it isn’t Libya. Only some heartfelt prayers can help restore order and stability to this beautiful land of iconic traditional singers not found elsewhere.
So far al-Assad did not stop the bloodshed and the daily atrocities going on against his people. His absolute tyranny led to detrimental conflicts between the Alawite minority ruling the country and the Sunni majority. We must not forget that Shiites are also in this interplay. They had to take sides.
The common denominator between these pre-mentioned autocratic leaders is that they are tyrannical, despotic, authoritarian, bossy and sacrificing all for the sake of money. They would hardly listen to their people, lead true reforms; hence challenging the masses with their selfish and egotistic habits. So, while the first escaped, the second was in jail. And while the third was murdered, the fourth resigned and still observes. The fifth is held to wait.
What a pitiful destiny.
Rachid Acim is a high School English Teacher in Beni Mellal, Morocco. He is a Freelance translator, writer and poet. Rachid is a contributor to Morocco World News. He can be reached at: (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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