The one where I talk about Aleppo. Because nobody else will.
It’s that time of the year again. It’s snowing in places where it usually doesn’t snow, or snow often. The PNW for those of you wondering. It’s festive. My friends are all putting up cozy pictures of themselves sitting in front of frosted glass windows in their homes’ massive reading rooms, sipping hot cups of chocolate while they bask in the magnificence of the yellow light that emanates from their hearths. Alright, alright! That’s not true I know, but that stock photo that I’m currently looking at should give anybody living in the PNW who’s not sipping hot chocolate in front of frosted windows while bathed in the warm glow of yellow fires in massive reading rooms, crazy envy.
Pretty soon there’ll be Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, and children and people, young and old, will sing Christmas carols and wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy new year! And all will be alright in the world because it always is after such events. A warm, hazy, laziness will spread through your limbs and all you’ll want to do is Netflix and chill and I mean that in the literal sense, you pervert.
But what makes this sad is that this is all so fantastical. The picture I’ve painted above is so far removed from my current reality, that it is impossible to even imagine it properly. That’s why I had to Google image search a lot of pictures to be able to paint an accurate word picture. Why is it so far removed from my reality? Because as someone who belongs to the third world, I can feel the pain of Aleppo, where it doesn’t snow and there are no Christmas trees. Instead, if you hadn’t heard by the way, it is filled with the stench of rotting dead bodies because there is no one to collect them and bury them. Or even burn them.
You’ve heard of it right? That place in the Middle East where kids are killed and women are raped and men are maimed. It’s such a cliche though isn’t it? Killing. Like the word doesn’t even register anymore. It’s normal. It’s mundane. It’s everyday. Genocide. Now that’s a word that used to evoke strong responses. But that too has quickly become routine. Killing and being killed is the new normal, especially in that part of the world. Why would somebody who doesn’t want to walk on freshly fallen snow for fear of ruining its pristine beauty want to dirty their mind by thinking about kids being set on fire, or men begging regime soldiers to kill them as the regime soldiers rape their wives with guns?
You’re all complicit. When it’s Paris or Brussels, you get in line to decry the atrocity and make sure that the two words you have to say on the matter are heard over and over and over again. But when it’s Peshawar, or Aleppo, or Mosul, your ringing silence is tantamount to endorsing the genocide taking place in the streets.
So shame on you. All of you.