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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

WHEN DID WE START LIVING THIS UNREALITY?

AN ESSAY BY RAVEN

Driving to my grandfather’s house for a family gathering, thinking over
my day’s schedule, ideas flashing here and there, I started thinking
deeply. When did we get so dedicated to life? When did we become so
hooked to our jobs and studies? When did we get so distant from our religion
and our national traditions? Why can we remember the name of an actor
in a good movie so well, and not remember the names of the ten people
the prophet assured to go to paradise? Some people spend all their spare
time nagging over who is prettier, Jennifer Anniston or Cameron Diaz.
Others, with nothing better to do, fight over whether Ronaldo or David
Beckham is richer. Not to mention those who undermine you for not
knowing enough details and gossip about movie stars, sitcom actors, and
Italian footballers.

I passed my old school and smiled, recalling the days we spent there
getting into all kinds of mischief. It was a great school and it directed
us to our different paths in life. But now we are in the real world,
that’s if it’s still called the real world? I prefer calling it the
“unreal” world. I don’t believe we are living a reality at all. Muslims
detested everywhere; certain Arabs strengthening the negative stereotypes
that the World’s nations already have of us; distrust spreading between
the deepest and closest friends; people not believing in true love
anymore; the religious police force partly made up of ex-prisoners;
teenagers running after lust and forgetting there was something called
“romance;” people taking rappers, rock stars, soccer players, and actors as
their role models; these composing only part of the unreality we now live
in. You also see people gazing in awe at someone playing a musical
instrument, wishing they had half his or her talent, forgetting that this
person might never go to heaven.

These days it’s almost impossible to find anyone wanting to walk in
the footsteps of Omar or Abu Bakr, the great Caliphs of the Muslim
nation. You see people reading magazines and Stephen King novels, never
thinking of reading a biography of one of the prophet’s companions. You see
more and more people with funky haircuts, but no 21st century Malcolm
Xs walking around. You see more and more people in malls, and less and
less people in mosques.

Another important question arises: Why are some people so fake? If
Ramadan comes, they hurry to Makkah and aim to finish the Quran before the
month ends. A week after that, they make reservations to spend their
Hajj vacation in Beirut. We are also becoming more and more
materialistic. Judging a person on unreasonable criteria like whether or not he owns
a new Mercedes (foolishly nicknamed “Viagra”), whether he is covered
from head to toe with Diesel, Armani, and other designer’s clothes, and
whether he spends his summers in LA, Paris, and Geneva.

Why is life becoming so important to us?? Parents are planning their
children’s careers when they are in grade school, and not caring much
about whether or not they are sending a positive and well-mannered
individual into the world. You see more and more young ones disrespecting
their parents, and many teenagers that hate their dads and moms. We also
have a new generation of nanny-raised children. These are children that
spend 90% of their time with maids because their mothers are too busy
with social gatherings, talking on the phone, and shopping; these
children are being raised with no morals, no goals, and nothing that makes
them strive to make a difference.

Still other questions pop up like: Why can’t some families gather
except when there is something like a death or a major car accident in the
family? Why does it take the death of a loved one to make us remember
that there is heaven, hell, and the hereafter? All these issues delineate
the unreality we now live in. But in my case, I want OUT. I want to
exit this crooked matrix and enter a world where truth prevails, a world
where religion is spread by virtue and good treatment, not force, where
you are respected whoever you are and whatever you do, a utopia where
your friends are still your friends, even when you aren’t there, a world
where you can always lay your head on your pillow and never think of
tomorrow, a place with no negative consequences and no back-stabbing.
So, does anyone wish to join me?


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