Monday, April 27, 2015

Nassef’s Speech: “Atoms” – On the Awarding Ceremony of Gallipoli Essays

I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the participants, winners, and to the OIC Youth Forum. Thank you to the members of the jury for selecting my essay as one of the recipients of the consolation prize.
- On the Awarding Ceremony (27 April 2015, Istanbul) -
I was informed a day before the event to prepare a speech so I wrote one, however, I got lost and arrived late in the venue. Unfortunately, I was not able to deliver it. But I would like to share my speech to everyone.
Atoms: We are All but a Tiny Speck in the Universe Connected as One
I began writing my essay
by creating an epithet,
describing how I felt
while reminiscing nostalgic events
that took place in Gallipoli.
Thunders of volley guns,
the howls of cries
that shivered us as they continue
those resounding lamentations of lost,
of despair, and of sudden demise
of both juveniles and the old ones.
I cannot seem to ponder upon, why...
why the Battle of Gallipoli
or Gallipoli campaign
(depending on the narratives you adhere to)
even happened in the first place?
Almost all the quotations from the participants
so far that I have read
and cited by OIC Youth Forum in their Facebook page,
expressed the very same idea,
the interrogative idea of why?
Why the Anzacs, composed of Australians and New Zealanders,
have to fight the Ottomans?
Why the Allied Powers wanted to take control
of the Dardanelles or Hellespont?
Why the Ottomans decided to take the side of the Central Powers
instead of the Allied Powers?
I am sure that there is a plethora of answers
from different disciplines of social sciences,
from History, Politics, Sociology, International Relations,
Public International Law, to Geopolitics.
But what they do not see,
even how sophisticated their answers will be,
that it all boils down to the moral and ethical question
under the schema of humanity.
Look around you?
What do you see?
How do you contemplate of what you are seeing now?
You see faces, faces of peoples you may be familiar with?
You see me talking right now.
Listening to what I am saying.
But what you do not see,
or even realize,
that there are these smallest particles existing
called atoms. Atoms which are constituted of
subatomic particles (neurons and protons).
All living and non-living things,
in fact the whole world,
are made up of atoms
with various configurations and arrangements.
Human cells are made up of a special arrangement of atoms.
Same goes with the chair you are sitting now,
or the air or Oxygen you are breathing in,
they all have various atomic configurations.
This is the true fundamental testament
that God created us
because we are all connected with one another;
we are all made up of atoms.
I am connected to you
and so you are, too.
Now, looking back to Gallipoli War
100 years back
or to any wars and conflicts
afflicted the past, the present,
and those that will happen in the future,
because of human’s selfishness,
and of greediness.
Think back! Think back, again!
That God created us
because we are all connected as one,
and even in the Holy Qur’an, God said:
“O human beings!
Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female,
and have made you into nations and tribes,
so that you might come to know one another.
Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God
is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him.
Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.”
(Qur’an 49:13)
It means that we are all diverse
with various traditions, backgrounds
and belief systems, and yet
it does not mean that we are divided,
divided by different characterizations,
or of borders or territories.
It means that there is “synergy and unity in diversity,”
diverse yet we are all part of ONE humanity
connected so we may come to know one another.
I would like to conclude by saying that
I am very, very much sad
of the state of today’s Muslim world.
And I do not have to enumerate
all the cancers Muslim societies
currently experiencing.
I actually envy those Muslims
who lived during the golden age
of the Islamic civilization.
Unless, we do not act,
be responsible, be critical,
as human beings who think
and contemplate, then,
this paranoia of dark age
will infinitely continue.
That’s why I entitled my essay:
Gallipoli, humanity… quo vadis?
Where are we heading?
Thank you.

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