By Chandan Wadhwa:
The Arab World is currently in shambles and the global turmoil is growing in size by each passing day. The perverse effect of the same has had a detrimental impact on the civilians. Most of the twenty-two states which constitute the Arab League are encompassed in flames by virtue of the civil war, violence and political instability. The demonstration and protests in the Arab World commenced on the 18th of December 2010, which was also known as the Arab Revolution. In this, furious people poured in large numbers and cemented the base for a bloody journey ahead. Hitherto, rules were forced from the powers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Civil uprisings erupted in Baharin and Syria. Major protests broke out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait and Morocco.
The onslaught by the people on the previously established system has had a cascading effect on the various states and territories. The resignation of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and killing of Col. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya is just a reaffirmation of the stated fact. Hence the spill over effect of this global upheaval has reached Syria, Tunisia, Yemen and Jordan.
Syria is the latest victim of the popular unrest. The first protests were initiated in March 2011 in city of Deraa where at least 15,000 Syrians were allegedly killed. It may have started off with mere demonstrations but the movement has now taken a form of a ‘blood tsunami’ as the conflict has become increasingly militarised. In the midst of the myriad of attacks, people are fleeing from Syria to safer regions.
On May 25th, reports emerged of the deadliest massacre in the crisis to date. United Nations observers confirmed that 108 people, most of them women and children, were shot and stabbed in the village of Taldou in Houla region. Sometime back, another massacre in the village of Qubair left 78 people dead. This fact justifies the actions of the people who were fleeing.
The key point here is that, amidst all this commotion, women have become the soft targets yet again. The history of Arab Nations in this particular front is dismally conceivable. The plight of women seems to be far from being resolved in near future. Certain people have latched onto this opportunity to exploit these refugee women in the name of protection.
The fact that these people are using various religious titles and social values and are coming forward with marriage proposals for Syrian refugee women with vested interests in the back of their minds, is really a disdain.
A campaign launched by Mazna Duraid under the title ‘Refugees not Captives’ is a positive stride in combating this and it needs to be further consolidated by collective effort. People should transcend the boundaries of nationality and religion, come forward and render their support to the humane movement which fights against the humiliation of the value of Syrian women and advocate for the protection of the Syrian women’s rights. This actually highlights the hypocrisy of affluent people who want to take undue advantage of the current status of Syrian women. Those indulging in such petty activities must immediately restrain their actions and understand one thing clearly, that a woman is not a commodity which can be bought and sold and become cheap goods in the slave markets under the name of marriage and honour.
Few people’s greed must not enslave half of humanity (female gender) under the virtue of being physically fragile. There is an urgent need for self-cleansing and moral restructuring of values inherited by the people and they must adhere to these incessantly. These lines by Friedrich Nietzenche, ‘‘whoever fights monsters should see to it that in process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you’’ are profoundly apt in this context.