My weekly post was going to be about an aspect of my life again. After all, I created this blog site to document my literary work of the past and the present, most of which originated from my own life experiences and ills I have faced thus far. To the best of my ability, I resist reading the news. Beyond an occasional scan-reading, that is. In the opposite sense of “intended” or “active” reading, the practice about which I tell my students time and again when dealing with literary texts in a foreign language – German, in my case. Just yesterday, my literature class and I completed an analysis of three poems representative of their centuries in terms of cultural, social, political, religious and artistic tendencies. All three, of relevance to my thoughts today. As the poets’ words of hope for future generations were not capable of a launch: everyone in class, myself included, had to agree that nothing had happened for the better in human behavior from one century into another. Ours is no exception.
Yes, I have been resisting perusing world and local news for a while now. To self-protect. For I am very much like my mother, who couldn’t be herself for a long time, after reading sad news in newspapers back when. Another reason is my realization of the cruel fact that I can’t possibly change anything that is tragic, cruel, downright inhuman in any of the world countries we know of. This morning, however, an article by Jibran Ahmad at Reuters, http://news.yahoo.com/pakistani-girl-spoke-against-taliban-shot-wounded-095818763.html had my full attention. Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old schoolgirl “became famous for speaking out against the Pakistani Taliban at a time when even the government seemed to be appeasing the hardline Islamists,” per Ahmad. She was “shot in the head and neck when gunmen fired on her school bus in the Swat valley, northwest of the capital, Islamabad. Two other girls were also wounded, police said,” Ahmad states. Malala’s courage got to my soul. As we say in Turkish: it hit me directly in the main vein. While I am typing my weekly post in the comfort and safety of my home in a secure environment, with my sole focus being on a discussion of a patriarchal wrong-doing of my own experience, this 14-year-old schoolgirl fights to stay alive. Simply because she chose to speak up with conviction against an ongoing wrong in one of the most dangerous settings of the world cultures. Against all odds. Having at such a young age already risen above personal concerns or wishes, desires, expectations. Her horrifying experience is a blunt reminder to me of what a luxury it is to do what I do: write about mostly personal issues placed in one or the other literary framework.
It is as if I have known Malala all my life. I want to apologize to her in any and all languages of the world I don’t know and am not even aware of. For I know one other fact for certain. I regained perspective now. Malala taught me that long-lost crucial insight for now. By next week latest, though, I will have been caught by my own life worries all over again, all of which can’t possibly come close to Malala’s, in their levels of seriousness, intensity, severity, extent or of downright life and death significance.
Images of Malala Yousufzai from my google search are in my Blogroll.
2 responses to ““Ivory Tower? Literature and Life” – An Opinion Piece”
Beautiful words today Hulya. Malala’s story touched my heart this week as well. (I caught her CNN interview regarding her convictions regarding the importance of an education for her classmates). To have this tragedy happen to her is indeed a perspective check for all of us. (Including my 14 year old daughter). Thank you for reminding us what is truly important in life.
I want to thank you, actually, dear Kathy, for following my weekly posts but especially for taking time to respond to this one, one that was quite special for me at a very different level of my existence. I am glad to know you and Tavrie were my readers. Knowing that is very special for me.