Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Les Miserables

in February 2000 i wen to New York city for the first time when my brother and his wife invited me to visit them all the way from the Middle East. i remember fighting with my brother on top of the WTC when he said: "i don't know how to impress you, i keep taking you to places and you show no gratitude or interest in anything"... my reply was simple: "i can't conceive of it all, the city is beyond my comprehension, and when i'm amazed, astonished, excited, and in awe, all at the same time, my system shuts down" and it was true, the city was too crazy to be true for the 21 year-old-girl i was then.

one of the major things my brother and i did was attend Les Miserables, the musical, and it was a piece of heaven, the music, the lights, the stage, the theater... everything was marvelous and beyond, i counted it as one of the top 10 experiences of my life. at the end of the show my brother bought me the music book written for the flute. and when i flew back home i bought the two cassettes (CD's existed back then, but i only had a cassette player) and i memorized my favorite songs by heart, the best three for me were: "Castle on a Cloud", "Do You Hear the People Sing", and "On My Own".

a few days ago i had the chance to watch the Les Miserables, the movie, and i had mixed feelings. i missed the theater atmosphere that came to me with the songs, but the movie gives you a chance to dig deeper into characters and feel their suffering in a way that only a movie can do, especially that the camera focused on the faces of actors/singers with every last bit of details available for you to savor. it was also too much for me to take in at one shot and from a single watching time. but it got me thinking for days about this old, yet new, story of "the revolution"

so much has changed since 2000, the last 3 years of these "thirteen winters" witnessed a number of revolutions in the MENA region. starting with Tunisia, then Egypt, then Syria, and none of these revolutions was less brutal and bloody than the French one documented in this novel. "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" is a sad song, but for me it was even sadder to hear today in 2013. why did all these Egyptians and Syrians die and are still dying? is what happened really a "revolution"? how does such a story end happily ever after? can it ever end this way? "Who Am I" in all of this? do i have a role? does it make any difference?....

an endless number of questions that give birth to new ones leaving me without a single satisfying answer. i'm still sitting in my chair, sitting still, in the observer's seat, i don't know if i'll live long enough to see the change that comes from a revolution, right now i'm watching bloodshed, death, destruction, lack of security, suffering economy, and no light at the end of this tunnel... at least not for me using my current eyeglasses, but i'll keep "observing" as it seems to be the best thing i can do well, until i find another way to "join the people sing" to be part of "the revolution" to give what i can give so that the banner may advance and that life will start when tomorrow comes...

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