A concert in Manchester; an ice cream parlour in Baghdad; a fun Saturday evening in the heart of London; a busy crossroad, a demonstration and a funeral in Kabul. Tens if not hundreds of people dead or wounded. And all this without considering what happens in Syria, in the rest of Iraq, in Nigeria as it doesn’t make the news any longer.
These are days full of fear and exhaustion. Rejection and suspicion seem to be the easiest solution: closing all the doors; building walls, turning our backs to everyone who’s other than us. It is, in fact, the worst choice because it means to fall in the trap, to play by the rules of terror, to accept to be blackmailed.
Manchester, Baghdad, Kabul and London are shouting back at the peril of slipping into bigotry.
This morning on a signboard on the London tube it was written: “Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.” And in the ice cream parlour in Baghdad, they went back to work five days after being hit. And Kabul – where people queued to give blood and appealed to unity and doctors worked with no rest and journalists stayed strong on the front line to tell their story – reminds us the immense value of humanity.
In Afghanistan, where a courteous culture still gives value to the ritual of exchanging greetings, I learnt one of the most beautiful wishes: Mondana Bashid – may you never be tired.
I don’t think there is anything better we can wish each other in a time like this when tiredness, fear, exhaustion and helplessness risk to take over.
Mondana Bashid to the citizens of Kabul, to emergency’s doctors, to my Afghan friends who still believe in the future. Mondana Bashid to each one of us and to all those, no matter where they are in the world, who still have the courage to hope and to make things a little better.