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Picture taken by Emile Issa Lebanon https://www.ooshot.com/emile-issa/photo/32552

It was hard and a horrible week: we Watched on TV the murder of people in a country that is for us known as “safe”.

More than that it was horrible to know that people were savagely murdered because of their drawings, “cartoons” in the Country of the Freedom, in the Country where expression of thought was born for me. At School 20 years ago I read Le Cid, Voltaire , the story of the “revolutionnaries”, ….. killing people for their thoughts in the Country of Moliere?! for me it was IMPOSSIBLE, Not CONCEIVABLE.

Today, all the family went to the I am Charlie gathering in Beirut, eventhough I have received sooo many messages of all those who wanted to “Enlight” me about the cartoons Charlie did, especially about christians. They asked me how can I accept such an “insult” to our “faith” they were specifically speaking about the christian faith .

Those lebanese friends who flooded my inbox, my news feed, smsed me,  and whats app me I understand them. I do. They have seen the cartoons and they said : oh “blaspheme”in arabic “istaghfara el lah el 3azim” .

First for me the believer blasphemes, not the non believer.

On a second thought , I would have probably reacted the same way if I didn’t receive the french education I had. no idea, probably. probably I knew that Charlie hebdo was born in France, in the country where the values are different than the values we have here in Lebanon.

Even if I usually dislike the satire “cartoons” of Charlie hebdo, what I have done in the past, is not to read it, and not to buy it, or to write a piece about how foolish and not empowering their cartoons are, and definetly not sharing their cartoons :-). simple as that.

Today, if I decided to be Charlie, it is because I am Charlie to the bones. I refuse to use VIOLENCE against anyone. I refuse to kill, and murder because of a drawing or a text or a saying. The “Je suis Charlie” is for me “a world without fear, without violence wihtout extremism, a world where I can express all what I WANT WITHOUT BEING AFRAID OF BEING SHOT DEAD BY OTHERS, or slammed , or lashed  . (in another part of the world: Raif the Saudi Blogger is being lashed because of his sayings!!) 😦

I am afraid for the freedoms in France  after  the savage murder of  January 7, I’m afraid that journalists will use this “wing cutting thing” that is the self-censorship. In Lebanon bounderies are so common, they do come from the big family, from work, from religious socialisation, from a center or association that has been created to check and approve any creation (artistic, movies, …) and so on, BUT Lebanon is a  country where so many charlies were savagely killed!!!! Samir Kassir is one of those Journalists that were killed , he was not afraid, and we shouldn’t be afraid to live in a world where thinking differently and expressing yourself differently will make You an easy goal for violence. Violence must End!!! in Lebanon and In france!!! Today and Tomorrow and again  I’ll be charlie in my bones for every part of the world!! I want to express my self freely and I want my child to be able to express himself freely without fear of what he might draw, write or sing.

Enough  censorship ,ENOUGH BOXES,  Enough barbarism!!! YES FOR FREE EXPRESSION! FREE THINKING!

Rita

The illustration is the banner I held taken in  a picture by Emile Issa during the protest in support of the je suis Charlie movement in Lebanon . To Watch all the album: https://www.ooshot.com/emile-issa/portfolios/charlie-hebdo-manifestation-beyrouth-11-1-15

title corrected as per the advice of Marhaba Nabil 🙂

Article edited on January 14/1/2015

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