Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Be the Change

Last night was another night of math homework with the kids. I may have mentioned before that I'm not good at math. Not good being an understatement. Because of this, I pass off anything to do with numbers to my husband, which of course would also include some science. But, I am the go to person for English and Social Studies. So, when my oldest told me his other homework was to watch to Democratic Convention, I was on it.

What you may not know about me is I have a degree is in political science. You wouldn't know this because I don't talk politics. Which may seem odd. But then again, I'm odd. I'm not interested in converting you to my politics or my religion for that matter. But, at the dinner table, it's a whole other matter entirely. We talk about it all and that has always been the case. But it was especially true when we lived in Morocco.

When my son and I were watching and discussing the conventions together, I started to think about how our time in Morocco has shaped them. How this is the one time in their lives that they have lived somewhere and been the minority. And how a couple of my kids were bullied for having different beliefs. How I cried for them, but beamed with pride as they held their ground and stood up for themselves. Hoping that this would build their character, tolerance and understanding. But, hoping for change.

Suddenly, change did come to North Africa. Revolution was everywhere. You could feel the excitement and the uncertainty in the air. With Tunisia in turmoil, Egypt under military rule, Osama Bin Laden dead and then Gadaffi, what would become of Morocco? There was no organization organized enough to over through the government. Then, quietly, constitutional reform was instituted by the king and a parliament was born.

Except, while there was so much hope for change, the changes were underwhelming. Egypt traded Mubarak's corruption for an Islamist regime. Granted one where a woman can now deliver the news in a hijab. And while the king of Morocco did reform the constitution, he still remains the country's supreme authority on Islam and the commander of the military. He can also dissolve the parliament at any time. And apparently, you're not supposed to make fun of him. Like I did in this post. Oops. Which I got asked to take down. But as you can see, I didn't.

Because, I believe in free speech. I believe in separation of church and state. But, most of all, I believe that real change is possible. So whatever you believe, get out there and vote for it and make it happen. Be the change.

If you want to read about our trip(s) to Egypt right after the revolution (and before too) here's the links. Really, it's a great story.

Our first trip to Egypt.
Traveling to Egypt the second time.
Cairo after the revolution.
The final installment of the series in Luxor.


Rachel Howells said...

Such an interesting person! said...

I;m with you. Most of my (opposite party) friends were amazed when I reminded them over the past two days that I needed them to vote in a local election yesterday. Because an election with no votes is NOT an election. And, i LOVE living in a democracy.

Vote. But, please use your brains!

The Loerzels said...

@ Rachel-I'm more interesting in print than in real life.
@ Roy-Well yes, I should have said vote, but don't be a dumb ass....

Joy Page Manuel said...

When you started this essay with 'math' and the mention of the DNC, I really thought you would talk of how Pres. Clinton spoke of arithmetic, lol! Thanks for the reminder to always stand for what you believe in and the power of free speech. I'm currently waiting for the arrival of my Obama/Biden bumper sticker in the mail but have been feeling anxious about actually using it since I live in a really RED state and am scared of finding my car smashed beyond recognition in some parking lot. I'll try to be courageous and again, thanks for the encouragement :-)

Leah Griffith said...

Be the change. Yes!
You are so versatile. There's all sorts of layers to be discovered...fodder for the pen;)

Jaime Brown said...

FYI: there is no such word as "Islamist."

The Loerzels said...

@ Joy-Be the change, but also be careful!
@ Leah- My date with the pen draws closer and closer...
@Jamie-Many sources use the term "Islamist" to refer to the Egypt regime. What would the proper name be?


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