Culture Corner: The delimma of not knowing

Justin Law

Where are you from?

-I am from Palestine.

-Where? Pakistan?

-No, no, Palestine.

-Sorry, but I have never heard of it. I don’t even know where it is.

-Oh that’s ok, it is where Jerusalem is.

-Oh I got it, so you are from Israel

-Well, I am from Palestine-Israel

The dilemma is not in the name; it is the dilemma of not knowing.

Why should a university student, regardless of their major, at least have a clue where this place is?  

It is the same reason why students should know why Yemen is becoming the next Afghanistan. It is the same reason why students should know what is going on in the Arabic media: “2 ‘S’s” (Saudi Arabia and Syria) are controlling Lebanon and are the reason why Lebanon remains unstable. Lebanon cannot make itself stable, because outsiders (the “2 ‘S’s”) are controlling it.

The answer to the question, why we should know, is simply, but seriously, because the Middle East is one of the hottest places in the war-peace zone that affects the world policies, politically and economically.

The dilemma of not knowing is the issue, not whose fault it is. Universities produce knowledgeable students. The students are equipped with basic information about basically everything, including what is going around the world. That does not mean you have to take classes about it, you should just look for this information as a part of your decision to become a knowledgeable college student.

Let’s keep these things in mind when realizing that we are, or should be knowledgeable, crossing from the dilemma of naming, to the dilemma of not knowing or analyzing.

Let’s go back to why and how this is important. We cannot facilitate cultural or religious communication if we don’t know. So knowing is the first step in changing. Do you know the alarming numbers of impoverished, unemployed and illiterate people in Yemen?

Do you know how this harsh lifestyle can lead to the production of the next suicide bomber in terror attacks?

Have you ever tried to watch Yemen Television to see how they are portraying the world and what they are saying?

I highly encourage you to do so. Believe me, your reaction will be “Oh my God!”

Fighting terror needs a compatible plan that focuses on improving a suitable civilian lifestyle, at least with basic needs and having suitable rhetoric in the media. There cannot be more than one rhetoric: one for the West saying they fight against terror to get more, financially, from other countries, and inside rhetoric saying the opposite and may have a different agenda.

If you do not decide to become knowledgeable, you will not know that. Make this decision to become knowledgeable, and make it part of your lifestyle and strategy.