Efforts in Middle East
Detail from Tripoli, Lebanon Mural
The Middle East has experienced many forms of hardships since 1945. Often internal conflicts and wars have taken place without any real understanding in Western countries, why this was happening in the region. There is the conflict in Syria which has cost many lives since 2011 and sent countless people into exile. Similar stories can be told about others, here one needs to think only about the fate of Palestinians who since 1948 had to make a refugee camp into their semi permanent home.
It seems that a part of the West prefers to do just business with Arab countries but not ask many questions. This was the case with Mubarak in Egpyt or Gadaffi in Libya. The latter was then bombed in a turn of events with now Benghazi standing for another incidence in which was killed the American ambassador. He was known to be a friend of the people of Libya but like the sniper who shot and killed a couple with her being Christian and he Muslim, those who come closer to making the enemy lines less sharp are the first ones to go. As if enemy pictures would ease the pain of organizing masses of people even though they cause much more misunderstanding and pain, the history of the Middle East can also be reflected by a variety of interventions. They have left that part of world most often speechless while now the consequences of the Arab Spring is increasingly questioned from all sides due to the transformation turning ever more violent. It seems as if rule by violent means has a higher priority than a search for peace.
To explain the Middle East through efforts made by children and youth painting Kids' Guernica - Guernica Youth murals, that does give a chance to alter the kind of stories told while staying in touch with the reality as it unfolds. As the Tripoli mural of 2007 indicates, there is a culture of vitality and of joy in Lebanon; but at the same time, there is war and death. Iman Nouri coined at that time a most appropriate term to describe in what kind of reality everyone is living in, namely in a 'schizophrenia of peace'. She meant, for example, the existence of music bars with the youth dancing happily late into night while nearby, or just across the street, bombs go off and once again fear rules the streets.
By 2013 Iman Nouri writes that there is no longer any point in sitting in front of the television set and just look on when scenes of violence make up for the most part 'breaking news'. In Lebanon, it means there is the risk of one part siding with Assad in Syria, while the other part of society sides with the rebels and both are convinced the best way to fight is to plant bombs or to fire arbitrarily into the streets filled with many people. As if in such a war there can prevail a difference between winners and losers! There cannot be upheld that illusion in order to justify actions which are clearly a wrong doing against humanity.