The Pain Inside!
For Wednesday August 28th 2013
Between Us Only!
The Pain Inside!
• A mirror shows the outside, but never the pain on the inside! – Anon
• Turn your wounds into wisdom! – Oprah Winfrey
The Pain Inside is an Al Jazeera Television World series programme. Al Jazeera explains – After military service, many young Israelis travel abroad to distance themselves from distressing experiences. In Israel, military service is compulsory for most people over the age of 18, with men serving three years and women two. Exemption from military service is a hotly debated issue in Israeli society.
Many feel that military service is a matter of family obligation and loyalty to their ‘homeland’ For some, joining the army is about the connections they make. Some employers also hesitate to recruit Israelis who refuse to serve in the army.
Following their army stint, tired and stressed, thousands of ex-soldiers travel to India and elsewhere to party and hang out with each other – it is a rite of passage for many. As Israelis do not need a visa to enter Europe so many young Israelis also emigrate to cities in Europe, such as Berlin.
Nowadays, around 30,000 of them live in Germany’s capital, many having chosen to leave all the restrictions and constraints of life in Israel behind.
Other Israelis become conscientious objectors, these are people who say they understand what the word ‘occupation’ really means, and therefore refuse to serve in the Israeli military. For many, life in Israel – with its military conscription and occupation – is turning young people into what one Israeli interviewee describes as “monsters in a distorted reality”, revealing deep psychological issues which remain unaddressed.
There is a sense of a lost generation – of people who are deeply troubled and alienated from their own humanity. People talk of living in a “bubble” in Tel Aviv and the future of Israel “hanging by a thread”. The film reveals this agitation in Israel, at times manifesting itself through exodus, which is the very opposite of the Zionist dream.
• We live in the Middle East but we refuse to accept the fact that we are part of it. I think this pretty much indicates that there is an identity crisis in Israel – a Gabriel Moses, exempted from military service
In my Book One – Between Us Only! Article – ‘Lost Blood’ – I recall the incident of my first encounter with one Israeli boy – a Diplomatic student in the High School I used to attend in that distant land. Quote – That ended the friendship, though the day he left he took my address. I never expected to get any response from him.
Years later he sent me a small note in the same place – it just said ¬ – Thank you for trying to make me feel welcome and as a friend! I still remember your words. I hope one day I can invite you to my country and there will be peace amongst our peoples and that we can be Real First Cousins!
In my holiday stay in a hotel in Zanzibar a few years back – I was approached by this sort of ‘foreign Arabic’ looking pretty girl asking about a certain place she and her friends wanted to visit – thinking I would know the place as I was speaking the local lingo to the hotel staff. When I told her I do not know the place – she was very much surprised till I explained that I came from Oman. She then said to me – So you are Arab? I said – I think so! In that case – she retorted – Then I should not be speaking to you!. Because I am Jewish! The last part was in perfect Arabic.
So I replied – I think conversely – because we are cousins – and should be talking to each other! That is a new one – she retorted – I will tell all my friends back at home on this! She and her parents actually originally came from Yemen! She too was in the ‘The Pain Inside’ group – and narrated to me how she had helped a Lebanese old woman during the Lebanese invasion. The shock on the old woman’s face was not the war – but ‘the uniform she was wearing’!
When I was a young boy and during the colonial times in that distant island – the District Commissioner then used to speak in Arabic to my late Father. This surprised the locals very much – until they came to realise that his origins were also Jewish!
In my latest book Wipe My Tears! – http://www.myownmajid.com – I said – The book also carries many family, offices and human based articles that are applicable to us all – as bottom line we are the same human being in that same a person – with the same needs, wants and fears – devoid of race, religion, creed and colour! Many of the articles are highly emotive and heart rendering – and that is the reason of adopting the title of Wipe My Tears!
Some more ‘The Pain Inside’ Footnote sayings: –
• Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it – J. K. Rowling
• Life is a pain! Anyone who says differently is selling something else – William Goldman
• Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength – The Dalai Lama
• There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds – Laurel Hamilton
• One thing that you cannot hide is when you are crippled inside – John Lennon
By: Majid Al-Suleimany