Stopping evolutionary change is like trying to stop a tsunami with a few bags of sand. It just doesn’t work. I think the rulers of the Middle East recognise that fact, but they think that hiding their heads deep enough in the sand will delay their populace’s recognition of the fact. The majority actually do blindly subscribe to that premise; however, an enlightened few don’t. It is those who are the little insignificant cracks in the dam which ultimately burst it, and create the deluge that would drawn all those who prefer to live in their fallaciously secure imagination, and the only people who will be spared are those who live at the cusp of, encourage, aid and abet that change.
We are really not bad people, us Middle Easterners, we’re just trapped into the turbid waters of historically skewed custom and tradition without strong enough leaders and visionaries to extricate us from our self-sustained quagmires. We are just normal human beings with the same needs, passions, and idiosyncrasies as any in the world. We are just trapped into a spiral of ancient traditions still enforced by those very leaders whose only worry is the continuation of their rule at any cost. It is therefore easier for them to enforce ancient custom rather than question it, and continue the momentum of perceived stability in calm waters rather than plan and even induce required winds of change.
The leaders might be of that mettle, but there is nothing stopping us ourselves from effecting that change. A small nick at a time, a nick that will enable the deluge of change which will take us – probably turbulently – to join the rest of the modern world which has become powerful nations built on the respect of the sanctity of human life.
Until then, of course, we will continue to have judges who sentence a victim to punishment, who separate legally married couples due to perceived tribal class imbalance and imprisoning those who dare to challenge accepted societal norms.
It is people like Abdulrahman Al-Lahem who will ultimately drag our blissfully ignorant societies into the light. It is supermen like him who are the vanguard of change.
There is nothing stopping any of us individually in joining this caravan if we do not want to lead it. All it needs is courage, and we should have plenty of that, if our history is to be believed.