This article was written by Bashar Jarrar, a part-time speaker and trainer with the Public Diplomacy Program – US State Department. The views expressed below are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of CNN.
We pray that the series of earthquakes and tremors and their aftershocks will stop with the publication of these lines, which I dedicate to lovers of life and lovers of hope and hope everywhere, especially the two brotherly neighbors Turkey and Syria. In adversity, grants remain, reminding us of what is more important than fleeting political differences. Sometimes sorrow brings together what separated joys with political or economic gains until they disappear.
But even in the midst of the “earthquake of the century,” the labors of the haters of life, the theorists of hatred, evil, and death, did not end. How unfortunate was the politicization of this catastrophe by some, while the benefactors of the world as a whole are racing against time to extend a hand of relief and aid to thousands upon thousands of fragile, fragile and aging bodies that were not spared by the channels and platforms of what they call “the bombing of the fronts”, a metaphor for what they think is a refutation of the “fading” of the other party ( the enemy).
Channels and platforms of “politicization and religiosity” and mobilization, did not respect the groaning of the survivors, nor the sobs of the departed and the sobs of the bereaved, and insisted on distracting public opinion that could have been transformed into an awakening of public and official global conscience, focused on the priorities of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction – not only for what was destroyed by the earthquake of the century – Rather, when it was destroyed by the Black Twelve, which claimed thousands of lives in Turkey, Syria, and the countries afflicted by the ill-fated “Arab Spring”.
There are glimmers of hope, represented by what can be called accelerating the pace of Syrian-Arab normalization, and perhaps Syrian-Turkish, and beyond that. The visit of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the Sultanate of Oman last week may reveal what has been said about the visits of the foreign ministers of Jordan and the UAE to Damascus, and an upcoming high-level meeting between Saudi Arabia and Syria, whose features may have appeared in the Saudi foreign minister’s statement at the Munich conference about the “realism” of putting an end to Isolation with Damascus.
This is political, and it came in line with field diplomatic signals represented in Washington’s decision to suspend the provisions of the “Caesar Law” for six months regarding the provision of relief and aid to the afflicted Syrians. As well as the spatial “neighborhood” and temporal “intersection” that took place in Turkish airports and theaters of rescue operations between parties including a boycott or political estrangement, as happened with the Israeli rescue and relief teams, for example, and the Iranian, Algerian and Moroccan ones.
However, an incident such as that of the “Scrolls of the Book of Esther”, the biblical historical manuscript in a synagogue in Antioch, and some promoters of conspiracy theories remind everyone of another aspect of relief, rehabilitation and crisis management, which is still either absent from public opinion, or even oblivious to the eyes of some official authorities in some countries. The region is at risk of being covered by new tremors and aftershocks of the “earthquake of the century”.
Here, I present a series of assumptions as examples that I think should be prepared in the event that they occur, God forbid: Have the countries and regions concerned formed national, regional, and regional operations rooms with all the countries of the eastern Mediterranean? We have a vivid example of summer forest fires, and it has proven that there are no limits to disasters? Did politicians instruct media professionals in directed media countries – explicitly or implicitly – to renounce conspiracy theories and exploit some religious texts from any religion, to classify the victims as between those who deserve punishment – and a afflicted believer?! Will the trumpets of incitement and hatred be silenced, even if the rescue teams of the Red Crescent, Red Cross and Magen David Adom are forced to work shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand without being harmed or obstructed from performing their humanitarian duty? Have the extracurricular activities of schools and universities included evacuation and first aid procedures?! Have people been made aware of how to deal with sources of energy, heating, drinking and eating in the event of disasters and emergencies?
The most sensitive issue is the preservation of holy places and dangerous and vital installations during disasters. This is a collective responsibility that the people are the first to be concerned with. This is a “revealing” moment, as they say. A moment that could end an entire era of fighting, hostility, hatred and ignorance. In this way, the inside of adversity is a blessing, by which the Almighty gives us an opportunity to reconsider many things that we have neglected or overlooked.