The Mourning News
Grief born of injustice
By Ghada Ibrahim
I scroll down my Facebook feed and the clock ticks on, way past bedtime, well into the dark recesses of the night. The room is quiet. I sip on my cold coffee and chew on the ice cubes slowly, deliberately. My laptop screen washes me in dim light as I continue reading. With every passing moment a new wave of grief washes over me.
Locked up at home, my only source to the outside world remains the bright screen. I am unsure of whether the world has suddenly become too unforgiving, too brutal, or if the lack of distractions in a post-COVID world has forced me to see what was there all along. Dutifully, I read every post, every article, and every blog rife with gut-wrenching emotions.
Minneapolis is on fire. Quetta bleeds. Libya suffocates. Istanbul cowers in fear. The world turns black and blue behind closed doors as domestic abuse multiplies. There are far too many hashtags to fit into a single Instagram post. Far too many deaths have turned into hashtags to adequately memorialise the deceased. Violence has become a terrifying normalcy. It’s another day and another life.
There’s always a 'what about...?' hanging in the air as we voice outrage over the George Floyds of the world; the disenfranchised, the minorities, the systematically targeted. What about Rukhsar Odho? What about Belly Mujinga? What about eight-year-old Bahoz E? What about Ibrahim Ezz El-Din? What about Joao Pedro? What about...?
It is almost as if we have to choose which life is more worthy of support. It must never be a choice. There are far too many lives lost, too many people turned to ash and mud. For every headline that blares, dozens never make it to the local paper. It breaks my heart that even in shattering distress—in the face of blatant injustice—we unite only in death.
At times I wonder if birth is our biggest fault. We make strides in science with every passing day (congratulations to everyone aboard Space X's Crew Dragon!) yet somehow, we still find ourselves incapable of progressing beyond the colour of each other’s skin or gender. Somehow, we cannot see one another as equal human beings. We are all made of the same stardust or clay or rib by whichever god you choose to pray to. We are all humans.
I watch the screen light up with news coverage from all corners of the globe and I ask myself if this is all a bad dream. The reports are too sad to be real— too nightmarish, too heartbreaking. Power and privilege are heady drugs. Addictive, they consume us and strip us of our humanity. Fear is a deafening shroud. Heavy, it entraps us, leaving no room to speak out lest we end up another headline.