Caveat! I am about to go "political" on you all.
Growing up, I admired/admire Benazir Bhutto and other strong women like her. When she was assassinated in 2007, I blamed her. I was like "why did she go back to Pakistan?" However, I have learned that democracy comes at a price especially in countries like mine and Pakistan. The first leg of elections were held in my country today and even though lives have been lost in process, I am happy because the change we want is happening (whether it is a change that changes nothing is another matter). I am proud that people in my country voted and protected their votes!
I had an intensive class downtown and after the class, I went with my classmates to see the screening of "Bhutto" a documentary on Benazir Bhutto ( activist, two-term prime minister of Pakistan). the documentary was very touching and it highlighted the struggles developing countries face in their bid to become democratic, the politics and pain that comes with freedom; the-success today, failure-tomorrow- aspect of the process. The Bhutto family indeed gave their lives for Pakistan (their father, two brothers and Benazir were all murdered). In developing countries, the fight for democracy is also the fight for basic things like good water, electricity, good education, and infrastructure and as i mentioned earlier, people pay for these things literally with their blood. Cote D'Ivoire held an election in November where they voted out their president and the ousted president has refused to leave and there is so much violence in that country as I write.
Ok so why am I going off? The US is indeed lucky that as flawed as her systems are, people do not get killed fighting for their rights and that somehow they are able to make things work. It is indeed an attribute I admire in the American people. I really wish the politics of this country is not so acrimonious and uncivil- it takes away from the purpose of governance and is an ill-wind that blows no good. So many issues need to be addressed and so many people are hurting- they do not deserve any more pain-. I was glad there was no shutdown and I hope future discussions do not get down to the wire.
For me , hope springs eternal that we would get there. I'm proud of my country men and I hope the tide of change continues next week.
RIP Benazir, and as the quote on the National Archives building in DC states "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty". We want freedom, we'll pay the price!
P.S: Community Cinema screens documentaries on people and issues. It is very educative and informative.
The next screening is "Welcome to Shelbyville" ( a glimpse of America at crossroads) on the 14th of May, 2011 at 5.30 pm. It screens at the Civic Space Park opposite UCENT, downtown.
Have a great week.