Are You a Human Being? Karama 7th Edition Reflections

In ancient times, humans believed that the rage of nature, the wrath of the gods, and imbalances of energy were the source of fear in the world.  Albeit, the specificities of every century differ from one another as change reasserts itself with the fall of one civilization and the rise of the following one.  Yet, Humanity – as a value – remained the only constant element of this whole equation.

Nowadays, fear lies in the direction humans are taking.  Have humans lost their essence?  We are riding a counter-current to the one humanity known since its dawn.  No longer able to distinguish the face from the mask; is it a face? A mask? or that the mask has become a more familiar and dearer face?

We question … when an opportunity arises; we wonder about human beings, about their essence, and whether they are genuine in their authentic qualities.  We believe that it is legitimate to question and ask: Is this a human being? Is this social justice? Is this a ‘truth’? Are these borders?

Amidst the current surreal context, we cannot but question what future events may unfold; and question our role as cultural activists and citizens of Jordan and of the world.  We question the moral and human system which is constantly breaking apart before our eyes, where everything has become possible and everything could be considered logical.

Our improbable reality had become realistic, and our unbelievable wars continue and enlisted under the usual political and logical analysis, as if they are miracles in a world of events, causes and consequences.

Throughout this night veiled by the fear of darker days, we touch our limbs to make sure that we are still the same and that fear has not yet defeated our determination; to reassure ourselves that we shall be able to open the window and let the light in, even if the sun came late.

We wake up after a white night to count the numbers that fill up newspapers and TV channels.  The numbers that once were human beings with names, dreams, and hopes of a future that could have been beautiful.  The numbers that are crushed — as if worthless.  And it may hurt when we feel unable to protest and as we witness human beings replaced by worthless numbers in the calculations of power and darkness.

Last year, the closing speech of Karama concluded with the following quote: “We have to cultivate our own garden.”  And yet, within today’s world, we must further elaborate that we are all responsible for respecting one another; none of us deserves to be human before respecting and answering to the moral commitment of defending all human rights everywhere.

Humans must raise their sense of responsibility towards their own beings first and towards all others who share their air and planet.

It might only take one glimpse to see the surrealist world we live in today — this world that has become filled with twisted concepts and lead us to wonder what comes first? The shadow or the step? The image or the reflection? The echo or the sound?

The scene is beyond belief and stranger than our imagination.  Have we become that much familiar with the oddness of this surrealism? Has this blemished image become a reality? Where did it start? At the beginning, there was the Human.  Is it still the same?