A host of writers wrote on Epidemi since humanity began registering their sicknesses, hopes, enemies, anxieties and how to face or interpret death. From Plato’s cave metaphor to ibn Sinaa’s instructions to cure deseased stomachs , to Jose Saramago and the white blindness that dominate one of his novels, to Kafka’s protagonist who comes to be a small insect, to Camu’s plague novel of Oran in Algeria, to the unwritten stories of TWO Milion people, besieged in Gaza in 2020, and their un-noticed confinement for more than two decades, not only a few weeks or months that drove the World mad until now ……….We all are seeking metaphors of survival, for our egoistic satisfaction and welfare. Our means are: books, art, films, small donations- only to fly away and evade the fundamental questions: Why are the poor continue to living poor, and why minorities, whether in gender, race or religious groupings, continue their un-achieved successful results of their struggles? while the few – who are less than ten persons- owning more than half of the 8 billion world’s population? Can we have a say on who own the World Bank or the International Monetary Font (IMF) as Jose Saramago once asked in a press conference?
It is taking the world two World Wars to move from a village-like economy, as my own village Lubya in Galilee -Palestine, to an international village-like economy which is called Global World Economy. The Spanish virus, following WW1, killed almost 50 million people, double as much as those perished in the war. Coronavirus of today is pushing all of us to rethink the relation between our selves and this global village we live in.
Theories of “the End of History.” of Francis Fukuyama is overpassed and needed to be stranded aside. Samuel Huntington’s thesis of “The Clash of Civilizations”, that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world, is crumbling, although we heard repetitively nowadays of the origins of the Coronavirus attributed to a specific nation- such as China. The different versions of Marks theories and interpretations are floating here and there, claiming success because of the Capitals’ necessary downfall because of the permanent conflict between productive forces and means; and the Corona is only a manifestation of this conflict.
It is early to predict a clear theoretical frame for the powers who compete internationally now to draw the new world’s order that this crisis necessitates. If we want as persons, me and you and her to have a role in this coming Worlds order, shouldn’t we rely little bit on Søren kirkegårds’ visionary philosophical perceptions, especially when he wrote “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards”? Do we have the courage to put our own anxieties and our subjective desires and dreams at the crux of the wheel that is on its way to move on – in post Corona era? Especially that we all have seen that the Emperor is Naked, as H.C.Anderson’s child cried in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”? Could we dismantle our imminent internal fear and face those few who will try always to dictate our personal and collective lives?
For sure, the world before Corona will be different than after. But the question is: in which direction? and who would benefit most from the radical changes? Through all human history, there was a combat between authorities and their established institutions: leader, army, judiciary etc and the few who would challenge the order. Socrates was sentenced to drink poison in 399 BC because he exceeds the norms, refusing to recognize the gods of the state and accused also of corrupting the youth. He was given other choices than death but refused.
The best philosophers and writers were killed in the Umayyad and Abbasid kalifates because they opposed the power of the ruler. Rasâ’il Ikhwân al-Safâ’ wa Khullân al-Wafâ’ (Epistles of the Pure Brethren and the Sincere Friends), 52 in numbers, were written in the tenth century in an anonymous way to protect their views and their heads as well. Galileo in 1616 was summoned by the Church Inquisition, afraid to reaffirm his beliefs in Copernicus heliocentric theories, imprisoned in his house for the rest of his life. But when he left the judge room he trample the earth: “and yet it does move”. Only in 1992, the Vatican recognized that Galileo was right, and the earth rotates around the sun. Nowadays, we are hearing of prof. Didier Raoult was visited by Macron to hear from him his theories about curing the Corona virus. Didier is against the establishment. The medicine factories are part of the profit companies and had no interest that others would succeed and surpass their reputation and reproduction. Not to mention Dr. Anthony Fauci and the daily contradiction with the President.
Every person in this tiny human world is obligatorily invited to rethink his/her gender, nationality real or imagined, wealth, rightly collected or through maneuvers of deceit through banking systems.
The 17th October movement in Lebanon in 1919, the yellow jackets in France, the Arab spring in 1910 and all its ramifications, Occupy Wall Street in 1911…..etc…All these movements, coupled with the huge awareness of environment and the heat of our sphere put us all, and each one of us at the forefront of the coming battles after the Corona episode is diminishing. The majority’s interest against the few whose greedy appetite for power and money is unlimited. We are the only owners of our lives and destiny, and our choice of representatives should be guided not by the supply-demand theories of the new liberals; but by the new measures of post-Corona: health, care, equality, dignity and knowledge based on science for all.
In the time of confinement, books are the best friends to frequent. I do have more than 2000 books in my modest library after I get rid of more when I moved years ago to my small apartment. Now it is time to clean the dust from valuable books that need rereading. Al-Dahikoon الضاحكون is an old book written by Mohamad Ali, a few years ago-1988, the fifth edition. Stories and Personalities like Jiha, Ash’ab, al-Jaahith, and many others make you explode in laughing, although sitting alone amid escalating Corona death numbers: Perhaps Ibn Sina had right when, one thousand years ago, had recommended high humor and laughter as a helping cure to stomach diseases. Thanks Abu Suhail for lending the book.
Reflections on Corona days- How to measure the strength of a nation:
While running my 6 km per day in the forest close to me, I wonder a little bit about political leaders of the world and their reaction to the killer virus: Newzeland Prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, the brave woman – who stands sharply against massacring innocent Moslems in two mosques, preventing people from holding private guns – closing borders so early, taking clear steps of the total shutdown, that only one death until now is reported. Even one death is so many if that can be evaded. No more Military Tanks, Airplanes and Atom Bombs and millions of men and women underarm are the signs of the strength of nations: it is how many Beds and Respirators you have in your hospitals that matter and give you the first rank. How many millions of masks can be made or imported for the price of one military tank? Health and respect to the elderly versus elites greedy appetite to money and power. Who could think this formula would be valued more, only two months ago?
A Few words concerning the Corona & other viruses in the past. Imwas Plague-640 (A Palestinian village bet. Jerusalem and Ramla, totally demolished in 1967, to follow those demolished in 1948; on its ruins is built a “Canada Park”- to make the Sahara Green-as the myth of the colonizers claim!!!). History books told us of thousands who perished from Imwas Plague, such as Abu Ubayda al-Jarrah. Rules were put from that time on how to manage the collective Plague. These rules were updated by Ibn Sina-Avicenna- discovery of the viruses in the body, and the ways to cure the disease by distancing, washing, & using courage and happy humor to conquer the disease. (NB) Ibn Sina’s books: The Canon in medicine- القانون في الطب (al-Qānūn fī aṭ-Ṭibb) were taught at the biggest university of Polonia University in Italy, the oldest in Europe until the 18th-century.
Ibn Sina, Avicenna (980-1037)-the Islamic Philosopher and Doctor, warned people of the same measures of nowadays Social Distancing we are observing in 2020, even advising people of evading social gatherings, praying at home and not mosques, washing the hands and clothes, even cleaning the money in vinegar, precisely as the British used it in 1666 when facing the London Plague. Mainly he spoke about being brave and not being scared: See the following trailer of a Russian film produced in 1956 about Ibn Sina:
The Orwellian “Big Brother”s have one COMMON GOAL: Control, Profit, Power, Higher Shares’ Investments, more Military Equipments & Airplanes; less Infrastructure, less care to the Elderly, less budget to Hospitals, less budget to Education & Culture.
Feb.6, 2020, Doktor Li.W died in China, rebuked by police because of his early warning of the virus COVID 19.
Nov. 26, 2018: CNN reports that Trump “dismissed a study produced by his own administration … and more than 300 leading climate scientists, warning of the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change.” Asked why, Trump told reporters, “I don’t believe it.”
Jan. 22, 2020: President Trump is asked by CNBC: “Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?” Trump answers: “No. Not at all. And we’re, we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. … It’s — going to be just fine.”
March 31: Trump “I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going through a very tough few weeks”. Medical Governmental Experts expecting bet. 100.00 to 240.000 could die in the coming weeks.
“We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations — one that is killing people, spreading human suffering and upending people’s lives,” the United Nations declared: “This is much more than a health crisis,” the report added. “The coronavirus is attacking societies at their core