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Ashamed...

To all fellow correspondents,

I have to say I'm very proud of you. I have read some of your latest assignments and felt delighted that you made it! I, on the other hand, feel a strong sense of shame today. It's no mystery as to why that may be: I have not managed to post my last assignment and am hence immediately disqualified to be taken seriously.

That said, I have to share the following with you:
In the past few weeks, I have been preparing for a WITNESS VISIT at work; a target that got me so busy I almost got a nervous breakdown from all the work that was entailed. I was working for over 15 hours everyday for 2 weeks nonstop, and had to go to a meeting in Switzerland for another week; also averaging more than 15 hours everyday. Before that, I had not even been sleeping at home, so forget about having internet access. I do not have a laptop; perhaps I should also feel ashamed about that seeing that I am a voices of our future correspondent with a deadline to deliver!

Even though I feel a sense of shame today, I try to remind myself of the following:
- As I was in Switzerland preparing for a WORLD COUNCIL meeting that will take place in Zurich in 2011 with the theme ''Women creating a safe world''; a council meeting that will bring together more than 1200 women from all over the world, I made sure to show the Board (note: I am in the World YWCA board) the Voices of Our Future card. I promoted pulsewire; told them how much it has meant to me as a young woman in Palestine, and how similar the idea of pulsewire is to the World YWCA dream of creative a safe place for women. I asked them to please consider the idea of collaborating with pulsewire and encouraging young women to write their stories and share their experiences. I felt proud that they all opened up their ears and showed interest.

- The witness visit: The more I think about the country I live in, the more I see cruelty in the world today. Living here, we choose not to think about it constantly, but everytime I get the chance to travel abroad, or have people over, I see it again: the miserable state we are in! I live in a place where there's a big wall separating the civilized from the unimportant. I live in a place that has left me with no proper identity; no passport that I can carry around; no sense of being. When traveling abroad, I had to go through a security-check which forced the woman checking me to take my pants down "for my own safety.'' I live in a place where words like racism and ethnic cleansing are passed around. I live in a place that hurts me; a place that truly crushes my spirit, on a daily basis, while I try to resist. I try to keep my head up strong; a smile on my face, and a challenge I have pledged to keep: to not be bitter about it all.

On a day like this, I feel a sense of shame, for all the things I have not said. For all the things I have let pass by me. I feel ashamed for continuing life; for thinking about a potential normal family; with potentially normal children, when we all realize that no such thing is possible anymore.

But my sense of shame goes on long enough to realize that one day, it will stop hurting so much, and I will wake up feeling graceful again, one day.

Keep on writing, sisters.

Arda

Comments

Nusrat Ara's picture

Dear Arda, It was so nice to

Dear Arda,

It was so nice to hear from you. I have been alos lagging behind for reasons of my own and have asked Jennifer for an extension in deadline. You can do the same and see what ur options are.

You are a brave woman. It takes all the guts to live in a conflict area. It takes courage to live in a place which as u rightly said crushes ur spirit.

You write so well. You make me feel your feelings. So don't stop writing. Whenever you get time jot down ur feelings. By writing you are not speaking only for yourself but for all those suffering souls who live like you.

With the hope that one day everything will be fine.

Lots of love

Nusrat

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Hugs and smiles

I also am finding it hard to meet the deadline, the research half is going good but the meeting people who are willing to be in my feature is hard for many of the angles I have been researching. A few are wiling to talk but don't want to be in my story so I feel I am halfway there but I guess it is called 'background' and can't be used in the story itself yet... And the new angle I wanted to write about is going slowly as well. So, it will be written someday... I was just about to post and say mine was going to be delayed when I saw yours... But I think all of mine have been late so know I am not going to be considered but don't mind since I loved taking the journey with everyone!

I also love your writing and agree with Nusrat that I admire your courage and spirit. I honestly dont think there is any shame to feel though, it is only when you feel like you can't avoid being crushed that you need to worry and then come here and let us help lift your spirits a bit! I look forward to your posts,

love,

Maria

cad_communication's picture

No need to be ashamed

Arda,
There is no need to be ashamed. I know that you a confident young lady and that you write so well. Don't worry too much about the deadline. I also missed it so go ahead and write.

I look forward to reading your posting.

Love

Gertrude

jap21's picture

Dearest Arda

Although I have not been in close contact with you, I must tell you how much I have admired your word. When you say 'a normal family', my heart breaks. Because in other parts of the world we do not realize how lucky we are we can still have some peace.

Taking you as an example, I will spread the word in my country that we need to support peace for the women in Palestine territories who want to have a normal life. It may not seem much, but every little bit of loudness helps.

Your task is hard, but needed indeed. Please don't dismay.

Hugs,

Jackie

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

Tina's picture

Please don't feel ashamed

Arda, I have felt so honored to have been here getting to know you and learning about life in your country. You have an astoundingly beautiful voice and a wonderful courageous spirit. I look forward to your final piece whenever it comes and as Nusrat suggested, yes see if you can get an extension. Your hard work deserves to be counted.

Please don't feel ashamed. Instead feel a sense of pride, if only for a little today until you can feel it every day, for the great work that you are doing here and will continue to do with your writing. You have such a special gift!

Imagine our arms wrapped around you today, sending you love, sending you a moment of peace,
Tina

malayapinas's picture

Dear Arda, I do understand

Dear Arda,

I do understand how you feel. But there's nothing you can be ashamed of. We can understand because we live in a time that we can't even take a deep breathe. But, as life is so busy, here will always time for us to slow down even for a moment.

Best wishes,
Malaya

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Listen to your sistas!

I just emailed you, but as your wise sistas suggested, don't hesitate to ask for what you need. Deadlines can be shifted for valid reasons as long as we know about them. As for shame...

My dearest sweetest Arda, let's look to the title of your op-ed for guidance. If there is not enough energy for constant hatred, then let's also claim that there is not enough energy for shame. Especially not from you, who so passionately is showing up and speaking out on behalf of Palestinians. This is no small task you've undertaken. You are a trailblazer among giants.

Love,
jennifer

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

sunita.basnet's picture

No Ashmed but well Done Arda

Dearest Arda
Namskar,

It's really good to hear from you after a long time. These days I found most of our fellows are busy because of some reasons. I am not in touch with you frequently however I found your post inspiring and powerful. While I was reading the post, "I try to keep my head up strong; a smile on my face, and a challenge I have pledged to keep: to not be bitter about it all." is really very powerful which showed that "you are a powerful and strong women." You are a change maker. I am very proud to be one of your fellow. Keep writing.
well Done my dear sister.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

lindalubin's picture

Powerful Voice

Dear Arda,
Please hold your head up high for you have so very much to be proud of, and absolutely nothing for which to feel shame. All the while you were unable to complete your final assignment you were in fact doing the essence of the work for VOF by sending your powerful voice out into the world with all the work you do.
I just read your op ed piece on the home page of World Pulse and was so very impressed by your viewpoint and the clarity of your thoughts and feelings. Like many, I struggle to move past the superficial news of Palestine and Israel, to understand what is happening there. It is very difficult to do so, yet your writing helps greatly.
I send you my deep gratitude for all you are doing, and for being a light in the darkness.

Linda

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