Satire won’t change anyone’s mind, but it might get someone sitting on the fence to consider another perspective. Satire won’t topple thrones, but it will unsettle their occupants. It won’t change rules on freedom of speech (except maybe in the wrong direction), but it will remind people what freedom of speech looks like.
I think of the Lebanese lords, whose own generals now call “cruel, dishonorable, and shameless”; whose own advisers describe as “too stupid to understand or too selfish to care, or both”; and whose own intelligence hands believe are crooks who will only liberate Lebanon, and even then not certainly, when they die.
Kamel had raised the American flag on his rooftop in the hope that the French would not aim their guns in his direction. But the French attacks were more wanton and severe. A shell raged toward his house, piercing one of its walls.
For one militia commander, a battlefield defeat was payback to the aspiring Libyan strongman Gen. Khalifa Haftar. But it also illustrates in stark clarity how the Middle East’s proxy wars and ideological rivalries have spilled across borders, ensnaring both the innocent and not so innocent.
Syrians are caught between the overt violence of barrel bombs and covert killing through hunger and enforced privation. Syria has exposed the fragility of international norms. Words have not alleviated its people’s suffering. Only action can give meaning to the words.
Today, it is hard to fathom any cuisine we consume in America without eggplants (from Indian and Chinese to Italian and Arab). But eggplant was not always popular, until Italian and Arab immigrants brought it, along with chickpeas and peppers.
Since the state of India has shirked its responsibilities toward managing our public health, ordinary people have been picking up the slack by doing voluntary relief work, acting as first responders, and searching for medical equipment to make up for shortages. Our volunteer efforts feel like the only way to ensure the survival of our communities.