Written words are my preferred medium, but they’re not always as expressive as are sights, sounds, and motion.
“Under My Country’s Sky” is an excellent example of video lending greater color and life than could words alone. In this video, Yemeni filmmaker Bushra al-Fusail describes for Eleanor Goldfield what it’s like having lived “under the ongoing airstrikes in Yemen for months before coming, ironically, to the country that makes destruction of hers possible.”
While I can write poems inviting American readers to seek the individual people behind the news stories we read, al-Fusail breathes the reality.
The “airstrike casualties” we Americans read about are people who were loved and who can never be replaced. They are, too often, people who have died under siege of weaponry sold by the U.S. with its citizens’ quiet assent.
I don’t share these things simply to distress or depress. I do so because I believe that we can begin to change hard truths only after we acknowledge them. That by acknowledging those casualties were people who lived and loved and laughed and hoped and cried and feared before they were killed, we will feel compelled to begin working for the good of people within and outside our own county’s boundaries.
al-Fusail urges us not simply to hope or pray for peace, but to push for it. To act for it.
She recommends we contact our senators and speak out for peace, including demanding our government stop selling arms–even cluster bombs–to Saudi Arabia, which appears to actively be targeting Yemeni civilians in many of its attacks.
She suggests CODEPINK, “a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement,” as a resource for people seeking to effect peace.
In addition to arming countries that target civilians, the U.S. government has itself bombed seven countries under two fifteen-year-old AUMFs. Entreats al-Fusail, Americans “don’t want to think about [these things but] have to wake up.” Already, she says, countless people whose homes and families have been destroyed by U.S. bombs and drone strikes are learning to hate America.
(I ask: How on earth does creating oceans of wounded orphans make America–anyone–safer?)
I hope you’ll watch this video. I hope you’ll hear al-Fusail’s message that we can change the world with our actions … and begin yourself seeking out those acts you can take toward building peace.