I have to admit, I must have not been paying much attention to the news in December 2010 (probably because I was traveling0. So I missed the incoming reports about the unrests and demonstrations in Tunisia. However, once the “Arab Spring” spread into Egypt, followed by the horrors in Libya, I was back in my adopted homeland and from the safety of a quiet New England town where I live, I followed the stories of mass protests and governments’ interventions against mostly defenseless people.
Watching on TV the massive crowds gathered in various central squares, I knew that for every person in those crowds shown on the screen, there were countless others, unseen, staying home, wondering what’s going on, afraid of what is going to happen to their country, and trying to keep their life routines as normal as possible. I thought of the children and teens, how scared they must be, and I wondered whether any of them watched from their windows the seemingly endless rows of trucks and tanks go by, just like I did, thirty years ago, when the Martial Law was declared in my native Poland.
That’s why I wrote “Interesting Times” – because the ripple effect of civil unrests and demonstrations spreads into the whole society, far beyond the crowds shown on the TV.
I was very glad to hear from Arun Toke, the Editor of Skipping Stones, that he though it worthy of including the piece in his award-winning magazine fostering communication, cooperation, creativity and celebration of cultural and environmental richness.