Have ever thought how wars have shaped our lives?
Have ever thought how wars have shaped some unfortunate lives?
I never really ponder about wars until I watched the film ‘The Patriot’, starred by Mel Gibson when I was in Form 4. That is still one of my favourite film, though I still do not have the gut to watch it for the second time. The reality hit me so hard, I do not think I have the emotional strength to immerse in the sadness caused by the film. The fact that the film was based on a true story made it worse. It was when I watched that film that I came to ponder: the truth and reality faced by patriots, fighters, whatever you called them when they make a decision to take part in a battle: the risk of losing their own lives, leaving their loved ones.
Then I came to understand how great were the courage of the Muslim fighters back then. Remember Hanzalah (I think I got his name correct), who without thinking twice, left his newly-wedded bride to go to an expedition with Rasulullah s.a.w. That is unthinkable. For a mother to happily accept the fact that she had lost all her sons to a battle against the enemy of Islam (I forgot her name). Then I got to question myself, what if there is a call to go into a battle right now, how would I react? What if suddenly Malaysia was dragged into a war like what happened in Ambon? At that time, the issue that was commonly discussed among us students was the fighting between Muslims and Christians in Ambon. That was really horrible. We students were shown the documentaries on the war and they left me thinking hard about these wars, and since that talking about wars will make my eyes watery.
The only reason I am writing about this is because during the two-day break before I started my new semester, my best friend Aida came all the way from London to see me. She had no intention to shop, or going to the Stadium (which are two main reasons why people come to Manchester, then I brought her to Salford Quays, sightseeing trip I would say.
So we went to the Imperial War Museum, my first time as well. But we had to walk a greeeeat deal (sorry dear)- to put it under a more optimistic light we called it the future chemical engineers tour- a tour through various processing plants (read: we lost).
Well, I would say that the design of the building is impressive. Yes. I do get amazed easily by structures. His inspiration was the earth, broken into parts (by war), and the fractions combined in a way that gives you the shape of the building.
The museum dragged you back to the past. It starts with the World War I – which started by the murder of Franz Ferdinand in Bosnia Herzegovina (you guys sure can recall having to memorize this for SPM), then to the World War II and to the current, modern days war. A good revision on history I guess.
Now ask myself what I get.
I really, really wonder what British people think about the involvement of their country in these wars. Are they proud of the history? Are they angry about that?
War had and have forced many people to lead live they had never thought about before. During WWII, everyone was mobilised. Women were urged to roll up their sleeves and made munitions. The important role of propaganda is inevitable during wartime.
What did they feel during that time? With the war having unknown ending, what future did they have?
The museum has this session offering audio-visual experience, continually changing images are projected onto the walls (yes, every wall available)- with the music and sounds. And of course, I was moved to tears. I just could not help. I just feel hopeless thinking about my brothers and sisters in Palestine, Iraq, wherever they are- they do listen to the sound of firing rifle and bombs and tanks, but the real ones. Do they still have hope?
I am currently reading ‘Chechnya, the Small Victorious War’. With a few pages left to read, now I do understand why some people look up so much to the Chechen fighters. Courageous and brave, with pure hearts and intentions, there is no wonder why they get help from Allah. The story I heard was that they did received miraculous help just like those people in the past when Rasulullah s.a.w was still alive, when fighting against the Russians was justified. I might post an entry about the book later.
Above all, watching all the exhibitions, I sympathized with those souls forced to fight in a war, some of them even had no idea what they were fighting for. Have pity on them, they were the victims of their leaders’ selfish vision – be it during the Gulf War, or the Iraq war. They turned into killers and murderers without reason.
And I wonder what had come to the mind of this man, when he said:
‘Close your heart to pity, act brutally.’
Hitler, 22 August 1939.