Of Othered Voices

October 24th, 2015

I am the Other:
I have no voice.
Because kids don’t interfere,
When adults are talking,
Or when the adults decide,
Who dies tonight,
Miles, and miles, away,
Target locked;
Missile launched.

It is mostly the Other,
Who perishes under the weight,
For crimes he did not commit,
For death that was not sent for him,
But for someone else,
Who got instead to live.
From the sky i once loved,
The sky that now terrifies me.

I am the other.
And that makes me an enemy of people I’ve never met.
I don’t know who it is that wants us dead,
Because they never bring death themselves,
I am told I am not worth even that,
Only send it by way of the sky,
The sky i once loved,
The sky that now terrifies me,

I am the Other.
It is not by choice that I am,
I suppose I was born into it,
They say it’s just for the bad guys,
But my friend Aziz was always nice,
He let me share his toys,
After mine were destroyed,
When destruction came from the sky.
The sky i once loved,
The sky that now terrifies me.

I am the Other.
parents gone, and friends have left,
the sky is merciless.
I ask, O God, what is our fault,
Why the skies rain drones tonight,
And why death sent down to us,
From the sky I once loved,
The sky that now terrifies me.

“Drone, Drone”, the Others cry,
Muffled breaths, a smoke eclipse,
the moon of our hometown,
replaced by the stamp of death,
as the sky i once loved,
and the sky that now terrifies me,
turns into an enemy:
an enemy of the Other.

 

 

 

 

The first piece I read for this seminar, Following Muhammad, introduced me to an interesting concept of the ‘Other’. This concept became fundamental to our understanding of many aspects along the course of the semester. The theory, in my comprehension, relates to the need of one entity to have an ‘other’ present. The Other is someone that is different from you. Maybe the differences are of a harmless nature, but they are exaggerated to the extent where the Other becomes a scary, threatening entity. In this piece, I used that concept to internalize the thoughts/feelings of a child caught amidst drone attacks in Pakistan. The attacks have been going on for quite a long time without the government prioritizing the issue for whatever reason. It is unfortunate, and saddening, indeed to see the loss of innocent lives under the banner of eliminating enemies of peace. The contentions between the East and the West are ever present, and have become more of an assumed characteristic of the modern world, where, in reality, the contentions are empty sentences. This ‘Othering’ occurs on both ends and often leads to devastating results with uncalled warfare and fundamental misconceptions that start with religion and pervade an understanding of culture, customs, and traditions. The concept better helped me understand the strife between the East and West, but I felt as if the topic I chose to pen verses about is often lost amidst greater, more pressing problems. This is, for many, a small version of the Othering when compared to bigger giants such as ISIS and Boko Haram.

But, for me, it is a voice unheard.

A voice marginalized.

A voice othered.

 

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