On the night of 14 April 2014, in the remote town of Chibok in Nigeria’s Borno State, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School by the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram. The notorious terrorist group, whose name loosely translates to ‘Western or Non-Islamic education is a sin’, engages in such activity in an attempt to establish Islamic Law as the only law of Nigeria, often justifying violence and abuse to further its cause.
THE ONLY SALVATION
Is the world so dim that we must resort to implosion to be heard?
Is it so brutal and rugged that we can no longer speak of our mortality?
Have we lost our sensitivity? Have we lost sight of who we are?
Has the world done this to us? Or have we done it to ourselves?
To each other?
We are constantly reminded that life is a series of grief-filled highlights,
Constantly replayed, constantly embedded in our memory.
Grief is familiar, always adjacent.
When we feel most at ease, it reminds us of its presence.
When we close our eyes, it meets us in our dreams.
When we awaken it fills our thoughts.
It is grief that makes us the same,
And it is within that grief that we must stand together.
The challenges of this world are powerless against our unity.
Grief’s ubiquity will know its place.
Grief’s omnipresence will dwindle in magnitude.
And in its place, fortified by our solidarity,
The only cure, the only salvation.
On 4 June 2014, Global Peace Festival – Malaysia, at Hartamas Shopping Centre, made a stand against Boko Haram and all forms of violence against our fellow mankind. In a sombre event that brought together members of the global community from as far as Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Madagascar, Japan, Nigeria itself, and so many more (including many local Malaysians), the event was aimed at spreading awareness and simply ensuring that the injustices of such acts do not shake our values, and do not wither our faith in the global family that we all belong to. That night, GPF and the many in attendance said, “We will not stand for this, we will not!” “Bring Back our Girls, and Bring Back our Future.”