‘A free press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that free men prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny. Where men have the habit of liberty, the Press will continue to be the vigilant guardian of the rights of the ordinary citizen – Winston Churchill”
“I fundamentally believe the right to anyone to use their imagination and their skills to tell a story if one author I felt, one artist is silenced we’re all in danger of the same – Oprah Winfrey”
If you have the kind freedom were you wake-up every morning freely choosing your own path and expressing your own thoughts, and you get to pick the kind of relationships you want to have in your life, you dress up the way you feel that day and not fearing what and how people in the streets will look at you or being sued for “inappropriate”, and speak your mind. Then you’re blessed.
If you live in a country where you can speak your mind, to be a journalist and to write about what makes your country a better place, if you can live a life were you have the freedom to expose corruption and whoever behind it and not fearing the people in the top, then you are privileged to have that kind of freedom because for too many people it’s not even an option.
I do insist on discussing this issue because it matters to have a voice politically and socially, both are equally the same, because journalists without their papers and pen and a individuals without their personal freedom is like being a bird without a wing. In some countries this right is protected by the constitution and it’s in the background of their daily lives, even the freedom of living, the kind of life you live without fearing the laws and what would society say about you, furthermore, in the Middle East society punishes you even harder to the point where you get murdered. So every night you go to bed thinking that your opinion or your choices in life could get you killed or detained or experiencing domestic violence.
I am privileged that I grew up at a house where I’ve been given the freedom to live the life I want, but not privileged enough to live in a society where I can be myself without the looks and the judgment and even the hate, I can talk about my opinion but I can’t express it loudly because politically I’m forbidden from even following the wrong account on social media and if your account is monitored or even re-tweeting or liked or following the wrong person i would get questioned by the authorities, because you are sent a text message from the authorities warning you that if do that you will be questioned and punished, and I choose not to vote in the election as part of my freedom to protest I will be deprived from my right to have so many privileges in the country.
If you post the wrong photo or you wear the wrong dress according to societies standard is inappropriate to wear, artists here in the middle east they are living the glamorous life and speaking their minds but they can’t cross the boundaries, it doesn’t matter what’s your message you can be strong and out spoken but deep-down you know it’s not possible to be like the western artists the way you dress or even speak, you’re just lying to yourself, even if you think the opposite way, deep down you know you can’t talk about politics, sex and religion. You can act, sing and give speeches about your success but you will never have the freedom to be your full authentic self. Otherwise you will be questioned and suspended by The Artist Unions.
As for journalist you can speak about the weather and how the country is so beautiful and the things that won’t get you in trouble , but you can’t cross the line that the authorities drew for you , you can’t expose corruption in the country, you can’t speak about a political scandal, or inquiring about the millions of dollars that disappeared, you can’t ask about where did the donation money disappeared , you can’t write about what can be done better for the people in the country, because it’s seen as criticizing the authorities and you could be tutored or questioned in the attorney general office and you will be labeled as traitor.
At the end all I can say is that history is always moving forward even when it feels like it’s moving backward, sometimes history slows down so you could catch up, until it moves fast again and whoever stays behind will stay behind, no matter who you are or what kind of authority you have, because the universe’s dynamic of the don’t work on behalf of anyone, it works on its own specific and calculations. Move forward and adjust to the change or you will be left behind with the darkness and chaos.