Friday, 1 June 2012

Bursting the bubble; #TippingPoint

Sometimes, being an expat, away from English language tv and radio, I feel as if I live inside a bubble.

It's pretty, this bubble.  It sparkles in the sunshine.  The iridescence swirls in the light, catching my eye, distracting me from what's going on outside it's walls.  Sometimes,  I can get so caught up with what's going inside this bubble that days can go by without my really checking the news.  Oh, I try to stay current, by looking at the online reports once a day, but if for some reason I don't log on, the only news that reaches me is the local English language newspaper which is, unsurprisingly, mostly preoccupied with what's going on in Russia.

This is perhaps why the full horror of what happened in a small town in Syria last Friday didn't become clear to me until Wednesday, when The Times lowered the paywall for a day on it's cover story; 'The Tipping Point'.

The main picture was of a young child, wrapped in a sheet, looking as if he were sleeping.  He wasn't, of course.  Here is an excerpt from the article, in case you didn't see it:

'The children of Houla were not killed by random shelling. The UN yesterday revealed that they were murdered one by one. The militia came in the night armed with knives and guns, and the young victims were executed with a bullet to the head or a knife to the throat.
One photograph shows a cherubic baby girl, no older than 2, with a tiny gold ear-stud. She is wrapped in a white shroud. Half her skull has been hacked or blown away. A saucer of bone juts from a bloody gash in what remains of her head '
(You can read the full article on The Times, or if you don't have access then amongst other papers The Guardian is free to read)

I read it, wept, and my bubble burst.

I can't imagine it.  Over 110 people killed, of which 49 were children; and not  from a distance by bombs or mortars but in their homes alongside their families, by men wielding guns and knives.  Many of the children were nursery age.  Think about that for a moment.  Actually, think about it for more than a moment; they deserve that consideration, at least.

Burst your own bubble.

I've been asked what we bloggers posting today hope to achieve by doing so.  We don't have a manifesto other than #stopkilling which, given the circumstances, seems like a pretty good place to start to me.  We don't have some grand plan on how to resolve the situation.  Hell, we don't even have a joint opinion on who might be able to solve this, so honestly?  I don't know what we might achieve.  But I do know that I cannot let what happened in Houla on Friday pass unremarked and unmourned.

There's a quote - over 200 years old - that keeps running through my head.

'All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.' (Edmund Burke).

So I and a number of other bloggers are posting today and are asking you to tweet and retweet (using the hashtags #Syria, #StopKilling and/or #TippingPoint), to link, to write your own blog posts, and to raise awareness in any way you can of the need for conversation about these horrific events.  Even if it's only by discussing the situation at the water cooler, the school gate, or by forwarding an email link enabling friends and family to sign the AVAAZ or the Save the Children petitions, please, take action in some way.

Because what we're suggesting you do may not amount to much, but it sure as hell isn't 'nothing'.

Click here to see other posts that are part of this collective action (and to link to yours, if you've written one) over at the BritMums site, or on the Netmums site, here


  1. Exactly what your link for me it 'burst my bubble' we can't just sit by!

  2. All that kept running through my head when I read that article was, "It could have been my baby". These children had parents. Parents who loved them. And they were slaughtered like pieces of meat. It's made me so ANGRY and so SAD. I'm pleased my bubble's burst and I've had the opportunity to write about this and lend my voice to something to feel a little, well, helpless.

  3. All so true. You burst my bubble on Wednesday night and I'm very glad you did.

  4. Well done for helping to set this up. It's very necessary. I like the quote from Edmund Burke.


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