Thursday, March 5, 2009

Is Peace in The Middle East Foreseeable?

This is a topic that I came to care about not until recently - with no specific reason. Maybe the long and complex history of animosity between both nations have galvanized a sense of uneasiness within me - the cost of profound hatred, paid with the lives of millions, to defend and regain back identity as a human and nation, as promised by the Most High. 

Taking the risk of oversimplifying the complexity of this conflict, I highly doubt that both sides will ever coexist peacefully side by side in the disputed territories - Gaza & the West Bank. Although everybody know that a simple withdrawal from Israel back to its 1967 borders will solve the conflict, everybody know that it is unlikely to happen - if not impossible, at least for the last 60 years.

It's impossible because an inviolable divine mandate - traced back to 5,000 years ago - is the basic foundation for Israel to justify their invasion to the territories. Unfortunately, Palestinians will never submit to that condition as well. Hamas, whose goal is Islam sovereignty, will never stop using virulent attacks to force its agenda. Fatah, whose goal is a Palestinian state, will also never forget the pain and humiliation of Palestinians, banished from their own house. Fifteen years of peace initiatives also failed to neutralize - if not aggravated -  the conflict.

I'm neither proposing a second holocaust as a solution nor condemning diplomatic engagement as an approach, what I'm saying is the search for a two-state solution may not reach an end. It is an either-or problem, either Israelis or Palestinians settlement, and unless the diplomatic engagement stretch to that extent, hope is still our best virtue. A hope that, someday, no more rockets sounds are to be heard, no more terror on children, and no more blood need to be shed. A hope that, someday, peace is no more a hope but a true reality. 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Facebook Craze - One of Them?

- Gerry Joeng is writing an entry about Facebook. Check it out guys -

That kind of status update in social-networking website like Facebook is now the second most important headline to be heeded after, of course, the real headline news. Not all people have that tendency of course, but certainly it is for great deal of people - high school and college students, white-collar workers, housewives, the unemployed and what have you.  

Considerable amount of time are spent towards this share-all know-all craze, and those who still insist on not making a Facebook profile (despite numerous friends invitations) are frowned upon - what the fans condemned as late adapter.


I think the other way around is true. People who automatically and readily open Facebook once the browser is set and those who continuously check their Facebook every 30 minutes in their fancy cell phone, are what the society should be frowned upon. 

In this light, Facebook shares one distinct characteristic with cigarette: it's addicting. So far, the most agreeable way out to control addiction is to avoid it - the less is better. As fun as it is to check out pictures, share updates and learn gossips, unaffordable times are wasted into drainless gutter. For you with high level of activities, you know that you cannot afford to throw your time into something so trivial. (caveat: of course not everything in Facebook is trivial, but you know what I mean)

Let's get more reflective in terms of time-effectiveness. At the end of your day, which one would bring you more satisfaction: the mere knowledge of your long-lost friend eating a pancake or real conversation with your long-lost friend over a real lunch. 

The difference is in your choice. Again, the issue is not yin and yang or black and white. Moderation is the key. For me, checking Facebook ten minutes in the morning, five minutes over lunch break, and fifteen minutes at night work just fine. What about you?