This new year, we need new heroes

As we welcome 2015, I wish that the trials and errors of the previous years have taught us some lessons and prepared us for what is coming.

It is a serious and urgent wish as I am quickly reminded that “hope” has become people’s false safety net. Increasingly, people spend more time hoping for change and easily giving up rather than working hard or fighting for what they believe in.

This coming year, like any new year, is a chance at starting over. It will belong to those who take action, positive or negative.

The world was suddenly energized in 2011 as eyes across the globe watched Arab youth stand up to tyrants and dictators and demand change. They knew that hope alone is a losing proposition that leads nowhere. They coupled their desire for dignity and freedom with heroic actions and loud daring voices. They braved death, jail, torture and persecution for a taste of freedom and the world paid attention. Let us not forget this fact despite the many disastrous events since that aim to erase that high note from or memory.

If we don’t demand freedom, practice it and reflect it in our daily life, soon there will be no life worth living anymore

Octavia Nasr

Let the pains, twists, turns, binds and all-time lows of 2014 become our guide to reach higher and refuse compromise. It was a difficult year for most despite the false social media manipulative sense of “greatness.”

As we welcome a new year, my urgent appeal to those who simply want to live in peace, is that there is a price to pay for peace. There is a fight to be waged to achieve it. In a world of evil-lovers, self-haters, warmongers and all time high materialism, space must be created for peace to grow. If you don’t stand tall above the challenges, the burdens will weigh you down into submission. If you don’t actively oppose the serious suffocation attempts and the muting campaigns, your peace-loving nature will drown in the ruthless, mindless hate machines.

If we don’t fight for our right to be heard, if we don’t defend the dreams we have for ourselves and those we love, if we don’t stand up for what we believe, if we don’t insist on living the life we want to live, if we don’t demand freedom, practice it and reflect it in our daily life, soon there will be no life worth living anymore.

This article was first published in al-Nahar on December 29, 2014.


Multi-award-winning journalist Octavia Nasr served as CNN’s senior editor of Middle Eastern affairs, and is regarded as one of the pioneers of the use of social media in traditional media. She moved to CNN in 1990, but was dismissed in 2010 after tweeting her sorrow at the death of Hezbollah’s Mohammed Fadlallah. Nasr now runs her own firm, Bridges Media Consulting, whose main aim is to help companies better leverage the use of social networks.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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