A SemiFormal Serious Moment: Regarding Abdul Haji and the Westgate Mall Incident
I’d like to take a moment from the purely entertaining subject of video games, programming, comics, and popular TV to talk a little about the world.
Wow! So I admit I am a few days behind, but man!
I am completely taken aback by the actions of Abdul Haji and his actions at the Westgate Mall in Kenya. If you didn’t watch the video, the brother of a man named Abdul Haji received death threats from the terrorist group al-Shabab. They followed through by setting off a bomb at the Westgate Mall while Abdul’s brother was visiting.
Abdul got a text from his brother and immediately left work and sped over to the mall. In an amazing display of cooperation and humanity, Abdul and other civilians of different nationalities, races, and religions banded together to help the injured and to get the innocent out of the mall safely.
I was born in America and have never even left the states. Hell, I don’t even have a Passport. While every once in a while there are things like the Connecticut shootings or Aurora massacre (events that make media headlines for a couple months and are then forgotten as we continue on with our lives), terrorist attacks happen commonly in other countries and don’t even make the front page because it’s just another day. Another life.
In case there are others who are as out of touch as I am, here’s a bit on the backstory of the attack itself:
Taken from Mail Online:
“Haji said that both his father and brother have received death threats in the wake of the attacks now that it is public knowledge that his brother worked to undermine groups like Al-Shabab.
Al-Shabab had threatened retaliation against Kenya for sending its troops into Somalia against al-Shabab, and many of those killed in an attack that horrified the world were Kenyans.”
I’m afraid I don’t know much about the world… I don’t know who is at war, I don’t know what rebellions are going on… I know that Abdul’s brother was in the mall that was bombed/attacked and that, without hesitation, a group of people set aside any differences to work together and save lives. Watching the video will be able to bring you more knowledge than I am able to articulate at this moment, but the sheer compassion and cooperation of their actions that day is definitely moving.
This Kenyan incident has been related to “religions helping other religions,” and “nationalities helping other nationalities.” The way I see is “Humans helping humans.”
I don’t know if any of you have a connection to this incident, but knowing that our fans are very international, I hope you’re all safe. I had a sponsor child a couple years ago who I lost touch with around the time he turned 16; he lived in the Philippines, decided to become a sailor, and ended up meeting a Kenyan girl in his travels. Abdul talks about all of these dead bodies… what if one of these were my Jemsley? Just running to Big 5 to grab a new pair of shoes so his feet didn’t hurt during his sailing… My baby I’d known since he was 7 years old and who wrote me monthly letters, ecstatic he’d learned the alphabet.
However, knowing there are people brave enough and compassionate enough to help save several mothers and their infant/toddler children is so touching. I have many friends overseas, and I like to picture them in these types of actions when I become concerned about their safety.
I hope all of you are safe. Truly. You’ve become my friends in our little, online world here, and I want you all to wake up comfortably in your bed every morning.
When trials like this come our way, I hope we all find the courage within us to help make sure our fellow man (regardless of race, religion, nationality or other distinguishing factor) is safe.
Here’s to your safety, my little ducklings…
(Mr. Haji is the man in the plaid shirt)