Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Breaking News: People are Human

A few days ago on the way home from work I was (as usual) listening to NPR. They were playing an interview with an Egyptian protester who is visiting the US and right at the end the host, Michelle Norris asked if he had learned anything during his time in New York that he will take back to Egypt. And this is how he answered:
"Well, I - and this was a very short time. I'm leaving on Wednesday, so I haven't had much time to get any insight. But I was in New York last month, actually when Osama bin Laden was assassinated. And I got a very deep insight because if I was in Egypt while this was happening and I opened the news, and I saw, you know, Americans dancing, celebrating this death and like this feeling the news all the time, so I would have been really annoyed.
But I was here in New York, and I realized there are these other people who were, you know, hit by the terrorist attack that this guy caused, and they weren't actually celebrating the death. Media was overblowing it completely.
People were going about their lives. And there many that didn't feel it was that significant. They feel that, you know, there's a lost sense of justice, people I talked to in the streets and so on. And so I don't know how to say that the insight was that the Americans are, you know, more human than the image we have of them, or New Yorkers at least."

Whole transcript here.

That last bit at the end struck me. The insight he came away with was that New Yorkers are human too. They have their daily lives, their worries, their mixed feelings, the same as people in Egypt.

When we set up our encampment at public venues, when we dress up go into schools, when we strike up conversations with ordinary folks, one of the things we are trying to do is show modern folks that the people back then, though living different lives, were human too. As Hanne I occasionally complain about life on the road with my husband the soldier, about the weather or the cookfire etc. because I am not only teaching facts about Hanne’s life, I am trying to get across that she is human and far from perfect, but possibly a bit easier to connect with (‘cause who doesn’t complain about the weather?)

1 comment:

  1. This link is a great example of reaching folks to explain that people in the past are human too. http://blog.americanhistory.si.edu/osaycanyousee/2011/07/why-i-love-working-at-the-national-museum-of-american-history.html
    Really an inspiring story!