Sunday September 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
19o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The abduction of the girls of Chibok

By Nikos Konstandaras

In the beginning, three weeks ago, the news slipped almost unnoticed into the world’s media: Islamic guerrillas kidnapped some 300 women students from a school in the village of Chibok in remote northeastern Nigeria. Some managed to escape but more than 200 remained in the hands of the Boko Haram group, whose ominous name translates as “Western education is unclean.” Three weeks ago, one could say that this story concerned only the girls’ families and the Nigerian authorities, who had the duty to track down the guerrillas and free the children. When weeks passed without the government doing much, the story began to concern all of us. The fate of these young women has become a measure of our civilization and our era.

At the heart of the matter lies the question: How important is a life? Are some lives more valuable than others? The immediate answer is that it depends on where that life is being lived. In other words, would the authorities have acted differently, would the international media have been quicker to focus on the story, if the abduction had occurred somewhere else, where the government cared more for its citizens? To be frank, if this had happened outside Africa it would have provoked an uproar and immediate mobilization of many forces, with the government obliged to give account to its citizens. In Nigeria’s case, the government appeared indifferent and incompetent.

This indifference and incompetence cultivates the mentality that “if they aren’t concerned, why should I care?” It provokes our indifference, an indifference related to racism. But then we learn that desperate parents, armed only with bows and arrows, dared to track the heavily armed guerrillas into the jungle, that women threatened to embarrass the government by going into the jungle themselves, that citizens around the world, at demonstrations and on social media, were demanding action for the girls’ return. World leaders began to make statements. Seeing the agony of Nigerian citizens we made the leap from indifference to identification. We saw the young women as our own daughters. We felt the agony of their families, their efforts to raise them, to educate them, to have them near them, to love them.

On Monday, the leader of Boko Haram declared that the girls would be sold at slave markets, giving the drama yet another dimension. This is the most extreme, the most literal form of women’s oppression – their abduction and sale. But around the world we see women oppressed in one form or another, from societies that deprive them of education and individual freedom to the liberal West’s confusion. The young women’s abduction reminds us of the danger faced by so many in their search for a better life, for the precious rights that we take for granted. The fate of the girls of Chibok – their salvation or slaughter – will go down as a moment of hope or of despair in humanity’s long march.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday May 8, 2014 (20:45)  
Universities threatened by transfers
Capital changes
High stakes after the Scottish vote
Breathing room
Results of probe into 20 Lagarde list names due soon
Members of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) and tax inspectors involved in an investigation into the so-called Lagarde list of Greeks with Swiss bank accounts expect to be able to announce ...
Police refute reports of Jihadi training
Greece is not a training ground for Jihadis, the Greek police said in a statement released late on Friday in response to reports in the local media claiming that radical Islamists have been ...
Inside News
Record sum of new debts to the state in August
Expired debts to the state rose to a record high in August, according to data released on Friday by the Finance Ministry. The sum of taxes and fines that remained unpaid after their deadline...
‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
Greece will be able to meet its obligations without any new assistance from the International Monetary Fund, Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis said on Friday in London, leaving the door ope...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Triumph for PAOK, historic result for Asteras in Europa League
Greek teams produced a patchy record on the opening night of the Europa League group stage on Thursday, as PAOK thrashed Dynamo Minsk, Asteras Tripolis snatched a draw at Besiktas and Panath...
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Results of probe into 20 Lagarde list names due soon
2. Police refute reports of Jihadi training
3. Gov’t drafts plan to secure exit from memorandum
4. Greek commuters have relatively long wait
5. IKA uncovers benefits scam at Kerameikos branch
6. Man dies in well accident
more news
Today
This Week
1. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
2. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
3. Results of probe into 20 Lagarde list names due soon
4. Police refute reports of Jihadi training
5. Gov’t drafts plan to secure exit from memorandum
6. Special guard arrested over extortion, bribery
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Lost in the fog
5. ‘Greece can meet its needs on its own’
6. Record sum of new debts to the state in August
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.