Saturday November 1, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
18o C
13o 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)  
The judiciary’s responsibility
Findings raise eyebrows
Countering Turkish swagger in the Eastern Mediterranean
Time is running out in Afghanistan
Ministry swap halts talk of reshuffle as reforms eyed
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday appointed Nikos Dendias as defense minister, replacing outgoing Dimitris Avramopoulos, who assumes the European Commission’s immigration portfolio ne...
Turkish-Greek cooperation in Aegean helps stem flow of migrants
Closer cooperation between Greek and Turkish coast guard authorities has led to 11,000 undocumented migrants being prevented from entering Greek borders and returned to the neighboring count...
Inside News
Disposable income of households fell 10.3 pct in one year
The reduction of Greek households’ disposable incomes in 2013 compared with 2012 amounted to a total of 14 billion euros, the biggest since the start of the crisis according to data released...
Banks unhappy with bad loans bill
Bank officials are expressing serious reservations about the efficiency of the government’s bill regarding nonperforming corporate loans, arguing that the target set by the Development Minis...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Spanoulis played Zeus for Olympiakos against Neptunas
Captain Vassilis Spanoulis helped Olympiakos narrowly avoid an upset on Friday as it defeated Euroleague debutant Neptunas Klaipeda 85-81 in overtime in Lithuania to preserve its perfect sta...
BASKETBALL
Obradovic watches Greens thrash his Fenerbahce
The second homecoming of former Panathinaikos coach Zeljko Obradovic, now at Fenerbahce, was not as emotional as last year’s, but it was certainly was the night of an emphatic triumph for th...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Spanoulis played Zeus for Olympiakos against Neptunas
2. Disposable income of households fell 10.3 pct in one year
3. Banks unhappy with bad loans bill
4. State debtor numbers grew in September
5. Reform plan among conditions
6. Ministry swap halts talk of reshuffle as reforms eyed
more news
Today
This Week
1. Archaeologists find underground vault at Amphipolis tomb
2. Man shot dead, woman injured in Vathis square attack
3. Greek retail sales rise for third month in a row
4. Cyprus’s Georgiades bets on economy for Irish-style bailout exit
5. Germany’s 10-year bonds decline before euro-area inflation data
6. New defense minister to be appointed without reshuffle
Today
This Week
1. Austria’s creative bookkeeping beats Greece on secret debts
2. End of reason, end of humanity
3. Clean bill of health for Greek banks from stress tests
4. Samaras pledges action after flash floods in Athens
5. Eurobank, National Bank restructurings eliminate capital gap
6. Athens flood damage assessed, compensation payments to begin
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.