Saturday, December 24, 2016
Christmas and Supporting Women
Christmas is a time of family gatherings, love and peace.
There are of course the picture-perfect themes shown on television, advertisements and commercials. But the festive season is also known for the high cost of buying gifts, preparing costly meals and the like. While I do not celebrate Christmas, many of my friends do.
In Egypt, we do not have the whole gift buying extravaganza that we hear about in the US, UK and Europe – considering that most Christians who celebrate Christmas in Egypt celebrate it on the 7th of January, but there is the overall festive season in malls, cafes and shops.
Today, I read an article saying that domestic abuse and domestic violence nearly doubles during Christmas. And I was horrified. I realise that closed spaces, excessive drinking and of course buying gifts or clothes can lead – or mostly leads – to tension in the households.
Still, the article and the figures mentioned – and that was only in the UK – shocked me.
I had never looked at Christmas like that. I guess I had the stereotype image of families gathering around a large, ornate Christmas tree, sharing a big dinner, watching movies together and exchanging presents.
While, there isn't much I can do about it, I can try to raise awareness about the problem.
I can also help spread the word about an anthology published by Scripting Change, whose proceeds all go to a charity for domestic abuse in the US. The charity organisation is called REACH. The anthology of poetry and short stories is called "Breaking Free". More info about the charity can be found here.
So, help out women today or just reach out to your friends or family members you suspect are suffering some kind of abuse and comfort them or help ease their suffering.
Merry Christmas to All
P.S. My poem in the Breaking Free anthology is called "Unchained". You can also listen to me recite it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHCHBzDW5g4
There are two poems in the video, the first is called "Air", the second is "Unchained" and starts at 2:15
P.S. 2: For the UK, this article provides links that help women who are suffering from domestic abuse or violence.