My first experience with the internet was not until I was eleven. In Bangladesh, when it came to anything 'technical', my biggest thrill was seeing my name written in WordArt and playing a game called 'Prince of Persia', which consisted of a black-and-white pixalated hero escaping from a castle. (It also made beeping noises, adding to the thrill!). The reason that the computer was there at all was that my dad upgraded from a typewriter to Windows 3.2 (or 3 point something else) to type up his papers and use the internet to communicate with other scientists. So our use was pretty restricted. Anyway, along with the internet, came another world. Although I was not allowed to have an email address, I did pop by in-between my sister's and my brother's turns, to play games.
Age twelve brought a whole new prospect. I finally opened up my first email account (of course, a Hotmail account!) and stuck the word 'snowflakes' in my username. I really don't remember my reasoning behind it apart from the fact that I was looking for a nice word and my socks happened to have snowflakes on them. (Though I would like to think that I thought 'sweety', 'baby' and 'angel' was overrated...).
An email account meant MSN, Bebo, weird quizzes etc etc. It also meant a lot of forwarded emails, which ranged from 'Send this to 10 people and the love of your life will call you tonight' to 'Hotmail is closing down in 2 weeks!'. Amongst all this BS, I also got shocking pictures of African children and bloodied pictures of kids in Palestine. Like all other internetians, I learnt to skip over the forwards in a year or two.
Being in the later half of gen Y, I am spending my teen years in the new millennium. I have witnessed many attacks, including 9/11, war in Afghanistan, Bali bombing, war against Iraq, bombing in England to name a few. I have heard about them over and over in the news, from adults, from forwards. That, and the vivid pictures of the on-going cruelties, eventually caused me to shut it all out. Along with many other teens, I sheltered myself from the world behind problems with friends, clothes, books, TV. I am ashamed to say that I am indeed an ignorant, oblivious silence, whose existence is probably a waste of time and space.
The recent attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla sort of jerked me. I suddenly realised that there was more to the world that I probably should be aware of(surprise, surprise!). I hope to find out more about Gaza and dig deep into why the problem started in the first place. From what I know now, there have been 1,188 Israeli deaths in the last 10 years by Palestinians while 1417 Palestinian deaths in 23 days in January 2009 by Israeli military forces. In the same attack, more than 6000 homes were destroyed in Gaza. The blockade restricts building material from entering Gaza, as a result, the people whose homes have been destroyed are not able to rebuild. Their source of building material is broken infrastructure from previous attacks. As a result of the attacks, there is a shortage in electricity and water. According to Sydney Morning Herald sources, up to 7 people share water that should be consumed by only 1 person.
Barak Obama is not condemning the blockade due to the 'security concerns' - which refers to the home made rockets thrown by the democratically elected political group Hamas. With these rockets, Hamas managed to kill more than 20 people in the past 10 years. Israel killed 1417 people in 23 days. From where I stand, that looks awfully ridiculous!
I do hope to find out more about both sides of the story of Israel/Palestine. If anyone has any suggestions of any good sources, please leave a comment.