This week I have found myself spending a lot more time on the CNN website with my feeble Internet resources than normal. I saw my first news about the Boston Marathon bombings through Facebook, thanks to the status update from my hometown newspaper, The Mining Journal. Not just because I have family members who live in the Boston area, but also because I started referring to myself as a runner while I was in living in the U.S., I’ve been trying to follow what has been going on.
Last September I ran my first half-marathon, and although I was not fast, I finished with a time I was happy with. Running became a way to de-stress, a way to feel better about myself, a way to take care of myself, not just “exercise.” I know running represents a great number of things for a great number of people who love the sport and the way it makes them feel. Although I’m not quite to the point of contemplating doing a marathon myself, I know the Boston Marathon for a huge number of people is a life-long goal, and I was sorry to see an event that represents so much be scarred by something that makes as little sense as trying to blow up other human beings.
It doesn’t make sense, and I’m not inclined to try to make it do so. But I feel like it happened to “my people” both because I am now a runner (or was before coming to Morocco) and because I am an Amerian.
But seeing the outpouring of grief and outrage over this act of violence from here in Morocco is different from simply seeing it on the news in the U.S. Now more than ever before, I’m realizing that bombings, shootings, horrible things that human beings do to each other, they always happen to someone’s people. It was easy in the U.S. for me to not dwell on explosions in places like Pakistan or Iraq, because there was little connection for me. But that didn’t mean that people there were not feeling the same grief Americans are feeling now.
Moroccan news focuses much more heavily on the news in the Middle East, because Morocco, after all, is an Arabic country, although it is not located in the Middle East itself. Here nightly newscasts show footage of the conflict in Syria much more graphically than anything that would be shown in the U.S. and the connection is much stronger, because the people there, are in a way, Morocco’s neighbors, the same as I feel a connection to people in Boston I will probably never met. It strikes closer to home, and I intend to remember that. Everyone belongs to someone else, everyone is someone’s “people.”