Delusions on Society…

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Mon 14 November / Nov 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

Right after a crime takes place, or an incident where a teacher, nurse, or doctor is assaulted, campaigns to denounce these crimes are launched all over the media, and all throughout the multitude of social media networks, as well as among associations, civil society bodies, who in turn begin issuing statements, holding forums and conferences.

Officially, authorities do their part against the perpetrators of these kinds of crimes.

In the midst of all this, an impression is reinforced among us that these incidents will not happen again, and that no one will ever do that sort of thing again; to beat a doctor or a school teacher, kill one’s sister over mere doubts. Somehow, we are assured that the campaign condemning this phenoms will constitute some sort of grounds to prevent there recurrence, which is not exactly the case; at all.

With every new incident, this reassurance crumbles, and we are faced again with proof that we are but delusional about the media’s ability to influence social behaviour, as well as about our societies’ readiness to abide by the law and the values of the modern state. Revoking the penal law did not put a limit to honour killings, nor did the awareness campaigns and procedures stop assailants from hitting doctors and teachers.

Events over the last several weeks only indicate that honour killing is on the rise, and so are assaults on medical and school staff. Just two days ago, an angry citizen took his sword and attacked a group of teachers and vandalised the school. Just some days back, as well, several attacks on government hospitals laid a number of doctors and nurses injured in the emergency halls, and cost the hospital a ransom amount of money.

Are the perpetrators of these attacks really isolated from the public sphere? Unexposed to the official media machine and response of the public? Most probably, they have read something of the sort, and they may very possibly have posted something about it over Facebook or other social media. Just briefly afterwards, these very same people become the subject of others’ posts on similar incident.

On the other hand, there is indeed a social segment who never are exposed to the media, who act on instinct when they are faced by similar enabling conditions in the ER, or when they hear that their son or daughter were hit by a teacher; they believe it, and then they rage blindly at the school.

This is indeed a unique phenomenon, comprised in the resistance of these societies to change, and the weakness of enabling drivers to abide by the law. Alternately, our institutions; both education and medical, do lack the standards for service and the prerequisites to govern provider-beneficiary relation. Are there rules for the ER? Do patients no them? What is the relationship between parents and teachers? And are they periodically meeting to exchange notes on student performance and evaluation?

These should be in some sort of manuals. And I do not think our institutions have these manuals. Schools do not meet parents, unless something terrible has happened, and Emergency departments in government hospitals lack the most basic criterion for managing patient-hospital relationships. All in all, it is chaotic, which really leaves not much room to predicting the person’s reactions!

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