Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pirates Enabled Him to See the Marginated Differently

A  priest had watched the film 'Black Hawk Down', which was based on a true story about the efforts of an elite team of U.S. soldiers to capture two subordinates of a Somalia war lord. The movie goes into detail on the efforts of the U.S. military. It was his first interest in the country of Somalia.

The second incident about Somalia was the  pirate attack on a Korea ship. He was angry at seeing a group with guns and knives kidnapping a boat and asking for millions in  ransom for the men they kidnapped. These young men could be working, and they spend their time capturing  foreign ships  and asking for ransom. He dreamed of the Government sending a special military team to get rid of them from the world's oceans. Being a priest he doesn't want his feelings known. And when that actually happened he was overjoyed. They will leave the Korean ships alone.

When these pirates were imprisoned in Busan the writer was surprised how  they accepted everything so naturally. The food was 'good, good', 8 of their compatriots were killed  yet they had no difficulty sleeping,  and they showed a happy face. This brought tears to his eyes. How bad must have been life in Somalia to make their stay here in a foreign country as criminals so easily accepted? What was it that allowed them to enjoy the food and the sleep in the prison with  the naturalness that they showed on Korean TV? He wanted to know more about the country.

He started surfing the Internet to get information on the country. Somalia was in the North East part of  Africa with a  population of 10 million, an  independent country since 1960 with an average life span of 49 years. The GDP  is 600 dollars, a poor country, devastated by a continual civil war for over  20 years. What  he learned from  surveying the history, changed the way he saw the country: a lost country, people without hope, "I am not able to give them words about morality in the condition they are in."

He listens to curses and screams of the children playing on the field of the welfare center, students attending the study program. These students are always dealing with anger.  At home, at school, on the street, you meet them all over. We stare at them with sympathy and with a cold gaze, these  children in turn look at the world with a cold heart. The writer with  his knowledge of Somalia enabled him to see the pirates and the children whom he sees daily in his work with different eyes. He hopes others will be able to make the same leap.                         

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