Nocturnal Trauma 2.0

The dream I had last night was beyond horrible. I dreamed that I was part of a volunteer team and managed to get into Libya to help out, together with my parents. I remember feeling so happy with myself, because I finally, actually got to do something to help the people in Libya.

You know how dreams are like, they usually get all weird in some places and don’t make sense at all. The same can be said for the next turn of events.

When I reached the country, there was this military person in a wheelchair and I was in charge of helping him, I think. So I collected the chairs he seemed to be collecting as well, and then watched him teach some kids a dance for an upcoming celebration in their village that I wasn’t aware of. I also found Devon helping out in the village as well.

This part of the village must be relatively peaceful, with people still hiding out in their houses.

The scene then fastfowarded to the village chief shouting in Libyan language to the villagers with an amplifier, calling them out for the celebration events he prepared, but nobody came out of their houses, because of the chaos the rest of the country was in. And then in the end, as a desperate attempt, he shouted something else, and the effect was immediate, kids started running about, carrying fireworks. I asked a villager what was it the chief had shouted and she said he shouted, “Gong xi fa cai”, (which means Happy Chinese New Year in Mandarin).

I will never understand how my mind functions because I honestly don’t see something like that happening right now in Libya.

The turning point of the dream happened when I walked around the village (celebrations were over) and actually got the chance to look, really look at everyone’s face, and they looked frightened. That’s when I realized how much danger we were in. How a bomb could land upon this village anytime, how mercenaries could be driving tanks towards this village right this second. Who knows what the insane madman was capable of doing? We could be dead in less than a second. That’s when I got scared, and contemplated asking my parents if we could go home now. But then that would just seem downright selfish, wouldn’t it? I came here to help, not to chicken out, and by coming here I should already realize the danger I was putting myself in, and being able to risk my life to help the people of Libya. But that still didn’t put an end to my fears, especially after hearing news that the village Helen was helping out at was attacked. I didn’t even dare check Twitter in case there was something bad headed our way and we were too late to escape.

I woke up, found myself safe and sound in my bedroom, and realized exactly how fortunate I was.


I recounted my dream to my dad in the car and he chuckled, adding that “Libya doesn’t need your help.” And I realised he was right. I and I myself alone cannot possibly be of any help to a country whose leader is killing his own people from within. Libya doesn’t need my help, Libya needs our help.

The first party everyone turns to in the event of a nationwide crisis is the United Nations. What are the UN doing? I know they are constantly expressing their concerns and threatening intervention if Gaddafi doesn’t cease assault, but what exactly are they doing? What is anyone doing? Do millions worth of oil fields really matter more than the lives of millions?

“Japan is suffering from natural disasters, and these people are fighting a war among themselves.” I literally facepalmed and wanted to punch myself in the face when I heard someone say that. Are you really going to blame these chaos on the people? Really? If you had a leader as crazy and insane as Muammar Gaddafi, would you have quietly followed under his reign? There are some things that shouldn’t be oppressed and concealed forever. There are rights to be claimed, a proper ruling set right, a country that should be rightfully led by its citizens, that would only be logical. There are also situations that cannot be compared in any way, the uprisings in Middle East and the Japan quake are examples of that.

The world is under siege right now, if everyone is still blinded by prejudices and bias, there is no hope left for a better turning. We are all human, and if you are still going to judge someone based on their race, religion and beliefs, you are nothing less of a bigot, a chauvinist. Are you really going to stand by and point fingers as a pandemonium unravels in front of your eyes just because you are of different colour, of different beliefs? The world is in danger right now, and we are the only hope she ever had, and has left.

Published by

Michelle Teoh

26-year-old cynical Asian, book enthusiast and purveyor of fine sarcasm.

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