Muhammad Najem

We Are Not Numbers, We Are People.

What does it mean to you when you hear that a number of people have lost their lives in the war in Syria, and Ukraine? It’s painful, isn’t it? But what if you got closer to knowing their personal stories, aspirations, and dreams? These were human beings like us, with goals and dreams, hobbies and friends, families and loved ones. They were not just numbers; they were beautiful souls we lost, stories left untold, and dreams left unfulfilled.

Recently, we’ve noticed the world’s attention shifting to new wars, such as the conflict between Palestine and Israel, after the focus was on the Russian-Ukrainian war, and previously, attention was directed towards the wars in Sudan Syria, and others. Viewer interest gradually diminishes as they see the same painful scenes repeated. Women’s screams, children’s crying, destruction and devastation, blood and tears everywhere, wailing, fear, and anxiety prevail. The atmosphere is charged with tension and panic, yeah we feel sadness and pain. But over time, we become desensitized to these scenes, as they become part of our daily lives.

After a few days, this tragedy becomes a normal part of our lives. We open our phones and screens, take a quick look at the broad red ticker on the news, see the numbers increase: five thousand killed, ten thousand wounded, and thousands of children. Then we close our screens and say to ourselves, “May they rest in peace,” and continue with our normal days. The numbers increase, and we fall into the trap of statistics; numbers, my dear, are an abstract concept devoid of humanity, making you forget the real tragedy.

Let’s take a simple example: what do you remember from the Syrian war or the Ukrainian war? You remember the child Alan Kurdi on the seashore who died drowning, and the child covered in dirt and blood in the ambulance covering one eye. These were real people, their stories were shared, and the world empathized with them. They were not like others, just numbers, right?

remember that behind every number, there is a human story we haven’t heard and haven’t witnessed. They are not just numbers, but real lives.

We can imagine how our world would be if they were living among us. Perhaps they would become doctors saving others’ lives, engineers building amazing things, writers writing wonderful stories, or singers bringing us joy with their songs. Teachers educate the rising generations. This is what I know.

We should not pass over the victims’ numbers as if they mean nothing. Behind each number, there is a human story that has not been seen or lived. Let’s preserve the human spirit, take care of your loved ones, listen to their stories, and take care of your families, as many have not been given this opportunity.

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