A short personal retrospective of the dying decade written on New Year’s Eve -a few minutes before midnight

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DR

 

The year 2009 is already coming to an end. A page is about to be turned. But more than that in a few minutes time, we will enter a new decade.  As everyone in Paris is getting ready for the event; make ups and best suits on, I am sitting up in front my laptop and meditate on the past decade. Ten years ago I was in my late twenties. The years 2000 were more those of my thirties. With my diplomas and certificates in the pocket, I was entering the world of real independence while slowly divorcing with the world of genuine youth. The new millennium was not to keep its promises though. The death of the last grand-Dad was the announcement in my family of many other deaths to come. I sometimes have the feeling that in the space of ten years, my bigger family was sharply reduced into a nuclear one. I can now realize what scientists and searchers mean when saying that life expectancy in some southern countries is much lower than in the western world.

The first part of the dying decade was more marked with international affairs. The hopes and dreams of the new century were rapidly extinguished with the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001. And many more deaths were of course to come with the “Wars of Mass destruction” on countries sharing different views, ideologies or civilization from ours.  

The first part of the first decade of the twenty first century was also the confirmation of the hegemony of Asia as an economic power. And, the announcement of the end of the American and European supremacy was to give more hope of freedom to the exploited nations. The African continent for example could find in China and India new trading partners. But more surprising, is the fact that some of the countries in Asia that were described in the seventies as part of the third world were in a very short amount of time to reach such a development level that they appeared now as a threat to the eyes of the Westerners.

The second part the first decade of the twenty first century were however to bring the most positive and promising signs. The world was at last to witness both the end of the Bush and Blair era and the end of the reliance on mass media. After the fiasco of the Wars against Weapons of Mass Destruction many more of our contemporaries were to open their eyes on true reality. The bombings in London were the vivid proof that the Alkhaida organization did not really exist as such. It also revealed that more factors and parameters were to be considered when trying to develop a real system of integration of ethnic minorities in the western world. After the United States got rid of a disturbing Hussein in Iraq a new Hussein was to take the reins of the most powerful nation in the world. In the United States, the election of President Barak Hussein Obama –the first African American president- was a revolution testifying of the success of the process of multiculturalism.

In France however the process of assimilation was to display pure racism. Genuine racism and Islamophobia were to become in the last years of the dying decade the French new national sport by excellence. While a black family was entering the white house in the United States and trying at the same time to put more fairness in international affairs, France was characterized by crimes often involving the police and in some occasions leading to social unrests and riots.

In terms of art and culture some big names were to leave us. The death of the philosopher Claude Levi-Strauss or again the king of pop Michael Jackson, were clear signs of our entrance into a new era. In a more personal point of view, the first years of the dying decade were the time of my encounter with the British culture. Thanks to the years spent in the U.K doing some researches on ethnicity I also became more aware of the situation people sharing a similar story to mine were experiencing in France. Because I felt more at home in Britain, I also decided to make the place my home for a while.

That period coincided with the slow death of the rap culture in France as well. In the late nineties I had entered the world of Hip Hop just to realize in the course of the first decade of the new millennium that the phenomenon in France was somehow limited and even reaching to its end. There are more things I could say on the first decade of the new century but time is short and it will be midnight in a few seconds.  

So to all those celebrating the new-year tonight, I wish them a Happy New Year

Written by Sitafa

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