Actor Zara Noor Abbas sees hypocrisy in celebrating Eid in full swing while also being vocal about the plight of the Palestinian people. Seeking consistency in people's attitude towards the crisis, she slammed those who paused their activism for colourful Eid shenanigans on social media. Her thoughts were met with divided reactions.
"For people talking about Palestine/Gaza now, what happened to this conversation when everyone was posting pictures of Eid outfit 1, 2 and 3?" she asked, mocking those she believes are making this topic "convenience related". She pressed the need to change perspective on celebrating life on social media, saying light should instead be shed on the chaos in Palestine.
"Don't showcase happiness if you feel helpless," she said.
We have now entered week two of the latest period of intense Israeli hostility towards the land and people of Palestine, even as global public and diplomatic pressure mounts. According to current reports, at least 192 people, including 58 children and 34 women, have lost their lives in the Gaza Strip in the current violent stretch of days, in addition to 1,200 that were left wounded. Israel, on the other hand, has reported 10 deaths, including two children. The United Nations Security Council met on Sunday to no good, failing to even agree upon a joint statement of concern.
Abbas' tweet sparked an internet debate.
Some saw her tweet as valid criticism, and shared her concern with people celebrating Eid with pictures and new clothes on social media, and then turning back to the Palestine cause after the holiday was over. They felt celebrations should have been kept low-key to pay homage to the hundreds of lives lost and thousands others suffering at the hand of the Israeli state.
The opinion from other quarters argued that Eid is an occasion that calls for celebration and is a day for setting troubles aside. An argument was that we're all living through tough times and several of us have seen the worst over the past couple of years, and a day like Eid should be spent in celebration while also feeling for the Palestinian people. People should be allowed these personal moments of happiness and celebration. None of these things mean that one does not care for those who's Eids have been ruined and families erased.
A direct response to Abbas' comments came from her industry colleague, Tum Ho Wajah star Shehzeen Rahat. "This is such an absurd statement coming from Zara Noor Abbas," she said, noting that even the people in Palestine, who find themselves at the epicentre of the crisis, celebrated Eid as best as they could.
Rahat in turn felt the need to point out the hypocrisy she saw in Abbas' statement. She said if Abbas' premise was to be accepted, and we assume that people going through grief shouldn't be posting "happy things" on social media, then "what was Zara Noor Abbas doing herself on Jeeto Pakistan's Ramazan show when her own khala Sumbul appa (may Allah bless her soul) was on [the] ventilator, fighting for her life?"
"Double standards much?" Rahat asked.
This is a slightly sensitive topic because each person has their own beliefs and their own experiences. Each person deals with stress and trauma differently and it is not for us to judge how they deal with it. We understand why there is a divide on the matter but we should all respect each other's liberty to celebrate or not celebrate as they wish. What do you think? Should people celebrate Eid or any other occasion at a time when others in Palestine are being targeted?