Words Have Weight

Posted on March 3, 2016

Here I am sitting in my office heading into yet another Spring Break thinking about how I can explain to my students that words have weight, have importance, have gravity…

I met Habiba when she was a young student with the American University of Sharjah.  At the time, I was teaching writing and served as a faculty advisor for the student newspaper.  As a communications major focusing on journalism, Habiba was very interested in learning the basics of her craft.  However, it wasn’t just that.  She took to heart the things we read about democracy, civil society,  and globalization.  Eventually, she made her way to Editor of the student newspaper, where she continued to find her voice and first began putting words into practice.  After graduation, like so many students, she took job with a local newspaper in Dubai, the Gulf News.  When the Arab Spring hit Egypt hard in 2012, Habiba became more and more swept up in events back in her home country and she returned to her home country to join and report about the ongoing protests.  She was killed in the Rabba massacre during the Egyptian military overthrow of President Morsi.

Another Spring has come and when I see the flowers blooming, I also think of Habiba’s smile.  That flower was always there on her face.  She was just one of those people.  So, when you stop and think of words (of writing), remember their importance.  Just remember, words can carry the weight of freedom written large across a smiling Spring sky.


Categories: Commentary