Destroying cultural heritage

Destroying cultural heritage

While walking on the beach, when one comes across a sand castle, one would not step on it, but just walk around it.

A person would not even sacrifice a sand castle. Even if it is made of sand, somebody shaped it. It must have its own story.

While one cannot sacrifice a sand castle, it is not possible to not be grieved after seeing human-like creatures destroying cultural heritage with sledgehammers and drills.

You may say, “These barbarians have brutally massacred thousands of people; they have showcased the cut heads of the dead at village squares; they have crucified people; hung children … Out of all these, were you hurt by a couple of sculptures being smashed?”

Yes, I was. Just as it hurt me in the first Gulf War in 1991, when hundreds of mosques and masjids, museums, archeological sites, tombs and churches were destroyed in Iraq.

Just as it hurt me when 4,000 historic artifacts were stolen and found buyers in world markets. Just as it hurt me when years later UNSECO did not raise a finger. 

The hypocrisy of the West also hurt me in this matter.

This is Mesopotamia; which hosted the Epic of Gilgamesh, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Hittites, Lydians, Persians, Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians; the first love of humanity in many senses… 

This is Mesopotamia; the homeland of script, urbanization, laws, astronomy and mathematics.
Mesopotamia, which started at the summit, has ended at the bottom…

What is known as The Hague Convention of UNESCO, signed in 1954 says, in The Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, “Damage to cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind, since each people makes its contribution to the culture of the world.”

Yes, they are taking lives; who knows how many more lives they will take, how many more acres they will turn into a bloodbath.

This was not enough for them; they have destroyed the entire humanity’s heritage of how many generations, I wonder.

These pieces were hidden under the earth for thousands of years; they were excavated by meticulous work by archeologists over dozens of years; they have been examined for years. Many of them were re-buried and hidden by the scarce number of archeologists and museum staff after the war to prevent them from being stolen.

Nobody wanted them for their individual selves; the only wish was to pass on the heritage of humanity to the future without any harm.

It did not happen.

When one withdrew his tank, the other brought the sledgehammer. The uniformed barbarian was replaced by the human-like creature.

The joint memory of humankind was looted and deleted. What was accumulated all through history was stolen and destroyed. Cultural diversity has been flattened.

First it was in the name of petroleum, the latest in the name of “somebody’s Islam.”

Cultural heritage is first comprehended; then it is valued. Then it is protected, after that, it is enjoyed.
Cultural heritage means relation; a sense of belonging.

It reminds the person where they came from. How would you find your way without knowing where you came from?

When the history of humanity is destroyed, then memory is lost; humanity’s relations and sense of belonging weakens.

Just as how sweetly it warms our heart to know that we have a common past…

The smashing of these sculptures and the burning of these libraries are almost like somebody ripping our chest apart and torching our hearts…

Let God’s judgment be on you, ISIL.