The journey of life and truth in Pattani

00:00 . 30/06/2014 Pazartesi

Yusuf Kaplan

Yusuf Kaplan has been a frequent contributor to Yeni Şafak for years, penning columns on a variety of topics for the daily
Yusuf Kaplan

Our IHH team''s humanitarian activity in Pattani is continuing with full speed. We have recently visited the ''Darussifa Orphanage'' which was established in the region of Narathiwat, in the Juju village with the sponsorship of Sule Yüksel Senle, Furkan Emre Kesik and the Bugdayci family from Izmir. We delivered our aid we brought with us from Turkey.

After that, we switched to the ''Miasatanish Orphanage'' in the village of Pawal in Pattani. The previous day we had already visited the great ''Dar al Infaq Saaleheyyah Deeneyyah'' School and Orphanage at length. There are other schools and orphanages on our schedule on the upcoming days.

The Smile of an Orphan

Before writing any further, let me say one thing: to see an orphan smiling is such a truth that is greater than any dream coming true. We are helping Pattanis by making their faces smile. However, what they do is more significant. They are opening their arms to those ethnically Turkish brothers who cry in persecution. They welcome them despite all threats, pressures.

The most beautiful aspect of Pattani: Noble People

So, the most beautiful aspect of Pattani is its beautiful people. Pattani Muslims are noble and brave. They are modest, highly self-confident. Their faith and life are strictly related to the truth. Life in Pattani is not dull. It is literally a life: vibrant, vivid, and tranquil, refreshing the soul. Here, life means ''road'' or always moving on ''the road'' or ''to be on the road''.

Women Motor Bikers, Tanks and Soldiers

The two things that you would encounter the most are women motorbikers and armed soldiers. In the evening, as soon as we entered Thailand soil from Malaysia, the first thing we came across was a convoy of military vehicles.

It''s hard to see trucks here. We drove for 3 hours inside Thailand from the Malaysian border moving to North and West. I seriously did not see one single truck except a few pick-ups.

The majority of people on the road are women bikers. All of them sport a headscarf.. Thailand''s Muslim population stands at ten percent.. Almost all of the Muslim women wear the headscarf. The Muslim women have headscarves; the Muslim men have bears.

Pattani''s distinguishing aspect is its women motorbikers: some women ride their bikes alone and some with their kids. Some women ride with their husbands and kids sitting on the back.

I think that the domination of tanks and motorbikes on the road shows that the army dominates the country while the women stay at home.

Action, fertility and life

There is action and fertility in Pattani. Life''s energy is continuously flowing on the roads of Pattani, in its markets and bazaars, cities and villages and everywhere. Action, fertility and life: Patani''s seed is action, its tree is fertility and its fruit is life. They are not only living the life. They absorb the life into their veins. They are not living to work. They are working to live. Here, living overrules working. In the world of Pattani Muslims, the key is not working but living. If you want to see how working to live kills life, humans and soul, check out Pattani.

CHAPLIN, MARX and the life in PATTANI

If you checked out Pattani already, I will suggest you watch one of the most imaginative movies in which Charlie Chaplin is cast. It''s called ''Modern Times''. It is one of the best epitomes of how Marx argued that the industrial age had estranged the human from himself and from nature, and that it made the human a property and a thing. Chaplin''s ''Modern Times'' represents a transformation of the human being into an enormous machine cogwheel in an ironic and horrific way.

There is no Marx or Charlie Chaplin in Pattani: no spiritless industrial age and no estrangement.

There is no such thing as freedom, but there is one thing that we abandoned a long time ago and that we did not even realize it when it happened and because of that we even did not witness its farewell. This thing in Pattani is: LIFE.

We abandoned ''life'' for the sake of life and life abandoned us, too. In the past, we called the yards of our houses ''life''. We don''t have yards anymore. Our places lack yards and lives. Yes, I want to shoot the architect who made the residences without yards!

Yes, there is a life in Pattani. There is an Islamic experience of life that renders life meaningful, valuable and livable. In Pattani. There is a notion of life in which Islam synthesizes simplicity and depth, the world and the spiritual being, the inside and outside in an impeccable harmony.

In Pattani, Islamic practice is not something that modernity deformed. In fact, it is experienced with all its spontaneous and natural character. Women''s headscarves are long and colorful. Some are deep blue; others are pitch black. Some are snow white and others are pink. Some of the headscarves are almost like a colorful flower pattern.

Poverty is the key for clemency and deprivation is the key for spiritual treasures

People are busy in Pattani. They are quite happy with their situations. Modernism promised to offer them the bondage of consumption but could never realize its plan. Thus, Pattani Muslims are giving us a lesson as to how one can seize joy and live in happiness, peace, solidarity, sharing and brotherhood avoiding getting caught with ''happiness disorder''. Pattani Muslims portray an ideal lesson to modern people or those who dabble in postmodern rivers of modernity. They extend their lesson to the shameful face of humanity, those who flounder in the tempting virtual garbage life or to those casualties of the virtual life who assume that living is possible after forgetting about life.

In Pattani, life is so dynamic where the nature is so refreshing and peaceful with its serenity and deep lush green, calming environment. Pattanis are modest, and for this reason, the poorness of the noble people is their key to clemency and depravity is the other key for their spiritual treasures.

Am I a Rousseau? Of course not!

So, what am I? A Rousseau? Am I a desperately romantic Rousseau who worships the nature – if it''s proper to say – exclaiming that the extremities of the reason are rendering the European human being without a soul and in order to avoid this, am I taking shelter in the nature?

Of course, not. Moreover, Rousseau was fleeing from the city to the nature arguing that civilization was what made the human lost his or her spirit. Rousseau was then letting himself go to the arms of nature. Rousseau''s orientation toward the nature is worth the greatest appreciation. However, humanists thought life was all about humans or human-worshippers, and I am wondering if Rousseau had the illusion that life simply had to do with nature? I wonder if Rousseau could see beyond that.

I myself am taking my path of not nature, but the truth. I am trying to track the truth. In Pattani, I have found traces of truth and a life of truth. I tried to share with you the tastes I have had on this trip. I will continue with my upcoming articles on this basis.

#Am I a Rousseau
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