I am a marketer. I am a writer. I am a photographer. Every single day of my business life and during my personal time, I express my beliefs, my viewpoints. I share in social media, on my blog, in my photos.
Our Freedom of Speech, my freedom of expression, is one of the rights I most value today. And I am astounded at the terroristic cowardice that took place in Paris this week, the killing of journalists and police officers and innocent people at Charlie Hebdo and the streets of Paris. I am disgusted at the number of journalists who have been captured and murdered in the Middle East in the past year.
I cannot stand in Paris this weekend with others, holding my pens up stating en masse that this right of expression should never be subdued. If anything, it should be widened. Read on the Amnesty International website how Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian blogger, was sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years behind bars for articles he posted on his website “Saudi Arabian Liberals.” Appalling. What are governments and individuals so afraid of?
But, I stand in solidarity with those honoring the victims. I share with you a photo of my pens and my well-used camera, demonstrating agreement with maintaining and expanding worldwide our freedom of speech. I encourage you to do the same.
This is NOT what I was going to write about today. But I cannot stop thinking about those murdered in Paris this week. My prayers are with you and your families.
The journey continues.
Update: According to Amnesty International, today (1/9/15) Raif Badawi sadly received 50 lashings today. Sickeningly, he will get 950 move over the next months. You can send an email to try and stop him from getting more–visit the Amnesty International site.