By Adriana Adarve – Owner of Adarve Translations & Donnamarie Leemann – Head of Marketing at Adarve Translations
Current scientific theory posits that the Ebola virus originated in African mammals that are regularly eaten as “bush meat” in traditional African societies. It is certain that the disease is passed on from one organism to another by a transfer of bodily fluids. Many African burial practices include the washing of the dead. There is a transfer of bodily fluids during the preparation of the dead for burial that is suspected of being a major source of the transmission of the virus in Africa.
Like the Black Death in Medieval Europe, Ebola knows no boundaries of tribe, religion, education, social status or wealth. If you get infected, you will probably die no matter who you are or where you are from.
The Ebola virus has no perspective, it just kills an appalling percentage of the people whom it infects. It is possible to prevent the Ebola virus—if one understands how it is transmitted.
Lots of people are dying from other, preventable, causes. The seemingly never-ending ebb and flow of violence between the Palestinians and the Israelis continues apace, with the loss of many lives. I’m not going to go into detail about that can of worms; I’m just writing a blog here, not a lengthy erudite political analysis.
There is the upheaval in the Eastern Ukraine. And there are the shocking developments in Iraq and Syria, which include genocide and other crimes against humanity on as large a scale as the people who are perpetrating those crimes can manage. Mass murder, large scale robberies, religious (not only ethnic) “cleansing,” kidnap, rape, slavery et al.
The marauders who are committing these crimes have no more perspective than does the Ebola virus. The Ebola virus is, however, less bad, because it has no evil intent, it’s just doing its evolutionary job of trying to ensure its own survival. The marauding radicals know what they are doing, they do it with a will, and they celebrate their abominable actions. Submit to our world view, they say, or we will murder you without compunction.
During the late Cold War years, the Soviet Union and the Chinese crowed with glee every time there was a racial incident in the USA that they could point out as inequality in American society. For a long time, racial incidents were indeed a matter of policy—if not national policy after the Civil Rights movement and legislation in the ‘60’s, at least as state and local policy. But, as totalitarian entities, the Soviets and Chinese could never recognize “grass roots” movements working to change policy—of course, in those totalitarian governments, grass roots movements would have been mowed down flat by the central government. But the grass roots continued to grow in the USA.
A lot of progress was made during the 1960’s. Progress continued—after all, we now have an African American President. But progress got stalled in many places, too many places. It got stalled in Florida where the unarmed black teenager Trevor Martin was shot to death. It got stalled in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, where the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot to death. And they are only two examples of way too many deaths of black people who have died at the hands of trigger-happy whites—people who have received little or no justice in the American legal system.
How can we pull all these threads into one perspective that makes sense?
In Africa, medical centers treating Ebola have been targeted for destruction by locals: if they kill every one there—doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, patients—they believe that they can eradicate the disease. They of course cannot eradicate the disease that way, and the indiscriminate murder of aid workers and patients is immoral, even for people fearing for their lives.
Again, I won’t to go into detail about the crisis between Israel and Palestine, but it is true that Israel enjoys massive American backing, and it is also true that the Palestinians never miss a chance to miss a chance. Perhaps the folks in that part of the world ultimately just enjoy making kaboomy on each other.
After the words of the Prophet Mohammed became known, his ideology spread like wild-fire through Africa to the west and to Indonesia to the east, taking in at least parts of all the lands in between.
But what do the marauders who are trying to spread their version of the message of the Prophet think they are doing now? The vast majority of people on this planet—be they religious, agnostic or atheistic—just want to live in peace with their neighbors. They do not want mass murders, the slave-taking of adults or the sexual slavery of young women and girls, they do not want beheadings and amputations and a totalitarian ideology that make the Russian and Chinese authoritarian governments seem like 1960’s Flower Children.
These marauders are going to cause great trouble all over the world. Today it is the strife between most of the Syrian people (the ones who haven’t yet fled their country) and Bashar Assad, and the chaos that obtains in Iraq. Shias, Christians, Yazidis and Sunnis who aren’t Sunni enough are being slaughtered wholesale. Young “converts” of Western origin are being trained in Syria and Iraq to return to their native countries to carry out war crimes in their native lands.
Ultimately, their efforts will amount to what the English call “a wet squib.” A fire-work that doesn’t explode. Most people don’t want to chop off other people’s heads and parade or display them on spikes. Most people want to nurture their young, their old, the defenseless womenfolk among them, they don’t want them to be murdered in their beds or be kidnapped and sold into slavery.
The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, are in the first instance very discouraging. But at second glance, they show the strength and resilience of people who will not be inflamed nor led astray. There was prejudice and injustice, both of which are continuing. There are trouble-makers doing their best to inflame the situation and bring people to violence.
But it seems to me that the people of Ferguson are going about correcting things in a correct way. They have steadfastly rejected violence, even in the face of people who have tried to inflame the situation. They have stressed their sense of community.
True enough, only a couple of people have died in Ferguson. But the people there know that that’s two people too many. They are not calling for retribution; they are calling for understanding and perspective. They are not advocating violence, kaboomy, or beheadings: they are demanding peaceful reconciliation.
How many explosive, potentially violent situations in the world could have been diffused if the people involved had adopted the rational perspective of the people of Ferguson?
In order to provide an accurate translation, it’s not enough for the translator to understand the language of the client and the recipient: the translator must also understand and be able to communicate a perspective that both the client and the recipient can comprehend.
It’s a whole lot easier to just be faced with bureaucratic, insurance or family court matters. Such jobs are our “bread and butter.” But we are up to major projects that involve international perspective.
All the best,
Donnamarie Leemann, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, & Adriana Adarve, Asheville, NC
About the Authors: Adriana Adarve is the owner of Adarve Translations and is fluent in three languages (English, Spanish & French), as well as pluri-cultural, multi-cultural, plurilingual and multilingual. Donnamarie Leemann is an artist and writer who has for many years contributed to the BBC and to many other public forums, and who collaborates at present with Adarve Translations as Head of Marketing.