Walking in the medina is an incredible blend of colors, fragrances, and sounds… So much that it feels like my eyes aren’t big enough to capture it all. I must have looked like I was overwhelmed or confused because an older man gently told me: “You don’t need to understand it all, just enjoy the simple moments with a smiling heart” as he handed me a rose from his stand. He was so right and made me smile right away! This man’s eyes were sensitive enough to see me in the dense crowd and his heart sensitive enough to teach me how simple it can be to be someone’s friend. One minute a stranger, the next minute a friend. – Miss Isabel
In the wake of the recent statements hovering between nations, we notice once more how much power words have, either to build or to destroy, to unite or to divide, to affirm or to discourage.
And on this day honoring a man that left a living legacy through his words and actions confessing hope, may we be the ones pursuing the fulfillment of this dream. Let us remember and honor the march of a man who risked his life for a dream, where “one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” – MLK
May we be the ones standing up in our own ways, making this world a better place to commune all together.
Because human rights are more than a date on a calendar, and that we believe it starts within us and around us, we decided to introduce you to a few people we’ve met since we’re in Tangier, and who make a difference around themselves…
About the picture of Sef & Rachid:
“Being in the crazy circus of Your Favorite Enemies has brought me to discover so many powerful and beautiful things in life. For me, the most significant journey is outside yourself, where you have the opportunity to connect and bond with people. The man with me on the picture is Rachid. He’s the one taking care of everything related to the house we live in! I’m blessed to be able to connect with this humble and generous heart. And for me, human rights start with this… Differences give us the opportunity to redefine our perspectives and conceptions, to open our eyes to what we can offer to the ones around us!” – Sef
What are human rights to you?
From Strangers To Friends
Ever since we gave birth to Your Favorite Enemies, human rights have always been part of the band’s core values. It has always been a matter of heart, not some “good conscience” promotional campaign. So for us, Human Rights Day doesn’t have much to do with December 10th; it’s a daily invitation to go beyond fear of differences and incomprehensions. Living in Tangier teaches us the importance of those little moments of human wonders, of blessed day-to-day connections. So we decided to present you some of our neighbourhood friends, those with whom we laugh and commune for the pure reasons of a smile and a hug. We believe that human rights start within ourselves…
About the picture: Farid is a greengrocer who lives right in front of our studio. He’s never short of a smile and always laughing, Farid is well known in our neighbourhood for being a man who takes care of others and who offers food to those who can’t afford any. We are proud to be considered Farid’s friends.
A text by Alex in answer to the Manchester events:
Every morning following such a horrifying display of disasters, might they be perpetuated in familiar places or far away, reminds us how fragile gathering peace and communal empathy look like before the implacable nature of hatred… How the price for forgiveness and love seem to be more and more difficult to pay for people of good will… as we are to be facing the most horrible fears and dreads there is, which is to become the same monsters we are now so deeply despising… At least that’s always my personal decision to make.
To deny anyone’s rights is to deprave everyone from their rights. We might not understand, we might not be comfortable, we might not even agree, but one thing is for sure; the moment we deny equality based on our beliefs or on other people’s differences, we become accomplice of the hatred that each and everyone of us had to face, are facing or will face one day for simply being who we are. By acknowledging who we are, whatever it might be or not, it is to assume what others might be or not as well. Want it or not, we’re all strange, weird or wrong for at least another one. And this is what makes the world a far more captivating place to evolve in than any homogenized dictature created by our fears and what we rebuke. At least, true or not, that’s where I stand… Human rights for all… no exception!!!
That’s the type of world we want to live in. Let’s end racism.
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination highlights the issue every year, though it’s an every day battle that needs to be fought with eyes wide open, acknowledging the different colors of this world and allowing the diversity to empower us and unite us. Difference is not the enemy, fear is.
When some of the most important things feel broken,
when fundamental rights and human values are torn apart,
let’s remember that we have the power to restore everything.
Happy International Women’s Day.
“Even the most fragile of all lights has the power
to redefine the true nature of darkness…
Hope is the acknowledgment of its bright radiance,
guiding our sorrowful blindness home.”
From March 1 to April 9, inclusively, the members of Your Favorite Enemies have decided to offer a free “Hope in Dark Days” pocket square with every order on the YFE Store, with the exception of digital orders and SFCC fan club memberships.
From the conception to the design, the print, and the sewing, every step of the “Hope in Dark Days” pocket square is made in Your Favorite Enemies’ own creative atelier, The Fabrik. Every pocket square also features a handwritten quote by Alex.
It feels awfully more painful for me to write a message like this one… Not because madness came violently ripping life at home, but because it gets harder and harder for me to look around without sounding hopelessly cynical or disconnected…
It’s as if the world, more than the reality in which it seems to revolve around or grow in, was getting blurrier and blurrier. As if every time we were forced to look outside our own lives, we had to helplessly witness another bright color disappearing before our very eyes, suddenly unblinded, if only for a brief moment, by the despicable horrors that frightfully seem to be coming closer and closer to what we thought was our safe haven of existence.
It feels awfully more painful for me to muse about hope and love and peace as “terror” keeps inviting itself at the table of communion, bringing with it its abominable darkness, as if such a dreadful evilness was challenging everything that I am, everything that I believe in, everything that defines the compassion I turned into actions, forcing me to look deeper and deeper every time, to take a look at myself. But everything inside of me would rather keep looking the other way in order to deny myself the sole existence of such hatred, to rebuke it all, to keep living, as if… as if what…? Sometimes, I’m just too confused to even be able to lie to myself… “Everything will be ok”, I keep whispering. But how do I know? I keep wondering. Is it ok to be confused? I don’t know.
Since the Charlie Hebdo atrocities, the multiplications of abhorring hateful tragedies, their associated images and videos, what disgusted me the most remains the high level of apathetic nonsense we keep hearing in the different public tribunes. “Experts”, “specialists”, “observers” and “commentators” feed the flow of every possible easy and generic bullshit seconds only after the news are out. This morning, the garbage I heard was beyond intelligence from both sides of the political and social spectrum. I was disgusted. People advertising their books, their conferences, their services… no compassion, no empathy, no sympathy, no grace, not only from the tip of their lips as they advertised themselves. It made me so sick. I was just too repulsed by such lack of sensitivity to fake it through the day. It was beyond imagination. And since Donald Trump has been elected President, God knows the degree of insanity we have heard from all possible sides, from depicting women as sexual objects to be grabbed to walls, refugees bans, assassination jokes, all the way to publicly talking about bombing the white house. The political and social rhetoric is now too monstrously depraved of sense to simply be seen as ridiculously pathetic anymore; it’s hideous.
In fact, after the horrific events that occurred in Istanbul on New Year’s eve, I promised myself to stop writing about those tragedies. When words aren’t enough to share the true dimension of my feelings, I would rather leave others who still have enough strength to do it. But after receiving so many messages from friends from all over the world, from different cultures, religions and social, economic and political spheres of life, I realized even more that it’s not my weakness, nor my confusion or my doubts that I should fear, but silence… The true serum to everything that leads to or feeds bitterness, sorrow and hate remains our desires to keep inviting, to keep welcoming as we are, to keep taking chances…
As I’m writing, I’m still as confused as before, if not more. I still feel powerless, disgusted by it all. But it’s what a dear friend from Morocco recently wrote to me that keeps vibrating in my heart today. “It’s ok to be discouraged, to be confused or even scared. We all are. Love, peace, the world… nothing’s a lost cause as long as we care. As long as we care, there will always be hope, my friend. Keep walking your path and remember, when you are discouraged and want to give up, that there are people like me who do care about you.”
And as I keep whispering “everything will be ok” and keep wondering “how do I know?”, I guess, after all, that it’s because I’m one of the millions who does care that I know it will be ok. Thank you for your messages and for welcoming me. My family, my loved ones and I are safe. It might seem like the world gets more and more into the bleakness of black and white, but I know that the colors I thought were lost were safely held in your generous and sharing hands, my dear brothers, sisters, and loved ones… Let’s keep shining!!!”