As long as we care…

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

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!!!”

– Alex

Rock N Rights x Justin Trudeau

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

A few days ago, Ensaf Haidar and her family got to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about Raif Badawi’s situation. May this meeting help Raif in every possible way, so that he can be freed and come back to his family as soon as possible! Special mention to Doudi for wearing the “Blinded I See” t-shirt. Speaking out truths should never be banished, in any way. Remember to take a stand for what you believe in… today, and every other day!

“Once More” – In Answer to the Nice Attacks

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

A text by Alex in answer to the Nice attacks:

So today, I must resolve to offer you my thoughts, my prayers… My brothers, sisters, friends and loved ones, while I know that my words cannot ease your suffering, or even comfort you, I can only express my most sincere and unconditional love to you… While different, it is this love that unites us and that will be able to build us up… “once more”.

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The Hour of Truth

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

“It requires courage to respect others’ views, to appreciate others’ beliefs and choices along with their right to believe them.” Those were the words that inspired me when I first read Raif Badawi’s blogs, which led him directly in jail, and his wife, Ensaf Haidar and their three kids Najwa, Dodi and Miriam, to move to Sherbrooke, a city near Drummondville, where our HQ church/studio is now established. This crazy but real story is what had Alex and I talking about getting our human rights organization, Rock N Rights, back on social medias!

It was so beautiful to see how you responded intensively and with so much passion and love in regards to the Badawi family! You sent so many letters written from your hands in your languages… We were all very stocked when we started receiving all of those! I’ve been really blessed and touched to have the privilege to give all of those letters you sent, in Ensaf’s hands, hoping this would encourage her to keep going, and to gather our entire world to fight for freedom of speech! She was really touched to see all those letters coming from all around the world, she was speechless and so thankful, no words could describe how she felt. I will forever remember that moment, so inspiring, so real and powerful… It gives me wings every time I hear about her!

Here’s an excerpt of the book she wrote where she shares that magical moment where we all met her in a way. Read it and share it, since this battle is far from being over, and we can see how impactful we can be when we simply decide to. Love you all so much my friends!!!!! – Jeff

Read the excerpt

International Women’s Day 2016 – Jeff

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

Today we’re celebrating the International Women’s Day which is kinda odd to me, still in 2016. I’ve been asked to write down something about a woman that I admire, or impacted me in some ways… But I’d rather use this day, and platform of mine, to invite us all, men and women, to simply do something about those sexe inequalities STILL ongoing all around the world. What’s wrong with us men? What are we afraid of that much? I think fear is the real word to put on these inequalities, nothing else… fear. Why women had to fight to vote, to be educated, to hide their faces in some countries, to go through genital mutilations in others? I know I might sound 10 years oldish “Hey daddy, why is this going on in the world?” kinda questions, but still, this is what’s happening around us, and this is only because of one thing; fear. 

I grew up weirdly until I discovered punk rock, where to me, everything made sense in life… where establishment of all kinds, whether it was to challenge the acceptance level of difference in high school, to my parents and their friends, the local authorities and so on… it all had to evolve according to me, using shocking methods as motto and motivations to get up in the morning! It’s with that same spirit that I’m here today, but with a greater purpose, since we, all together, have to, and can make a real difference in this world. Why not making of this 21st century the 1st in history where men and women lived as equal? I want to thank women like Rosa Parks today that stood up for what she believed in, which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I also want to thank Marie Curie for stating that nothing in life is to be feared, it’s only to be understood. I want to thank Emmeline Pankhurst working hand in hand with her husband to get rid of ignorance, leading women to vote, Audrey Hepburn for using her fame to become a UNICEF ambassador and seed hope for the ones in need. I could go on and on like this, since our world’s history wouldn’t be what it is like now, if it wasn’t for all these brave women, but what I really wanted to do also today, is to thank and honor you all, my precious female friends, sisters, for your guts and courage to go through everyday life facing those inequalities, facing the modern world pressure of what a woman “should” look like, should act like, should talk like and worst, should dream like…

I’ll end up with this, I think that equality and respect should be what really shines and what inspires each other to grow, to live and to dream as equal human beings. I want to walk with you all hand in hand, fearless, for future generations to read that we, together, ended those inequalities between men and women in our generation. You with me?

– Jeff

Human Rights Day

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

We’re all guilty of something in life. And the band members are no exception. But what if we could all be free? No judgement, but a pure and simple freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of being. This is what should prevail in our everyday life. In honor of those who do not have this freedom, we stand united.

Human Rights for all, no exception. This is a motto that the members of Your Favorite Enemies go by every day, and one for which they’ve fought for years.

View the album

À nous maintenant de briller de tous nos feux

Written by Rock and Rights. Posted in Uncategorized

Message d’Alex, suite aux attentats de Paris.

Je suis présentement à l’aéroport de Montréal en compagnie de Jeff. Nous quittons pour Tokyo dans moins de 2 heures. Nous n’avons pu fermer l’oeil de la nuit, inquiets pour nos êtres chers qui manquent toujours à l’appel et résolument déterminés à ne pas succomber aux extrêmes émotions que pareils actes de barbarie pourraient nous sembler raisonnable de vivre en pareille occasion.

La véritable victoire de la terreur s’avère sa propension à créer de nouveaux monstres, justes ou non. Ce matin, alors que je ne peux que penser à nos amis qui manquent toujours à l’appel, alors que rage, peine, incompréhension et consternation s’entremêlent dans mon coeur, dans mon âme, je pense à tous nos êtres chers… Et malgré la profonde souffrance qu’est la nôtre, je me refuse à faire surgir ce monstre vengeur. Je renonce à devenir l’ombre de ces abominables actes du mal. Car elle est là la victoire de ceux qui sèment la mort; le triomphe de la haine s’avère l’appel à nos instincts les plus primaires, à nos sentiments les plus insondés.

Ce matin, j’ai mal d’une blessure innommable puisqu’indescriptible, puisqu’insoutenable… Et je pense à ceux que j’aime, qui ont de justesse évité le courroux de l’injustifiable. Je pense à ceux qui, comme nous, ont perdu des êtres chers aux mains de la sauvagerie des uns devenue l’horreur des autres. Je pense à ceux qui ce matin ont la force de se lever avec la singulière détermination de continuer ce qui sera désormais considéré comme le combat de la compassion et de l’amour. Je pense à ceux qui, après avoir été fauchés par l’infamie de l’extrême abnégation de la valeur de l’autre, nous rappellent de vivre au-delà de la folie engendrée par l’abomination du désespoir. Ce matin, au-delà de la répulsion que mon coeur éprouve face aux images que les infos nous balancent en boucle, je veux simplement prendre le temps, en mon nom et au nom des membres de la grande famille de Your Favorite Enemies, pour vous dire ce que mon effréné quotidien m’y illusoirement contraint de vous partager trop souvent, c’est à dire à quel point vous êtes toutes et tous incroyablement précieux pour nous. Ce matin, après avoir été si majestueusement Charlie, le monde est amèrement Paris. Mais devant telle tragédie, et bien que j’aie peine à n’être bien plus que moi-même ce matin, je ne suis ni Charlie, ni Paris, pas plus que je ne me sens Amnistie Internationale. Mais malgré l’aberration de cette admission, je m’en vois néanmoins rassuré, car l’arme que nous avons tous face à la frayeur que sème la terreur est de se savoir plus que jamais humain, ce qui m’invite à vous dire humblement que je vous aime, bien que la profondeur de ce sentiment m’échappe si cruellement souvent. La plus petite lueur a le pouvoir de terrasser la plus profonde noirceur. À nous maintenant de briller de tous nos feux.

– Votre frère, votre ami, Alex.