by Aisha Almaazmi
Essential workers. We’ve been hearing this term in the news for more than a year now. Doctors have been working around the clock to treat Covid patients. Teachers have struggled to shift almost completely to online learning. Government workers have been thrown into a complicated mess of dealing with surges in unemployment and policy changes.
These are the people who kept our countries functioning through the events of Covid-19; they worked while we were struggling to deal with not seeing our loved ones, staying home and learning the definition of ‘quarantine’.
But how is it that we know of these essential workers and all the contributions they are making to society? How is it that we are able to recognize and applaud their achievements despite being in different locations around the globe?
It is done through the power of communication. Watching and reading the news is how we get our information about the world, and that is achieved through recording and writing events. The field of journalism is itself one that requires an intense knowledge and grasp of all kinds of communication. The job of a journalist is to get the message across to people all over the globe through writing or filming. Even then, the base of filming is writing; every kind of film has an element of screen or script writing.
Whether writing is a direct or indirect form of spreading information, it still has a massive impact in the world we live in. Take the pandemic as an example. The Covid-19 virus not only spread sickness but also panic and fear. People all around the world experienced unemployment, online schooling, the cancellation of events and so much more. We stayed home whether it was for school, work, or leisure. Our life completely changed.
Because we were at home, how do you think we knew of what was happening outside our doors? How did we know about the various country lockdowns taking place, the international death and virus rate, movements such as the BLM, and important foreign relations being made and broken? In the comfort and safety of our homes, we were exposed to world-wide news. This was done through communication and writing. We read about these events. We read about people’s perspectives on social media.
There were people whose job it was to write about all that was happening. People wrote about these events and changes. They wrote about their passions and occurences that sparked a fire of change within them. They wrote about current events, about the source of their frustration and inspiration, and about perspectives that made them look at the world a little differently. And people read.
At the end of the day, there is a chain that connects all of us together. It can connect someone sitting at home in Sharjah to someone working in the front lines of a hospital in the UK. It can connect a simple student trying to finish her degree online to a writer spilling her passion on paper about the death of George Floyd. And it did for me. A girl from Sharjah, trying to complete her final semester online in the midst of a pandemic, who is now writing to you her thoughts on whether writing is an essential tool or not. And you’re listening.