Imagine all the people livin’ life in peace

Written by: Mohammad Sifat

July 2021 has given us the feeling of a normal world through television and the internet after a long year and a half. We saw the cherished tournaments of Copa America and UEFA Euro after the break last year, along with the glamorous royal inaugural of the Cannes film festival. These, mixed with the greatest show on earth, the Olympics, have provided the world the spark and celebration it has been missing.

However, outside of selected television channels, our world still struggles with COVID and other devastating economic crises. Unless living a simulated ‘The Truman Show’ life, we can hardly deny the fact that there is COVID fine line between the developed world and its not-so-developed counterparts like us. Like Bangladesh.

During this month, whenever I turned to a global news channel or rolled over the pages of dailies, I have been tangled with an Afghanistan in Transition, war-torn Yemenis living beneath basic livelihood conditions, acute poverty in the Sub Saharan region and a chronic covid situation getting on our nerves. I see a normal world only on Netflix’s new arrivals, in the record list of the Olympics’ medal chart or in the skyscraping rocket launched to lean towards the outer world.

On the night the Argentine football team bagged the Copa America title after 28 years, the streets of Havana along with few other locations in Cuba were taken over by thousands of Cuban protestors. On July 11 and 12, they demanded government action amid an economic crisis and food shortages made worse by the pandemic. Since the Maleconazo in 1994, this is described as the largest anti-government rally in the island country. To date, nearly 60 people have been prosecuted for vandalism.

While slogans like “Freedom,” “Down with the dictatorship,” and “We’re hungry” were being raised on the streets of Cuba, a long bargained political transition was taking place in Afghanistan. But at what cost?

Reports say the fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces has cost the lives of nearly 2,400 civilians in May and June only. And throughout the first half of the year, about 1,659 civilians died, falling prey to an exceeding escalation.

The Biden Administration is all set to withdraw American troops from Afghan territory on 9/11. Concerns regarding Afghanistan heading back to its dark days of the Taliban regime are raised. The way Taliban forces are hoarding ahead, it could take two or three years for the country to fall under Taliban control.

The economic crisis in Lebanon has reached the brink. The local currency has decreased in value by 90%, causing mass starvation. Since the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990, this is the most acute economic crisis in the Middle East country. Civilians hardly have access to basic needs like food and treatment. 77% of households don’t have enough food and hospitals have fewer services and electricity than they had during the first few months of the year. Upon such turmoil, Prime Minister-designate Hariri stepped down on July 14. A nine-month-long triumph in the position has only increased inflation.

Meanwhile, the global covid situation has deteriorated more intensely. In Britain, Spain, Mongolia, Iran, Colombia, more than 2000 cases are detected among 100,000 people daily.Whereas, distribution of vaccines shows vivid discrimination between the developed and developing world.

Northern European Countries along with the USA, Canada, China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and high-income countries from all 7 continents have insured more than 50% of first dose vaccination among people aging above 12. However, countries plagued with mass poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia are yet to vaccinate their 5% population.

And how have we made it to the international pages?

July 2021 has proven to be the deadliest month in Bangladesh in terms of Covid infections. Bangladesh is now the second worst-hit country in South Asia. Meanwhile, the tragic outburst in a six-story juice factory robbed the lives of 52 laborers. The government has reimposed a lockdown for two weeks to stem the upsurging flow of corona infections.

By this time, the world has perhaps found a way to a new normal reality, albeit increasing Covid. War and peace, agreements and dissents, inflation and developments are the two faces of one common agenda to carry on. We call it the ‘New World’; a post-cold war reality. This is not as blissful as Lennon’s “Imagine” or Lenin’s dogmatic socialistic ideology, nor as fatal as Dante’s consequences of ‘Original Sin’. This is just the perfect staging of Hans Morgenthau’s classical realism.


Forde, K., 2021. Cuba protests: The economic woes driving discontent. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 27 July 2021].
In Pictures: Cubans protest against shortages and rising prices. (2021). Retrieved 27 July 2021, from

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

The author is a deputy lead of YPF Bangla Editorial Team. He can be reached at

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