23/06/2005

Publicity-seekers out to promote shallow selves

Vol XXVIII NO. 95 Thursday 23 June 2005

BY AMIRA AL HUSSAINI

II have had it with people who only want to see their photographs in the newspaper, whether they deserve the coverage or not. I am disgusted by some who pretend to be champions of noble causes, when all they really want is to promote their shallow selves and get some free publicity out of their sorry attempts to provide shoddy services to society.

In my career, some of my most stressful experiences have been with such publicity-seekers, who believe in their own lies and fall prey to their own propaganda.

On the one hand, they are actually doing something and as such this warrants the publicity they get. On the other, they give us so much grief and push the limits just to have their events covered and their pictures plastered all over newspaper pages - even when we know that the motives strip their attempts of any decency.

There are people who will leave no stone unturned, resorting to everything from sweet talking to threats, for some self-publicity.

I wish I had the courage to publish their photographs here and name and shame them, for the heartache they have given me over the years excuses such an extreme measure.

It is so sad to see people who are supposedly working to serve the community, eat at each other's flesh and back stab each other for no reason other than to climb the social ladder and be the centrepiece of events.

I don't know what is more sad, their total lack of understanding of the concept of community service, or their constant struggle to out do each other in being the centre of attention - even when their attempts are ridiculous, petty and embarrassing to say the least.

No matter how many times I have encountered these hollow people who try to impose themselves on the social scene, they still continue to give me the creeps.

I still can't get them out of my mind and can't bring myself to try and understand this concentrated level of malignant narcissism, especially when I see many people working silently every day to bring humanity, dignity and respect back to voluntary work.

There are several examples of people who have worked in silence to help others and bring a quality to their lives, while refusing the publicity which others take for granted for their noble deeds.

Two immediately spring to mind. One is an Indian businessman who covered the expense of a cornea transplant to save a Bahraini woman from blindness.

The other is a local company which is without fanfare footing the bill to treat Baby Khadija Ali Radhi, whose plight was reported in the GDN, for a rare disfiguring disease..

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