I am a great fan of reading since my childhood. I remember the very first book that I read was (Panchatantra or کەلیلە و دیمنە in Kurdish) and I was only 6. When I grew up a bit, I got a book as a gift from my elder brother. The title of the book was (Boray Qaplan (بۆرەی قەپڵان)) which was also the name of the hero of the novel. The novel was written by a Kurdish writer (Aziz Mala Rash). What a pity, there is no translated version of the book.
I admit that, this book shaped my behavior to a great extent, I don't know why, but I still want to be like the hero of this book, and everyone who is like the hero is my favorite idol.
By now, you may wonder, what makes me talk about this book and the hero, in a blog post, which is supposed to be dedicated for free and open source movement! Well, I don't know why but I think, (Boray Qaplan) and Richard Stallman are so much alike.
|Richard Stallman, the person behind GNU project and FSF|
Boray Qaplan, was bear living in Erbil. his parents were murdered, when they were attacked by a gang of lions. The only surviver amongst them was the poor then recently born bear. This massacre affected him a lot, and made his coming days like a disaster, it was really difficult for him to protect himself from the many dangers in the wild.
His way of surviving, and living as much as he can, was to hide himself during the day, and appear during the night. When he became stronger, he started to appear during the day time too. But, his major problem was, he could never eat meat again, because whenever he was trying to eat meat, the very sad scene of his killed parents was recalled in his mind. Eventually he became a vegetarian.
When he got even stronger and older, he saw a rabbit, and remembered the tasty meat of him (from his early days on this planet). and he decided to break his own rule and eat meat for the first time since the bloody night in his childhood. He easily hunted the poor rabbit, and tried to eat him, but the sad scene was recalled once more, and he decided to let the rabbit go. From that day, he decided to support the poor animals, and stand against the strong animals in the area. Since then the weak animals in that area could stand against the dangers of the wild, lions and tigers. The book goes further, and I wish (at least) every Kurd read it once.
If we look at the story and Richard Stallman's life, we can easily see that they both were born to be great and change maker. Richard Stallman was a great programmer (or hacker), just like Boray Qaplan was a great hunter. They both had a moment, which changed their entire life and thinking, for Boray Qaplan, this moment was the bloody night, while for Richard Stallman this moment was, the time when they couldn't make the printer work the way they wanted:
In 1980, Stallman and some other hackers at the AI Lab were refused access to the source code for the software of the first laser printer, the Xerox 9700. Stallman had modified the software on an older printer (the XGP, Xerographic Printer), so it electronically messaged a user when the person's job was printed, and would message all logged-in users when the printer was jammed. Not being able to add this feature to the Dover printer was a major inconvenience, as the printer was on a different floor from most of the users. This experience convinced Stallman of people's need to be free to modify the software they use. (from Wikipedia)And as a result, they both tried to change their situation, Boray Qaplan established a safe area for weak animals, while Stallman founded Free Software Foundation and started GNU project. They both could live in their unfair world, and get benefit from the jungle law, as they could easily find themselves in the powerful side, but they both chose to fight for freedom.