Undocumented immigrants in the US, persecuted minorities of Pakistan, people nostalgic for life under tyranny in Eastern Europe, how do we empathize with those who experience such trauma? Journalists tell us what happens to them; poets, artists, and fiction writers make us feel with them. So if you’ve been following the latest news about Palestine, and you want to feel with the people of Palestine, consider reading or listening to Isabella Hammad’s The Parisian.
Each letter has its place related to lines that have already been drawn. At times, a letter grandstands at the opening of a sentence, and at others a it announces the end. Sometimes it must connect with the letters on each side, smoothly, mixing in becoming one of the group. And then there are those that connect awkwardly and prefer their own space, distant from others.
Gibli رياح القبلى , the Libyan sandstorm, is my worst nightmare. It descends from the highlands of the country making its way to the Mediterranean. It covers everything in its path with a layer of fine red sand.
“It had been many, many years since anyone had been in his thoughts. It pleased him, it titillated him, it bothered him, but in a pleasant sort of way. He could not shake it off. “
“Someday, Somewhere, You Said Hello
And Walked Into My Life “
Had Khaldoun lived in our verity-challenged times, he would surely have taken today’s media to task for embracing “alternative facts” and spreading disinformation and fake news. Sensationalism, chaos and fear-arousing disinformation always sells and is good for ratings, which in turn drive advertising dollars, and the media figured that out a long time ago.
I think the human story of science, evolution and scholarship becomes more enriching if it seen as a collective human endeavor, and not necessarily as petty triumphs of one over the other – the West, the East, Christianity, Islam, Judaism.
I encourage you to people-watch more consciously, and hopefully by doing so you can begin to see as I have that we are in this world together, and are simply different expressions of one human race, on this planet we call Earth. People aren’t people without other people. We are all one.