A month ago today, I logged into this board for the first time. I didn’t know quite what to expect, both because I consider myself quite computer illiterate and because I had never even been exposed to the concept of BLOGS before! I didn’t know I could make one FOR FREE, nonetheless. On a tip from one of my siblings, it happened very accidentally. But, I can’t say that it hasn’t in some way filled me with enthusiasm.
I’ve been active in Palestinian solidarity groups for many years, with Al-Awda being the organisation I feel the closest affinity to. I’m part of several discussion groups (One State, Movement for a Democratic Secular State, JustPeaceUK, to name a few). I’ve been the translator of Arabmonitor since its inception several years ago, and I generally trawl through Internet on a daily basis, seeking information to diffuse, translate, share and reflect upon. I’ve been contributing articles to various sites sporadically for some time as well. So, gathering things together on a site didn’t prove itself to be a really new challenge, besides the new computer skills I’m forcing myself to learn!
what I discovered
In these past few weeks I did get reminded in the warmest ways possible that I have great friends who do everything possible to give me support with their encouragement, help, and often, their criticism. Everyone who knows me is aware of my interest level, but were not always so sure of the nature of my involvement. So, it has been exciting for me to fully articulate and even in some instances present some ideas that were new to my friends, such as the Right of Return and the One State Solution. To those of us active in this area for years, it’s nothing new, but these arguments are so far out of the public domain, that they sound totally alien to a lot of people.
For the support I’ve been given, I want to thank my beloved friends. First and foremost, Miguel, a true human being, who never fails to come to my aid; my family, especially my sisters, it’s great to have such kind and intelligent sisters; Gilad, whose generosity and intellect always astound me; Hanna, such a wise and warm woman; Marcy, whose love has gotten me through many a rough spell in these years, and whose comments have been important to consider; then all the others who have offered help, friendly advice, encouragement and time: Susanne, Eric, Brian, Deb, Avigail, Enrico, Ahmed, Simon, Aref, John, Omar, Alan, David, Julia, Giulietto, Massimo, Daniel, Abu Abdul, the friends from the forums and my wonderful friends and companions from Al-Awda-Italia and quite a few others for their words of encouragement, practical help and affection. I am especially grateful to computerless Costanzo Preve, one of the greatest minds I’ve ever run across, who despite numerous commitments, shares his insights with me and is even composing a piece especially for the site. Other friends have promised me original contributions as well, and I am thoroughly pleased!
I want to thank these people for the kindness they have shown in sending me material and contributions: Miguel, Hanna, Gilad, Ariella, John and Enrico especially.
A few of you, especially those with whom I’ve spent hours and hours engaged in fascinating discussion, have told me to present less material from others and to repeat some of what we do on a personal basis. I am certain that our illuminating conversations have been important for my own growth, permitting me to refine and express my views. If I could transfer the spirit of some of our discussion, seeing as I have the world’s best sparring partners for friends, that would be all I could dream of. Maybe in time, something like that could develop. For the moment, I’m especially interested in presenting the ideas of better minds than mine.
what I didn’t expect
* to meet new and very articulate – and kind! people from other blogs and sites who have offered advice and friendly encouragement. Thanks to Jazzman, Andrew, Diane, Richard and especially Mark. I’ve been discovering bit by bit the beautiful sites you have and have been enjoying their diversity and passion.
* to be visited by so many people! Thanks again to the links from other sites and their having mentioned my site. Not only out of reciprocity, but because I like the sites,
and, while I’m at it, Visit three sites by three irreplaceable and adored friends of mine:
* to be visited by the ADL. It feels like I’ve “arrived” or something.
* to have a treasured friendship be put to the test for divergence of ideas, and see it come out reinforced.
* to hear comments such as “That info on Iraq doesn’t regard Israel or Palestine” or “A One State Blog can’t be considered a peace blog”. This just gives me more impetus to demonstrate that is is about peace and that only full and democratic representation of the populations of the Middle East can bring about peace.
As XTC sang, “Empires tumble down”…. as the Kinks sang, “Nations come and go, but the People will go on forever”
This blog started with the event of the death of Arafat. Only a month later, the future of the Middle East is entirely up for grabs, with two elections coming up, (how truly democratic they are is questionable, but still, they will change the geopolitical situation) I’ll be here to see what I can find out about them that CNN won’t bother to cover, and I’ll have some idea about what sort of prospects there are for the future.
Reflections on racism, bias, language, media, culture and politics are the other pillars of this blog. I’m happy to be here.