Thursday, 5 March 2009


It’s been a weird kind of a week. The kind full of hellos and goodbyes which leaves you feeling like the colours of your life have seeped a little beyond the lines and strangely out of sorts.

We’re so sophisticated now aren’t we? Jetting from here to there; living out of suitcases and on laptops. Scampering along, racing around on a man made mouse wheel that has us out of breath and going nowhere.

I have a friend who one day decided he was done with the path oft travelled. He packed up his stuff and moved to New Caledonia where he now lives on a little boat and does odd jobs around the island. I love that. I like being reminded that there are many ways to live and be happy. I admire his courage.

So Maisaloon, this may not be the most interesting of posts but I didn't want you to think I had forgotten about you.

How is Jakarta? I'm interested to hear more about the conference. I attended a lecture today on the history of the British mandate in Palestine. There was, as there always seems to be nowadays, someone arguing that anti-Islamism is and has been the motivating factor behind all foreign policy decisions since the dawn of time. And I really do mean the dawn of time. Ultimately the moderator had to step in and put an end to the session and several people stormed out. When did we become so consumed by this war of ideologies that we can't see beyond it?

* Update: Interesting piece of trivia that came up in the lecture - while it is widely known that Frank Sinatra had close ties with the mafia, it is less known that he played a pivotal role in facilitating arms smuggling to Israel in the 1940's. Just remembered it!


  1. Oh dear. We're rather reflective today!

    British Mandate Policy. Driven by muckleheadedness and a strange, public school classicism. I'll lend yer governor Ronald Storrs' autobiography, Orientations, one of the days. Like many of his contemporaries, he tried to balance the demands of Zionism and the rights of the indigenous Arab people. And, of course, ultimately failed. Because, like the rest of ze Brits, he wouldn't make a clear decision and stick to it.

    Not, at least, until 1939 when he supported the British Government's White Paper limiting settlement. But that was too little, too late, to avoid the events that followed...

  2. There was an interesting point that the lecturer brought up about how anti-semitism and pro zionism were not necessarily mutually exclusive. It seems that at this point it was quite common for the British 'gentiles' to dabble in both.

    An interesting juxtaposition

  3. When has the human race NOT been consumed by a war of differing ideology?

    The crusades, the inquisition, slavery, clashes between socio-economic classes, evolution vs. religion, nature vs. nuture, man vs. woman.

    Let's face it, we don't agree. Despite the protestations of the guy I met in the pub last Friday, there is no one 'universally right' set of values. Different doesn't mean wrong.

  4. Well, Sarsour, I'm back online and I feel like I want to do exactly what your friend did , except instead of New Caledonia, it would most likely be Bali. I have so much to tell you about this trip, so look out for a long-ish post very soon. This will turn into "mai's travel blog" soon. :)