If you had contemplated the victim’s face(From Under Siege, by Mahmoud Darwish, translated by Marjolijn De Jager)
And thought it through, you would have remembered your mother in the
Gas chamber, you would have been freed from the reason for the rifle
And you would have changed your mind: this is not the way
to find one’s identity again.
Last night, I said goodbye to my high school friends Tim and Loranne over Taybehs at Uganda. Tim has been studying Hebrew at Beit Ha'am this summer (back again after studying Arabic at Birzeit last summer); Loranne arrived just this week to visit her uncle in Beit Hanina and to hang out with Tim here in Jerusalem. Tomorrow morning they'll both be heading back to the US. (إن شاء الله / בעזרת השם — Loranne has a foreign passport and a Palestinian last name, which puts her squarely in a new-ish category of suspicious travellers, by Israel's lights. Things would be worse for her if she were a British-passport-holder travelling alone, but we should still cross our fingers for her after the trouble she had getting in.)
Last week, Tim and Loranne and I rented a car and hopped down to the Dead Sea together. Then, over the weekend, I visited [Fellow-Fellowshipper] Cheryl in Tel Aviv, [college friend] Shadi in Haifa and [cousin] Arik back in TA. (I'm all over the place! When do I find time to do Ulpan homework? —— If you answered "on the commute to Ulpan," you are correct!)