Just Say Goodby, A Self-Exile Primer II/III

How to Get Started

takeoff

You need to start out with a mission statement. That’s your North Star; it has to do with the essence of your project and your objectives. That is to say, what are your priorities and where do you want to go, not only geographically, but philosophically? Think hard about it and get it right. Again, you’re not in a hurry. This is the genetic code of your expatriation project, and if you get it wrong at the outset, when the cells of the embryo are just beginning to divide, you may run into trouble down the line. Continue reading

Banned Arab Intellectuals Speak Out in Granada

Hay Festival Alhambra Provides the Forum

Mourid BarghoutiGranada is hosting an edition of the Hay Festival this week. This event started out as a modest book festival in the Welsh town of Hay on Wye in 1988, but has since developed into a major itinerant international cultural event. This year’s Granada version includes talks by some distinguished spokesmen for the Arab/Muslim cause, so Maureen and I went down to hear what they had to say.

The first speaker was the Palestinian poet, Mourid Barghouti, a native of Ramallah. Today Barghouti is a tall, impeccably-dressed, white-haired elder poet/statesman, an eloquent spokesman for the Palestinian cause. He was a young man finishing an English literature degree in Cairo when the 1967 Six Day War broke out. Unable to return to his homeland Barghouti spent the next 30 years in a cruel exile which began in Egypt. But on the occasion of Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Israel in 1977, Barghouti was deported and separated from his wife (the novelist and university professor, Radwa Ashour) and only child for the better part of 17 years. During this time he lived mainly in Budapest, where he was Palestinian cultural attaché and PLO representative in the World Federation of Democratic Youth. Continue reading