(no longer) four weeks til touch down

Inspired by Ronnie Kasrils impassioned speech at the march yesterday, I went to buy The Unlikely Secret Agent, which he wrote about his late wife, Eleanor, a formidable woman.

It’s a moving, beautiful story, of love and courage, principles and sacrifices, one that would be great to transpose to the big screen, one day…

The fact that Ronnie, as early as 1961, supported the Palestinian cause, impressed me: “She was surprised at the vigorous way in which Ronnie disabused her of the idea [of moving to a kibbutz], arguing that Israel had stolen the land from the Palestinian Arabs and was a colonial settlement supported and financed by the United States. It was no better than apartheid South Africa.” (p.51)

Given that I will be tapping into Palestinian networks and gathering material for the Palestine Museum while in Beirut and that 2012 will mark the centenary of the ANC – Africa’s oldest liberation movement – but also 30 years since the massacres of Sabra and Shatila, I have become more aware of news relating to Palestine and the historical ties between South Africa and the PLO in the past, PA at present.

Paging through my friend Anis’ passport, issued by the Palestinian Authority, I couldn’t help but painfully stare at the multiple entry visa Great Britain had issued him. Besides his names, personal details and a mug shot, it listed with banal bureaucratic brutality, his nationality: stateless (Palestinian).

In four weeks, I will land in a new city, a new country, a new continent… The prospect is chilling and thrilling, all at once. Being alone and starting at zero feels like being given a rose: thorns and petals included.



About Tales from a Small Country

I'm a project coordinator and features writer with a passion for the seventh art, a keen interest in culture and mobility, as well as social and environmental subjects. Half French, half German by origin possibly explains why I am drawn to divided countries and diverse societies: I called Cape Town in South Africa home for over a decade before coming to Beirut in early 2012. Besides people watching and cats, I also love Tripoli, Lebanon's second city.
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