Breathing Palestine


Sam is an amazing guy. It seems like every other day there is a post on Facebook about him meeting a certain interfaith group from the United States, a Mennonite delegation, or an Australian contingent out on a fact-finding mission to Palestine. Exaggerating to make a point, it also appears that Sam attends just about every workshop, every book launch, and of course every political debate held in Palestine. How he finds the time for all this while running a professional consultancy firm is beyond me. Part of the main think tank in Palestine, Sam is also a prolific writer and a strategist. Sam breathes Palestine!

Samia is no less amazing than Sam. (Funny how the names of great people start with an “S”!) Though Samia is over eighty years old now, her energy for advocacy work would make you think she’s forty. Samia has lists and lists of people who she communicates with by e-mail on a regular basis. An author of at least one book, she keeps writing about Palestine to just about anyone in authority. I am certain that previous presidents of the United States, the current and previous mayors of Jerusalem, almost all the secretaries-general of the United Nations, the editors-in-chief of local newspapers, and loads more have all received at some point or another a letter from Samia about Palestine. Samia also breathes Palestine.

Ahmad (or S’Ahmad as a sign of greatness) has nothing to do with politics. Well, at least as far as I am concerned. Ahmad is a senior marketing employee at probably the largest private-sector Palestinian company – a man sought after by a lot of people and businesses, as you can imagine. To say that his plate is full would not do justice to the amount of work that he has. Yet I don’t remember even once being ignored by Ahmad. He always either answers my phone calls or immediately sends the message: “Busy, I’ll call back” – which he does. And it’s been years like that. It is wonderful to deal with such a courteous professional who could easily afford to brush people aside. For all I know, Ahmad also breathes Palestine; he’s surely a product of current Palestine that I am proud and honored to associate with.

Of course we also have the pompous aardvarks with illusions of significance, but I’m saving those for another column! The main point that I would like to make, however, is that there is no way on earth that a just cause, such as ours, would perish with people like Sam, Samia, and S’Ahmad who, in their diverse ways, breathe Palestine.

Sani Meo is co-owner and general manager of Turbo Design (1985), publisher of This Week in Palestine and Filistin Ashabab magazines. He's an incorrigible optimist, a staunch advocate for Palestinian justice, and a firm believer in the private sector. Socially and politically, Meo is liberal and secular. He lives in Jerusalem, married to Maha Khoury and father of Dina and Maya.
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