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The Strategy of Fatalism

Have you ever wondered why our galaxy is called the Milky Way? According to some, the name comes from how the galaxy appears from the perspective of Earth – “a hazy band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye.” Others claim that our galaxy gets its name from a Greek myth about the goddess Hera who sprayed milk across the sky. In other parts of the world, however, our galaxy goes by other names. In China it’s called the Silver River, and in the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa, it’s called the Backbone of Night.

In other extraterrestrial news, a certain galaxy out there is approaching ours at an alarming speed of 200 kilometers per second. Scientists agree that a collision of the two titans will most definitely occur. The good news, though, is that the collision will probably take place in about five billion years!

Collisions, new entities emerging, and black holes are also happening here on earth, too. There’s mayhem in Sudan that threatens further division in a country that is immensely rich in natural resources; the hydroelectric power of Al-Nahda Dam in Ethiopia is 90 percent complete, and Egypt is eyeing it like a hawk, which signals that an explosion is likely in the near future; the USA’s national debt stands at almost 31.5 trillion dollars and is growing by one million dollars every 40 seconds; the chatbot revolution (including ChatGPT and other software that simulates human-like conversations with users via chat) is happening, jeopardizing thousands, possibly millions of jobs; BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) is recruiting, putting out a new currency, and working on a new world order; the French Revolution II goes on, and Robespierre is adamant about the retirement law passed without his parliament’s consent; world interest rates keep going up, causing more banks to fold and imposing more hardship on people; demonstrations in Europe are becoming the norm; in the Middle East, one axis is on the rise and another one is going down the drain (hint: the first axis includes Iran!); for the first time in history, the Israeli population is more divided than the Palestinian people; a heat wave in Vietnam; and oh, WWIII appears to be imminent. Other than that, all is well!

I believe that apart from short lulls, our world (and universe) has throughout history been in turmoil. In the meantime, we go about doing what we do, we duck when needed, keep our fingers crossed that we’ll be spared from major disasters, and stand firm as proud human beings. Some might call this strategy fatalism. We prefer to call it sumud.

Long live Palestine!

Por Sani Meo

  • Sani Meo is co-founder of the English-language print and online magazine This Week in Palestine and has been its publisher since TWiP’s inception in December 1998. Since January 2007, he has also been the publisher of the Arabic online magazine Filistin Ashabab, which targets Palestinian youth.

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