Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Friday, 31 March 2006

The Protest

I have had recent reason to have renewed respect for our local consulate. They have taken to notifying us when there are going to be protests or rallies that we might be interested in attending. The cartoon flack I wasn't really on board with, as those who read this blog know. But today we were just told that there was a protest for Palestine, against American action/inaction there. After getting the requisite permission (as specified in my contract), and admonishment to not mention GWA were I interviewed (when the yellow journal TelQuel interviewed me on my political views about the US presidential election a couple years ago, I was careful to state that these were only my views), I hopped a cab over to the consulate. And had a great conversation with the cabbie, helping him understand a little more about what we believe. No, not three gods, but one God. Not the Father, Mother, and Spirit (it says this in the Qur'an)- we've never believed that, that's shirk, heresy. But rather Father, Jesus, and Spirit. Kind of like how the Qur'an says God has a word, and that word is one part of who God is. No, Son of God doesn't mean to us that he is literally God's son, but rather it is a symbol for anyone who is close to God. Ironically, Son of Man is the divine title. It was a good conversation.

And a strange rally. There were about 200 people there, about a block from the consulate. They couldn't get any closer, as the entire block was blocked off in front of the consulate. For this rally. There were also about 20 police cars and a commensurate number of policemen. Despite my receiving warnings that it would be dangerous for Americans there, I felt far safer there than I feel in many other places. They were chanting slogans, and, in order to appear less American, I joined in in the places where I could do the Arabic sounds. For that same reason I didn't bring a camera, so as to appear less conspicuous, though there were a number of Moroccans and Palestinians there with cameras. I'm not sure of most of what we were chanting. Something about Palestine being Arabic. And I think they said that all Americans are sheep- but that really didn't make sense.

They had an entire block cordoned off. But I was expecting a few thousand people at least, and a march, like the protests we have in the States. This was far smaller, and they were allowed to walk within only about 100 meters of that block. So they took a large Palestinian flag, which they waved with great exuberance in the center of the crowd, with everyone holding an edge, and walked back and forth on the 100 meters. The waved flags, and did a sing-song chant where one side would chant a short phrase, and then the next, on and on, back and forth. I found without the marching, it becomes less engrossing, so having my fill, I returned home, to prep the next Biology test.

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