Mourid Barghouti, I Saw Ramallah.

An extract from one of my 10 favourite books ever.

I am reading an old blog of mine.  I can't help wanting to bring these things forward from 2005 ... 2006, just so I don't lose them again.

For an exile, the habitual place and status of a person is lost.

One who is known becomes anonymous, one who is generous has to watch what he spends, one who is merry gazes in silence.

The fortunate ones are looked upon with suspicion, and envy becomes the profession of those who have no profession except watching others.

Europe, where I lived for years, was full of them, from all the Arab countries. Each one had a story I cannot record, perhaps nobody can record.

The calm of the place of exile and its wish-for safety is never completely realized. The homeland does not leave the body until the last moment, the moment of death.

The fish
Even in the fisherman's net,
Still carries

The smell of the sea.
Mourid Barghouti from, I Saw Ramallah.