Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Extreme tiredness sets in, the white of the screen hurting my retina and I tell of my day.

Visiting an old Palestinian friend and study-mate today, I became aware of different paths and how those that are open to success, are already a success. A brief synopsis of his post-Masters life astounds me, especially for one so young. This is not to say he does not deserve it, certainly not.

Leaving England one year ago, he returned to Palestine for as long as his visa would allow. He is caught in a bind, dual nationality prevents him from being allowed to stay there longer than this, so he must emigrate and immigrate into his hometown periodically.

Fear not however, as he was soon offered a position in a university in Jordan as a lecturer as soon as he had his degree certified at the British Council. Certificate in hand, he began to settle into life with coffee and cigarettes and study. One day, a knock at the door. It is a national newspaper seeking an interview. He asks, why me?

Through the journalist it transpires that he is not only the only person in the Middle East to have obtained a World Literatures MA (they know this, because they had to create a new category for him at the Council), but he is also the youngest university lecturer in Jordanian history. Entirely unaware of his trailblazing he politely refuses the interview, afeared of political repercussions. One year later, he leaves the university, travels to UAE and resolves to obtain a PhD in order to be able to work in Dubai, a glittering jewel in his eye. And so back to England, aged twenty three, to begin a new chapter.

Sitting in his house tonight, we talk of focus, displacement and women. It is like old times and I smoke too many cigarettes.