Friday, January 21, 2005

Geneva Initiative

By Hatem Abunimeh

When I went to sign a replica of the Geneva Accord document that spelled out a peace plan between Israel & the Palestinians at a hotel conference room in downtown Chicago on behalf an organization called Peace Now or (Yalla Salam)... The conference room was jammed with Israeli & Palestinian officials,media representatives,and security guards standing at the door.Immediately upon my arrival,the first thought that came to my mind is :What if a Palestinian suicide bomber arrives during the press conference and sits amongst the audience with intent to blow himself up for thinking that we are nothing but collaborators with the Israelis.It is a shame to admit it but I was scouting all the attendants one by one trying to figure out if I knew any body or if any one of them might look like a suicide bomber.Although I never met a suicide bomber and I hope I never do but being from a Mideastern origins myself I thought I might be able to detect the presence or the strange movements of a suicide bomber.Fortunately,the press conference ended peacefully and we signed our names on a huge replica of the Geneva accord and there were no suicide bombers amongst us,but the thought of it sends chills down anybody's spine.During the ceremony,they gave us lapels that have the Israeli and the Palestinian flags attached side by side with one another,and the first thing I did when I got home is give my youngest son one of the flags to show it to his fiancé who is Jewish,several days later I asked my son about the reaction of his fiancé when he showed her the Palestinian and the Israeli flags attached together on the lapel side by side,he told me that she squinted but hasn't said a single word.I'm still at a loss until now as to what her reaction means,as I wasn't able to tell if the glass was half full or half empty.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Abu Mazen & Israel.
How many stories have way heard about women giving birth at check points,how many stories have we heard about kidney patients experiencing life threatening situation while waiting to get through to the hospital to have their blood cleansed.Story after story about workers not being able to get to their jobs on time,about students not being able to get to their class rooms to take a final exam,about an orchard getting stuck at a check point and not being able to sell his fruits and vegetables.Heck,even presidential candidate Mustafa Barghuti allegedly faced difficulties at check point while trying to carry out his campaign for the office of the President.Easing the flow of movements between all of the west bank cities,villa! ! ges,and town would greatly enhance the chances of continuous ongoing clam all over the territories.It is obvious that the Israeli army presence provide some sort of security measures aiming at defeating the terrorists,and deterring their attempts to infiltrate into Israel.However,like they say in the United States,"those who give up their rights to freedom in exchange for security deserve none".The same goes for the Palestinian territories,the first order of business over there ought to be the immediate opening of breathing room for the residents to move about from place to place without any hindrance.The Arab people are traditionally known for liking to visit one another especially family members-- very frequently,the check points causes these visitations to be curtailed and thus create a sense of frustrations amongst the people for not being able to exchange visits.So in my opinion the first freedom that ought to be granted to the Palestinians is the freedom to move around ! ! and between the cities without too much hindrance.#---
Hatem Abunimeh.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Search Engines & Me

I'm not really sure what criteria do the search engines officials follow in order for them to classify the order of importance or weight with which each post on the internet has,or should have-- in order for it to get posted & show up on their particular search engine.

For instance:If you Google me[Hatem Abunimeh] you will find me 586 times,but if you MSN me,you will only find me 18 times.What does that mean and what kind of significance does it have is all beyond me,equally important,

I don't know why Google yields the highest results while MSN yields the lowest?! I'm glad that they keep finding me and posting for me every time I write something on the internet.

It is going to be imbued there for my children and grand children and great grand children to see it,read it and enjoy it whenever they decide to search for me.I don't have to write a book and worry about the cost of publishing and everything else that is associated with it,all it takes for any one to view my work is few mouse clicks away and bam everything I have written in my life time is crystal clear for anyone to look at it and enjoy it,curse it,canonize it,or ho hum about it.

The table below shows in sequential order the number of times that you would find me mentioned by the various search engines whenever you type my name [Hatem Abunimeh] in the space provided for the search.

1) Google 586

2) WWW 51

3) Alta Vista 49

4) Mamma 35

5) 31

6) My Exite 29

7) Dogpile 27

8) Lycos 22

9) hotbot 22

10) MSN 18

I have been writing on the internet since 1998.I remember my earliest writings as being merely a participant in a discussion groups and forums,then slowly I expanded the horizon of my writing and established my own discussion groups,there were about 32 members in my groups and we were discussing on a daily basis various social,political,and economic topics,that experience lasted for about three years,then I remember afterwards joining active civil rights groups,we used to write letters to our political representatives in congress and other official governmental officials.

When I got tired of that I started writing for newspapers,I managed to get published in at least a dozen of them,some of the newspapers were domestic and others were international.

Unlike writing professionally,Writing for fun is fun,you don't have to worry about meeting a deadlines or anything like that,you can write whenever you feel like it,you can take a break for several days or for several months,no one is going to hold you accountable for taking a short break or long break.

I like writing nowadays because everything written gets documented and stays on one or more of the search engines,and that is what makes it really fun.You never know who will be looking and reviewing your writing,you never know what their reaction will be,but no matter what,someone somewhere is going to read it,perhaps learn one or two things out of it or just dismiss it as inconsequential.

No matter what,I like it,and I'll continue doing it if and when I feel like doing it.I'm mainly interested in the documented written legacy that I'll leave behind,I know that I'll be read and I'll be appreciated and that is more than a satisfactory feeling for me.