Friday, November 11, 2011

Another Journey (Passing Through Turkey)

"The silence of the snow, thought the man sitting just behind the bus-driver. If this were the beginning of a poem, he would have called what he felt inside him "the silence of the snow". P.3

Accompanied me in my travelling seat. Accompanied me in my bed while diseased. For more than 20 days, I was walking like an Arabic ant in this foreign language 436 snowy mountain of words, my dictionary was my provision. I remember that sometimes I felt bored from it, and asked it to let me free, but now that I am about to end it, I am already missing it. Snow is such a non-forgettable novel.

"He was more at peace than he ever had been before." P.312

I was feeling strange about Ka's ability to feel peace and his ability to write poems in the middle of that ridiculous coup d'état and the killing that struck out between the PKK, Islamists, Communists, Kemalists (pro-Kemal Ataturk fighters), and the military of the Turkish government, each killing the other, all are enemies to each others, while Ka is feeling at peace and is in love with Ipek and is writing a poems collection.

"Kadife will appear on the stage wearing a headscarf. Then, in defiance of the ludicrous customs that have given rise to the blood feud, she'll bare her head for all to see." P.314

Standing in that crossroad between the west and the east, standing in Turkey I imagine Orhan Pamuk trying to tell us through his novel that we, the Easterners, are:

1. Theatrical,
2. Violent,
3. Concentrating on the wrong detail of trivial things.

Putting those characteristic in an example I would say: we, the Easterners, can react theatrically violent to the degree of killing in the sake of silly trivial superficial causes. I might be wrong but that was the conclusion I found myself in.

"I don't want to turn myself into a target for the Islamists. When they see her bare her head, those students will think I'm the atheist who arranged the performance. And even if I can manage to escape to Germany, they'll track me down- I'll be walking down a street late one night and someone will shoot me." P.315

An Iraqi poet living in Tunis said after an Islamist Political Party won the elections in Tunis that: "fear from the Islamists is permissible according to the Sharia." Since last Saturday and we are in a holyday in Iraq which will continue till next Sunday. This also means that we have no journals during those days. I fell nostalgic to Algerian journals that appear in the market everyday even at Fridays. A used the internet to read some of the Algerian journals and found Dilem cartooning about Tunis election results in Liberte:

"… in a brutal country like ours, where human life is "cheap", it's stupid to destroy yourself for the sake of your beliefs. Beliefs? High ideals? Only people in rich countries can enjoy such luxuries." P. 320

Kadhim Jihad was asked one day: "if one would ask, how far is the present of Iraq, or of Arabs, from the present of this city you are living in (Paris)?"
He answered a long answer which can be summarized by that he believes in diversity and does not believe in the accumulative classification of cultures and he gave the following direct sentences: "I don't believe that the French culture is richer than the Arabic culture, at least on the aspect of fiction in literature." He admitted later that in the west there are huge advances in the analytic fields, like philosophy, humanistic specialties, or literature criticism but still, the Arabic literature according to him is not that behind.

He added that the difference is clear in the systems of living and the political dealing with each other. He added finally that in the west: "... The human is not anymore fearful about his self when he say a protesting contradictory opinion. This is the difference, it is the ability to talk and to express your ideas and to try to change without risking the life of the person, this is the essential difference, and this can be summarized in one word: democracy."
I got the last chapter unfinished. I am feeling like I am having a treasure. I will read it and try to sleep. I will dream about democracy.

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