May 30, 2005

Some truly unique images

"Angel", by Icelandic photographer Heida Helgadottir.

While surfing the web for good photo galleries, I had good luck running into an absolutely amazing photo gallery. While looking through the 'top photographers' section I saw a picture by an Icelandic photographer, clearly taken in Iceland, which caught my attention. Also worth a look is the 'top photos' section. I highly recommend this website, it is a must see for anyone with even the slightest bit of interest in photography, or even for those who simply enjoy viewing beautiful things that are pleasing to the eye & mind.

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May 29, 2005

A worker, a slacker, a blogger but no programmer..

4 days without blogging, how can this be! Well there are a few reasons, but I shall attribute it 90% to the fact that I have been spending day after day on getting up early for work, and going to sleep soon after getting home every evening. I've lost count of the shifts I've taken in a row now, but my lovely boss spoke to me last Friday and told me that she'd ask someone else to work for me on Monday, so I will get a day off tomorrow, which will be nice, for eventhough I love my job, I could use a day off.

Apart from that not much is new, since (believe it or not), not that many adventurous incidents take place in the life of a person whose time consists pretty much entirely of work and sleep. I did, however (with a ridiculous amount of help from the extremely patient David, aka Rishon-Rishon) manage to update my profile! That took me very long, since I don't even know the basics of html, and this new website is far more difficult to handle.
I am still waiting for the time when my shifts will change and I'll have time to do the things that all those superbloggers out there do, such as take a bunch of gorgeous and interesting photos of my surroundings & daily life and upload them to my site. But for the time being, I guess I might continue slacking a bit, or at least from time to time..

Oh and by the way: The British man who came to Iceland with the passport holding teddy googled me, found my website and e-mailed me! How funny is that?!

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I say Oprah's time is up already..

What I have to say about Oprah Winfrey can be summed up in the following sentence: I am no fan

Oprah's Mag Misses the Mark
Continued media omission of incitement to violence in Palestinian culture.

Palestinian imam Ibrahim Mudayris
(view video)

As you read the following speech, delivered by imam Ibrahim Mudayris on national Palestinian TV on May 13, ask yourself how these words might influence an impressionable teenage Muslim girl:

With the establishment of the State of Israel, the entire Muslim nation was lost because Israel is a cancer that spread in the body of the Islamic nation; because the Jews are a virus similar to AIDS, from which the entire world is suffering... The day will come and we shall rule America, Britain, we shall rule the entire world, except the Jews. The Jews will not live under our rule agreeably and permanently, since they have been treacherous in nature throughout history... Listen to your Beloved [Muhammad], who tells you about the most dire end awaiting the Jews. The stones and trees will want Muslims to finish off every Jew.

Now let's turn to... Oprah:


Oprah Winfrey's popular print magazine - 'O' - has an ongoing feature named 'Rescuing the World's Girls.'O's June 2005 edition focuses on the plight of an 18-year-old Palestinian who was tried, convicted and is currently serving time in an Israeli jail for conspiring to perform a suicide bombing.

The author, David France, asks the question: 'What would make a girl take such a radical and grisly step?' France quotes an author and university professor who asserts that:

religion is not the cause [of Palestinian suicide terror]... these are people who define their situation as hopeless. They feel that they have no way to respond against what they see as Israeli military aggression.

Incredibly, the lengthy 'O' article completely ignores a main factor behind Islamist terror ― the incitement to violence that continually spews forth from Palestinian media and mosques such as Ibrahim Mudayris' cited above. (The author makes only passing reference to Yassir Arafat's individual statements that 'seemed to incite.') Yet the Palestinian girl featured in 'O', Yusra Abdu, was likely bombarded by such messages her entire life.

As Ariel Sharon declared on Sunday (5/22) in New York:

I believe that the day will come when we will sign a peace agreement with all our neighbors.... Unfortunately, our Arab neighbors still do not recognize the Jewish people's birthright to an independent state in our homeland - the land of Israel. Such recognition can only come through comprehensive change in their education system.

New York Times columnist David Brooks made a similar point in the context of the recent Newsweek scandal. Referring to this Palestinian imam's speech, Brooks states: 'These are the real extremists, the real enemy. Let's keep our eye on the ball.'

Even the Palestinian leadership has come to acknowledge the issue ― PA Minister of Information Nabil Shaath made a motion to suspend Mudayris after his defamatory May 13 sermon.

Yet the problem remains widespread: HR-affiliated Teach Kids Peace notes that the IDF recently arrested a Palestinian boy with a explosive belt tied around his waist ― the fourteenth such arrest of a teenage terrorist in the past two months.

Comments to 'O' magazine: click here

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May 25, 2005

Are you Jewish?

I am feeling a bit guilty about how I have been neglecting my weblog lately, especially with all the priceless readers I have. But sometimes us humans simply experience what one might call 'just one of those times'. That is pretty much, or even precisely, what I'd call what I have been going through lately. I am still working like a lunatic to save up for university 'registration fees', that have just been raised by 40% (we all know it's tuition in disguise).
But even though life isn't always easy, pleasant and amusing, it does seem to constantly be able to provide you with more of those funny little incidents. Since work is all I've been doing lately, all my recent experiences are related to work. This is why I shall describe the events of today and yesterday, at the little souvenir shop on Reykjavik's tiny shopping street, where I work.

As you know, there are very few Jews in Iceland. There is no Jewish community. There are, however, a lot of people who don't like Jews and/or Israelis. I believe I've been through this. Iceland is certainly not the only place, but it is, after all, where I spend all my time. So since it is all I see, all I encounter, all I come in physical contact with.. it might as well be the whole world where I'm concerned. Or at least for the time being.

Since yesterday I have been asked 3 times if I'm Jewish. The first time the question was "you're not Jewish, or are you..?", with an obvious tone of a sort of mixture of disgust and anger. The second time I was asked with a tone of suspicion, and a degree of seriousness that made me feel almost as if I'd say yes, I'd be confessing to having committed a crime.
During the third time, one the other hand, I was asked with a tone of anticipation and positivity.
So why the difference in attitude?

Yesterday an Australian woman and a British man walked into the shop where I work. We talked a little, and the woman soon told me that they lived in Jordan, but that before that they had been "living in Palestine" (if it hadn't been my job to try to get them to spend money, I would have corrected that term). Further conversation led me to tell them that I had been in Israel, and I made a few 'minor' comments that nevertheless made it clear where I stand. The man asked what brought someone from Reykjavik to Israel? I replied with the question: What leads someone from Australia to Ramallah? (They had been living in Ramallah, and the woman told me I really should visit, since it is 'such a lovely city'). The woman angrily answered that she was doing human rights for palestinians, and that the man was doing water. Then I saw her begin to return the things she had intended to buy, and she headed to the shop accross the street.
The man on the other hand stayed behind and chatted with me for a while and was friendly, trying to make excuses for the woman's behavior. As he was leaving he even said: "So, next year in Jerusalem, perhaps?"..

The second incident was my co worker that day. Since he is new at the job I haven't worked with him before. He insisted on discussing Middle Eastern politics, claiming (like most other Icelanders) that he had most certainly acquired knowledge on the matter, and had therefore formed an opinion. I gave him several warnings to stop. When he had given me a very lengthy speech about how the hamas is 'simply a political organization', I finally got very angry.

The third incident took place today. I've actually had a few similar things happen at work, but they are always a pleasure, and make up for things such as what I mentioned above.
A middle aged Jewish couple from Montreal walked into the shop today, just as I was playing Ofra Haza's 'Yemenite Songs' in the shop. They did a lot of shopping, and stayed for at least half an hour chatting with me. In the end the woman (her name was Miriam) asked me to write my name on the back of the company's card, to be able to 'remember me and tell people about me'. Like all the other Jews I've encountered they wanted to know if there is a Jewish community in Iceland, etc. As they said goodbye, they also left that greeting that is so traditional, and so unbelievably filled with hope: "next year in Jerusalem".

So these were the people who asked if I am Jewish. The answer to that question is of course: No, I am not Jewish. I am just a girl who loves Israel, and a girl who is trying very hard to tell right from wrong.

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May 22, 2005

A day off, and tales of globe trotting toys

Ohh, a day off at last! I daresay this is the first real day off I've had since I was in Israel. After turning in my essay I've been working like a dog. In addition to that I am doing my best to get back into shape. I have been doing things such as riding a bike to and from work every day. Sounds simple enough for a 20-25 minute bike ride, right? Well not when you live in Reykjavik, the northernmost capital in the world, in the windiest inhabited spot on earth! It may be late May by now, but I still need to dress like an inuit (it is indeed incorrect to say 'eskimo', except when referring to the indigenous populations of Alaska), and I sometimes have tremendous problems fighting the wind. I am getting healthier by the day, but it has been leaving me veeery tired.
Infact, I even missed the Eurovision Songcontest last night, for only the second time in my life. This will give me problems keeping up conversations with other Icelanders for the next week or so, since it's ALL anyone is talking about, as usual.

Apart from that I don't have much to write about, since all I've been doing lately is work, work and work. I have been meeting some interesting folks from all over the world at work lately though. Like yesterday I had an encounter with a middle aged couple from London that went something like this:

British man: Pardon me, but could you by any chance tell me where I could purchase clothes for a small teddy bear?
Maria: Ehh.. We might have some doll sized Icelandic woolsweaters.
Man: We need clothes for our teddybear 'Teddy'. You see, he travels with us wherever we go.
Maria. Aha...
Man: Oh yes, he even has his own passport.
Maria: You've got to be kidding
Man: Would you like to see it?
Maria: Very much so

Okay so then he pulls out the passport, and I am no kidding here, it was an authentic British passport with a PASSPORT PICTURE of the teddybear on the inside!
It said:

Name: Teddy
Nationality: British
Height: 30 cm

The little teddy's passport had stamps from all over the world. They had taken it to Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and all over. I asked them how airport staff in such distant locations responded to their requests of getting a stamp for "little Teddy's passport", and they said that Teddy had always been very warmly received.

I just started laughing like an idiot, and told them they were completely crazy, but I also congratulated them for showing me the most original thing I've seen in a long time. They were very happy. Before they continued their quest for some traditional Icelandic clothing for their globe trotting toy-bear, I got them to say "I can't believe it's not butter - can you?" for me. I just never get tired of the way that sentence sounds with a British accent.

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May 19, 2005

Bad News - Literally

Due to immense popularity, AlJazeera (aka "crapazeera") has announced that it will launch an English-language channel at the start of 2006 (I shall not be linking to this farce of a "news site").

"British national Nigel Parsons will head operations at the company's Doha headquarters, while Trish Carter, formerly of New Zealand television, will head a new Asia desk in Kuala Lumpur.

Sue Philips, formerly employed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, will take charge of European coverage in London, while Will Stebbins, formerly with Associated Press Television News, will head a North American desk in Washington.

Aljazeera has undertaken major expansion in recent months, launching a new channel last month dedicated exclusively to covering live events without presenters or commentary.

Aljazeera also has a sports channel and plans a children's channel soon."

What bothers me is 1) the fact that they are popular enough in the Western world to be able to to this, and 2) the fact that this will greatly contribute to what Israel certainly does not need: spreading more lies.

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May 16, 2005


Roads Closed Throughout Israel as Protesters Take to the Street
23:56 May 16, '05 / 7 Iyar 5765


"If you're arrested, you've won!" was the slogan of Monday's mass protests. At least 235 Israelis were arrested during acts of nationwide civil disobedience, blocking major Israeli thoroughfares.

An army of orange took to the streets, outsmarting and outmanning over 4,000 police officers stationed across the country, in the first round of major protests aimed at derailing the proposed disengagement plan this summer. Streets were closed, and traffic paralyzed for up to an hour in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beersheva, Haifa and elsewhere.

Speaking of orange.. The Israeli government has apparently outlawed the color orange (Hat tip: Israpundit):

This morning, Minister of Public Thought Matan Vilnai, together with Minister of Public Secuirty Gideon Ezra and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni declared the color orange to be an enemy combatant. As such, it is subject to immediate arrest and adminstrative detention (without trial) as a significant public security risk.

Orange appealed to the Supreme Court, but Chief Justice Barak quickly ruled that declarations by the Minister of Public Thought could no longer be thought about (except by the Justices), and therefore Orange not only had no standing to raise the issue but was in violation of the law by doing so. Orange quickly departed from the court.

All citizens (at least Jewish ones) found to be wearing the color Orange will be considered in violation of thought rulings and subject to arrest, interrigation and administrative detention, unless they are part of evening wear for those living in the upscale sections of Tel Aviv.

So here's what I have to say about that (since they say a picture can say more than a thousand words :)


Now doesn't that look beautiful?

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So what have we really been reading lately..

I just turned in my last essay, meaning that I have finished all my schoolwork. Oh the sweet smell of freedom! (Freedom in the sense that I am working like a dog, but at least I won't have to study). Also, I finally had time to answer the questions of this questionaire jsoffer sent me:

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
What? I don’t understand the question. I never read Fahrenheit 451. But I did once fantasise about being ‘Lizzy’ in “Pride and Prejudice”.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
No. That’s absurd.

The last book you bought is:
I think it was “The Straight Path of Islam” by John Esposito, although it might have been “Freedom in Fulani Social Life” by.. some anthropologist, can’t remember. I’m too lazy to check. But the last book I bought ‘deliberately’ (as in not for school) was “The crisis of Islam” by Bernard Lewis.

The last book you read is:
Well I am just about to finish “Anthropology and Africa: Changing Perspectives on a Changing Scene”, but before that it was, hmm… oh yes, “Eskimo Essays”, by Ann Fienup Riordan.
The last book I read ‘voluntarily’? Ehrm... I’d rather not say, since it’s been shamefully long. But I sure do my share of reading though…

Five books you would take to a desert island.
1) Teach yourself Arabic (seriously, what else would there be to do?)
2) Teach yourself Italian
3) Teach yourself French
4) Advanced Hebrew
5) (Stealing this one from the guy who sent it to me): How to escape from a desert island for dummies!

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Katie-Yael: Because she’s a really nice, fun and smart girl, and I’d be interested in hearing her answers.

Hasidic Gentile
: Because he’s so full of mystery. Lets learn a little about him, shall we…
Solomonia: Because he’s a blog-wiz, and I want to know more about why it is so!

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May 15, 2005

But.. it's just like riding a bicycle

Today I had this experience that made gave me a glimpse of what is was like to be a child again, and to have that feeling I used to have when I would run around on the streets of suburban Reykjavik with the other kids in the neighborhood, worrying about little other than what my mother would say when I would once again come home too late. This may sound strange to many of you, but the reason why I had this feeling today was because for the first time since I was 12 years old (really), I rode a bicycle. Why have I not ridden a bike since I was 12? Well, I try to walk as much as I can. If the distance is too great, I take a bus. Sometimes I get a lift.
But last Thursday I got into a bit of a dilemma. I knew I am working an extra shift on Sunday, and my boss asked me to work Monday as well. The thing is that both these days are holidays, meaning that buses don't start running until later than usual. I didn't fancy taking a taxi to work both days, so I decided to ask my sister to lend me her bike, and she was kind enough to do so.
My sweet little niece Gudrun was also riding her bike as I was trying my sister's bike out, and she noticed I was feeling a bit nervous. We had a dialogue that went something like this:

Maria: I don't know how to ride a bike anymore
Gudrun: Do you want me to teach you?
Maria: You're 11. I think I can handle it
Gudrun: All right. But just let me know if you need any assistance.
Maria: Oh yeah, I'll let you know for sure..

So I rode the bike, and I can't even explain how feeling the wind on your face while doing a seemingly simple thing like riding a bike in the midnight sun, does for the mind and soul. I almost felt like a carefree 12 year old again. Well, or at least until I crashed into the guy on the skateboard..

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May 13, 2005

David feeding soldiers

You really must see David Treppenwitz's Photo Friday from 'Yom Ha'atzmaut volunteering at the Pina Chama'. Absolutely priceless in my opinion.

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Icelandic women on Oprah

All right, just kill me right NOW!
Here she is, the useless bimbo who is systematically dismantling my reputation in the eyes of the world.

Once again I am furious over how Icelandic women have been encouraging this negative image the world has of them as slutty. I mean sure there are promiscuous women here, but they are still a minority. And even if they were a majority, if would be unfair to put us all under the same hat. Icelandic men also love doing their best, and basically just say that “Icelandic women are whores”. Normally they don’t have anything at all to compare to, since they’ve never bothered dragging their useless, ignorant Icelandic asses out of Iceland. What also seems to escape their minds is that they base their case on the fact that they “often get laid when going clubbing”, without realising the fact that clubs and such events is where people go when looking for sex. I for one can’t even remember the last time I went to a club.

Oprah found herself two fake blonds, who both seem to be extremely promiscuous, in order to get her talkshow (which is watched by many worldwide) to head in the exact direction that she wanted.

The first one had something like this to say:

“I don't think sex is that big a deal in Iceland. It's probably just because everyone is having it. So it's not something you have to talk about and be ashamed of. If a girl is starting to have sex [at] about 15 years of age, she isn't looked at as promiscuous and the boys aren't looked at that way either. Icelandic women are very independent—they don't wait for someone to ask them out, they just phone them."

What?? Okay so SHE might be having sex all the time.. It is absolutely unacceptable to just “phone someone for sex”. People here are very shy & oppressed, and only flirt while intoxicated. And I don’t know anyone in Iceland who started having sex at 15. I know a couple who were 16, but I still consider that to be too young..

And then she says:

“Asking someone out on a date is easy to do in Iceland because there is one phone book for the entire country—home, work and cell phone numbers for just under 300,000 people! "I guess we're a bit liberal about things because we have a much lower threshold for beginning new relationships," Savhildur says.
Okay you don’t “look someone up in the phonebook to ask them on a date”. You only do it if they gave you their number. I personally have an unlisted number.

"We don't have this kind of a dating thing. You don't have to go on a date number one and two and perhaps on the third date you ask him in. We don't have rules like that."

That’s an insane thing to say. People don’t kiss on the first date, and they wouldn’t have sex for several dates, unless it’s a one night stand..

And what does Svanhildur think of American television? "We have a lot of news coming from America in Iceland," Svanhildur says laughing. "And we often have photos of obese people walking down the street—people that are so fat that you couldn't find a single person in Iceland that would be that fat. Anyway, even though you have really obese people, you've also got the rest [who are] really good-looking

Ehrm. Okay after consulting several people I have found out that it is possible that Icelandic people are indeed more attractive than the average. But that’s just young people, and most people are still quite normal.

Here is what bimbo number 2 had to say:

We soak outside in our natural hot water—even in the winter," Thorunn says. "It's filled with minerals. It's like having a spa right outside your backyard!"

Right. So she’s saying that she drives during the middle of the winter to the countryside to bathe in a hotspring. C’mon.

Iceland is known for its tall, blonde, blue-eyed women, and when it comes to fashion, it's at the top of the world.

There are not so many blond women here, and those who are are usually fake blonds. I’m a brunette, all my best friends are brunettes, so is my sister, my mom… My dad was blond though, but he was from Norway.. The average height for the Icelandic female is 1,67 cm, and Icelandic people are the 3rd fattest nation on earth. So there you have it.

"And we're quite comfortable leaving our children on the sidewalk by themselves while we go in to shop. We also make sure our children sleep outside for at least an hour a day. Even in the winter. The fresh air is very good for them.

Wow, this is actually true! I’m impressed. Yeah I slept outside when I was a baby… I thought it was funny the other day at work when some American tourists forbade their kids to go outside saying “someone might take you”. Like that’ll ever happen in Iceland…

During the winter months, the sun only shines for a few hours a day in Iceland but during the summer, they have 24 hours of sunlight! Reykjavik has the reputation of being the party capital of the world and the nightlife year round makes it the city that never sleeps. "We don't even start to go out until after midnight and we stay out sometimes until 6 a.m. at least

Winter, sunlight, yes.. But why on earth do these party animals figure that because THEY party, everybody else does?

So I guess that there is only one conclusion: These Icelandic women being interviewed are just not that bright. Oh and I’m gonna think of a cool new nationality…

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May 12, 2005

The mangal

Art of the mangal - "Israeli Style"


Anyone who has ever encountered even a single Israeli, is sure to have noticed that they are obsessed with barbecues. For me personally it really isn't a big deal whether I grill the meat, fry it or put it into the oven. Either way it's food. If it's tasty it's tasty.. ('Oy vey' Maria!). But I am amused by this custom, and I found this article in today's Ynet absolutely hilarious:

A group of 50 new immigrant families from U.S. invited to Israeli-style barbecue; steakhouse chef reveals local secrets
By Shelly Paz and Natasha Mozgova

TEL AVIV - You are not Israeli until you've had your first mangal session: A group of 50 new immigrant families was invited to attend an Israeli-style barbecue in Jerusalem Monday, where the newcomers received a crash course in Israeli-style grilling.

Now you see, my idea of something one needs a "crash course in" would be.. a language, basic survival of some sort, etc. Not grilling meat!

Mangal is the Hebrew word for barbecue, and arguably one of the most important words in the Hebrew language, according to the average Israeli at least. The almost-sacred ritual is also commonly referred to as "al ha'esh," literally "on the fire."

Israel's Independence Day is usually celebrated by overeating and not only with sing-along celebrations and other festivities, the chef told his audience.

A Jewish/Israeli holiday celebrated by overeating? C'mon ;)

Vegetarians can grill fresh vegetables instead of the meat, the chef said - on a skewer, of course.

Okay so then everybody can participate. Even vegetarians, like Orly (who has a new picture gallery now by the way).

Ethiopian immigrant learning the esteemed custom of the 'mangal'

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May 11, 2005


As I previously mentioned, Israel is soon to celebrate 57 years of independence. When it comes to the Jews, it appears to be nothing less than regular for sorrow and joy to always go hand in hand.
Today 'Yom Hazikaron' is observed in Israel.

Yom Hazikaron
Israel's National Memorial Day for the Fallen
and the Victims of Terror

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May 10, 2005

Israelis seem to have a new holiday every 2 days, don't they?

While Israelis prepare to celebrate 57 years of independence (on May 12th), I myself am quietly remembering the fact that this day, May 10th 8 years ago, was the first day I came to Israel (and what a lifechanging event that turned out to be). Indeed my first day in Israel was Israel's Independence Day - Yom Ha'atzmaut, with Israeli flags everywhere I looked!

I just thought this was a cute, happy and a different kind of Independence Day photo.

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Recommended reading on Islam

I am currently doing research for an essay in my Islamic Studies class, and I found an excellent article that I very much recommend: The Place of Tolerance in Islam - On reading the Qur'an—and misreading it - by Khaled Abou El Fadl.

Here is what he writes about Holy War/Jihad:

"Interestingly, Islamic tradition does not have a notion of holy war. "Jihad" simply means to strive hard or struggle in pursuit of a just cause, and according to the Prophet of Islam, the highest form of jihad is the struggle waged to cleanse oneself from the vices of the heart. Holy war (in Arabic al-harb al-muqaddasah) is not an expression used by the Qur'anic text or Muslim theologians. In Islamic theology, war is never holy; it is either justified or not, and if it is justified, those killed in battle are considered martyrs. The Qur'anic text does not recognize the idea of unlimited warfare, and does not consider the simple fact of the belligerent's Muslim identity to be sufficient to establish the justness of his cause. In other words, the Qur'an entertains the possibility that the Muslim combatant might be the unjust party in a conflict."

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May 08, 2005

I have returned from the dead!

Yes it is true, I am back. As you have noticed I have a brand new website, thanks to David Boxenhorn, to whom I am indeed grateful for his help, as well as for giving me his templates (which is why my page looks just like his!).
I finished my last exam already, but I am now working and about to start my essay in my Islamic Studies class. Since I finished my last exam my body appears to have been going through some sort of physical stress release (call it phenomenology if you will, I know I do). I actually slept 12 hours yesterday, believe it or now. It's incredible how the mind can and does affect the body, isn't it..

A lot of things have been going on in the world during my liminal phase of absence! (Can I actually say that?). Today for instance, marks the 60th anniversary of victory over nazi Germany. Today as I sat on the bus on my way home from work I was listening to the radio news saying the following: "A Jew who fled here during WW2 says that the world has learned very little".
A few days ago was "Holocaust Remembrance Day" in Israel, as you know. An Israeli friend of mine was feeling quite upset about it, and mentioned to me that the "Walk of the Living" in Poland had made him feel that there are "still good people in Europe". I told him there are good people everywhere, but I still understand how he feels. I can in a way say that I get the same feeling, or at least to an extent when I hear stories such as the 30 kilometer line being formed in Germany, and the anti-neo nazi march in Germany. While there is bad, there is still good. There is still something, some sort of something.

Here is something interesting from BBC by the way: SLIDESHOW
"Audio slideshow: VE Day
On 7 May, 1945, fighting in continental Europe officially ceased after nearly six years of hostilities."

And after such an incredibly depressing post, I am certain that a great majority of Israel is obsessed with this right now. I don't care for sports much, but I care for happy people, so mazal tov :)

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moon phases