Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Who's a bad ass

From my journal: On BA155 frm LON to CAI 8:50pm CAI time

I'm officially excited. Had great luck on both my flights, empty seat next to me on first leg and exit row on second leg. Fewer Arab speaker on the flight than I expected. I'm anxious to try out the 12 words I know. Trying to identify the source of the nervous excitement I'm feeling. I think a large part of it is trepidation over the people I will be meeting.

At our third (and final) annual New Years party in DC my friend Kim asked me if I know anyone who was more a a bad ass than I was. It's a silly question and of course she asked it just to make me feel good but these guys that run the TdA, the veteran's, they are bad asses. I'm a little nervous to meet them.

But to answer Kim's question more directly, yes I do know someone. I met him in DC. He's the business partner of a friend of mine. He's Jordanian/Palestinian and has been arrested 7 times. He's been beaten by police. He came to the states and got his law degree and started his own NGO with this friend of mine. Because of his origins and our countries paranoia he's been put on the no fly list. If he chose to fly home to visit his very ill dad he woudl not be able to return to the US.

There are people like this everywhere. Good, smart, caring people whoare disenfranchised or discriminated against for political reasons. They're the bad asses, I'm just a tourist. And a lucky one at that.


keef said...

Glad to hear your trip is starting off on a high note! Thanks for the post, and keep' coming! We're all looking forward to living vicariously through ya blog.

juancho said...

Wow. I think I was saying the same thing today.

debburr said...

Paul! I am so excited for you! I can't wait to read about all of your adventures.