Monday, December 04, 2006
Suddenly I realize that the spirit of Christmas (as it crawls in Dickens) stands just behind the corner. And suddenly I feel it as close as a fall festival dedicated to Akhenaton. The reason is that it does not affect practically my life. If there had been no phonecalls, I would have forgotten its proximity. Mom prepares the house as she informed me, hanging the washed curtains. My niece is looking forward to her break, during which she will have more time to spend with her brothers. Kostas and Areti, my only certified visitors of these pages, probably will be packing their luggage for a reunion with friends and family, in Athens and Thessaloniki. So suddenly I feel motivated to throw away some paper trash, newspapers kept for a second closer reading and some old teaching material. On my way to the bin, among other pieces of postponed contemplation, I hold the issue of Nov. 23rd for Jordan Times and it crosses my mind that there was an article I would like to comment on. It is about moments of punishment. The State Security Court sentenced to death two Jordanians plotting to infiltrate Israel to carry out attacks, and commuted the sentence to 10 years in jail. Mohammad, the alleged leader of the group, sold his wife's jewellery to buy three Kalashnikov assault rifles which he used to train his accomplices. I find these details so heartbreaking that I get upset that nobody tries to explore them by the means of art. A tragedy: the story of selling his wife's jewellery (his guarantee for their marital contract, this is) in order to participate in the kingdom of martyrs... while Amman gets far and farer from his own world, covered in expensive stone and hidden behind marble floored malls. In the same article, I read news about the trial of the 38-year old, father of five (!) Jaaoura, a Jordanian blacksmith, who shot to death Christopher Stokes, a Briton tourist, by the Roman Amphitheatre in Downtown, Amman. He said in full honesty "Allah gave me the strength to kill a Briton and to injure others from among those who fight God and His Prophet... Killing those Crusaders is the closest to winning God's acceptance." "He should receive the maximum penalty" the prosecutor said. I imagine the wives and the five children of the latter, these days. And the relatives of the "Crusaders" who came to visit Amman, just to have some extra sunshine and a ride in the desert. In a genuine Xmas mood I am.