Sunday, December 20, 2009

Deconstructing Obama's Oslo Speech

Here is a piece from ConsortiumNews that shreds Obama's speech for it faulty reasoning:

"Whether Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize is not the point. He didn’t. The fact is he got it, and was gifted with the chance of a lifetime to make a classic speech on the politics of peace-making, a speech that in the glare of Nobel could have attained instant biblical standing.
He failed miserably, producing a hodge-podge that resembled the work of a bright but undisciplined sophomore." (Read more Here)

Monday, December 07, 2009

An Immigrant's Dilemma

My Homeland!
A word that sends chills down my spine
Emotions that confound me
And questions that persist
Is my homeland the place where I was born
Or the place that I live in
Is my homeland the land that pushed me away
Or the land that welcomed me
Is my homeland just a collection of old memories
Or is it the memories in the making
And the list gets longer, and the questions multiply
But there are no answers
In the end, one question lingers
One burning more than all others combined
Do I really have a homeland?

The above poem, in Arabic, appeared on the blog Migrant Bird. The words resonated with my own experience and I took the liberty, with George's permission, to translate it into English.

Alas, it is the inescapable fate of all first generation immigrants to never feel fully at home anywhere. I have, long ago, become reconciled with that fact. The facet of my immigrant psyche that remains problematic, however, is my sometimes ambivalent relationship with the land of my birth. My family did not emigrate by choice; it was not a voluntary, planned or orderly process, but a harried, furtive, and frightful departure. Our life, like that of many other compatriots, was suddenly upended, and we were sentenced to a nomadic and fragmented existence away from home and extended family. A hopeless optimist, I always told myself that the unique experience of our family's disrupted life would make me stronger. But it is impossible to make it through such chaotic formative years without some psychic scars. However well camouflaged, these scars do, from time to time, resurface, raw and painful as if the wounds were inflicted yesterday.

So I sometimes wonder, why should I care about the country of my birth? Have I not earned the right to turn my back and walk away? Somehow, though, I cannot walk away. My home might be here, but my roots, as forlorn and dessicated as they might, are still there.