Monday, June 19, 2006

"Pray for Peace"

So I had meant to blog about this a few weeks back, but as John Lennon said in his song Beautiful Boy, "Life is what happens to us while we're busy making other plans"... Then I noticed that Jameel posted about the phenomenon about Soccer --er, I mean Football -- and the World Cup. And here I am sitting in London's Heathrow airport because I missed my connection. So as I wait for my next flight... and as I try to ignore the masses of english folk huddled around the "telly" watching some arcane world cup game (I'm sure Kasamba would sympathize), I realized that I have a story to tell. I think that the story fits perfectly on Jameel's stage, as you'll soon see.

So several weeks ago, I was in Chicago speaking at a conference. There were about 450 people in the room, and after my presentation, as is normal at these kinds of events, several people approached me with comments and questions. After helping several people, a man approached me and said "MUST, first of all, I want to say "shalom". I smiled and responded in kind. Then he dropped the bombshell -- "I also want to tell you that I'm palestinian". Before I could even respond, a woman behind me dove behind a table. But the man had a few legitimate questions to ask, which I answered calmly. Then the man asked if I'd ever been to Israel. Now it was getting interesting -- a crowd was beginning to form around us.

We discussed the state of Israel today, and although the man currently lives in the US, he made his case for his dream for peace in the Middle East (as if I actually somehow had control over that). After several minutes, he told me how impressed he was with my presentation and that he was honored to meet me and talk with me. As he turned to walk away, he exclaimed "PRAY FOR PEACE!"... It was the first time any had said that to me after a presentation.

I'm not sure what the message of the story is, but one thing is for sure. We work and do the things we do every day, and we think that's what we're spending our time on during each day, but it's just the reverse. Our jobs are just a way to get us in front of more people in the world and to demonstrate who we really are.

Wherever I am, Jameel's blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

9 comments:

westbankmama said...

Sounds like a kiddush Hashem to me. Great post.

Ezzie said...

Amen. Jameel called me to tell me you wrote a post, I had to check it out. (Okay, so he didn't call for that - but I still had to check it out.)

Really great post.

kasamba said...

Must; You are soooo missed!!
You were in London and didn't call Auntie Kas???( and yes I do sympathize!)
I concur with Westbankmama, it really was a kiddush Hashem.

FrumGirl said...

I was in Israel last summer and was talking to a friend of a cousin and I assumed he was Israeli he served in the army and even had an Israeli tattoo on his arm but then he told me he was Palestinian and I wanted to throw up.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

frumgirl:

you wanted to throw up because you met a palestinian who served in the israeli army?

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Good point well taken. Nice post.

Batya said...

The important point is that many Arabs leave because of the violence, and they don't want their kids blown into pieces for those virgins, etc. The demographic myth ignores it. It could have been an Israeli Arab who did something for the army and couldn't take the attitude of his neighbors.

rockofgalilee said...

I'm confused about the throwing up as well.

tafka PP said...

Frumgirl- please explain, why did you want to throw up?


MustGum- Fantastic story.

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