Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Confessions from Palestine

We have a new intern in our office in Ramallah - Moni from Sweden - and even though she's fabulous in every way and we all love her already, I'm afraid she has a bad influence on me.

Or I on her? Whatever, this is what happened:

We went to Al-Khalil (Hebron) in the south today to hold a focus group meeting in preparation for a new youth project that we have. In Al-Khalil everybody is very traditional and fasts during Ramadan (not like in Ramallah where some people fast some days of Ramadan).

That meant no eating or drinking during the whole 3 hour focus group meeting (that was incidentally held in the Middle East afternoon heat, at lunch time after a looong drive from Ramallah,).

A little low on blood sugar, then, Moni and I went out and talked under the grapevine pergola outside the meeting room during the break, and sort of kind of maybe filched a grape or two.

In our defense (not against filching, but against breaking Ramadan code), we didn't eat them until we were in the car, and even then we tried to be discreet.

A poem by William Carlos Williams comes to my mind:

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten

the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Anyway, it gets worse: after the event, Moni and I wandered off the youth center grounds, led by the sweet, coconutty scent of the fig trees surrounding it, and again, I think we may have maybe sort of filched a couple of figs as well.

It doesn't end there. On the way back, Moni, Tarek and our colleague Ahmed and I snuck into a Christian hummus and falafel place in Bethlehem while our General Director had a short meeting close by, and ate hummus and falafel and drank water and soda.


In the middle of the day, during Ramadan.

Forgive us
It was delicious

Bookmark and Share

No comments: