Headline December 10, 2016/ ''' *KIND-HEARTED-NESS* '''


TORRID, TORN, AND EVEN WORSE : A  World of growing Torpor. Just for a moment take the case of  !WOW!'s  Proud Host, Pakistan.

In Pakistan, writes one brilliant research author, those who love wisdom are just about totally extinct. Gone are the days when the country had conferences on philosophy and engagements with-

Philosophical questions that kept kept thinking minds active. Now the discipline of philosophy has become just a phantom limb in this country.
!See how this reflects in the Pakistani students!.

The question arises here is what makes philosophy an anomaly in the overall education system and society of Pakistan? And with that I have the great honour to welcome:

Professor Sayed Kashua a visiting professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the author, most recently, of  
''Native: Dispatches From an Israeli-Palestinian Life''.

This brilliant essay was translated by Jessica Cohen from the Hebrew:    

CHAMPAIGN, ILL : ''Dad,'' my daughter said to me a few weeks ago,'' I'm pretty sure my biology teacher thinks I'm Jewish.''

''What do you mean? Why?'' 

''I don't know. At the beginning of the year when he asked me where I was from, I said Jerusalem. 
He must have assumed I was Jewish, because once he asked if my being vegetarian has to do with keeping kosher, and this month he wished me happy Rosh Hashana.''

''And you didn't correct him? You have to!''
''But why? I didn't say anything wrong, why should I start apologizing? Anyway, it's too complicated to try and explain about Palestinian Israelis.''

Since my daughter adamantly refused to correct her teacher's mistake, I decided   -over her protestations and threats to boycott homework  -that I would go see him and explain we're  Muslim citizens of Israel.

''Are you sure?'' my wife asked, before I left for the meeting. ''Shouldn't you wait until after the elections?''

On the way to school, I looked out for election signs on the immaculately mowed lawns. 

Based on what I saw, I predict that Re/Max is going to win. Apart from one giant sign made of wooden planks nailed together to form the letters........ T-R-U-M-P, I saw no evidence of the impending elections.

''It's unusual,'' a friend from the university who has lived here for decades told me. ''Usually, at this stage of the campaign, there are signs and bumper stickers everywhere, and people voice support for their candidate.''

The town is considered conservative and has a Republican majority. This time, perhaps because of the sensitive situation, most residents prefer not to publicly proclaim support for their nominee.

After all, there is a large community of  foreigners and immigrants  in this college town, and supporting a candidate who openly condemns that community could be considered- antagonistic 

Clinton supporters, conversely, might be hesitant-  to put signs for fear of provoking anger in the opposing camp.

There is a cause for concern among the foreign population, and when it comes to Muslims, like us, there is genuine dread about what might be in store.

The fear is so intense that I'm no longer sure what result we should be hoping for.

Would a Trump victory actually placate his more extreme supporters? Would his loss be a signal to racists take action against those he accuses having *stolen their country*.

Or should we prefer a Democratic administration, which would safeguard diversity and the basic values of the Constitution?

The destructive force embodied in incitement against foreigners and minorities is a frightening thing. Perhaps my daughter is right and we should be hiding our identity until we see how things turn out.

We do, after all, have Israeli passports that we can brandish if things go bad.

''Oh, come on,'' I found myself saying to assuage my fears while driving to school. Am I really going to claim I'm Jewish because a presidential candidate marks me as an enemy?

It's absurd to think that Jewishness, which has endured the harshest suffering because of xenophobia, could protect us from that very same sentiment.

How cruel these elections are, bringing such deep-seated fears to the surface, leading me to be suspicious of my neighbours, of my children's teachers, of patrons in the local bar, people I laugh with and watch baseball games with.

It made me feel sad and guilty to realize that I had begun to question the integrity of the people I live among. 

I hated myself for accepting the rules of the game dictated by politicians  -rules that set up racial divisions and turn innocent people into potential enemies.

I live in a wonderful place, I remind myself on my way to the staff room.

''Shalom'' the biology teacher exclaimed with a grin  -yet more evidence of the locals kindheartedness.

''Shalom,'' I answered. And then we had a pleasant conversation about my daughter's academic accomplishments and acclimatizing.

Even so, just to be on the safe side, I didn't say a word about us being Muslim.

When we said goodbye, I shook his hand and wished him ''Shabbat Shalom,'' even though it was Monday.

With most respectful dedication to all the Parents, all the Leaders of the World. See Ya all Sires, Your Excellencies, on !WOW!  the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Masterpiece, Yes! '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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