Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I'm still away, being a dutiful daughter/grand-daughter, and i don't know how long my extremely unreliable laptop will allow me to stay on-line.

the last two weeks have certainly been outside of my routine. a wedding, a funeral, the new year, wrangling with a trapped opossum, and a number of other encounters, too strange and personal to include even in a semi-anonymous blog such as this.

the iranian satellite television stations are driving me nuts for the most part, but as usual i find myself drawn to them. at night when everyone else is asleep, i sometimes watch Al-Alam (the IR's Arabic language channel) and Al-Manar (the Lebanese Hizbollah station). I don't speak Arabic, but they get some great footage, and i can catch a few words here and there and sort of get the gist of what they are saying. for example on sunday night i was watching one of these stations and they kept on saying Shaheed and Sheikh Ahmad Yaseen in the same sentence over and over while showing blood stained streets in Gaza, so i quickly figured out that he'd been murdered by Israel. Al-Alam has english subtitles which don't necessarily correspond with whatever is being broadcast but nonetheless provide a way for me to confirm some of my interpretations of what I think they are saying. i'd like to learn arabic and quit these guessing games, but for now it will have to do.

well, iranian satellite stations are beckoning me again. we have the tv blaring so my grandfather can hear, and i am half listening from down the hall. there is a program about some protest in Holland (or is it Belgium? or both?) against racism and in support of the Iranian refugees there. i'll check it out and tell you about it if you want to know.

ok, i just caught three minutes of the report, and boy these satellite stations really can't get their act together. some guy is giving a telephone report from belgium about what happened at the protests and they keep showing ashura pictures from Karbala. you should see the host's face every time the camera pans over to him, i think he either knows what is going on or the people behind the camera are trying to tell him of their technical difficulties. his eyes keep darting about while he tries to maintain a conversation and a semblance of control over what is going on during his program. between the host squirming and my grandparents asking me to explain the relationship between the report and the pictures from Karbala, I didn't manage to figure out what all happened at these protests.

I swear man, i have no idea what these people are doing with all the money they get from the CIA and other self-less donors, but they certainly aren't spending any of it on mastering even the basics......