this is an excerpt from Prisoner of Love, one of what I consider a historical Epic ever written about Palestinians.  This book was the last work of Jean Genet , after his official announcement of leaving writing in more than a decade. A man who believed in the Justice of the Palestinian Cause despite its leaders …

 

I found the manners of almost all the ordinary Palestinians ,men and women ,delightful. But their leaders were a pain in the neck.

Most of them surrounded themselves with ceremonial that needed no help from marble and chandeliers. The main object was to stretch out to infinity the distance between the door and the official the visitor wanted to see. Before you got to him with a simple problem that he could have solved with a couple of minutes length and a few words, you first had to explain your errand at length to the sentries. Then : “wait here. I’ll go and see.” …”come this way” …. next I would be ushered in to a second official who before anything else insisted on hearing the whole story over again , though he had no authority whatsoever to deal with it .he’d have me taken to a third official, then to a fourth , and so on in a kind of snakes and ladders that at long last brought me to the official I’d come to see.

He was speaking into a field telephone. What was he saying to the unseen? ‘If God’s will …His toothache will be quite better tomorrow, I assure you…if God wills…No ,don’t worry,…if God wills….” He put down the receiver.

” oh I wasn’t expecting you .How are you ? Good news from France? Are they writing about us in Le Figaro? ”

“I’d like …”

“Coffee or tea”

…….It had taken me rather more than three quarters of an hour to reach the official ,and he had kept me for two minutes.


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