Speaking in (and of) Oslo
I spoke on the first night in Oslo at the Palestinian House.
I was hosted by a most principled Palestinian struggler that I have admired from afar.
Typically, Palestinians that I met were immediately curious to know what village of Palestine I came from.
I often am–to my pride–mistaken for a Palestinian (perhaps because of my passion for Palestinian struggle for liberation) but I tell
Palestinians that I consider myself an honorary Palestinian. Many of the audience members came from refugee camps that I knew in Lebanon. They were as opposed to Oslo as I am (the agreement and not the city although the food in the city sucks big time): and we joked about the rumor spread by some person in DC that this academic conference (dealing with various aspects of the Middle East including literary aspects) is a political conference for normalization. I joked that if somebody wants to push for normalization with Israel they would not invite Joseph Massad and I–of all people–to encourage normalization (Electronic Ali could not make it due an emergency).
In fact, in the opening speech by a Norwegian diplomat who spoke about Oslo, both Joseph and I fiercely attacked Oslo. The conference is open and some Palestinian comrades are attending. I will speak this morning and Joseph (who can serve as a tourist guide to a city hours after his arrival for the first time to that city) is speaking this afternoon.