Lost in Chicago with a Palestinian holocaust survivor
One would think that getting around Chicago by riding its elevated
train system would be like a piece of cake. All you gotta do is pay
your fare and then get from Point A to Point B. But one would not be
counting on my highly-elevated ability to get lost. Anywhere. From
Antarctica to Alaska, from the Melbourne to Mecca, from Walgreens to
Walmart (except I never go to Walmart because they rip off the working
class), I can still manage to get lost -- and so Chicago's "L" system
proved to be no different from anyplace else.
But when I found out that Mariam Fathallahan,
an 86-year-old survivor of the 1948 Palestinian holocaust, was speaking
in Park Ridge, a suburb of Chicago, I decided to take a risk. This was
a rare opportunity to hear her speak, so I jumped on the Green Line of
the "L". And jumped off again -- onto the Red Line. "You need the Blue
Line to get out to Park Ridge," someone finally told me, "but not the
Pink, Orange or Brown." They got a pink line in Chicago? How cool is
So I got off that train and onto another train and then onto another
train again. And ended up at O'Hare airport. But finally found the right
station and then street-hiked east for a mile. So far so good. Only
got lost three times. And when I got to the event, there was lots of
free food! Hummus and falafels. Well worth the trip.
Over baklava, I got to talk with this refugee from the 1948 Palestine
"Catastrophe" -- and she was delightful. Jews don't have a lock on
delightful older holocaust refugees who have lived through Hell and
survived, moving on to become wise people who are anti-war right down to
the tips of their toes. http://www.candlesholocaustmuseum.org/
Many Native American holocaust survivors are like that as well. And
also survivors of Reagan's 1980s ethnic cleansing of the Maya in
Guatemala. But I digress.
Ashkar, Fathallah's translator and also a refugee who was born in
the camps in Lebanon, had really interesting stuff to say. "When Israel
invaded Lebanon in 1982, their main purpose was to get rid of
Palestinian refugees," and thus continue the Israeli neo-colonialist
brutal ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Having survived one holocaust
already, Palestinians were then subject to yet another holocaust in
So in the dark of night and pouring rain, I stumbled around the suburbs
of Park Ridge, totally and hopelessly lost -- until I finally saw a
faint light in the distance. It was a Walgreens! "You walk a mile
south then cross a bridge over the freeway and then walk a mile more,"
said the friendly and helpful clerk. Great, just great. And then I
also found out that parts of suburban Chicago have no sidewalks.
But how many Palestinian holocaust refugees today even have that option -- to take a hot bath?
PS: One of the main reasons that I truly dislike the Clinton-Trump
presidential ticket is because they both seem to be taking great glee at
the thought of killing even more women and children in the Middle East
than have already been maimed, slaughtered or made homeless by American-made
bombs. Don't all those millions of victims of the
Bush-Obama-Clinton-Trump doctrine in the Middle East hate us enough
I'm not the only one that gets lost easily. America too has lost its way. Instead of heading
toward the bright boulevards of Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness
and the Golden Rule, my country has completely lost its way inside a
labyrinth of dark alleys that go nowhere -- and have scary names like
"Regime Change" and Genocide" and "Homelessness" and "Outsourcing". https://consortiumnews.com/2016/05/17/the-danger-of-demonization/
News just in from my Syrian friend that yet another massive suicide bombing by
ISIS/al Qaeda just took place in Syria. And the American neo-con RepubliDems are
now jumping with joy. "Soon Syria will be another Libya!" they whisper
behind their hands. And at the rate that Wall Street and War Street are
supporting al Qaeda and ISIS, America will soon become another Libya
"It's really bad over there today," writes my friend. "And the
West's pro-zombi media is celebrating their 'victory' on the
'infidels'! But the pattern is so simple though: Whenever the
Syrian Arab Army and their allies win against the ISIS and al Qaeda
terrorists and armed gangs, then the
terrorists target the civilians, not the army! They are blackmailing
Syrian government and army by targeting the people.
"I can imagine the Saudis, Turks, Qataris and whoever else is behind them [American and Israeli neo-colonialists!]
saying to the Syrian officials in the negotiations: 'If you won against
our militias or if you are not going to surrender, we
gonna order them to slaughter more civilians --
and the Western media won't even mention Syria's dead (or our crimes).'
"I wish that these criminals would not be allowed to get away with their
crimes. And I also wish to witness their judgement day for the horrors
they have inflicted on Syria." Me too!