Abu Pessoptimist

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About me

Introduction This blogname was derived from a satiric Arabic novel by the Palestinian Israeli Emile Habiby. In the ''The Secret Life of Saeed The Pessoptimist'' he uses absurdism as a weapon against the (ir)realities of daily life in Palestine/Israel. I consider it to be an example for how events in Israel/Palestine best can be approached. The subtitle is from a book by Dutch author Renate Rubinstein. In a way that is also still my motto. My real name is Martin (Maarten Jan) Hijmans. I've been covering the ME since 1977 and have been a correspondent in Cairo. In 2018, I concluded the study 'Arabic language and culture' at the University of Amsterdam. I started 'Abu Pessoptimist' in January 2009 out of anger about the onslaught of that month in Gaza. The other blog, The Pessoptimist, is meant to be a sister version in English. (En voor de Nederlandstaligen: ik wilde in november 2009 een tweede blog in het Engels beginnen en ontdekte te laat dat als je één account hebt, een profiel dan meteen ook voor allebei de blogs geldt. Vandaar dat het nu ineens in het Engels is... So sorry.)