June 26, 2007

error: invalid operands to binary ‘operator*’

My life, as you know is full of fascinating events which I'm eager to share with you.

Right now for example, my computer tells me:

error: invalid operands of types ‘<unresolved overloaded function type>’ and ‘<unresolved overloaded function type>’ to binary ‘operator*’

What do you think the problem is? Does it mean "You should really get some vacation" ?

June 16, 2007

The Surrealists... and an apartment!

The Museum of Israel has an exhibition on Dada, Surrealism and Beyond. Magritte's painting Le château des Pyrénées, Man Ray's nudes and portraits (Kiki's hands), Buñuel and Dalí's Un chien andalou... An amazing universe of fantasy and dream to dive into on a Saturday afternoon.

I feel better of course since I found an apartment on Friday! I actually chose only the second one I visited, but I think it's a nice place, with a lot of light, quiet, trees, a nice breeze and a view... Now the next step is to buy furniture because for now there is not even a bed! Wait and see the artist decorate the walls ;-)

June 12, 2007

Sayed Kashua, Dancing Arabs

Reading Sayed Kashua's Dancing Arabs (Hebrew: ערבים רוקדים, French: Les arabes dansent aussi) is a journey into the life of an Israeli Arab who faces the contradictions which come with this status and the humiliations of being a second-class citizen.

As a child, he lives in the Arab village of Tira. He was terribly unruly until an accident brought him back on a more studious path. School is a nightmare, even for a good pupil: the children are frequently beaten for meaningless reasons.
His family lives on the sidelines and it is a surprise when he proves to be brightest kid of the village. He is subsequently admitted to a school in Jerusalem where only one other student is Arab.

The children are not beaten in the Jewish school but other sources of suffering arise.
High-school students make fun of him and harrass him in the bus, the soldiers make him get off the bus and wait while it get in and out of the airport's security zone.

He decides that no one will ever be able to tell him and a jew apart, that he will always have a book in Hebrew to read when the soldiers inspect the bus.

This is not the end of the story. If the humiliation can be avoided, the identity conflict cannot. Can he go out with a Jewish girl?

The book is an amazing source of anecdotes. Kashua's father says the Palestinians should blow up Al Aqsa in retaliation for the Muslim countries not helping them. The first time Jews came into their house, his mother cleaned and cooked for a week; she was mad at her guests when it turned out all they brought was a box of chocolates.

To me, this book is a great way of getting acquainted with the psyche of Israeli citizens who are Arab - we're talking of a fifth of the population - and their situation as citizens who are just-a-little-bit-less equal than the others in the Israeli democracy.

June 08, 2007

Integration, Street 200

I have an Israeli driving license! Well I still need to pick it up at the Ministry but that's my latest step forward towards integration, administratively speaking.

The driving license is for a car, obviously. I still have about 26 steps to go through before I get on a motorbike: lessons, test and driving license for a motorbike, buying the thing itself, insurance, license plates, ...

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. My life is fascinating.

But I'm an actor now: I appear in Inazio Zurutuza's documentary movie about foreigners in Phnom Penh, "Piroi" (Khmer for "Two hundered", incidentally the number of the street where the Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center and the Department of Cinema are located...)

Thanks to Inazio's great sense of editing and image, this is a nice and interesting picture of Phnom Penh as seen by a few foreigners who took considered themselves part of the city for a while. From the cover:
PIROI was ment to be a documentary about the city of Phnom Penh, viewed from the eyes of foreigners.
Then, when I started looking for people to take part, and found out how hard it was, I decided to do a little tribute to these people who make things happen by taking part. Thus my initial idea of focusing on the city changed and I decided to give them as much relevance as to the city itself.
After all, what's a city if not people, foreigners or not?

catalonian noemi castillo, french audrey folacci, italian edoardo nicolotti, spanish orlando naranjo and jose encinas, khmero-canadian linda saphan, austrian rob farrington and sarah spiller, as well as french-american joseph schwarzbach, share with us their thoughts and experiences in this city, unlike most others in our globalized world, still authentic and original.
The movie was screened at Cinémékong 2007. Here is the the program and the description in French:
RUE 200
De Inazio Zurutuza – 2006 / Durée : 20 min
“À l’origine du projet, “Rue Piroi” devait être un documentaire sur Phnom Penh à travers le regard et l’expérience de différents étrangers.
Réalisant qu’il n’était pas si aisé de trouver des participants, j’ai décidé de rejoindre mon idée initiale avec un petit hommage à ces personnes, qui ont permis que les choses se concrétisent en y ayant pris part. Après tout, qu’est-ce qu’une ville si ce n’est ses gens et leurs actions.”

June 01, 2007


What I saw today in Hebron is quite surrealistic and I'll try to convey it to you. I plan to go back in order to take some pictures and post them here.

I didn't see any violence but I saw the effects of the security measures taken by the Israeli army to protect the 800 Jewish settlers of Hebron, and I got some explanations as well as testimonies/videos of violence and humiliation by the settlers on the Palestinian population.

My information comes from our guide, a member of the Shovrim Shtika (Breaking the silence) organization, operating jointly with a political group called Bnei Avraham.

Basically, Hebron was a Palestinian city of 166,000, in the heart of which 800 Jews have settled. Today, what I saw was that 20 % of the city, including it's Casbah, it's meat and clothing markets, it's main souk, it's central Bus and Taxi station, were shut down to car traffic, business and even many vital streets were closed to Palestinian pedestrians.

Because of the 800 Jews and in the name of their security, 35,000 Palestinians of this H-2 area (see the map in English and the map in Hebrew with the legend) have had their lives disrupted and only a small fraction have been able to stay.

An estimated 42 % of the buildings of the H-2 area are empty, which reflects less than the number of Palestinians who left: many families left and their houses were reoccupied by poorer, unemployed Palestinians because they don't pay any rent there.

I estimate therefore that for every Jew there, about 20 Palestinians were forced to leave. By "forced" I mean that the conditions made it unrealistic for anyone to stay (no business, no car traffic, no pedestrian traffic on some streets including potentially the one on which your front door lies, frequent curfew, etc.) See the following video of the Btselem organization for an example of what it means not being able to leave and enter your house from the front door.

Had there been no violence from the Palestinians on the settlers, would there not have been these drastic measures impinging on the human rights of the Palestinians? The point of our guide was that this question is not relevant: if the price to pay to protect 800 Jews there is to impinge upon the human rights of people so frequently and so dramatically (I've seen only the empty city, I have to imagine the daily humiliations and violence of the army and the settlers on the Palestinians based on the videos), then the army shouldn't protect them.

More soon.