This blogname was derived from the novel The Secret Life Of Saeed The Pessoptimist by the Palestinian Israeli Emile Habiby: absurdism as weapon against the (ir)realities of daily life in Palestine/Israel. (The subtitle is from a book by Dutch author Renate Rubinstein. It could as well be 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. I started my 'Abu Pessoptimist' blog in January 2009 out of anger during the onslaught in Gaza. The other one, The Pessoptmist, 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.)
Friday 28 January. Also in Jordan demonstrations took place after prayers. Several thousands marched in the streets in Amman (picture by Ali Abunimah), several more thousands in the other big cities of Jordan. The demonstrators, among which the Islamic Action Front (political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood) had a strong presence, asked the government of Samir Rifa'i to step down and shouted slogans against it (economic) policies. After the march the demonstrations dissolved in a quiet manner.