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.)
TheCampaign to End the Military Trials of Civilians, an organisation made up of several active members of the ongoing Egyptian Revolution, released a new video about the Maspero massacre of 9 October. Tomorrow 12 November there will be a day of international solidarity, with demonstrations in cities around the world.
And here is a video of today (Friday's) memorial march for the victims of 9 October with thousands taking part. Impressive indeed! (Made by Simon Hanna for Ahram Online)