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.)
Former presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei announced the
birth of sa new party, the Constitution Party, on Saturday in a press conference at the Journalists' Syndicate in downtown Cairo. Co-founders of the party are international law
professor Hossam Eissa, Ahmed Harara and Hala Shukrallah. Participating in the initiative is author and activist Alaa Al-Aswany, economist
Galal Amin; TV host and activist Gamila Ismail; Kifaya
protest movement founder, George Ishaq; film director Khaled Youssef;
film producer Mohamed El-Adl; co-founder of the Revolutionary Youth
Coalition, Shadi El-Ghazali Harb and Rami Shaath.
The party, whose name has changed from Revolution Party to Constitution Party, aims to be a broad-based movement that forms "the
nucleus of a coalition that will include all secular forces" in Egypt,
according to what ElBaradei's said in early April, when he announced that he was in the process of forming the new party.
ElBaradei withdrew from the presidential race in January
in protest at the decision to elect a president before drafting a
constitution. In 2010 he founded the National Association for Change.