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.)
Darfur Bar Association demands due process in case of arrested blogger
The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) has demanded that the responsible
authorities follow legal procedures with regard to the arrest of the
Darfuri activist and blogger Tajeldin Ahmed Arja or release him immediately.Arja was detained on Tuesday, 24 December, on the orders of President
Omar Al Bashir at a meeting of Presidents, Ministers, and Darfuri
notables in the Friendship Hall in Khartoum. Arja openly criticised Al
Bashir and the President of Chad, Idris Deby, holding them both
responsible for the war and killings in Darfur.
The head of the DBA, Mohamed Abdallah El Doma, told Radio Dabanga
that neither Arja's family nor his lawyer have not been allowed to visit
him. The authorities have not disclosed his whereabouts or what he has
been charged with.