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.)
The Islamic State (IS) captured and executed lawyer and human rights defender Samira Saleh Al-Naimi in the city of Mosul, Iraq, the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) reported. The centre received reports that on the evening of 22 September 2014, a group
of masked armed men who belong to IS opened fire and killed her in a
public square in the very heart of Mosul. She was kidnapped by IS from
her home last week after she described as “barbaric” the widespread
damage that IS inflicted on ancient features of her city.
Samira Saleh Al-Naimi was a prominent lawyer and human rights defender
and famous for her activities that include defending detainees and
supporting the disadvantaged families in the city.