Fast Times in Palestine by Pamela Olson

Fast Times in Palestine by Pamela Olson

Author:Pamela Olson [Olson, Pamela]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Mason Hill Press
Published: 2011-05-14T22:00:00+00:00

My Boss Decides to Run for President

Dr. Barghouthi called an emergency meeting a few days after the Eid holidays were over. I was annoyed because I already had my evening perfectly planned. I was going to a restaurant called Beit Sini (China House) to get spicy Kung Pao chicken, then I was going to go home, curl up around some hot cocoa, and watch a mindless Angelina Jolie action movie on MBC2 in my pajamas. For two restful, thoughtless, soft, warm hours, I could forget about everything else.

Except now I had to sit through this stupid meeting that probably had nothing to do with me. I desperately hoped it wouldn’t go on too long.

We gathered around the big wooden table in the conference room. As soon as we were seated and quiet, Dr. Barghouthi dropped the bombshell.

“So, I have decided to run for President against Mahmoud Abbas.”

That perked me up, but I didn’t see what it had to do with me. I was sure he could run for President even if I was at home eating Chinese take-out.

As I surreptitiously glanced at my cell phone (it was already after six, and the movie started at seven), I heard him say he’d need someone to volunteer to be his foreign press coordinator. Whoever that unlucky person was would have to stay in the office tonight for five or six hours and compile, organize, and prioritize the contact information for all the foreign correspondents in Israel and Palestine. He or she would then represent Dr. Barghouthi to the world’s press throughout the campaign in addition to his or her usual responsibilities.

“The election will be in early January,” he said, “so we have less than two months to organize, consult with our constituencies, prepare offices, organize supporters, design and distribute campaign materials, and many other things. Time is of the essence.”

Suddenly I had a sinking feeling. No one was looking at me, but everyone knew the other foreigners in the office would be jetting off to England or Spain or Australia for the Christmas holidays. I’d be the only native English speaker left.

Slowly through my hazy, unhappy sense of duty, something began to filter through my thick head: My boss was running for President. And I was being offered a front-row seat. Was I simple?

I took a deep breath and braced myself. “I can do it.”


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