Manhattan: Madison Avenue

manhattan This is the one year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. It is now becoming evident to everyone that there never were any weapons of mass destruction and this war is illegal by any standards. Iraq is drifting towards civil war. American firms are reaping huge profits from the privatization of reconstruction and security. Protests are happening around the world.

I decide to create a shirt for the NYC march. On the back I put a quote from Edward Said who died six months ago after teaching for forty years at Columbia. I want to put something in Arabic on the front. Although I’ve studied Arabic for years I struggle to come up with anything appropriate. I finally opt for the single word ترك which means “leave.”

There are reputed to be 100,000 participants in the NYC march not counting the tens of thousands of police officers lining the route. As we are walking down Madison Avenue I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn to see a young woman with tears in her eyes who says “Thank you for the quote from Doctor Said.”