3 Mid-Atlantic appearances this week

Some JWN readers have asked me to post info about my upcoming speaking engagements. Sorry about the short notice, but if you live in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US, here’s what I’m doing in the next few days. Do come if you can– and tell your friends!
Monday, Sept. 20, Philadelphia: 7 – 9 p.m. I’ll be participating in a panel discussion on “Pacifism in the age of terrorism” at the historic Arch Street Meeting House, located at Arch and 4th.
This is the kick-off for a two-day celebration of the International Day of Peace that’s being organized by the Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary headquartered in the midwest. Appearing during the next day of the celebration will be Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams.
Tuesday, Sept. 21, Washington DC: Noon – 1 p.m. I’m participating in an event to help launch our Quaker book on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, at the Middle East Institute, 1761 N St, NW. Jim Matlack, another of the book’s co-authors, and I will describe the book, read some short excerpts, and answer questions. There’ll be copies for sale afterwards.
I’m sorry that the relevant link on MEI’s website doesn’t work. But if you have questions call their Programs and Events Dept at 202-785-1141 ext. 202…. and
Wednesday, Sept. 22, Charlottesville VA: 5:30 – 7 p.m. I’ll be doing another event related to the Quaker book. This one is co-sponsored by the C’ville Center for Peace and Justice and New Dominion Bookshop and will be held at N.D. Bookshop at 404 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall.
Light refreshments will be served, and copies of the book will be available.

Blogging in Baghdad

Yesterday, I wrote about how amazing it is to get news from all round the world via the internet. (I won’t mention that the i-net was first brought to the grateful public by DARPA, the Pentagon shop that most recently won fame by sponsoring the Return of John Poindexter and Total Information Awareness. I put that fact in the category of “unintended consequences”, aka “collateral benefits”.)
But here’s an even more amazing thing: blogs from Baghdad. And in the lead-up to this terrible juggernaut of a war…
The one I’ve been reading is ‘Where is Raed? by Raid Jarrar. What I like about Raid’s blog is how immediate, how quotidien, yet how vivid some of his writing is.
I guess some people up to 120 yrs or so had ham radios they could use to communicate across front-lines in a war. When I lived in Lebanon in the 1970s, many people would speak by ground-line phone across that front-line. (My husband at the time, a Lebanese national, had family on both sides of the “Green Line”.) I also remember at the beginning of the Very First Gulf War– the one that started when Saddam invaded Iran, back in 1980– that my then-spouse was covering the Iran side and I was covering the Iraq side, and we would occasionally communicate by telex, through a helpful operator in Kuwait who would re-key our messages from one machine to another. (Kids today don’t even know what a telex is??) Cumbersome click-clacking that was, too.
But now, with cyber-comms, we can get almost real-time communications, multi-media, that cross “front-lines” even halfway around the globe… And in the run-up to such a potentially disastrous war…
What does this mean about the human condition? I’m still trying to figure this out. All help appreciated.
If you don’t have time to go to Raid’s blog, here’s a small excerpt from a Jan 31 posting that for some reason I found very poignant:
“a car ride to al-mansour to get sandwiches, late at night.
10 new sandbag protected trenches seen on the way. appetite totally ruined by thoughts of who will use them and what will happen along these roads.
maybe exploration journey tomorrow to see what else is being done to baghdad.
I am either angry or scared i can’t make up my mind.