Today, I will write in a happy green color. I have had a very good last few days in many ways. I ran around far too much, and I had my driving skills criticized unduly by both a friend and by Dr. Walter Williams (go figure). However, I also met several really cool people the last few days. Over the weekend I went to Pittsburgh on a debate tournament and one of our teams broke into the semi-finals. One student on our team received the top speaker award for the novice division. That was exciting. Furthermore, I spent time with our teams and got to know them all a little better. They are quality people and I feel privileged to have them here. On Sunday I met a really cool prof who teaches here. And last, but not least, I met Brian Kennedy the president of the Claremont Institute today. He is a down to earth, genuinely nice person who is interested in others and it was great to meet him. I look forward to hearing his speeches the next couple of days here.
But I am happiest of all because of the article I just read. Here's another link to the New York Times article on this news: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/08/international/middleeast/08cnd-summit.html?hp&ex=1107925200&en=698db7d918a0c9e9&ei=5094&partner=homepage
It's really long, I need to learn how to do the html where you put the link in some flashy colored words like "read this" or "here." In the meantime, there's the link. Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas have declared an effort to work out peace between Israel and Palestine.
Did I ever mention that I am so happy Yasser Arafat is dead? I am. Now that he is gone people can negotiate. And perhaps there is hope for the future. I realize that a critic would say, "Perhaps there is NOT hope. Perhaps the ceasefire will end within a week like all the others that came before." I have no response, I agree, all the ceasefires did not last long. I do not know enough about Mr. Abbas to say whether he will be able to keep his side of the agreement. He does not have full control over Palestine. Chances may be slim for a complete peace even though Ariel Sharon has put a lot of work into peace efforts and Abbas has fine intentions. It is good news that Abbas has begun his leadership by posturing for peace. But it's hard to tell what may come.
I would also point out that neither leader mentioned the word "ceasefire." This could be a bad sign: neither is willing to fully commit. But it could be a good sign as well: both realize the danger of speaking too soon and take that seriously. Both know that certain factions will not immediately go along with them and so they do not commit all at once. There are times when good things must be achieved slowly, and consent gained gradually. This is one of those times. It will be interesting to watch this issue as it progresses (or goes the other way, for all I know).
I know it may not last, but I propose to hope. To hope until there is no reason left for hope, and then to hope some more. Many have prayed for peace in Israel and Palestine, and many have pointed fingers and argued over the years. That does not mean nothing will ever change.
In conclusion: "the day was filled with the symbolism of renewed hopes, as the Israeli and Palestinian leaders sat at a large round table with their host, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Jordan's King Abdullah II. In the hall, the Israeli flag was displayed next to the Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestinian flags, Israeli spokesmen spun their messages on Egyptian and Arab television stations and both Egypt and Jordan announced that they would soon return their ambassadors to Israel." (NY Times article)
I have a test on Friday, and it's a difficult one. Time to study.