Sophia's Peace Work

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

My good buddy David Enders has arrived in Jerusalem from Iraq (via Jordan). I used to visit David and his assorted flatmates at their hotel on Arasat Street in Baghdad everyday. I lost my favorite translator to the boy! I say boy because David looks far too young to be doing what he's doing - working as a freelance journalist in a war zone. A good friend of David's who I met when I was in Iraq is James Brandon, the British freelance journalist who has been reporting for the Christian Science Monitor. James was in the news recently for having been kidnapped by Sadr's Mahdi Army guys in Basra. He was held long enough for the kidnappers to film and release their video ultimatum to the press (essentially U.S. leaves Najaf or the Brit bites it!). David spent some tense hours on the phone with friends in Iraq trying to get more information and figure out a way to help his friend. Fortunately soon after the video was released, Sadr called for his release and James is now in Kuwait (a little roughed up after a failed escape attempt but he's fine and heading for home). You can go to David's weblog and get the full skinny.

David's come to Palestine to interview Huwaida Araf, a founding member of the International Solidarity Movement (I almost decided to spend my time in Palestine volunteering with them but because of my familiarity with the Christian Peacemaker Team in Iraq, I came to work with their team in Hebron).

I had to smile when David told me his second assignment. David is a contributing writer to HIGH TIMES and he intends to try and interview the Hilltop Youth. Hard-core Settler youth that are known for setting up outpost and hanging out on hilltops, getting high and taking potshots at Palestinians. With his easy-going "Hey man, what's happenin'?" he might just swing that interview, which will be a very interesting read!

Anyway, I spent the day with David in Jerusalem and he took this picture of me at the Dome of the Rock in the Old City.


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