“ There are no instructions for you”
Answer of a senior diplomat to his driver
who drove him from Tripoli to Tunis
when the conflict started in February
“The experience of migrant or diasporic people is
central to contemporary societies”
Samuel, originally from Ethiopia, would enthusiastically introduce us to people working in different embassies who joined mass at the Greek Orthodox church of St.George at Medina-the old city of Tripoli. However, no one came forward to help him beyond protocol when he required them. As there were no instructions for him, he did what he thought best-He drove back to Tripoli and weathered the storm.
As I get ready for another long walk, for things which I could not do due to being caught in the conflict, no-fly zone, I look back at these 8 months. I packed and unpacked my library three times. Now it lies packed..18 big boxes full of books, journals, notes, photographs.Some things I have gifted away to well wishers whom I think will understand the meaning of these things.
Remembered another such occasion of packing and unpacking
On the third day of the Tripoli uprising, I saw a mild-mannered but very courageous colleague of mine, a surgeon and teacher, walk along the yet deserted roads. “There is some trouble at the Ras-Hassan crossing.Do not go in that direction,” he told me, while busying himself with patients. For over a month, ever since August 20 uprising of Tripoli, he has rendered free service to all those who came, and he does not want to be named for it. I took him to my house and told him to select a painting as a momento. He walked across the many varied framed compositions, ranging from Company period of Indian art to Impressionists of France, Cubism, Surrealism and other art movements and then settled down for a painting of Charles Frederick de Brocktorff depicting a Library
I was inwardly happy, that he made this choice…