December 14, 2010


"My brother is happy?"

I look at Jamal and think back to the last time I saw his brother. Cold, depressed and lonely. Chain-smoking in his tiny Montreal apartment, sipping tea and staring into space. Telling me how tired he is. Tired of living in such a violent country. "Canada," he told me one day through squinted eyes and smoke rings, "is full of violent cowards. People believe they are gentle, but they attack in quiet ways. They use their intellect, their knowledge, always trying to prove they are smarter, more important. The man with no ego is the gentle man. Canada is a land of civilized barbarians"

--From Honeymoon in Purdah, by Alison Wearing, about traveling in Iran.

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