Oh, but once I'm at it, I can't help saying something about Arafat. We watched the footage of him in his pajamas in disbelief. I love the bit where he tries to kiss the hand of the Egyptian doctor to his right, and when the doctor notices, he rapidly pulls Arafat's hand towards his own mouth. At first it embarrassed me, but after watching it a few times, it won me over.
You have to admit he has charm, even critically ill, probably dying, ugly as sin, looking like one of Snow White's seven dwarfs.
It gives an idea of the enormous cultural differences. Can you imagine any western leader, even on his or her deathbed, allowing anyone to film him or her dressed like Noddy*? They'd rather just die there and then. And no one would dream of taking his photo like that without his consent, even if he or she couldn't decide for himself. Pride seems to take on different manifestations for different peoples.
Then again, that's his thing, isn't it? Popular leader, close to his people. It's fitting that he should look like an Egyptian Fallah. That's why they love him.
Everyone here is talking about what will happen the day after. We'll just have to wait and see, won't we? I'll make do with my inner reaction to the physical image, which, it appears, has given me ample food for thought.
*Dave, Noddy/Arafat would be a good 'separated at birth', don't you think? But I'll leave that to you, dear. I'm trying hard to be reverant and respectful to my neighbors here.
Afterthought: Another one that comes to mind would be Suha and Yasser/Miss Piggy and Kermit. Teehee.