Dr. Salmi: The Hazy Lines of the Desert !!

Reading between the lines is a special art that needs the sixth sense to guess of what is untold, what is hidden deep behind the words, but the more important is to reconstruct (after deconstructing the elements into its basic particles) the full panoramic scene out of the snatches.

This is exactly what bewilders me when looking at the peaceful scene of the yellowish face of the beautiful desert in a sunny morning. Looking at the charming beauty of the desert, you would notice that its face is contoured with consecutive lines of the extensive horizon of dunes; brownish, yellowish, silver and even dark lines of intermingling dunes. These lines are tricky that the dunes are moving, creeping gradually to give the place to new born ones, and this is exactly why the Bedouins don’t trust the facial features, but follow the stars or the scars, that scars can tell the deep history of the face, the natural face or the face of nature !!

Photo by: Selmy Sawarkeh
Fascinated by the virgin natural beauty, I would stare into these lines to forget the outer features and dive into the smaller and thinner lines of a finger size as the soft wind blows the sand moving them restlessly and endlessly to form new creeping lines in an everlasting march toward the sea. Looking more closely into these tiny lines you would see the flying particles of the golden sand, coming closer to see clearly, you would fall in the trap and the particles would get into your eyes, and instead of seeing clearly you would fall into the hazy vision course of sand particles and tears. To look back into the narrow horizon of your eyes, you would see the mirage running clean, silver water inviting you to have an eternal dive into the lines, the colorful charming lines of the whole yellowish scene of the tricky desert.

We have lots of lines here in Palestine, the Green Line, the Red Line, the snaky line of the Apartheid Wall, the blue line, the borderline (though the Zionists never had fixed borderlines, as their final lines to be drown by their army, as Ben-Gurion said once). So lines can be shaped and reshaped, drawn and redrawn as the Zionist occupation has almost omitted the natural lines of the desert to draw the racist line of its unattainable “pure” Jewish state for the “chosen people”.

The tricky lines of Dr. Ralph Salmi (which is the only name I would mention here) are far more complicated to track and re-weave them into a clear Persian carpet, that the start of this “brave” man was in Persia, the Islamic Republic of Iran now. I never met nor would ever like to meet this “great” American professor, but the bizarre stories I heard of him made me to try to collect these lines and draw a full picture, that my mind cant really trust separate lines…. someone can help me and google this name as I never did?

The first time I ever heard of this man was from my classmate as he said in a hushing voice as if he was revealing a secret and didn’t want anybody to hear: “Ralph Salmi is our professor back home, he escaped out of Iran when the Islamic revolution broke out.” That boy was talking of Mr. Salmi as if a little child admiring his brave father as he added: “Dr. Salmi is a great thinker, he’s the most prominent professor at our university, in California !!”

This boy amazed me with his vast geographical knowledge; if you asked him of any country in the world (specially in the Middle East), he would instantly tell you the details of the details, history, population, ethnicities’ percentage, agriculture. main industries..etc. It seemed to me that he had swallowed thousands of books before he came to amaze my primitive Bedouin mind. Later, after we graduated, he left back home to have his Master degree in Politics and came back to the Middle East to get married to a Christian Lebanese girl to work as a journalist with..with… the hell how could I know. But still I am surprised with the hectic pace he travels with like a swift bird that never land on any tree from Lebanon-Syria-Kuwait-Iraq as his “job” needed.

The second time I heard of Salmi was one year later; a little shy girl asked me as I mentioned his name: “Ah, you know Dr. Salmi?” “I heard of that great professor through his delegates to our university.” I said explaining. “Oh, yah. Dr. Salmi is responsible for the whole program in the Middle East. He’s a fascinating mentality, He says that all the American wars against the Arab communist parties were a waste of time, we should have fought Islam from the very beginning.” as he is recruiting muslim “scholars” to study Islam from within to be easy to fight it from within and without !!

This girl surprised me as she almost followed the very steps of Dr. Salmi; she fell in love with an Engineering student from Gaza, they got married, lived a few months in the States (to brainwash the Gazan guy) to come back to dwell in Gaza for two years. As Dr. Salmi ran away from Iran in the very last moment (and was considered brave for this) this girl fled at the very last moment from Gaza when Hamas took over the Strip. I knew of this by the very mere chance; in the Zionist jail, I met a guy from a refugee camp in Gaza and asked him of that engineering student who is married to an American “shy” girl. He was astonished and skeptical and asked in amazement: “how do you know these people?”. I told him of my university story then he told me the details of their story. “We knew of them from the very beginning, they were chasing our cadres and collecting logistic information… they fled at the last moment !!”… and I remembered Dr. Salmi who fled from Iran at the very last moment !!

A drunkard old (but sweet) woman gave me the third line (sorry, the third story) of that great professor delegating “students” to the whole Middle East. “Professor Salmi came here to your university, last year, didn’t you see him?” she asked me, but was disappointed to my reply: “No, I didn’t know!”, “This great man is our family friend, he’s my husband old friend and always come to visit us at our villa.”

This woman, as far as I know, is in Afghanistan now !! What is she doing there? I am trying to collect the lines, not the desert lines but the tricky lines of the American delegates… probably she’s in a Christian “humanitarian” mission !! Christian? How come? But she is drunk all the time.

This old (but sweet) woman, once revealed a secret to me. She was buzzed and probably out of jealousy from her beautiful young mate who was attracting the whole guys to chat with her in the parties: “That girl is a zionist, all her fees are covered by the AIPAC!!” I didn’t reply but still respect and like that old but sweet woman that a year later she recommended a guy (who was coming at our side) to contact me as she told him: “I trust that bedouin for my daughter” !

Another story of a sweet girl that I loved in my last year at the University, but hated her later (and dont ask me why)…. Why should I remember? What Sudan and Dar-Fur has to do with this stunning girl? Why should I tell of her story, anyway.

The misty mishmash of the stories is intermingling in my exhausted mind, the same as I am dazing in the hazy lines of the desert …. Shall I deconstruct this whole mishmash and rebuild a new story of “peace” and “forgiveness”? The peaceful desert is no longer peaceful as its original lines were omitted by the steps of these “peaceful” delegates of the great Mr. (professor, Dr. or just) Ralph Salmi who I would never like to meet nor to see his delegates (sorry, I mean his agents) in our desert.

Sami, the bedouin

35 thoughts on “Dr. Salmi: The Hazy Lines of the Desert !!

  1. Sami: Sometimes you write so well that it truly amazes me.
    I loved this paragraph:
    “We have lots of lines here in Palestine, the Green Line, the Red Line, the snaky line of the Apartheid Wall, the blue line, the borderline (though the Zionists never had fixed borderlines, as their final lines to be drAwn by their army, as Ben-Gurion once said). So lines can be shaped and reshaped, drawn and redrawn as the Zionist occupation has almost omitted the natural lines of the desert to draw the racist line of its unattainable “pure” Jewish state for the “chosen people”.

    It is the first time I have heard of ‘Dr. Ralph Salmi’. Seems like he has created a bunch of spies, mostly women, to follow in his steps. And women spies, as you know too well, are both beautiful and deadly to lure men, especially those in powerful positions, to lure into their traps.
    Oh my gosh! You can be so humorous at times, like when you mention that drunken ‘Christian’ woman in Afghanistan ;)) She certainly travels fast even though she is in an intoxicated state! Ha! Ha!
    In the beginning I thought the article was all about the desert and how it plays tricks on you with its moving lines and mirages. However, the lines turned out to be trickier with all those sweet and not-so-sweet spies.
    Kudos to you my Bedouin friend for a beautiful piece of writing. Keep it up! The same goes for Selmy for his beautiful snapshot of a glistening desert.
    I would love to visit you people someday so that you can show me around. :))
    All the best.

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    1. Thanks Mohsin,
      You are welcome anytime dear… my home is yours and aopen for you !!
      That’s me and my “way with words” as some tell me… I cant but to reveal the hypocrisy of some people who pretend helping Islam and muslims, pretend they delegate friends to the Middle east, but they actually fight Islam and were the first ti call for fighting Islam and Muslims !!

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      1. Like Mohsin I have to say Sami that was a lovely bit of text and a great set of textural connections. And Selmy photo is absolutely amazing. It looks like it was taken from a hot air balloon.

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  2. Dearest brother Sami
    You have astonishing and mesmerizing skills for writing that overwhelms the reader….The way the article started, the way it commenced and the way it ended is all commendable.You did not leave any loopholes and that is simply awesome.May you and the Land of Dignity,Promise and honor be blessed now and forever Ameen!

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  3. wow..such an amazing piece of writing which brainstormed all mine …Its construction is like highly refined bridges with particular details..Its words are amazingly perfectly carved …its ideas are so creative that they embody the whole matter into a graphic sense of description ….The overall sounds like a wonderful portrait charged with life and motion …
    Sami The-Beduin…YOU ARE A WRITER OF genious…

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  4. A PERFECTLY PRESERVED WORLD LIES BENEATH THE SANDS WHICH WERE ONCE OCEANS AWAITIN THE NEXT CATASTROPHE TO UNCOVER!!! LIKE PETRA JORDAN???

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  5. Sami: Your ‘primitive’ ?? Bedouin mind glows like a candle in the darkness. How dispiriting to find that someone you had admired turned out to be so evil. But you are not dispirited, you keep fighting on with your marvellous writing, alerting the world to the evils perpetuated by the occupiers. xxmaggie

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  6. The earth changes. Few notice. I see the lines of people of ancient times. Fluid and flowing as the creation intended. Following the nature of their desire.
    Then in came the dust and the sands. Blinding us to reality. Claiming to be “god’s chosen” and blinding the people so deep they fell asleep. In their sleep they were drugged to settle and take over. The cold towers of humanity make borders and prison some in and others out. Those towers will crumble and again the sands will flow.

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  7. Sami,
    Reading this piece it was exactly what I expected after having you as a facebook friend for a while now and in fact meeting you in another forum. I love how this piece both shows a window into the very landscape that has helped define you, but how you use that inspiration as a tool to tell this story. I think rather than the image of the Afghani woman, the lovely young girl who you onced loved (which is in itself a vast story untold that we only got a very tempting glimpse into) or Dr Salmi, the main character of this piece was the desert. And in reading it, I see you as part of it… yourself one of those grains of sand melting into the landscape. It not only reminds me of the dynamic nature of humanity, but the unity as well and our relationship to the earth in which we all share, convincing ourselves somehow that we’re all on very different planets. Sometimes I think if we could build walls to protect what we covet (although it’s already ours we still want to keep it all for ourselves), we would… maybe someday I’ll build a wall around the fir trees and ice caps of the arctic circle… or maybe I’ll come knocking on your wall door. Always wanted to know what the desert was like… 🙂 Great piece Sami

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    1. Thanks Stacy…. It is just my mishmashed story as a bedouin…. but, we bedouins tend to look back into the desert wherever we go… and probably, might be able to see what lots of others (who are taken by the hectic cycle of life) cant see !!

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  8. Asalamu alaikum Sami,
    This is absolutely beautiful and heart wrenching all at once. I discovered your work quite by chance through a friend from Italy. Your writing captivates me, and I realize that this will be one of my favorite meetings of chance for all times. After this I am speechless, because I cannot put in to words, all that my soul feels for the peoples of Palestine, nor do I need to. When I see your words…that is more than sufficient for me. I will continue to spread teachings here in the USA of the atrocities that are being inflicted, and Insha Allah…. one day the lives people of Palestine will be as they wish for themselves once again. So many times for this paragraph, I write, then delete, then write again, then delete…. You say what I feel , better than I ever could, your writing, your soul, is beautiful despite the corruption around you…. To say I have lost many nights of sleep after having gained knowledge of Palestine is nothing, I want the world to lose sleep for Palestine.
    Jazak Allahu khair,

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    1. Thanks a lot Fatima for your sincere words … I too, sometimes feel speechless when true words touch my heart and then I feel that my words are heard in the very far distance and has a bit of echo in the open hearts and minds…
      thanks again dear.

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  9. Yes, dear Sami, your writing style is – amazing! But thank you for sharing your clear vision of character and the warning! So many plants are abroad and always there is fishing for more Arabs who will sell their souls to the the Z’s. Sometimes I see them fishing! and the young ones who “want peace” are too naive’ and are used!

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  10. Oh ..I know ..,why we Persians and all Iranians ..are so found of real ggoooodd arabs ,their culture ,language ,tradition, manners , music..,civilization..and ..and sincerity ..kindness.., generousity ..passion ..and compassion ..!! VIVA all Good Arabs ..!!

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  11. ..SAMI ..you and your friends ..have so much in common with all of us ..from the MIDDLE EAST ..!! You and we ..are so different ..and have almost nothing in common ..with THOSE BIG KIDS of ASHKENAZI and KHAZARI ..and all the ZIONISTS ..!! They claim to be SAMI ..and ..from the Middle East ..and be the owner of PALESTINE (and the whole World ..) ..!!.. HOW COME and why you (we) deny them ..?? They belong to the deepest thinkers ..and the most innovative folks on this earth ..!! ..They think and innovate ..BOMBS (Alfred Nobel) ..,Weapon Industry .. Wars ..,LIES .., Banks .., Cheating ,Plundering .., Decieving children and young people to join their army ..and become true KILLERS ….!! Please ,do not expect more Innovations ..!! That,s enough to rule the World ..!! Don,t we think so ..?? Or we want to remain ARAB ,PERSIAN ,BEDUIN ..yet ..??

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  12. Greetings! Thanks for the head’s up on someone I know as Ralph, ever since he and I took the GRE for entrance into UC Riverside’s Political Science department back in the 70s: he was coming in from CIA about the same time Chris Boyce tried to enter from KGB. I missed being a classmate of Boyce by a year, came in right behind him, but I was a classmate of Ralph’s, and as he went on to become a specialist on terrorism at my other alma mater, CSUSB, I went on to do other things to fight against Ralph’s former employer, which I still do.

    I didn’t know that Ralph opined that the US was wrong to wage the Cold War in the Middle East: what I’m wondering is if he can be persuaded to help prevent Cold War 2.0. I do know he speaks Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Kurdish, and who knows what other Middle Eastern languages; I do know that he helped CIA set up CSU-ACE at CSUSB, a programme to develop intelligence analysts (not case officers, who are trained at “The Farm,” Camp Peary, Virginia) out of the National Security Studies minor, which has faded from public view. He’s a former case officer now firmly on the analytic side of things: I just met a neighbour of his, but he’s kinda shy to meet with me, understandably! I am available to meet, however, and it will be interesting to see how things work out. Thanks!

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