In order that many of you do not come to the conclusion that I am a raging xenophobe, I would like to qualify some of my earlier statements, from this rock overlooking the Andaman sea.
I was born into poverty, to a single mother who married an arab. For 9 years of my upbringing my family were practising muslims. We regularly visited my stepfather’s village in the eastern mountains of Tunisia. Those are to this day some of my most treasured and formative memories, because they set me free.
What I experienced on embarking upon this asian trail has been similar every day to the sense of freedom I felt on those early journeys.
I myself am an immigrant, a migrant worker who plies the trade of controlled violence. The only woman I have ever loved is half Thai. I have embraced the language and customs of this nation, because I never felt at home in my own.
I have always tried to live my life unfettered by greed or avarice. To search for repose in the foregoing of material wealth and comfort. To use logic and reason to come to my conclusions about the external world, never to surrender to fear or superstition. Never to avoid hardship or solitude, so long as I may experience the wonders this world has to offer to those with an open heart – and mind.
The beauty of the natural world should be revered as we are born from it and it sustains us. Cities are the centres of decay from which the world deteriorates around us. Traffic cannot be the peak of human civilisation… What is left for us should be preserved at all cost, for our children. Yet this is far from the case.
It is not enough these days to have our lives and aspirations dictated to us by the very richest and most powerful in our societies. We must therefore challenge what it means to be an individual, alive in this pivotal an era. What depends on it are the rights of our children, and the quality of their lives.
Do not come to me and tell me I am “deluded”, or that I am filled with bitterness and conceit, when I have foregone all things in the search for truth.