Over the last few months I have got to know a man called Doug. He is a being of peculiar habits and of most irregular comings and goings.
You will find him smoking shisha by the dead sea, reminiscing about the time he almost solved the Palestine-Israel conflict whilst fishing for giant tuna in the River Jordan. Something to do with the correct use of floats, weights and leverage.
A copy of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea can be seen poking out of his back pocket. Translated into arabic of course, with footnotes in farsi and page numbers in hebrew.
He may be fictional, but at some level he is part of everyone. Especially to those who have ever found themselves thinking how god dam awesome life is.
If Doug was an arabic verb form he would be 10, the form of seeking something. Istdawaga.استدوغ if you will.
After spending 5 years travelling as part of an extended gap year in search of Ibn-Batutah’s lost diaries, he enrolled in the University of Jordan for a degree in Applied Orientalism. He would eventually graduate with a distinction in Diplomatic Immunity and a special mention for his work on the hidden verb forms. (20-25).
Now working as a water-colourist at the embassy of South-Carolina, Doug spends most of his time promoting the art of sustainable taxidermy in refugee camps. Otherwise you can find him standing in the Roman theatre gazing at the citadel with a vacant expression, glazed eyes and drool hanging precariously from his open mouth.
Like many students of arabic, Doug initially intended on becoming a UN representative at the Department of Solving Everything in the Middle East. But after a summer internship at Google Translate, the director (a Mr Hans Wehr) told him bluntly that the meaning is out there in the real world, and only Doug can find it .
Currently on sick-leave due to the emotional stress caused by caring too much about the worlds’ problems. Doug has been working free-lance against ISIS from his iPad in a slick café in downtown Amman.
For, as well as being the Good Will Ambassador to Gaza, he was recently appointed Comedy Attaché to Iraqi Kurdistan.
Some projects he did the corporate PR for:
Say what you like about ISIS, but you can’t fault their animal husbandry
ISIS even milk male goats
Doug will be available for comments at a live, vegan hair-braiding session later this month.