Phase Three: Faded

Back in Zababdeh - it feels great, and yet strange, to be "home" again. I've spent most of today visiting and being visited. My first impression of town has become a local legend already. Walking down the street, I saw a faded picture of a friend of mine on the wall of a building. When I was living here, the only time that I saw such pictures was when someone had become a shaheed - a martyr. Naturally, I assumed this was the case. Then another friend of mine, on another wall: another martyr. Then another, and yet another. I began to wonder what had happened to this town since I left it!

Finally, I saw the picture of the town's former mayor. It was then, finally, that I understood: these were candidates for the municipal elections, people running for the town council.

In some ways, it seems that the cult of martyrdom has given way to the cult of democracy. But if the pictures tell us anything, both are fading quickly.