Thinking of Amir Again

I was thinking of Amir again because his English yarzheit is coming up soon on March 25. I saw a story in the Jewish Press about some nice Jewish teenage boys in Israel who were killed in a car accident, and I thought of Amir of course. I was very sad.

Throughout my joys and sorrows in the past year Amir has been with me in my thoughts and hopes and sometimes even in my dreams. I miss him still and always will. My heart still breaks for his mother Sara and for his sister Shoshana and brother Uri and all his friends and family. Their loss is inconsolable and unimagineable.

I had been thinking of Amir because I’m going to a Jewish social action meeting tonight here in New York. I know his spirit will be with me there as we discuss how to tackle the myriad difficult social issues facing our city and what our small Jewish community can contribute toward solving them.

I thought of Amir in a very unexpected context this morning also. I was up surfing the web to do research on the Iraqi democracy struggle and the emerging Lebanese democracy movement. I found many moving young male and female bloggers who were dreaming and acting for freedom in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iran.

Then I stumbled across a Saudi blogger who reminded me of Amir. His blog name was Saudi Jeans. He was a 21 year old IT manager named Ahmed. Among one of his many postings was a salute to the Kuwaiti women who were protesting to demand the right to vote and a link to pictures of their protest.

The cultural gap between Jews and Saudi Arabia is about as big as it gets. In Saudi Arabia Jews aren’t even allowed to VISIT the kingdom by law. Men and women are not allowed to interact AT ALL. But still you see that many young Arab men and women share the universal human dream of freedom.

Amir always told me that computers were the wave of the future. And he realized much more than I ever did how much computers could improve human life. Now computers are expanding the possibility for human freedom, self-expression, and democracy in the Arab world in ways that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams.