Sometimes, when we dream, we dream of simple things, of innocence and sanctuary, order and more likely than not, peace. Then waking, for a few blissful moments whilst limbs prepare for gravity, lips for kissing, speaking, tasting and hearts swell with refreshed blood, our eyes wink, blink, tinker with shapes drawn in the folds of sheets and shadows in the vista stretched across the ceiling.
Throughout this primaeval awakening, the mind often remains in dreams.
My dream was of a fresh-faced new order, a scrubbed and dusted world where everyone rested every seventh day and debts were cancelled every seventh year. Spiritual, not material, values were at the heart of society. In my dream, we fought poverty, pursued justice for everyone and treated everyone decently. In my dream, we cared for the widow, the orphan and the stranger with dignity and grace.
Then I was in the Anti-Atlas of North Africa, my eyes pursuing rivulets, ridges and a broad almond valley down to rubble-strewn wasteland and onwards to soft, womanly desert. Suddenly, from nowhere I pictured my friend Mohammed and slowly remembered that he died in the autumn of ’75. He died protecting people that needed his help, an entire nation which was weaker than the might of an empire bent on destroying them for oil and rare earth deposits.
The people of Saharawi remain in exile to this day. Mohammed was nineteen years old.