I love Jimmy Carter with all my might. And the letter I wrote him wasn't cranky - it was beseeching. It is as follows:
Dear President Carter,
As you know, social media
now allows people from around the world to get to know each other without
having to travel to a foreign continent.
It is through Facebook that I met cartoonist Majed Badra from Gaza, Palestine.
I, too, am an artist, and as
I got to know a bit about Majed and his art, I saw a young man with a gift for
expression through images.
I write you because earlier this year, Majed was
invited by the State Department to be part of an International Visitor program
for political cartoonists from the Middle East and South Asia. Majed’s dream to visit the US and meet
fellow artists had come true. But
his visa was rescinded at the eleventh hour by the US consul’s office. The reason was that some of the
cartoons on his website were “anti-Semitic and extremely objectionable.”
Majed’s art has been
misinterpreted. His work is not anti-Semitic or anti-Jewish. His work does address Israeli
occupation and extremist settlers.
He lives in a harsh world, and it is the responsibility of artists to
give shape to what is troubling – and beautiful – in the world.
As Majed says, “I just
wanted to express that I'm against the Israeli occupation, settlements,
killing, siege and injustice, and how much we want democracy, human rights, freedom
and two states solution,” he said via Skype. “I'm open-minded, and I carry all
the respect to people in the world regardless of their gender, religion, race
Majed would like to study
art here in the US. There are two
impediments. The first is the visa
situation. The second is finding a
scholarship to fund his education.
I hope that you are able to
point him toward an organization that can help him visit and study in
With much gratitude and great
I have not heard back.