"Munib al-Masri wears a finely tailored suit, speaks elegant English, and likes to kiss the hand of a lady when he bids he farewell, and somehow manages to do so without seeming chauvinist or dated," she says. " He told her that he's rarely slept more than four hours a day, so he feels he's already lived two lifetimes.
" 'If I were smart, I'd live in Tuscany now,' he joked with me when we met last week. Having made more than he needs, he acknowledged, he'd intended to retire by now. But that was before the Palestinian-Israeli peace process fell apart. "
The violent split within Palestinian society last summer was for him the final sign that he still had a lot of work to do. "If Gaza is detached from the West Bank, my dream is shattered. I want to see a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as both capitals, and I'm in a hurry." His kids, he says, laugh at him. "My children think I'm the biggest liar, because every year I tell them, soon. In two more years we'll have a Palestinian state."
â€“ David Clark Scott