Havana Red Sulphur, part 1


One year later, a piece on Cuban Arabs, a phantom conference in Havana, and the death of Fidel:

Very early morning at JFK on Nov. 23, 2016. My eyes were burning and my mind was a toxic cloud of news and analysis of the recent US elections. CNN chatter penetrated from a distant television: Nazi salutes in a Washington hotel, rubber bullets at Standing Rock, Flynn and Giuliani and Bannon and Sessions.

I had answered a call for submissions from the 16th Annual International Conference on Islamic Philosophy and Mysticism, to be held at the Melia Cohiba Hotel in Havana. Suggested topics included Islamic ethics, theology and kalam, Averroism and Sufi metaphysics. I had been writing about the Andalusian visionary Ibn Arabi, his ideas of primal matter. I was going to talk about dust struck by light, subtle fluctuations within divisibility by zero.

The full letter: