Noam Chomsky is a man of many different hats. He's a Professor of Linguistics at MIT but he's probably better known worldwide for his incisive criticism of big media and US foreign policy (although not necessarily in that order).
Now he's wearing yet another hat as co-president (with former Tyrone player Peter Canavan) of the new GAA club in Gaza.
Yes, that Gaza.
A story in today's Irish Examiner tells how Chomsky and Canavan are the honorary co-presidents of the team set up by Irish activist John Hurson.
Apparently Chomsky got involved after visiting Ireland last year and being introduced to Hurson.
Chomsky said he was honored to be asked. “It is indeed a great honour to be asked to become involved with the Gaza GAA club, and with its deep community spirit, the GAA will bring a rich reward to the people in Gaza,” Chomsky said. “I feel very privileged to be part of such an incredible organisation."
Hurson tells the Examiner: "The 10 year-olds here are the same as the 10 year-olds in Ireland. Every child loves to play football, to play outdoors with their mates, but in Gaza, because of the siege, people can’t get provisions in and out.
"That includes vital stuff and simple things like footballs. Football may as well be banned in Gaza — so children can’t do that most basic of things, play ball together."
Hurson joined the recent "Viva Palestina" convoy to Gaza which saw GAA footballs, goalposts and jerseys take their place in the convoy which was primarily made up of vital medical equipment.
Hurson says he knows the football gear is not as important as the medical supplies. But still.
"By bringing Gaelic football to people in Gaza, they know they are part of and connected to a 1 million strong organisation that cares about them."