Tímea Szabó is younger than me.
Fine, there are plenty of people who are younger than me, and I’m determined not to let that fact get me down. Besides, that’s not the salient point here. Tímea Szabó’s age merely comes into the equation because she seems to have crammed enough for two into her lifetime. That thought, in turn, leads us to a related area.
Let’s start at the beginning…she was born in 1976 and graduated with a degree in communication from the University of Szeged in 2001. Fine. So far, so plausible. It’s what happens next which does seem to suggest an unmentioned ability to control time and space. She claims that she began work, reporting on Hungary, as a correspondent for various British and American newspapers in 1995. She also worked for various news agencies. Aged 19, this woman was already a journalist? Crikey! Then, having completed her degree in communication, she attended Harvard Law School.
WHAT? EH? WHATDIDYOUJUSTSAY?
Yes, she popped out of Szeged Uni, with the ink on her communication degree still wet, and was welcomed with open arms by the Law professors of Harvard!
A few minutes after plonking her cases down in student digs at Harvard, she joined a research programme. Then, with the sort of wizardry that Merlin would have stood open-mouthed at, she was made research manager of the programme.
If this story doesn’t have Netflix executives reaching for their cheque books, then the world really has changed.
The research programme she was now running, the one where seconds before she’d been a mere worker before her talent shone through the clouds and the bosses had a revelation, was run under the auspices of the United Nations. As a result, our intrepid heroine, having commanded her very own research team, then took the next logical step and began working for the International Rescue Committee in Pakistan, continuing her research fresh from Harvard, working in a refugee camp for Afghans.
The next stage of her extraordinary career is off the map: having returned to the USA a week before the September 11th attacks of 2001, she continued her research concerned with the peaceful resolution of the Afghan conflict.
Yes, you did read that sentence correctly:
Szabó Tímea was tasked with bringing peace to Afghanistan.
Don’t sell yourself short, kids! Aim high, like Timi!
At this point, presumably Timi experienced disappointment for the first time. As you can probably guess, for the first time in her life, something didn’t work out, and as a direct result, Afghanistan still isn’t the peaceful place Timi wanted it to be.
Still, casting that disappointment off like an old, ragged burka, Timi returned to Hungary, this time to join the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. I need hardly say that her talents were recognised from the start: she was in charge of the refugee programme for the next four years. Then she became an MP, first for LMP, and then, as at present, for Párbeszéd.
Now, all this is fine and groovy, but there is, as I suggested initially, an idea that something’s out of sync. The answer for that may be found here:
Look at what this woman is capable of. On the one hand, a woman who answers questions about the difficulties that women face in a calm, collected manner, highlighting that a perpetual search for enemies will never bring anything but grief:
"Who are women’s biggest enemies: men, institutions or themselves?"
"Neither. No one is the enemy of women on purpose. It’s outdated systems, mentalities and traditions that we need to change. Old privileges need to be dismantled. If we look for enemies instead of educating society, we will never succeed."
See? A perfectly civil reply to a question. No frothing at the mouth, no histrionics.
Now, think about what happens when she gets a bee in her bonnet. This tends to happen when she enters parliament, or thinks about anything connected to Hungarian politics, in Hungarian.
What can be said about her? Well, she certainly undergoes a transformation of sorts. Courtesy, politeness, respect for colleagues, respect for your elders? These are all things that instantly fall victim to the werewolf-like demeanour that takes over. Think about the terms she used when speaking of Dr Miklós Kásler:
Miklós Kásler, for the record, is not only the incumbent Minister of Human Resources, but is also an oncologist, a professor, and the director of the National Institute of Oncology. He was the head doctor of the head and neck surgical department at the National Institute of Oncology. Not, that is NOT a butcher. Where did she find the utter gall to say such a thing?
Timi’s gall was once more on display when she accosted the chief medical officer, Cecília Müller in parliament. This is the same chief medical officer who Szabó dismissed as a “clown” last year, stating that in order to stop the clowning around, it was necessary to get rid of both the Minister of Human Resources, Kásler and the chief medical officer, Müller.
Can I just point out that irrespective of the fact that Timi’s CV is an outstanding piece of work, and ignoring the fact that she probably, for reasons of modesty, left out the part about her ex-husband being a member of a political party which was the her political polar opposite, both Kásler and Müller got where they are today as a result of hard work, perseverance, and being the best for the job.
I think we can see what the problem is, can’t we? Yes, she’s suffering from schizophrenia! The very condition which explains how she managed to achieve such greatness in such a short space of time, leaping from success to success like a goat in the Alps, before coming a cropper on the slippery slopes of Afghanistan where the world and his wife have tried, and failed (repeatedly), to achieve anything of note. She’s got (at least) twice the person inside her bonce as a normal person does!
It’s so simple when you think of it!
That said...word to the wise: if you do bump into her, if you don’t want to suffer the slings and arrows of Timi’s wrath, it’s probably a good idea to stick to English: the Anglo-Saxon side of her seems to be a tad more polite.