Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shared Experience About Gaza

Abu Yazan on the first day of the massacre:

"That day I was walking in the street with a friend of mine in the middle of Gaza City…we were laughing at some jokes he was saying…and all of the sudden we heard the roaring of the Israeli F16s…It is normal in Gaza to hear such things, so we did not pay much attention to that, we kept moving with our jokes….Then with a glance, an explosion happened in a police station that was around 150 meters away from us.. We went running to the place when another explosion took place followed by a third, then a fourth, a fifth, we didn’t know what was happening but we didn’t hesitate to keep on going to the first place bombed…We had our hands over our ears because the explosions never ended, it was very loud to the limit you think that you are the one being hit with those rockets."

Read the rest here:

An article by the BNC concerning the two year anniversary.

2 Years Since the Horrors in Gaza

Searching through pictures of the Gaza massacre is about as fun as staring at Tzipi Livni's bearded face on Al-Jazeera TV. It reinvoked those helpless frustrated emotions in us, as we were glued to our screens unable to tear our eyes away at the horrors taking place 5o miles away from us. The fact that we couldn't even express solidarity with our fellow Palestinians was extremely difficult to stomach, to say the least, as any signs and protests expressing resistance were cruelly trampled upon by old man Abbass and his despicable legion of brainless yes men.

Israel's Operation Cast Lead has had at least one positive impact-the increasing awareness and activism carried out through the boycott, divestment, and sanctions committee all around the world. It managed to open up the eyes of citizens worldwide who finally came to terms-albeit 60 years late- with Israel's gruesome and horrifying policies against an occupied population, all at the expense of the more than a thousand innocent civilians killed, which includes over 4oo children. Convoys have been organized and sent, and some have succeeded whereas others were denied access. Now, two years on, Gaza remains what it was before the 08/09 invasion-simply forgotton about in the eyes of the international community and great upholders of human rights, such as the United Failtions. Now, more than ever, the people of Gaza are reliant on conscientious citizens to keep on notifying the world of the past and present injustices done to them and the terrorism they were subjected to by the great democratic state of Israel. Bastards Ehud Olmert, Ehud Barack, and Tzipi Livni are still walking around free, not being held accountable for the atrocities under their orders. Il dinya dawara-what goes around comes around.

22 days living in absolute trepidation while the silent eyes of the world simply looked on. This will never do, and hopefully-as the right wing nut cases are gaining more power in the Israeli government, threatening a future civil war-the Gaza massacre will have marked a crucial point in the demise of Israel as a brutal occupying force. Maybe then we can all enjoy our reparations.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Look Ma-I'm on Al-Jazeera!

This is quite spiffing. Or spiffy. And rather prodigious. And we'll leave it at that before we go all self-congratulatory like.

Merry Christmas!

It's been a long arduous week full of wedding preparations for one of us (her brother's) but we can finally work again on an excruciatingly slow internet connection.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hope this upcoming year will be full of liberating happiness and renewed resistanc. Wonder if Santa made it to the Holy Land this year or not. Anyhoo, enjoy your burbara and sinus opening smell of pine cones-we've certainly had our share of fun with Christmas lights and tinsels.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Good Shit

Like the true hipster he was, Bob Marley spawned about a dozen kids. Most of them went into the music business. We only care about one, a Mr Damian Marley. His collaborative effort with Nas- the album Distant Relatives-is pardon us, off the heeezaaay. Wallahi.

To adopt a pretentious aura, we like to think that this song is like the soundtrack of our lives. In fact, we have it all imagined out. Late afternoon, walking with our hoods up, down one street up another, the camera zooms in, we give a world weary yet cheeky brief look, before blackness descends.

Don't judge us.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Julian Assange Granted Bail

Confession here. We had a crush on his name, and now we think we have a crush on the man himself. Which is totally weird. Because he's like, the prototype of everything that goes against our exhausting list of what a man should look like. But there's something so sweet and so vulnerable in his childlike soft face we can't help but want to pet the TV screen whenever he shows up on there. Plus his hair is mad cool. Yeah.

Anyway, his bail was a whopping quarter of a million pounds, provided for by supporters. He spent ten days in solitary confinement in a Victorian cell which sounds highly unpleasant. He'll be back in court January 1st to fight against the non-existent evidence tying him to accusations of sexual assault on two Swedish women. Meanwhile he has to wear an electronic tag, observe strict curfew, and report to a police station on a daily basis.

Do we dare post something corny like "The truth shall set you free" and hope against all hope that this might actually come true? It's hard being optimistic about this, especially with the virulent US reaction who want to try sweet Julian for espionage and see nothing perverse in murdering him. Oh, that great upholding nation of freedom of speech and investigative journalism.

The Truth Will Always Win. His words not ours, so we're saved from the corniness.

University of Mass. Walk Out

This is the problem with devoting every waking minute of our time to exams. We miss out on cool stuff. Like this burnation? It happened over two weeks ago. But whatever, we're really buoyed by this. Following in the foot steps of Michigan State University and Arizona State University, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst staged a similar silent protest when former IDF solider Kenny Sachs arrived on their campus in an attempt to humanize the Israeli occupation.

"The Western Massachusetts Coalition for Palestine organized a protest in order to show our solidarity with all Palestinians and to call attention to the illegal occupation in Palestine. We are a unified collective of community organizers, faculty members, campus groups, and concerned citizens. We support the international call for a boycott, divest, and sanctions movement against Israel until they comply with international law to allow for Palestinian right of return.

We engaged in a silent walk-out in order to represent the voices of those who were murdered by the Israeli Defense Forces and not able to give their account of the occupation. The Western Mass Coalition for Palestine is an anti-Zionist, anti-racist, anti-colonization group who stands with the Palestinians until the occupation ends, the separation wall is torn down, and the apartheid state of Israel allows for Palestinian self-determination."

Thank you.

And this does seem trivial and unnecessary, but we are seriously wondering if the dude with the white beard didn't scream blue murder when he took his duct tape off of his mouth. Ouch.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Goodbye Moto!

Another spectacular flash dance pulled off! Just how adorable is 86 year old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein? We think she nailed the choreography way more than her younger counterparts.
Saint Lous Palestine Solidarity Campaign certainly know how to put one in a festive mood!

Ben Brown is a Gimp, Jody McIntyre is No Wimp

Our beloved man Jody McIntyre has been at the forefront of the London student protests, expressing along with thousands of others his strong disapproval-to put it mildly- of the increase in student tuition fees to up to nine thousand pounds annually. His ever excellent blog has covered the protests in detail, and now more than ever he has been at the center of the media light because of what happened during the last protest last week. Jody and his brother were in the front crowd in Parliament Square opposite a legion of armed police officers. The first completely unprovoked incident saw police officer KF963 strike Jody on the shoulder with a baton. The second incident initiated by KF963 was a four man attack on Jody as the commendable police officers dragged Jody off from his wheelchair about a hundred meters. Did we mention Jody has cerebral palsy? And that, as he so adequately put it himself, "Do you really think a person with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair can pose a threat to a police officer who is armed with weapons?" The disgusting despicable vermin who calls itself Ben Brown makes a very strong case for Douchebag of the Year Award with his highly accusatory questions, fascist tone, and rankling rude interruptions, but Jody is not surprised at all by the idiot's actions:
It just grates us how Brown insinuates that because Jody identifies himself as a "revolutionary" then that made it all the more justifiable for the police-scratch that, pigs- to assault him. A revolutionary is just a word, not a physical action, says Jody and everyone else with a brain. Reason seems to have departed permanently from Brown's vacuous mind as he angles for the victim of police brutality as a dangerous threat to the precious police whose role, might we needlessly add is obviously to protect the government and not its citizens.

But we applaud Jody for the great job he has done with dealing with those "embedded" journalists, here's another video where he owns those cretins.

Much love and respect ya zalameh! And don't worry, we won't be focusing on the horrible way you were treated, but to contextualize it as you said with the larger issue here which is of course the abominable increase of tuition fees.

"Just as I was unseated from my wheelchair I hope that every member of this government will also be unseated." WORD.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Original Jordanians Throw a Tantrum After They Lose Football Match

Ah, Jordan. That country whose leading Bedouin clan were all to ready to lap up some imperialistic lie that they were descended from the very same clan that Prophet Mohammad belonged to, and therefore justified into enthroning themselves in sagacious royalty.

Nowadays, saying something like how 80 percent of Jordan are Palestinians isn't that far fetched at all. But the resentment for Palestinians is quite strong, which leads to the joke of how Palestinian Jordanians hate Palestinian Palestinians. This is just another form of brainwash, at least to us. Jordan was scared that military action would emerge from the Palestinian refugee camps it had and so went on a quest to obliterate any form of resistance through any means possible. The result was for those brainwashed an embraceable whole new mother country, complete with full citizenship. Jordan's few tribes still lead and control the order, and of course they are not below the law at all meaning that they can get away with anything. They certainly don't want Palestinians to be integrated fully into their own sense of society, so a few laws or rights are missing from the life of the Palestinians lest they forget that they are in fact guests of a neighboring country and are allowed to live and build their lives purely from the good will of the previous King Hussein. Discrimination is alive and well. Beneath the normalcy of daily life tension simmers away, waiting for any excuse to boil over.

Such was the case on Friday over an innocent football match between rivals Wihdat and Faisali. The Wihdat team, named after the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan, are mostly made up of members who are of Palestinian origin as are their fans, whereas the Faisali team members and fans are of native Jordanian Bedouin tribes. The team is actually sponsored (read controlled) by the Adwan tribe. Wihdat won, beating Faisali 1-0 so naturally all hell broke loose because how DARE these Palestinians win over sacred ruling class blood? Fans attacked each other and many were injured, including policemen (who served up their own special brand of brutality against the Wihdat fans) after the wire fence separating fans from the pitch broke down. This isn't the first time fights between rival fans break out-last year the Faisali team chanted insults about Queen Rania-who is a Palestinian-and offered the King two wives from their own origin instead. What is with all the hating. Well we do get it, but what we mean is WHY, what's with all this pettiness about who's greater than who and intolerance and hatred and racism and bigotry-can't we all just get a bong?

Ugh. Jordanian ultra-nationalism.

Israel is a DEMOCRACY dammit!

Which is why hundreds of state appointed rabbis have signed a democratic letter and called on Jewish Israelis to refrain, nay to adamantly refuse renting real estate-either living or work accommodations- to Palestinians. Armed with religious nonsense, the rabbis have justified this act as a Jewish one, with biblical references mentioning the decrease of property values as a result of Mr Jew renting to Mr Arab. Wonder what else these Dan Brownesque biblical references include, something about the predictability of current stock markets?

International reaction? Zero. But if it were whites refusing to sell/rent property to blacks as was the case a few decades ago in the great US, then yes an uproar would be the least type of acknowledgement.

So, no really, we are trying to understand this belligerence. Ok, getting in the zone. Beards, bowler hats, long fingernails. Hello. We are rabid rabbis. No, not rabid, but something more euphemistic. Zealous rabbis. Who believe in some religious doctrine that dictates the superiority of one people over all other humans in the world. And that to defend that special feeling, we even more zealous. And make up laws and rules to suit our self interests, because it's all for the greater good. We cannot blame people for not being who we are, so we must rid their infiltrating presence because it serves to remind us that we did not settle on a land without a people. We are merely acting out God's will. God came to us in the form of a dogmatist enrobed in a white rose tinged flowing material and ordered us to do so. The Jews must feel protected and secure, therefore we must keep our promise to our brethren by...disregarding humanity and basic rights concerning the unchosen brown people? Sounds about right.

That was exhausting. How do these rabbis manage to live like that? Note, we are not lumping all Jews into one xenophobic spoon, we're way too educated for that. And of course these rabbis (which we have just spelt rabies accidentally for the 4th time) do not represent nor reflect the moral values of other humane Jews and rabbis. Every religion has its own batch of extremist wing nuts, but these rabies DAMMIT rabbis are municipal chief rabbis, not some comforting harmless religious figures. Oh, a few rabbis that have held on to reason refused to sign rabid letter yay, stating:
"There are things that should not be done; what if there would be a similar call in Berlin against renting properties to Jews? Where is the public conscience? What will this do to Jews around the world? We must act responsibly."
"This ruling is a serious distortion of the Torah, and contradicts basic human morality."
"...despite the Biblical prohibition 'Thou shalt not give them respite,' in a democratic state you cannot discriminate between citizens. What's more, it will cause discrimination against Jews in other countries."

Racist rabbis, this is for you-ka bam!

Overall, this is khrazy. And not too surprising. Because that's the only way Israel can be a Jewish democracy. And now our brains hurt for that incompatible sentence.

Right of Return Anniversary Sucks

December 13th- The impotent UN and its 194 Resolution have marked 62 years since its conception. The Right of Return looks as close to fruition as old man Abbass looks to dying, which given his deal with the devil is a heart wrenching never. Palestinian academic Ghada Karmi speaks about Ben Gurion's hope that "The old will die and the young will forget." 7 million Palestinian refugees ain't that willing to do so.

You can also read Saeb "Shalom to you in Israel, we have failed you" Erekat's article on the subject but it reeks of unbelievable hypocrisy, given his role as Legitimizer of Israel's Occupation, aka Negotiator.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

MIA For a Change

We'll be back sometime between Monday and Thursday. Until then, wish us luck!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy New Year!

This week marks the last one of classes before our finals start on Saturday. However, we've been enjoying a couple days off due to the Ministry administered strike on Monday and the Islamic new year (hijra) today. That's 1432 years since the prophet PBUH first made the journey from Mecca to Medina.

And since we're in such a reflective mood, here's what's been sweeping the world this week:

Something small called Wikileaks. Thousands of classified private US documentations have been made public to the entire world, which of course is doing wonders to the US foreign relations. See what they think of world leaders here, and read the brave founder of the website, Julian Assange (great name!) answers to the public's questions. The US have gone on a haters' mission to besmirch Assange's reputation therefore his credibility and/or to see him safely behind bars, and/or...assassinated. The besmirching has already begun-the ridiculous accusations of rape and other sex offences committed by him during his last visit to Sweden in August. The case has highly conspicuous political undertones, and today Assange was refused bail and will remain in custody until December 14th, where he will continue to refuse his extradition to Sweden. One of the six people ready to offer him surety was film maker Ken Loach-who earlier this year boycotted the Melbourne International Film Festival because of its sponsorship from Israel-and was willing to offer 20 thousand pounds in bail. Stay strong, be safe.

The raging wildfire that has consumed Mount Carmel in Haifa was finally put out on Sunday after leaving more than 40 people dead and thousands of evacuees. Israel's poorly unprepared forces were no match as it pleaded to countries all over the world to aid them (since the neighboring countries supposedly loathe them), but they needn't have feared as the imbecilic PA fire-fighters lost their balls and strapped on their boots to help. Because Israel would do the same for us huh. As always, we are astounded by the new levels of depravity that the PA sink to. The best Israel can do as to find who the culprit is is to arrest four teenage boys, boohoo. Anyway, we liked Gilad Atzmon's take on how the JNF's plans to "reclaim" the land back in the 1930's came and bit Israel right on the ass last week.

Several Latin American countries have recognized Palestine's right to exist. Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay (due next year)-thanks, you're about 60 years too late. Unsurprisingly, Bibi and his cronies are not too happy with those decisions, muttering something about how this will upset the balance of peace negotiations or some crap like that.

Old man Abbas has threatened to dissolve the PA if the settlement freeze doesn't get extended yada yada yada. Empty threats, silly notions, must be all those blue pills he's been munching on. And no this piece of news doesn't warrant a link.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Qatar 2022

How in God's name did His Mammoth Majesty find a suit big enough to fit him?

We never joined the facebook groups yodelling QATAR 2022 FOR WORLD CUP nor participated in general gushing about what it would be like for Qatar hosting the event. To be honest, it didn't sound all that appealing. The WEATHER people. There's a difference between sunny countries and infernos. And all that technology they're claiming to use that will cool down temperatures in the new swanky stadiums is faulty and a lie and even if it will work it will malfunction causing mass hysteria and stampedes and suffocations and death. Also, there's no alcohol allowed! What kind of football tournament host country is that! There go the English, scurrying back to their homes and air conditioned pubs. Another thing-women can't wear tube tops or hot pants! Where's the justice in this world! Apparently, this crime is punishable by fifty lashes! And they must travel with a mahram and ask his permission whenever they want to go out. Oh but this is the last straw: homosexual behavior is NOT tolerated. Forget lashes, this time it's execution! How could Fifa let Qatar host this amazingly popular tournament. Of course, oily money talks [hehe see what we did there]. Screw Fifa, Qatar, and the powers that be.

So the above wailing was the overwhelming response we saw on one too many forums and message boards. Gosh if it's that bad without having said wailing person actually visiting the country then imagine how worse it could be in reality when they grow a pair of balls and actually see Qatar in person. But then that could be refuted by one of those annoying all-knowing pompous fools who start their comments with: "I'm from New Zealand and I've lived in Qatar for three years now and that makes me qualified to talk condescendingly about the country and the systems it employs and the abhorrent social stratification and incurable sexism it portrays on a daily basis." Look, it's a tiny country, half the size of Wales (and yes Mr American neighbor-in- the-past, Wales counts as a country) with a population of 1.6 million, and very rich in natural resources that the US loves to monopolize. Indian workers get jailed by being grossly and falsely accused of attempted rape of Qatar's overly affluent insecure hornified women, immigrant workers are not represented adequately if at all and live in squalid conditions, and western foreigners get treated like kings as long as they have a license for beer and tell their partners to cover their shoulders in public. That's the kind of country Qatar is, much like other Gulf countries and the city of Dubai. Oh, here's another diatribe about the outrageous human rights violations. We hate using this line unless we're joking, but It's 'cause we're Arab, isn't it? So easy and fun to vilify. Had America won the vote, everyone would be lauding the growing gay acceptance and the hordes of willing prostitutes-never mind the obtrusive racism, dangerous ignorance, and human rights violations it commits on a daily business, both domestically and abroad. So now, in the honeyed speeches of Qataris, this is a collective Arab win. It will unite Arabs together, before another western mercenary stirs the waters to produce infighting and supplying of weapons. Qatar's motto on its bidding posters was 'Expect Amazing'. South Africa was a successful host, but that took its devastating toll on its countrymen. We're talking whole townships being uprooted to make way for the stadiums. Qatar had promised that after its hosting duties, it will distribute stadium pieces to poorer Middle Eastern countries. We'd like the whole piece of the one on water please.

Anyway, our thoughts on Qatar 2022. What the hell, that's twelve years from now and we'd be in our 30's and that notion is too petrifying to even contemplate living being that old.

We just hope the Palestine football team make it.

What if Israel qualify? A long shot, we know -haha- but that could be a diplomatic struggle right there, which will culminate in the world boycotting Qatar and cancelling the World Cup.

Eh, 12 years is a long time. We could be MOTHERS by then. Ok we're panicking blank mind blank mind blank mind!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Che Guevara is HOT

Look at him. Burning under all that sun. Hello, hi we are in December no? That beret must be all itchy. 77 degrees, all through this week. Snowpocalypse we welcome you heartily.

So the other student political group that always gets shunted to one side by Hamas and Fateh, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-PFLP, threw this little display outside the Arts building. Basically it was a bunch of pictures about the occupation, where this stand showed images of prisoner torture, that stand some images of Palestinians being routinely humiliated at Israeli checkpoints, etc.

What's the occasion? The Marxist party was formed December 11th 1967, so there are still ten days to go before commemorating it.

Our knowledge of the PFLP is that the red kuffiyeh is somehow theirs, just like the black and white kuffiyeh is Fateh's. Silly nonsense. Oh yeah, they're shock horror LEFTISTS. And shock horror COMMUNISTS. And shock horror ATHEISTS. Founder-George Habash. Most interesting person in the party-Laila Khaled. Opposes negotiations with Israel, and favors a one state solution. Considered to be a terrorist organization in more than 30 countries. Many of its leaders are old and exiled, so it draws a lot of support from university students.

We might join up purely for the reason that we get referred to as Comrade. Comrade!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Today in History

...marks the pivotal decision taken up by the UN, which was formed to protect the rights of human beings, prevent conflict, and commit to maintaining international peace and security. 63 years ago, in 1947, the UN voted to partition Palestine into two states: 44 percent for Palestinians, 56 percent for the Jews (not referred to as Israelis during that time.)
Now we can post as many maps with different color codes as want to demonstrate the horribly thought out "solution", but the effect is clear. Jews owned less than 7 percent of total land in Palestine, and were about 30 percent of the total population. The two aliyas marked an increase in Jewish population, who then proceeded on to settle and colonize lands before Plan Dalet (the ethnic cleansing of Palestine), which was already conceived, was finally put into action just a few months later. And just so you know, Palestinians made up 45 percent of the population in the so called Jewish areas. Ah Haifa, that model of Arab-Israeli comradeship...not.

God knows what gave the UN the right to partition Palestine. It couldn't be for what it claimed to stand for, mentioned above. To take a doom and gloom perspective, this act sparked the prequel to World War III. Which we of course hope never ever happens.

Some interesting facts:

The good old United States warned that it would cut off foreign aid from countries such as France and Greece if they did not vote favorably, and threatened Liberia with a rubber embargo.

The Syrian proposal to refer the Palestine issue to the International Court of Justice at The Hague was defeated by a single vote, twenty one votes against twenty.

The Zionist leaders enjoyed a clandestine advantage by bugging the rooms of
the UN Special Committee On Palestine (UNSCOP), and they knew what every committee member and witness was saying.

The Peel commission Partition, ten years earlier was rejected by Zionists because the areas they were allocated were "too small". In the words of the Terrorist Godfather, David Ben-Gurion:

"Had partition [referring to the Peel Commission partition plan] been carried out, the history of our people would have been different and six million Jews in Europe would not have been killed---most of them would be in Israel"

So, hold up. Let's recount. Palestinians made up two thirds of the population, owned 93 percent of the land, contributed 60 percent to the Palestinian Gross Domestic Product, but still had to make way for an alien minority?


Nope, just plain old imperialism. As you were.

On second thought, this makes a really good argument for partitioning modern day Israel. Since Palestinian-Israelis make up 20 percent of the Israeli population, they should consider it as faithfully following God's plan in having their own state, which later on through massacres and ethnic cleansing, will become their own COUNTRY. Eretz Palestine, it is so close!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ethnic Cleansing Alive and Kicking

In honor of Israel's security, defense, and criminality, the village of Abul-Ajaj in the northern Jordanian valley has been eradicated to make way for future expansion of the Metsuwah settlement (already established on Palestinian land).

Poof, gone, just like that.

Those families who will want to stay close to their military seized land will probably live in tents before their pathetic clustering will later emerge into what, either a refugee camp or a destitute slum?


In this world, in these days, economic technological medical etc developments mean absolutely nothing when human conscience still can not function tolerantly, healthily, humanely.

Boycott. Anyone with any shred of humanity will Boycott.

Palestine Week II

We have new information! Palestine Week is 3 days long, from the 23rd to the 25th! And it was all the Student Council's idea.

Today was a particularly enjoyable day. We finally managed to awaken from our zombie-like state that took over whenever we attended classes this week and bask in the abnormally strong warm sun. For the first time, we liked everybody. But the sun's ultra violet rays are to blame for that.

We finished classes early but kept hearing some weird rhythmic beating of the drums. It was quite muted and off to the distance but it still sounded like a preliminary warm-up for some gauntlet or something. We decide to go home and instead walk smack into a huge crowd, with a bunch of guys in the middle whooping it up with relished exaltation. The source of the beating drums was discovered- a professional group of a wedding procession, decked out in traditional uniforms, were rousing the crowd with their incantations of traditional songs which are quite well-known. As we tried to walk a couple of steps, we were suddenly facing a camel's backside. Yep, a camel. With a hump. And a decorated box on its hump. Walking beside a horse. With a man on top. Wait a minute..

This was a Palestinian traditional fake wedding! The man was the groom, the bride was sheltered inside the box on the camel, and the wedding procession provided the zaffa! And naturally students were attracted to the joyous affair like mosquitoes to a light. Oh we were so in the mood to break it down right there and show off our Fefe Abdo moves. But that would have been too 3eib. And mark our roles as hussies with no chance of getting a decent man. So instead, we watched the bastard lucky male students join hands in a dabka that grew and grew in size. We really liked everybody then. Guys were doing dabka, not dancing! And, as our progress was now hindered in front of a small stage set up with some band and their Vin Diesel lookalike warbler singing traditional songs, we managed to get a close look at the camel's teeth (horrific as always, which probably explained the fake bride's hasty descent) and laugh at the fake groom as he really got into his role.

What kind of generation are we to be so ignorant about our cultural roots? Hm, we're willing to let the conversation we overheard between a couple of girls bewildering discussing the camel and horse's role in the wedding. MEANS OF PARADING TRANSPORTATION PEOPLE!

Basically, we're not that fond of real life weddings. We like the dancing, sure. But not the incessant interrogation of our family's lineage and personal details by random women who go crazy once they find out we have "citizen" passports. True story some years ago: "My mother-in-law's nephew has been looking for a girl who can take him to America! How old are you? 16? Good age. What's your dad's phone number? Why are you crying?"

The groom in the grey suit and the bride shielded from the people's evil eyes.
Closer look at the camel box..We think we got a glimpse of her thobe.V Vin Diesel with dabka music.
Bastard male students getting their jiggy on.
Ah, but of course. The groom smoking away his manhood.

Look how regally the camel prances about.
The wedding procession group is called Al-Nujoum which provides zaffas in Palestinian, Syrian, and Egyptian styles. For those who are, you know, thinking of getting hitched.

Wonder what event tomorrow will hold...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Palestine Week

Palestine Week is a week long celebration of...Palestine. We're pretty confused though. Is it mostly about the prisoners? The culture? The history? Judging by the huge posters on various buildings and the excellently set up labyrinth that acts as a fake tour to an Israeli prison, it's mostly about prisoners. But then there are other posters advertising a concert (tonight at 6pm on campus) of Ammar Hasan, the skinny guy who was on the Arab version of American Idol entitled Superstar some six years ago, and Nazareth song-bird Reem al-Banna. (Sidenote-we love Reem's Spanish husband who's a monster on guitar and provides back up vocals which are really nothing more than sound effects hehe!) The concert has vendors selling accessories and La Costa coffee (roof of Duwar al-Sa3a building) which made us wonder, where do all the proceeds go to? And why wasn't the concert properly advertised? We only found out today. Truth is, there is not a whole lot of information we can give because we're so addled with term papers and exams and lack of sleep. We can however produce pictures of the labyrinthine prison.

Israeli prisoners hold up to more than 8000 Palestinian prisoners, many of them held without charge and suffer administrative detention. These prisons are no 2 star motel either. Overcrowding, torture, lack of medical attention, unsanitary conditions are all defining features of said sadistic facilities, which number nine. Family visits must be approved by the military, and no there are no conjugal sessions.

Askhelon Prison, built around 1948. It is surrounded by all sides with walls that are 4 meters in height, plus another 4 watch towers. It has four sections for Palestinian prisoners which can fit up to 80 individuals, but the reality is that some 300 prisoners occupy one division.

Prisons Rammoun, Be'er Sheva, Hasharoun, Hadarim, al-Damoun, Majdo, Remounim, Kats'out.

By far the most brutal is Kats'out, which is located in the Naqab desert where prisoners reside in tents, which obviously do not serve as protection from the fierce hot summers or the equally harsh cold winters. Not to mention scorpions, rats, mosquitoes, and other insects/creepy crawlies infest every corner. Conditions were so desperate that after opening in 1988 (during the first intifada) it was closed down in 1996 only to be reopened to welcome prisoners during the second intifada.
Majdo is the prison located nearest to a West Bank city, Jenin. It currently houses more than 1200 prisoners, with special divisions for those between 12-18 of age. It is known for its employment of "3asafeer" which are spies masquerading as prisoners.

Remounim has a grand total of 80 prisoners, all of them between 16 to 18 years of age.

al-Damoun is situated in Haifa and the original building was used during the British Mandate as a storehouse for cigarettes. As a result of its dilapidation and intense mouldiness prisoners suffer from breathing and kidney problems. Insects infest each room, and the water prisoners are served is so polluted that the prisoners themselves try to make it drinkable by putting strips of cloths in the tanks to absorb pollutants.

Hasharoun is for the female prisoners, where three of the eighteen are serving multiple life sentences.

PS we're so glad that for what seems like the first time, Palestine flags decorating campus outnumbered the Fateh yellow flags by far.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Very Belated Eid Mubarak To You All

Bit late on this, so sue us. Our Eid break was more than satisfactory, with seven long days spent doing something we haven't experienced lately: enjoying life. One of us has the prized Jerusalem kushan (birth certificate) so trips to Tiberius (Tabaria), Jerusalem, and Tel il-Rabi3 (Tel Aviv to the uneducated masses) were undertaken, with various Zionists decomposing on the spot under the glare of withering contempt. The other spent a week in Amman, City of All Things Joyless, but since it was with the family it was still all good. Spending 10 hours on the Allenby Crossing was not so good though, as the pilgrims from hajj caused a massive people traffic jam. We hope you all delighted in the slaughtering of the lamb and didn't choke on the abundant meat!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Independence Day

This is our 22nd year this day celebrating independence according to...the Palestine National Council.





Oh here's a thought: let's play a game called We're So Independent That...

Regarding Settlements:
There are approximately 462,000 Israeli settlers.
191,000 are in settlements around Jerusalem and 271,400 are further spread throughout the West Bank.
The settlers have grown between 4-6% per year over the last two decades in comparison to Israeli society as a whole (1.5%).
Approx. 385,000 settlers in 80 settlements will be located between the Separation Barrier as envisioned and the Green Line.
In 2008 tenders for new settlement building increased by 550% from 2007.
Settlement construction has increased by 30% since the launching of the new round of peace talks.
Settlement building around Jerusalem has increased by a factor of 38.
9,000 new housing units have been approved in E. Jerusalem, and approximately 2,600 new housing units are being built east of the Separation Wall, comprising 55% of all settlement construction activity.
Settlements are built on less than 3% of the oPT; yet due to the extensive infrastructure they comprise more than 40%.

Regarding Land Theft and East Jerusalem:
In the first three years of occupation, Israel confiscated 18270unums (18,27 sq kms) of Palestinian land.
By 1991 that number had reached 23378 dunums (23,4 sq kms).
By 2007, the Wall resulted in the confiscation of land belonging to 19.2% of Palestinian families in Jerusalem.
From 1967 until the end of 2006, Israel had revoked the residency rights of around 8,269 Palestinian Jerusalemites.

Regarding Prisoners:
Prisoners are held in the approximately 30 detention centers located within the 1967 borders of Israel.
ICRC is following-up on roughly 10,500 prisoners.
Addameer estimates that there are approximately 9,493 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
Out of the 9,493 – 750 are administrative, 349 are aged 18 or less, 75 are female, 47 are Palestinian parliamentarians.
According to Israeli Prison Services: 70% have been found guilty or arrested for crimes with “blood on their hands”.

Regarding the "Security Fence":
Approximately 385,000 settlers in 80 settlements will be located between the Wall and the Green Line.
Approximately 35,000 West Bank Palestinians will be located between the Wall and the Green Line AKA ‘no man’s land’.
This 35,000 is in addition to the majority of the 250,000 East Jerusalem residents who will be in a similar scenario.
Approximately 125,000 Palestinians in 28 communities will be surrounded on three sides by the Wall.
Approximately 26,000 Palestinians in 8 communities will be surrounded on four sides with a tunnel or road connection.
The Wall costs the Israeli government: approximately $3.7 million per kilometer, and approx $4 billion when completed.

That's independence for ya! Enjoy the fireworks and the grilled chicken folks!

And don't forget to watch the below video that's bound to uplift those homesick spirits.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Legacy of Arafat

There's a Palestinian proverb that goes like this: all Palestinians need is a wedding to dance to. Give them any occasion, no matter how trivial, and they won't disappoint. Such was the case on Thursday in Ramallah, which commemorated Yasir Arafat's 6th year dead. Do we need to do this every year though? We're pretty sure those who work in the government ministries don't mind, as they get to finish work a few hours earlier. But the point of that is so they could participate in the commemoration festivities held in the PA's headquarters, al-Muqata'a compound. The planners however already acknowledge that the majority of the employees won't show up, and so they've come up with an ingenuous plan to resolve this little complication. Buses are sent to the north in the West Bank, which promptly get filled by teenage boys who equate the city of Ramallah to something like the city of Paris. These people from the north have their own special name, but it's so derogatory and racist we shall refrain from mentioning it here. Ok fine, they're called tailandiyeen. We'll let your own imaginations figure this out. Anyhoo, the teenage boys somehow always end up to the worst kind, the ones who think greasy hair, low rise tight jeans, smoking and hitting on girls older than they are is hilarious and parrot everything they're told without them God forbid thinking of using their brains to ask questions. They are so caught up in the pomp and grandeur (cough) of being invited to Ramallah for free and to celebrate the anniversary of a prominent political leader's death. By the end of the night, Ramallah itself is trashed. Litter and piss streaks are everywhere. Local residents breathe a huge sigh of relief when these tailandiyeen go home. Al-Muqata'a basically fills up with people where various self-important figures give embarrassing and ineloquent speeches and free kuffiyehs are parcelled out to everyone attending. We wonder though, why these fools are so ready to believe in the 'commendable' legacy of Abu Ammar. Hey look where we are now, the Apartheid wall is still being built, checkpoints and road blocks have increased to over 600 in the West Bank, settlements are continuing to be built, there's no sustainable economy, the present regime is now openly collaborating with Israel, the huge funds from countries donated to the Palestinian people are still getting shovelled righteously into the pockets of top members in the PA, and of course, there's the restriction of movement.

Arafat, whatever your intentions were, you did pave the way for where we are now. And we don't like how your memory lives on portraying you as the sole representative of the Palestinian people, who put Palestine on the westernized version of a map by forming the PLO, and how your fatherly depiction is reiterated by schools and the media. We bet 80 percent of the lapping adoring masses don't know how exactly you sold your own people and country out. But hey, they take what they can get, because at least you're more pathetic looking than that proud quisling Abbas and so looks here work in your advantage because of how readily people are to defend and laud your accomplishments, even if they don't know what they are.

Surprisingly at the university, nothing was done on Thursday. But during the whole week leading up to that day, the loudspeakers were out and Quran was played out before the corny Fateh songs took over. The yellow flags of the student Fateh party, As-shabeeba adorned every corner of campus, and a couple of large posters of Arafat's face adorned a couple of buildings. We found out that the actual commemoration day in the university was on Tuesday. Good thing most of our classes are in one of the buildings furthest away from the ratty student council building where the speakers were set up. We don't need to listen to guys magically empowering their voices over the microphones yelling out empty silly speeches that we have heard over and over again. Palestinians can be accused with being too occupied with the past. Hey, the guy is dead, let's move on and figure out a way to actively resist the Israeli occupation (which is still going on by the way) and to effectively replace Abbass and his yes men with real representatives of the rights of the Palestinian people, who don't have to negotiate for their basic human rights. But no, we must make a big deal out of triviality, to ensure that Arafat has not been forgotten from our minds.

The west are so eager to describe Arafat as a terrorist who practiced terrorism for forty years and whose sole mission was the eradication of a people and their state. He is viewed as a man who cared too much about his own pride and couldn't give a damn to his own people, and this is epitomized in his refusal to negotiate for a peace settlement. He was a complete failure as a diplomat and never is this more illustrated by his signing of the Oslo Accords. This catastrophic decision gave birth to the corrupt Palestine Authority who patted themselves on the back for securing a pseudo Palestinian state, and who were in control of Areas A but not B or C. This decision legitimized the Israeli occupation, enveloping it as more acceptable for the small amount of land they were granted, even as they were funnelling down billions of dollars in aid meant for the people and the state into their own bank accounts. We can never forgive him for that. Land for peace. Hm, should have talked more about the concept of what exactly peace is. He also had a huge number of security forces, numbering 45000 that were let loose on the Palestinians because they lacked the political conscience to target Zionists. Collaborators, spies, agents all flourished under him. He never entertained the idea of a successor, and was possessed by the threat of assassinations. Personal loyalties made up his administration, and he never gave thought to what would happen to Palestine after his death, proof that he was playing the Arab Power Rule game to the fullest.

We get that Arafat is viewed as a symbol and the father of nationhood that never quite materialized. Under his corrupt rule, Fateh and Hamas were united against the main affront, the Israeli occupation. His early resistance days were never thought out clearly and more often than not gave rise to increased vilification of Palestinians not just in the West but in neighbouring countries like Jordan and Lebanon. Commemorating him and overlooking his grave selfish mistakes is another from of brainwash. The future generations owe it to us to give them the correct history of their country, including the people who royally fucked it up.

Friday, November 12, 2010

No, Really, Another Reason to Get Burrrrrned?

Amazing beautiful Students for Justice in Palestine of Arizona State University stage a silent walk-out during another former Israeli soldier's hogwash of preserving human dignity blah blah. These protests seriously make our day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unleash the Vegetative Beast

Good people of this land and earth, shield your children, lock up your homes, and never think to leave the house without a garland of garlic around your necks. The bloodthirsty monster is set to be released from his cave in the next few days! What's that? Red terror alert!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Young Jews Disrupt Netanyahu Speech

These Jewish peace activists, who have just launched their website heckled Netanyahu's speech to the General Assembly of Jewish Federations which was held in New Orleans. No words to describe how we felt, just got goosebumps all over again. What a brave, uplifting stance. And such a rabid hostile crowd. The first dissenter was shouted at to "Get out! You're an embarrassment to the Jews get out!" For the second disruption a man can clearly be heard repeatedly saying "You're an're an asshole get the fuck outta here piece of shit", another ripping the damnable banner with his own bare teeth to rapturous applause and whooping, and the rest of the crowd downing out the dissenters with feral yelling that reminded us of a little kid screaming "I'm not listening I'm not listening!"

Young Jews Disrupt Netanyahu at Jewish General Assembly from stefanie fox on Vimeo.

The Loyalty Oath delegitimizes Israel

The Occuopation delegitimizes Israel

The Settlements delegitimize Israel

The Siege of Gaza delegitimizes Israel

Silencing Dissent deletigimizes Israel

The crowd are refusing to listen to cold hard fact. They are willing to lie to themselves for the rest of their lives about the wonderful democratic state of Israel whose self-victimization as a result of its hideous war and criminal crimes it commits on a daily basis is justifiable all in the name of security and defence, and refuse to heaven forbid enlighten themselves with the story of the Other. Ilan Pappe yesterday mentioned something about this, quoting two Haaretz journalists' response to why Jews are so uncaring and so self-righteous in their deranged beliefs. One, as told by Amira Hass, was because Jews simply do not want to know the reality of their own state, and two, as told by Gideon Levy, was because Jews do not know enough. Pretty sad, but the Jews in that so-called intimidating crowd do NOT represent the Jews of the world, and we are very much grateful to peace-loving organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace.

Below is a video of the amazing dissenters. Worldwide coverage is what is needed.

The Raping of one of Ramallah's Main Roads Part II

A few months back, we presented this. After 3 months, the 'finished' road wasn't even coated with a new layer of asphalt or anything. The peeps in charge did heed our plea for wider sidewalks, and they inserted a new lengthy concrete island (what ARE they called anyway?) in the middle of the street with pretty things like flowers and trees growing out of it. A few weeks ago, the machines have been unleashed with full force on the main street of Ramallah, Shari3 Rukab. And eyesore hardly does it any justification. It is pure monstrosity. Tourists, beware. Postpone your Ramallah excursions for a later time, perhaps in another three months?

Now imagine when it rains. That mud will be sticking to your shoes from here until next winter, sure as anything.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Our Ex-President...

Because commemorating his death for five years in a row just isn't enough.
But please, why stop here? Get closer.

This lead us to believe that some hardcore Hamas-atic infiltrator painted this disturbing visage.

More vitriol later on this week.

Ilan Pappe Comes to Ramallah

The Friends Boys' School hosted Israeli historian and head of the European Center of Palestinian Studies Ilan Pappe for a two hour session between 6 and 8 pm. Pappe, who has the critically acclaimed book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine added to his repertoire that includes The Aristocracy: The Husaynis; A Political Biography and a co-written book with Noam Chomsky Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians, graced the stage where he lectured for an hour and then answered questions for the next. He has been dubbed as one of the "New Israeli Historians" because of his pro-Palestinian stance which many of his critics dismiss as a cause for a self-hating Jew. In fact, Pappe himself has acknowledged that one of the frequent questions asked to him is why does he think differently from other Israeli Jews? His way of answering was to rephrase that question into: Why are so few Jews in the 21st century, with so much information and knowledge in a society that doesn't seem dictatorial have an inclination to see things differently? Why are there so many loyal soldiers of Zionism? Pappe truly believes that Jews should embark on a self-journey; one, a Journey of Awakening in which Jews arrive at the realization from being the so-called saviors of Arabs to colonizers. Two, to be able to have enough commitment to challenge the view of civilized beings in a foreign land whose legitimacy is backed by amongst other things, Messianic revelations. He went on to describe how the debate about 1948 in Israeli society included neither ethics nor morality, and this demonstrated another of Israel's show of democracy, and how open, how academically progressive Israeli academics are. That's sarcasm for you folks.

Pappe went on to describe his early life: he was born in a "benign Zionist family" in Mt Carmel in Haifa. His parents spoke German rather than Hebrew, and he reflected on how even the sign posts in his community were in German. This was his family's way of recreating Germany in Palestine. They did not see the natives, who lived and still do in Wadi Nisnas and Wadi Salim, and when they did they were viewed as obstacles, mosquitoes, and had to endure them as one would endure harsh weather.

Pappe called for the world to change its dictionary of Israel (a point that he stressed very much) from a democratic paradigm of peace etc etc to an ethnic, racist, criminal, apartheid, colonialist state. These adjectives were all his we assure you. He doesn't think convincing people that Israel is an apartheid state is necessary because of the overwhelming evidence of its policies in Gaza, West Bank, Greater Jerusalem, Naqab, and so on. He was the first Israeli academic to call for an academic boycott of Israel, and relayed to us how a list was formed with a grand total of six other Israeli academics who supported him. Today there are over 150 Israeli academics who oppose Israel's occupying and apartheid laws, a small sign of just how popular the BDS campaign has become.

Needless to say, we were very much engrossed and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly as our minds expanded with more knowledge and wisdom. One critique must be brought to attention: the room was full of foreigners. And hey that's great, nothing against them of course. But where are all the Palestinians? Spare us the whole "Just because I'm French, doesn't mean I'm not Palestinian as heart" diatribe, it's not about that. We managed to count five Arabs, and that was only because we caught more than a couple of Arabic words out of all the English they were saying. It's such a shame that with a renowned Israeli historian, so few Palestinians really showed an interest. Well, guess that's the decadent society that we've metamorphosed into. We're upbeat, we're obsessed with facebook, Lady Gaga trumps the surgically enhanced Arab singers, and we just don't give a damn. Disillusioned youth? You missed out, simple as that.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reunification of My Parents

Today my mother crossed the Allenby bridge (by bus, not by car Mr Qurei) to see my father in Amman. What makes this banal act unusual is that she had to wait almost a year to be finally granted permission to cross the border. Last year my brother wrote about my family's series of unfortunate events which began in August 2009-how we went from British citizens living in our homeland on my dad's one year work renewable visas to plain old brown Palestinians forced to accept our Israeli-issued identity cards in order to be classified as 'legal' residents, which resulted our own mini diaspora. My brother and father, both born in the Gaza strip, have Gaza identity cards which of course bans them from entering the West Bank, where we were living. My mother, despite being from the city of Albireh in the West Bank, was also inexplicably issued a Gaza ID, despite her owning her original West Bank ID. My younger brother and sister and I have West Bank ID's, as we were registered under my mother's original ID, further contributing to the confusion and idiotic regulations manned by the Israeli military. Subsequently, my father spent his time between Lebanon and Jordan, and my brother began new chapters of his life in Qatar and Virginia. They couldn't come to us, and while my siblings and I could cross over to Amman (which served as our meeting point) my mother could not do the same. The new astonishingly racist Israeli military order 1650 which came into effect in April of this year only made matters worse. She became an 'infiltrator'. If caught, she could have faced up to seven years in prison or be deported back to Gaza. As her children, we would obviously follow her footsteps, because Zionism does not like the presumptuous notion of Palestinian families choosing where they want to live and raise their kids in their homeland. This past year has been terribly nerve-racking. Our emotions were taken on a non-stop rollercoaster ride-highs and lows and periods of blank insecurity.

My mother knew beforehand that her West Bank ID changed into a Gaza one and was already in contact with Gisha, the Israeli non-profit organization whose goal is to protect the rights of free movement of Palestinians, before calamity fell upon us in the shape of my father's arrest at Erez checkpoint, where he had crossed many times before. Gisha then wanted to focus more on my father's case and bring him back to the West Bank. That amounted to absolutely nothing, so in January, a month after my father was finally allowed to leave Gaza to work in Lebanon, my mother resumed contact. She wanted a piece of paper that would grant her access to the border crossing. After 11 months, her coordination paper finally came out.

Waiting wasn't easy. I had to deal with my parents' unwanted and forced separation, and watched as my mother lost weight and woke up every day with puffy eyes. We've had skyping sessions with my father, which was such a bittersweet experience. My father had to go through his life without his wife or children with him, and sometimes this despairing emotion overwhelmed him. Of course we all kept in regular touch with each other-technology is beautiful in that way. I'll never forget how we both broke down one time over the phone after I confessed that the only reason I was going through with university was because I knew how much joy and pride it would bring to him when I'd graduate, and how now it wouldn't even matter because he wouldn't be at my graduation. I felt like a kid with divorced parents, "Ok are you going to spend Eid with Baba or here?" It wasn't fair to leave my mother all alone on holidays, and it wasn't fair for my father to be all alone either. I hated it. I hated the law enforcers of Israel so much. I hated the collaborative PA regime, I hated the Zionists, I hated being torn apart in my mind, I hated how after living in England and the UAE and the USA, coming back to our homeland eventually was what resulted in our bleak estrangement. My mother signed up for consecutive months in a gym and in a way, that was her catharsis. Every week she'd call Gisha to see where their progress was heading, and every single time she received the same answer: In a couple more weeks we'll know for sure, next month, give it one more week, and another. Summer arrived, and with it more arising uncertainties. My father was having a really tough time coping by himself, and wanted us with him, permanently. My frustration grew. Transferring to another university that would post pone my graduation by up to two semesters? Pulling my sister out of her high school in her senior year to a different one? All of this, in our least favorite city in the world, Amman? It was too much. Selfishness wasn't what I was going through, I managed to convince myself. I just couldn't live in Amman. It's another thing I hate. Then one day, we got into contact with a lawyer. This lawyer said that in exactly a month, give or take a week, he'll have my mother's correct West Bank ID with him. We were tentative. But a given timeline was better than a forever extended one. My mother chose to go with the lawyer, and suspended talks with Gisha. Unfortunately, this particular lawyer was the definitive kind with upholding standards. He called one Thursday in June, and told my mother that by Sunday the latest, she will finally have her West Bank ID. I had my friends over for a barbeque that day, and I had never felt so relieved, so happy when I heard the news. Sunday came and went. The next day, after calling him multiple times, he finally had the virtue of picking up and informing us that sorry, but there was nothing he could do. We were back to square one. Talks were resumed with Gisha. Why was it taking so long? The coordination paper only takes a month to be issued! However, it took two months before the proper clerk in the PA told my mother that her coordination paper was rejected. She immediately got in touch with Gisha, who throughout this whole time were dealing with her ID problem, and they agreed to take over the coordination matter. They spoke in such a manner that led my mother to pack her suitcase. This was in August. The green suitcase was smack dab in the middle of her bedroom, and it was almost fully packed. She was hopeful that a breakthrough would come at last. She called my dad and asked him what he wanted from here, and she bought three kilos worth of roasted nuts. I watched as those bags went into the suitcase, then out again a few weeks later. Then some hack from the PA's Ministry of Interior called to say that there was nothing they could do from their side to change the Gaza ID into a West Bank one. I couldn't understand where my mother's optimism was coming from.

Two weeks later, we finally received the long awaited news. The coordination paper was out, and the Israeli military finally, belatedly admitted that they made a mistake in her address in her ID. They issued a permit that would now make it 'legal' for her to live in the West Bank, for six months. During that time, her correct ID should hopefully be given to her.They would correct, and this is important-correct not change-the address from Gaza to the West Bank. Now we could all see my father and brother (when he manages to get a few days off from work) in Amman, back and forth, on holidays, occasions, whenever we want. The green suitcase now included fresh roasted nuts and my father's books for his research work. My mother busied herself at a salon, and came back with a new hairstyle, eye liner, and a smile that was beautiful and young in nature. A year and 3 months apart, reunited again tonight.

An hour ago I received a call from my parents. Hearing both of their voices, talking excitedly at the same time, in the same room was music to my ears. My sister and I wanted to know the full details-did you both cry? I bet you did! What was it like, seeing other? What did you first think of? Are you holding hands now? Does Mama look any different to you? What did she say about your bald spot? Yes, we're doing ok, we have enough food for three days. Can't wait until next week (Eid al-Adha break) where we can be together again!

Our case in general is not a unique one. Who could forget the student studying at Bethlehem University, with only three credits to graduate, being arrested at a checkpoint and deported to Gaza because of her insidious crime of not owning the proper ID card? Or the many husbands and wives torn apart from each other and their children? Israel is running amok with its proud Apartheid stance, and I strongly believe that BDS is the sure path to toe Israel's line. Israel's wretched controlling of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is of course illegal and not an action fitting for its 'democratic' nature. With awareness there comes boycott, and with boycott there comes international pressure, and with international pressure, there comes the breakdown and elimination of the Apartheid and occupying laws that have ruled us with an iron fist for too long now. My family's story is still not complete, as my older brother and father still cannot be granted access to the West Bank. It is especially difficult to be uprooted from your homeland once, imagine how it feels like to go through the process twice.
Justice for Palestine.

A much nicer layout-ed version over at Mondoweiss, with heart-melting picture to boot.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lauren Booth On Converting to Islam

Lauren Booth, who is war criminal Tony Blair's sister in law (a fact she's definitely not proud of) converted to Islam a couple of weeks ago during her visit to Iran. This has resulted in a flurry of haters who seized this enlightening piece of news to paint their bigotry, racism, and common misconceptions about Islam. We shall not direct you, as reference, to the Daily Fail's reader comments, who are known for their trollness. Lauren Booth works for Iranian news channel PressTV and has embarked on many trips to the Middle East. Last year, she part of one of the Viva Palestina convoys to break the siege on Gaza. All in all, she sounds like a fahmana, no?

Read her article here.