Sunday, August 29, 2010

Good Shit

This couldn't wait. Posting a music video in Ramadan? Glory be we are destined for eternal doom.

Introducing one of our absolutely favourite artists, Invincible. A while ago one of us had the pleasure of interviewing her via email for a project. Here are some excerpts from the final paper:

"[Invincible's] strong commitment to her community is effused throughout her songs, and not only does she rap about issues such as media monopoly and gentrification (among other things0, she is actively involved in progressive social change in her home town of Detroit, actualizing the transformations she longs for."

"Invincible's life is rooted in music, activism, and political dissent. The ingenious way in how she blends these three traits is a manifestation of real hip hop, where clever relentless words are intertwined with nifty head-bobbing beats. Furthermore, the lyrics aren't money-oriented nor worldly, but confabulate real issues, stretching from police brutality to colonialism in the world today."

Invincible + Waajeed - "Detroit Summer"/"Emergence" from EMERGENCE Media on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

We're Getting There

Quiz time. Which grocery store in the US of A became the first to boycott Israeli products?


"The Board of Directors has decided that the Olympia Food Co-op will boycott Israeli made products and divest from any investments in Israeli companies. The Co-op would stop carrying the Israeli products it currently sells and would not stock new products from Israeli companies. If the Co-op has money invested in Israeli companies or bonds, we would terminate those investments. We would refrain from dealing with non-Israeli companies that sell products or services to Israel that are used to violate the human rights of the Palestinians."

Olympia, Washington state was the home town of Rachael Corrie. Of course, the hasbara machine has been cranked feebly in gear, with some loser called Jennifer Something or Another Mizrahi claiming that "It is clear that the people who voted on this did not hear both sides of the issues." Someone hand us some tissues.

Here is an excellent piece answering and debauching the desperately circled Israeli propaganda.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

First Day of New Semester

A few things crossed our minds:
  • It is too hot.
  • We are now entitled to mock and laugh at the sanafer.
  • We seem to be Popular Penelope, with a good number of people ecstatically greeting us and inquiring about our summer with a genuineness that would make our mothers weep.
  • Fuddrucking hell, it is too hot.
  • Tis the season of strikes. Not students this time, but the Registration Office.
  • Our self-imposed week long ban from campus has come to an end.
  • Semester countdown has already begun.
  • We're melting. Body, fat, and bones.
  • We like making lists.

Friday was the rapture for many people. It's the first time in Ramallah that temperatures reached 45 degrees Celsius. That is a skin-flaying 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Where are we, Riyadh? Good lord. We need to think up quick and easy solutions to survive this heat hernia. Either we pull down the rafters for the windows and succumb to total darkness spent by sleeping curled up in the refrigerator, or we put a gun to our head.

What are sanafer? No, they're not the cute little blue smurfs whose existence have no meaning.
Our own specialized urban dictionary speaks of a type of people:
Sanafer /sanaf{shwa}r/ noun, pl (esp Palestine) a group of humans undertaking their first year in an educational institution, so-called by the intimidating and older student mockers. Singular sanfoor (masculine) sanfoora (feminine). Remotely known as freshmen in other parts of the world.

How fun is it watching those poor souls tentatively walking up to a classroom and finding out that it's the wrong one and then dashing to the other building only to give up, throw their hands in the air, and wail abrasively? Very. A great source of entertainment, no matter how sick-minded we sound. Taking pleasure and thriving at their misfortunes/blank brave faces is great. Our eyes can expertly zero in on a sanfoor/a based on either their loneliness (Birzeit allows for packs only, or you're not cool..kinda like middle school!), their clothes (way too overdressed or way too under-dressed), and by that look in their eyes, not dissimilar to that of a cornered rabbit surrounded by wolves. The more annoying ones have the nerve to ask you where a classroom is, which automatically gets them a beating in some corner. Life is good for the bullies--fresh material!

So of course we're stuck and fuming about our schedules which couldn't have been more ugly, but some time before the end of the semester we'll find time not to complain and possibly eat cake with ice cream. Or something. Here's to 2010/2011!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What May Have Passed our Radar..

Summer. That word alone is suggestive of an excellent and infallible excuse, pardoning anyone from doing anything. We're in a state of denial; we just cannot accept that adults, no matter how young they are, still have responsibilites year round without savoring a three month summer holiday. Unfortunately, we have fallen into the roles of bums and lazybones and shirked our duties to family, school, this pet, and ourselves.

  • Family: We have mastered the act of zoning out around our kin. And we feel terrible not telling our begetters we love them twice a day. We may also have lost our patience and gone on a tirade our early teenage selves would have been proud of.
  • School: Summer semester is over and done with, and we feel entitled to dedicating the few days left doing the most unindustrious acts ever. We have serious issues with starting the fall semester barely two weeks after the end of the summer one. Boo hoo we won't mature and accept the order of life. Birzeit Uni is the only university to start August 17th. The rest of the schools and universities are starting September 15th, after Ramadan and Eid. As a show of our defiance, we will stubbornly remain homebound for a week. Such model students we are.
  • Blog: No comment. It pains us to neglect our pet. We will strive to become better people, pinky promise.
  • Ourselves: Something to do with showering infrequently and not brushing our teeth and revelling in excess body hair. We've resembled Mole.

With that out of the way, here are a few points of notice we feel compelled to bring to attention.

رمضان كريم / Ramadan kareem! A week and a day has passed of the holy month and now we feel like it is the time to properly pay um..salutations to it. We are not late in this matter at all. No, we won't hide behind the old "it's the Shiites' fault!" because they celebrate the beginning of Ramadan a day before or a day after the Sunnis, not eight days after. Instead, this year we chose to follow a new authority. Stand up, renowed crackhead, Muammer Gaddafi. The King of African Kings is used to doing things his own way, and nothing, not even religious laws and enforcements is gonna stop him. So yeah, to the world he announced Ramadan to be Wednesday, the 11th of August, but since that day Libya has been in media and geographical lock-down, meaning no one can get in and no one can get out. Our previous positions as Lady Chiefs of the Royal Female Guard makes us an exception and filtered intelligence has confirmed that Gaddafi has started fasting today. Or payed someone to fast for him. Gaddafi, yeah!


POP IV. That is, poetry of Palestine. We have attended the previous three POP nights as our archives will tell you, but this month we missed out due to amnesia combined with reasons stated above. August, Friday the 6th was the date and the venue was at the ever quaint Cafe La Vie, whose owner, Saleh Totah, is a real sweetheart for agreeing to host this event three times now, free of charge. Fellow students performed their poetry, which was the main reason behind this event--building a community of poets and writers who are not afraid to share their work. Emile Saba, one of the performers

HEAT WAVE. Never, in our remarkably semi-normal lives have we ever felt like helpless bald dying mortal phoenixes coughing up heat and struggling feebly against the heavy hot atmosphere. Temperatures have reached a soaring 45 degrees Celcius. Unlike the gulf countries, air conditioning systems are not a prerequisite for survival because summers here are what the season ideally is all about: bearable weather, ice cream, and sweating once a day and not on a 24 hour basis. However, this period saw summer as a prepatory course for spending time in hellfire> "Thou shalt suffereth the yellow star's wrath" (Apocalypse 6:22). People are going crazy-we've seen one too many person molting in the street. Word going around the sweltering coffee shops (one business that never goes out) and verandas is that some sort of explosion in the sun is the reason for this heat wave. Our favorite brain-fried explanation is that there was a tsunami in an area of the sun. If that were so (whatever a sun explosion/tsunami means) then shouldn't the whole world right now be burned to a toasty brown? Or has some world power perfected its space technological funk gadgets to specifically target the Middle East? If only we had England's fine rule of excusing, nay forbidding everyone from work and school at the slightest abnormal increase in temperatures.

BEAUTY QUEEN. Warning: Picture below not suitable for those yet to hit puberty. Remember Rima Hot Stuff Fakih, the Lebanese American who became the first Arab to win the Miss USA pageant? There was a big fuss from Arabs with one crazy half ass-kissing and praising her for finally portraying Arabs in an American positive outlook (hey, turns out we don't all own gas stations and have in-bred children) while the other crazy side denounced her as a skank, a slut, and a shameless Americanized hussy with no ties to Islam, despite Rima asserting herself as a Muslim. The rational few correctly dismissed both views because, for gawd's sake yall, she's just a beauty queen! As a candidate for Miss Universe, Rima decided to pose backless for a racy photoshoot instead of baring her breasts to the world. Her reason: "For me, I didn't want to do the front for many reasons and one of them being respect. I'm Arab, I'm Muslim, and I didn't want to disappoint too many people."

In a world where political correctness and thoughtlessness are found in every angle of life, we are to say the least, deeply and profoundly affected. Rima, we are in awe and in envy of your deep consideration.