My heart is torn between East and West. I live somewhere between the present and the past. I don't know who I am.


Just another human being biding their time on this earth. Passionate about current affairs, history, politics (particularly MENA region), religion, cute animals and food.

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Posts tagged "palestine"
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Austin Wintory,
The War Around Us

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE CAPTIONS AND TO SEE MORE DRAWINGS]

So I’ve recently been seeing this heartbreaking post of drawings made by children in Gaza a lot on my dash and I wanted to share a different perspective on this issue with you all.

The drawings you see above were also made by children in Gaza. Last year, I was part of a group working on a project initiated by Oxfam which aimed to highlight the problems facing children in Gaza today. Oxfam got in touch with primary school children from Al-Zarqa, one of the Gaza Strip’s poorest areas, and asked them to draw pictures of their hopes, fears and dreams for the future. Afterwards, their pictures were sent to us and we showcased them to the public in London. We also printed the childrens’ drawings on postcards which were sent to William Hague, the current Foreign Secretary of the UK. We asked people to write on these postcards and to call on the UK Government to prioritise children’s rights in its foreign policy work on Palestine. What struck me the most about these drawings was their sheer innocence and the simplicity of the children’s hopes and dreams. You would never guess that these scenes were drawn by children in Gaza, any child around the world could have drawn such images and this is important to note. Too often the media tries to portray Gaza’s children as future kalashnikov-wielding terrorists and suicide bombers who know nothing but violence and hatred when nothing could be further from the truth. These drawings are proof that Gaza’s children, despite the struggles and hardships that they’ve endured, dream of a better, safer and more peaceful future.

The event was very successful and  the drawings were featured in the Guardian. We were invited by an MP who saw the drawings to showcase our exhibition in the Houses of Parliament. The exhibition in Parliament was attended by many MPs as well as Sir Gerald Kaufman (who you might remember from this speech). The response from them was amazing and they were all touched by the drawings. 

The highlight of this whole experience however came after the exhibition in Parliament when we returned to the Oxfam offices and we actually got to speak to some of the children who made these drawings. They were some of the funniest, sweetest and most intelligent kids we’d ever spoken with. They told us about life in Gaza and their struggles. Just as they were telling us about the electricity cuts they experience on a daily basis, our call with them was cut. This happened several times due to an electricity shortage crisis which still plagues Gaza today. We told them about the exhibition and how many people came to see their drawings. Their happiness at hearing these words was indescribable.

I will never forget these amazing children and I hope to be able to visit them one day. Their final words to us before we said our goodbyes will stay with me forever:

"Please don’t forget us" they said. "We tell you about our struggles, you listen to us, yes, you may feel upset but we are the ones that actually experience these struggles. We have to live through the bombings and the killings. We don’t want to live like this, we want to live like normal children in the rest of the world, we want to live in peace. Please don’t forget this. Please don’t forget us"

Mohammad Assaf…..sort of.

This year’s participation of the Palestinian singer in the popular singing contest Arab Idol has afforded the show as well as the singer himself much attention. His participation in the show has caused a stir and has been extensively discussed and analysed by various reports, articles and talk shows. He’s the favourite to win the show but many contend that even if he’s not awarded the title, he has undoubtedly gained the most out of the experience.

The Gaza-based singer has risen to fame within the Arab world, less for his vocals and more as a champion and a “fresh” face for the Palestinian cause. That’s not to deny his singing ability which has been highly praised but the real problem is that we’re being led to falsely believe that a win for Mohammad Assaf is also a win for the people of Gaza and Palestine. This without a doubt has been a driving force behind many of the viewer’s decision to vote for Assaf. Even The Bank of Palestine is throwing money into his campaign, promising to match up to 350,000 texted votes – each one costing 1.50 shekels ($.40). Taking this into account, I think we’ve really got to start asking ourselves, who’s really profiting from promoting such a narrative? Surely that money could be better spent elsewhere, especially with the Palestinian government’s crippling budget deficit?

Let’s not kid ourselves, the real winners of Arab Idol, the ones really benefiting and indeed, profiting from all this are MBC themselves, their sponsors and the Saudi Arabian government alongside the Saudi chairman of MBCWaleed Al-Ibrahim. The millions of votes that the viewers send in equate into millions of dollars. It’s their money of course and they’re free to do whatever they want with it but don’t for one second believe that your money is helping Palestine or the Palestinian cause and struggle in any way. The only struggle your money is helping to alleviate is the struggle of the big corporations and the billionaires who own them to get bigger, richer and more corrupt. So please, enough with all the “hope for Palestine” talk because the only time we seem to be good at remembering Palestine is when it’s associated with something fun and light-hearted. Assaf might win, fireworks will go off, confetti will be thrown, zaghareet will be sounded and sweets and sharbat will be passed round but after the celebrations die down, will we still remember the Palestinian cause?

"We must do everything to insure they never return. The old will die and the young will forget” –David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel, 1949."

The Nakba (meaning ‘Catastrophe’), marked the birth of the state of Israel in 1948. The Palestinian refugee crisis was born out of this catastrophe and to this day, the majority of Palestinians remain refugees. Following the Nakba, 78% of historic Palestinian land was seized for the establishment of the state of Israel.

During the Nakba, 530 Palestinian villages were ethnically cleansed, thousands were killed, and 75% of the Palestinian population fled. Many massacres were committed by the Zionist forces, including the massacre at Deir Yassin where approximately 250 women, children and men were killed in what began as a dawn raid and lasted two days.

Let it be know that our cause will never die, that it can never be imprisoned, expelled, tortured or humiliated. 65 years since the Nakba, a catastrophe that we did not forget, that we still have not forgotten and that we shall never forget. We shall return.

Write down:
I am Arab
my I.D. number, 50,000
my children, eight
and the ninth due next summer
—Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
I work with my struggling friends in a quarry
and my children are eight.
I chip a loaf of bread for them,
clothes and notebooks
from the rocks.
I will not beg for a handout at your door
nor humble myself
on your threshold
—Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab,
a name with no friendly shortcut.
A patient man, in a country
brimming with anger.
My roots have gripped this soil
since time began,
before the opening of ages
before the cypress and the olive,
before the grasses flourishes.
My father came from a line of plowmen,
and my grandfather was a peasant
who taught me about the sun’s glory
before teaching me to read.
My home is a watchman’s shack
made of reeds and sticks
—Does my condition anger you?

There is no gentle name,
write down: Arab.
The colour of my hair, jet black—
eyes, brown—
trademarks,
a headband over a keffiyeh
and a hand whose touch grates
rough as rock.
My address is an unarmed village
with nameless streets.
All its men are in the field and quarry
—Does that anger you?

Write down:
Arab.
You have stolen my ancestors vineyards
and the land I once ploughed
with my children,
leaving my grandchildren
nothing but rocks.
Will your government take
those too, as the rumour goes?

Write down, then
at the top of Page One:
I do not hate
and do not steal
but starve me, and I will eat
my assailant’s flesh.
Beware of my hunger
and of my anger.

Identity Card, Mahmoud Darwish (1964)

Written when the poet was 22 years old.

(John Asfour translation)

One of my favourite poems

(via masroora)

53 plays

على طريق عيتيت يمّي قطعو صلاتي
واحد حبيب الروح يمّي وواحد حياتي

ودّعوني وراحو يمّي صوب النبطية
وقالو شو هم نموت يمّي وتبقى القضية

ويا ريت عيني نهر يمي وشرّبون منو
ويا ريت جسمي جسر يمي وقطّعون عنو

وما بين أنصار و عتليت يمّي كتبتّلك أشواقي
بترابات الجنوب يمّي أنا ورفاقي

ونحنا شفنا العذاب يمّي ودقنا حلاتو
ويللي نسي أرضو يمّي يعدم حياتو

وعلى طريق عيتيت يمّي قطعو صلاتي
واحد حبيب الروح يمّي وواحد حياتي

theorthodoxbrit:

News is coming in about Israeli Police and Soldiers setting up barriers & checkpoints on the entrance of the Holy Sepluchre church in and Old City Jerusalem and denying local Christian believers the right enter their church.
I am still waiting for further confirmation but a few sources are claiming they have been stopped and a few people have had their taxi drivers telling them they can’t go further because of army checkpoints preventing it.
We know that they usually prevent thousands from attending the services but this would be a new low. If anyone has independent confirmation (I have 4 sources but want more) it would be appreciated.

You can find more pictures here and here and also videos via this page. Most people are accustomed to seeing Muslim worshipers being denied entry to the Al Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers in Jerusalem but our Christian brothers and sisters also undergo the same, sickening treatment by the “the only democracy in the Middle East.”
[Palestinian Christians] [Twitter] [theorthodoxbrit]

theorthodoxbrit:

News is coming in about Israeli Police and Soldiers setting up barriers & checkpoints on the entrance of the Holy Sepluchre church in and Old City Jerusalem and denying local Christian believers the right enter their church.

I am still waiting for further confirmation but a few sources are claiming they have been stopped and a few people have had their taxi drivers telling them they can’t go further because of army checkpoints preventing it.

We know that they usually prevent thousands from attending the services but this would be a new low. If anyone has independent confirmation (I have 4 sources but want more) it would be appreciated.

You can find more pictures here and here and also videos via this page. Most people are accustomed to seeing Muslim worshipers being denied entry to the Al Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers in Jerusalem but our Christian brothers and sisters also undergo the same, sickening treatment by the “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

[Palestinian Christians] [Twitter] [theorthodoxbrit]

(via theorthodoxbrit-deactivated2013)

Omar Al-Abdillat does it again - best dabke music. The songs in the order he sings them in:

1) نزلن على البستان 
2) لوحي بطرف المنديل
3) حب حبني على الخدين
4) على العين مولييتين
5) صبو القهوة
6) مرعية
7) و ساري سار الليل

A waitress had her tip docked by a member of The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) because she wore a t-shirt opposing occupation which says “Occupation isn’t Pretty” whilst serving. The waitress who works at the Busboys and Poets café was left with only a 10% tip, a brochure and a condescending note which says “Displaying your political beliefs on your shirt cost you a % of your tip.”

(via fattysaid)

stay-human:

Pictures (top to bottom, left to right): 1) From twitter account of Osher Maman of the Israeli Golani Brigade. 2) A montage posted by Osher Maman which includes a dehumanizing picture of a blindfolded Palestinian. 3) Hebrew over Gaza says “Soon to be a giant theme part” 4) Also from Osher Maman’s instagram. 5) Maman violating Israeli laws about mishandling weaponry.

This is “the most moral army in the world,” everybody.

As Mor Ostrovski’s now infamous Instagram image of a Palestinian child in the crosshairs of a sniper rifle generated disgust around the world, the Israeli army claimed that the photograph was “a severe incident which doesn’t accord with the IDF’s spirit and values.”

It is understandable that an occupation army that markets itself as the “most moral army in the world” would attempt such damage control.

Those who follow matters closely know that the photograph was an apt symbol for the Israeli army’s contempt for the lives of Palestinian children, as well as for the total impunity soldiers accused of crimes against Palestinian civilians enjoy. Even in terms of “misuse” of social media, it was no isolated incident.

Israeli soldiers’ use of social media has given a unique insight into an “army” that functions more like a rabble – with soldiers misusing weapons, breaking laws, and expressing violent and extreme views and posting images of themselves doing it online.

Electronic Intifada

thepeoplesrecord:

palestinianliberator:

I decided to make this to try and shed light on the Israeli-enforced segregation of roads within the West Bank.

In the images of the map, the town on the right is my hometown of Deir Dibwan. On the left is Ramallah, the de facto capital of Palestine. The two are a little less than two miles apart. Two miles, not that far, right? Hell, there’s even a direct road joining the two!

Using the road joining the two cities, outlines in blue in the first picture, it’s a little over 5 minutes driving to get from one to the other. 

Israel has, however, restricted access to the road for Palestinians in order to “protect” the illegal and racist Israeli settlement of Psagot, established on Palestinian-owned land, yet completely restricted to all Palestinians. The road is now exclusively reserved for Israeli settlers only, and any Palestinian vehicles found driving on the road are subject to arrest, or target practice by the settlers. 

Because of this closure, Palestinians are forced to use a very complicated series of unmarked roads to reach Ramallah, which have been highlighted in green in the second picture. 

In order for a Palestinian from Deir Dibwan [or any of the surrounding regions, including every town and city to the East and South of Deir Dibwan] to reach Ramallah now, they must drive through the Palestinian towns of Baytein, Ein Yabrud, Dura al-Qare, Jifna, Beir Zeit, Abu Qash, Surda, and Al-Bireh. 

The road connecting Deir Dibwan to Ramallah is approximately 2 miles in length. The length of road Palestinians must now drive instead totals approximately 22 miles. What was originally a 5 minutes trip is now almost an hour long. 

Ramallah houses most of the regions schools, as well as serving as a hub of jobs for those living within the Ramallah Governate. My brothers and I would drive an hour each way to get to school everyday, with frequent checkpoints often doubling that time. My brothers, as well as every other Palestinian in the region who goes to school in Ramallah, to this day continue to follow this same route to school daily.

Palestinians have, however, established a sort of “shortcut”, which I have highlighted in red in the second picture that cuts from Dura, through Jalazon, and into Al-Bireh.

This road has managed to cut down on the time it takes to get to Ramallah, making it around a 35 minute trip. The issue with this road, however, is that Israel deems it as an “illegal road”, and subjects it to frequent closures, despite the fact that it avoids any Israeli Settlement and is completely on Palestinian land, meaning that by taking this road, it may cut down on the amount of time it takes to get to Ramallah, or it may greatly increase it if the IDF happen to be in the area and turn cars around.

This is just one of countless segregated roads in the West Bank, with every road showin in yellow on the maps being off-limits to Palestinians. Israeli settlements have completely cut off Palestinian towns from one another. The cut-off is so severe that towns with historical ties have now grown so far apart to the point that they have developed their own dialects and accents. 

“How does Israel know if a Palestinian is driving on an Israeli-only road?”

Israeli cars have yellow license plates

image

While Palestinian cars have green ones

image

So a green-plated car seen driving on an Israeli road is subject to being stopped and arrested, or simply shot at by Israeli settlers, while Israeli vehicles are allowed to drive on any roads they choose. They are allowed to enter Palestinian villages, while Palestinians are absolutely forbidden from even approaching Israeli settlements without the threat of being shot.

Israel: The only country left practicing such a barbaric system of apartheid democracy in the Middle East!

The US provides Israel with $8.4 million in military aid every day.

Israel has the been the largest total recipient since World War II, amounting to more than $115 billion since 1949

In July 2012, President Obama approved an extra $70 million to expand Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense program. 

Obama’s 2013FY budget requests $3.1 billion in Foreign Military Financing for Israel to be used for weapons & military training. 

(via doyayoda)

israelfacts:

Palestinian Christians and Muslims jointly celebrate the lighting ceremony of the Christmas tree, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, Palestine, December 2012 

More than 170,000 Palestinian Christians live under Israeli occupation in the West Bank, without proper political representation, freedom of travel, equality before the law, and many other civil and human rights. The occupation does not discriminate between Christians and Muslims — they both suffer the same.

See also: For the first time in the 2,000 year history of Christianity, Bethlehem and Jerusalem will be completely cut off by illegal Israeli settlements after Israel authorized the construction of more than 2,600 homes in Givat Hamatos. Bethlehem is now surrounded by 22 settlements, all built on stolen Palestinian land.

(Photographs: WAFA)

In light of a recent ruling by an Israeli court that the death of 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie was a "regrettable accident", Maath Musleh looks back at other victims who, like Rachel Corrie, came under Israeli attack and were then deprived of justice.

theegyptianpenguin:

OLIVER Cazard interrupted the women’s football match between France & Israel wearing a ‘Free Palestine’ shirt at the Olympics today.

Interesting that this should surface now. This actually did take place but NOT in the Olympics - Israel didn’t even qualify to compete in the Women’s competition! This was part of a campaign launched by pro-Palestinian groups last year to persuade European football’s governing body to reverse its decision to grant Israel the junior final in 2013. The incident with Oliver Cazard took place on the 26/10/2011 by the French campaigning group EuroPalestine who staged a pitch invasion in a match between France and Israel in the city of Troyes north of France. Five girls and boys wearing green boycott Israel T-shirts or carrying Palestinian flags ran onto the pitch during the second half of the France-Israel match at Troyes. The last young woman suffered a cracked rib while being roughly handled by ground staff.
Guys, please, please, please check the source before sharing!
Sources: [Jews4BIG] [EuroPalestine] [Video of Incident] [Qualifying Teams]

theegyptianpenguin:

OLIVER Cazard interrupted the women’s football match between France & Israel wearing a ‘Free Palestine’ shirt at the Olympics today.

Interesting that this should surface now. This actually did take place but NOT in the Olympics - Israel didn’t even qualify to compete in the Women’s competition! This was part of a campaign launched by pro-Palestinian groups last year to persuade European football’s governing body to reverse its decision to grant Israel the junior final in 2013. The incident with Oliver Cazard took place on the 26/10/2011 by the French campaigning group EuroPalestine who staged a pitch invasion in a match between France and Israel in the city of Troyes north of France. Five girls and boys wearing green boycott Israel T-shirts or carrying Palestinian flags ran onto the pitch during the second half of the France-Israel match at Troyes. The last young woman suffered a cracked rib while being roughly handled by ground staff.

Guys, please, please, please check the source before sharing!

Sources: [Jews4BIG] [EuroPalestine] [Video of Incident] [Qualifying Teams]

(via mohamad-ashraf-deactivated20131)