Child of Gaza – Surviving the cut

Originally posted on absarr writer:

10462666_10102337290478062_2296416502120422988_n The sun is about to rise, but you are still asleep.

This sensation of calmness and peace you are feeling is surreal. Everything around you seem to exist only because you want it to. Your feelings seem to be accentuated. This sensation of joy going through you, despite its good feeling, seems uncomfortable. As if it wasn’t supposed to be there. As if you shouldn’t be able to feel that way. But why?

In the background you hear the calling for the prayer. You open your eyes and you realize why, it was a dream.

You wake up, take a shower and prepare for the first prayer of the day. You lay your mat and implore the skies has if it was for the last time. Who knows, it might be.

Usually when you step outside you see children playing, running on the streets on their way to school. Today…

View original 136 more words

With a piece of coal

I check her profile everyday, every hour, to see if she’s okay. Every time she posts something, I’m relieved, that she’s fine – alive.

I send her messages, asking if she’s okay, if she’s safe. I have nothing further to say except to take care of herself and be safe. What am I supposed to do.

Every time she posts something new, she’s closer to danger. And this is the last thing she posted – a drawing she made, in these horrific circumstances :

10532639_817488114948272_5106316531994732882_o It comes with a caption: “with a brown crayon and a piece of coal I found ..I don’t know where the coal came from I guess from the house bombed next door …”
And she later added:  “it’s an every day picture in Gaza …a mom’s last look or last embrace or last goodbye”

(source – her profile)

She hasn’t posted anything ever since. I’m worried. But as she stated before, they shut down the electricity – so maybe she cannot be online.

The voice of Palestine

You voraciously craved for me,
even before you met me,
you were eager to claim me.

You grabbed me by the hand,
and dragged me with you.
You started disrobing me
while I resisted.
You had more power
and there you told me
you’re entitled to possess me.
It is your right, you claimed.
After all these years
you had the right
To possess my whole body
and soul.
All of me
for yourself alone

I fought back -
I struggled and resisted.
You called me ungrateful
and ungracious
You called me violent and barbaric,
brutal,
wicked,
and monstrous.

You took my clothes off –
all of them.
you chained me
and started thrashing
all over my body.
I tried to resist.
Stranded,
I could not fight back.

I shouted
you silenced me
you blocked my voice
you took me by force
abused me
and raped me.

You imprisoned me
for all these years,
constantly raping me.

After all these years
I am still alive
despite of all your brutal abuse
I am still alive
Breathing,
fighting
and resisting.
Yet every time I resist
you call me a savage,
a brutal savage that needs to be tamed,
or better yet, slaughtered

Every time I turn around crying for help,
all those people take your word
and call me a savage
Some of them rape me in their turn.

You have humiliated me
raped me
silenced me
deprived me of my voice ,
my freedom
and my soul

Now I dare you,
to divest me of
my courage
and my pride.

Little did you know,
I will keep fighting
and resisting.

July 22, 2014

Featured Image -- 684

A letter from Palestine

Originally posted on Daliya Falasteen:

Dear World,

I know you don’t have a check point next to your house

And that you don’t have to carry an ID on every step you make.

I know that you are not forbidden from the sun nor the sea

And that  you are not forbidden from living or either visiting your place of birth.

I know you don’t know what a refugee camp is

And that you have never experienced that confusion of what is more important to hold with when you forcibly leave your home.

I know your kids can play, sing, dance the way they want

And that the chances of them being killed while doing so is merely  none.

I know you have electricity, water, health, schooling and all livelihood necessities

 and that pain barely knocks your door.

I know you might have never seen blood but on TV,

And that you none of your…

View original 443 more words

Heaven knows I tried

I have some Israeli friends on Facebook. I have known them from the University days, they were nice people and we were friends. We haven’t maintained our friendship for long, but I still have most of them appear as friends on Facebook. My Facebook isn’t entirely private. This blog is much more private than my Facebook, and still open for everyone to read, comment and share.

Ever since the recent events in Gaza, I have seen many posts from those Israeli “friends of mine”on Facebook expressing solidarity with Israel. And whenever they see brutal pictures of children being massacred in Gaza, they immediately blame Hamas for being hardcore terrorists using children as shields. Basically that’s what their media tells them. And then surely their media also emphasizes that Israel warns people in Gaza before striking their houses.

Let me clear some things:
Hamas does not use children as shields. Main reason civilians in Gaza die (women, men, elderly and children)is because they have no idea where to go, they don’t have shelters and they can’t leave Gaza. Either they have to surrender or keep resisting. Or, either they have to escape or die as martyrs – and they can’t escape.
As for warning before striking – how would you feel if someone just called you and said “Okay, so I’m going to strike and destroy your home. Leave it if you don’t want to die.” People have no where to go and it would hurt them to leave all their belongings and memories behind in ruins. If the Israelis don’t want to kill people and wish to warn them before firing, why even bother striking from the first place? Israel just wants to appear as the innocent child that is acting good and only wants to defend himself from bullies. What bullies?

You can skip the next part, I’m going to repeat what I said in my earlier posts: I was never a fan of Hamas (or any Islamic/religious movement), but if they are a resistance movement and I support resistance, and that’s what they’re doing now, resisting. Can’t they have the right to resist the occupation and the siege on Gaza? And you don’t have to be a Palestinian to have the heart to support Palestine and be anti-Israel or anti-Zionism. There are a lot of people around the world (many of them are Jews) who do not support the state of Israel, are they anti-Semitics? You do know that Palestinians are among the Semitics groups as well?

Back to my Israel “friends” on Facebook. I tried to restrain myself, I truly tried, until today. I saw a picture of someone posting a picture that says “Burn my flag, steal my land, boycott my products, refuse to recognize me, create lies about me,… deny my right to pray… but I am here to stay, I am Israel.” Heaven knows I tried, I wrote something, and hit the backspace button, and then I couldn’t hold myself and wrote a comment. I’ve had it. I couldn’t tolerate such folly and ignorance. Are you kidding me! Who stole the land? and from whom? Who refused to recognize whom? And who denied whose right to pray?

I know I acted irrationally, posting a comment to such ignorance. But I couldn’t restrain myself.

You might ask me why I don’t remove those “friends” from my Facebook. Well, to whom do you think I post all these articles exposing the real terrorism of Israel? to my Palestinian friends who already know the truth? or to the brainwashed ignorant Israelis or other people all over the world, who are too blind to see the actual truth?

Oh, and you’d like this: Bombing of Gaza children gives me “orgasm”: Israelis celebrate slaughter on Facebook

I repeat this: I have seen some hatred from the Palestinian side (and with a good reason), but I have never in my life witnessed such hatred and radical racism from the Israeli side. Never.

Some things need to be shared

When it comes to the western media, I’m no longer concerned, for some reasons they started exposing the true face of Israel. Even though I wonder what took them so long. If you check the media, all over the internet, you’ll find some kind of news and articles about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which I don’t consider a conflict, I just think of it as an “occupation”. And now some of the western media and people from all around the world are admitting the idea of the occupation. I wonder how many are they, and if they will make an impact on the government.

In Israel however, people are being ignorant and racist. I swear, I saw some hatred from the Palestinian people, but they were a result of anger – can you blame them though? being deprived from their human rights, being occupied and under siege? While I have seen and heard so much hatred and racism from the Israeli people. I never knew such racism could exist.

On some occasions, while I mistakenly browse Facebook (the biggest social network) I find myself irritated by some of the Israelis comments and posts, and sometimes I have this urge  to respond to their remarks and attacks. But I don’t think I’ll come out alive in that – metaphorically speaking, they will kill me alive and I’d just regret anything I have to say. So instead I can post my own opinion, sharing videos I find relative to the whole situation, so those Israeli “friends” I have (from college or work) can see that the media they follow and share is based on false narrative.  If they can’t see the truth, they can do whatever they want, I’m not going to directly speak to them and “enlighten” their minds.

So, here is the video I would like to start with:

Miko Peled comes from a prominent Zionist family, his father is an IDF general and his grandfather signed Israel Declaration of Independence, yet he advocates for the rights of the Palestinians and fights against the Israeli propaganda.  In this interview he finally says:”If they don’t like the rockets, they can leave the siege on Gaza and allow the Palestinians refugees to go back to their homes. Furthermore, they can release all the Palestinian prisoners unconditionally… and cancel the apartheid regime… This what needs to happen, and it needs to happen immediately, and until it happens the world needs to boycott this place.”

Even though I once said that I’m not a fan of Hamas (I hate any Islamic/religious movement) I found that Peled has a point in what he says here, and sometimes (only sometimes) I can relate to Hamas:

is a resistance movement. wo Israeli occupation there would be no resistance. will kill as long as Palestinians r alive.” (Twitter)

Another video I shared, which I liked, and found the reporter admirable:

I’m glad she speaks openly, quite strictly and bluntly about some of the media and the White House, she puts much energy in her response to the situation. Respect.

Finally I would like to share a final video, a response from the Palestinian people, a poem by Rafeef Ziadah. One again, after three years, we still teach life, sir.

“We, Palestinians, wake up every morning to teach the rest of the world life, sir.”

You might say that Israel has the right to defend itself. What kind of defense are you talking about?

1601453_809772915719792_813919209650081933_n

We shall overcome

Deep in my heart, I don’t believe. Not anymore. There was a time I truly believed that hand in hand we shall all overcome.

Will we be able to break down the prison walls and tear down all lies. Will there be a truth to be told, to the whole world, to make us all free.

We shall overcome? When? After 66 years? When the whole world is right behind us, protesting for our freedom, while the leaders of the world are taking their naps.

Deep in my heart, I wish to believe, I wish faith was here with me standing hand in hand, to overcome and tear down those prison walls.

At least Roger Waters believes that we shall overcome.

Who teaches life?

I would like to share my opinion, once and for all.

As you might have heard, three Israeli youth were first kidnapped few weeks ago and just few days ago they were found murdered. Presumably by Hamas.

Let me make some introductions first.

The three Israeli youth were brought up by Zionist Israeli families living in the “illegal” settlement built on occupied Palestinian lands. They were brought up to believe that taking the Palestinian land from the hands of the Palestinians is an honorable thing to do. Of course according to Israel there was no such thing as Palestine.

Hamas is an Islamic Resistance movement in Palestine that fights Israel all the time. Many countries identify Hamas as a terrorist organization that aims to promote terrorism. Others would claim that this movement/organization simply aims for resistance against the Israeli occupation. I don’t wish to say anything about that, except that every religion-based organization is a concept I am always against.

I have heard that Hamas admitted the kidnap and the murder. Can you ask yourself why did they do that? There are too many reasons behind the kidnap and the murder I can assure you. But you cannot assure me that this kind of action is purely terrorist, can you?

It is a Zionist/Israeli propaganda.  Of course it is.

And now check what Israelis are doing. Even before the death announcement, there was a page on Facebook that says “Shooting a terrorist each day until the youth return.” According to Israelis, all Palestinians and Arabs (in Palestine or anywhere in the world) are terrorists. It doesn’t matter what their motives are, or their actions are for, everything is terrorism, as if they aren’t terrorists themselves.

A Palestinian Arab guy who studies Medicine at the Technion (one of the best institutes of science in Israel) posted on Facebook a status that says “3 goals for Palestine”. He published it before they found the 3 bodies of the Israeli youth.  As a Palestinian citizen of Israel he’s at great risk. Israelis believe that as a citizen he should respect Israel and declare to the world that he does not believe in the existence of Palestine. While they, Israelis, still believe him to be a terrorist because he’s an Arab.

I dare say this Technion guy is naive. Why would he post a status like that? I think he’s doing exactly what Israelis are doing, he’s going down to their level by stating the hatred toward Israelis. I understand his beliefs, I don’t have to agree with him, but why would he expose such behavior?

Yes, I sympathize with the mourning families of the 3 dead Israeli youth, because I don’t believe in murder, I don’t believe in the principle of “An eye for an eye”. I do however understand those who do not sympathize; imagine you live under constant occupation and oppression, would you sympathize with the death of your oppressor?  Surely not.

Now Israelis seek revenge and they wish to kill all Palestinians. They succeeded by killing one Palestinian child today. And maybe others to come. They call it a conquest. After all it’s a game: 3-1 for now.

Israelis were brought up to believe that their ancestors deserve this land and that they gained it by a heroic force (they make it sound biblical). They never understood the fact that they had to steal this land in order to live in it. They took it by force, and oppressed the native inhabitants and declared them to be terrorists. If you point out that you are against the state of Israel you immediately appear antisemitic – what about all the Jews who are against the state of Israel, are they antisemitic too?

In addition to their usual and old statement “Death for Arabs”, Israelis are expressing extreme hatred and racism, by posting everywhere on the social network and media: “To hate Arabs is not racism, it’s ethics” So basically being antisemitic is not about racism, it’s about ethics?

I’m running out of things to write about. Because apparently I’m not knowledgeable enough, and I can’t fully be part of this political game. I have my own beliefs and values, stating them might cause me a lot. After all, I am an Arab. I am a terrorist, right? In the meantime, I don’t have anything further to say.

Auden on Austen

There is one other author in my pack:
For some time I debated which to write to.
Which would be least likely to send my letter back?
But I decided I’d give a fright to
Jane Austen if I wrote when I had no right to,
and share in her contempt the dreadful fates
Of Crawford, Musgrave, and Mr. Yates.

You could not shock her more than she shocks me;
Besides her Joyce seems innocent as grass.
It makes me uncomfortable to see
An English spinster of the middle class
Describe the amorous effects of `brass’,
Reveal so frankly and with such sobriety
The economic basis of society.

W. H. Auden – Extracts from Letter to Lord Byron, one of his long poems, first published in 1936.

Sisyphus and the Arab Woman

In the myth, Sisyphus was punished to be compelled to roll and immense boulder up the hill, only to watch it roll down once he reaches the top, and to repeat this action of rolling the boulder, forever. The same goes for the Arab woman, she is punished to roll an immense boulder of traditions up the hill that leads to “Freedom” (or the Right of the Arab woman) and yet since she is chained to this boulder, she has to go down with it and repeat the same action – forever. (We don’t know how long forever can take).

I have seen this illustration more than once on he internet:

An Arab woman carrying "Traditions" on her shoulder heading to her "Rights".
An Arab woman carrying “Traditions” on her shoulder heading to her “Rights”.

And so I took the liberty of making this (I found the picture on Google and added the text myself):

the arab woman

We keep hoping that this boulder the woman carries gets lighter and lighter within each attempt, and finally, perhaps these chains will become loose, and fall off from the woman’s wrists, until the boulder falls down the hill by itself and alone. And the glorious , hard-working Arab woman will reach the top of freedom to obtain her rights – and perhaps even rule the world.

 

Straketch has moved

I’m sure not all of you are familiar with my website Straketch. I once has a blog called Straketch and then I changed it into a writing website/magazine for everyone to join and write. Now, I moved it to a new location on wordpress: straketch.wordpress.com

There are so many reasons behind this decision to move from .com to .wordpress.com and I know some of the reasons seem ridiculous or lack some sense, but at some point I’ve realized that I might not have another choice – at least for the future.

And now I would like to call all those who like to write to join the website/blog and contribute. Why not? It might appear as a tiny project made by someone inexperienced without serious talent, but Straketch has been a great part of my life and identity.

bannerfans_9157507

 

 

a personal blog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 145 other followers

%d bloggers like this: