Not Your Toy / No occupation

“Not Your Toy” is a hit song by an Israeli singer that won at the Eurovision this year. The song supposedly deals with Chauvinism, which sounds like something I’d like to hear, but the tunes aren’t really that great. It’s a catchy pop song though.

Israelis enjoy fighting racism, chauvinism, and try to advocate for human rights, LGBT rights, women rights, animal rights, etc. But when it comes to advocating for the Palestinians rights, they can’t do that. It’s not part of their schemes as liberal people.

Israeli vegans aggressively fight against slaughtering animals, but they do not care about slaughtering Arabs or Palestinians.

If you dare say that there is occupation in Israel, you have to deal with the consequences of your claim, and might be attacked, jailed, etc.

And since it’s the only democracy in the Middle East, you have to be extremely grateful that you’re not living anywhere else.

Now while people celebrated the glory of Israel in the Eurovision, many people were being killed and injured in Gaza. Because as you can see, the glory of Israel means the fall of the Palestinian people.

This is a cover song for the song “Not your Toy”. The song is in Hebrew with subtitles in English. The person who wrote it, sang it and edited it is very brave in my opinion, and this song is better than the original. Boom, Boom Boom-boom.

The only land

It’s the only land in which killing innocent people is considered self defense.

It’s the only land in which imprisoning children is considered self defense.

It’s the only land that confiscates lands to erase history.

It’s the only land that forbids you from practicing your culture, because it is a threat.

It’s the only land that forbids you from keeping your memory because it is a threat.

It’s the only land that hates you because you are what you are.

 

When I started writing the lines above, I was thinking of children prisoners in Israel, like Ahem Tamimi, who was arrested for slapping a soldier, who refused to get out of her land.

But, now I want to share this:

Last week, the poet Dareen Tatour is convicted for writing a poem, because according to Israel it contains incitement.

The poem: “Resist, My People, Resist them”

Simple as that.

Read The terror of poetry

But nothing happens when when Jewish Israeli people publicly say, shout, write, sing: “Death to Arabs”

(Instagram Pictures above contains many Facebook profile names contain “Death To Arabs” between brackets)

This is the only democracy in the Middle East, by the way. And Arabs are terrorists!

 

Naci en Palestina (Was born in Palestine)

When you’re born in Palestine, you always feel like you don’t know how to refer to your “home”.

The song is sang in both Spanish and Arabic by the great Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi . Great voice, great music!

Lyrics translated to English:

I have no place
I have no landscape
I have no homeland

With my finger I make fire
and with my heart I sing for you
my heart strings weep

I was born in Palestine
I was born in Palestine

I have no place
I have no landscape
I have no homeland

I have no place
I have no now
I have no country

With my finger I make fire
and with my heart I sing for you
my heart strings weep

I was born in Palestine
I was born in Palestine

I have no place
I have no now
I have no homeland

التعليم والاحتلال Education and Occupation!

مش عادي

Ariel is a settlment built in the West Bank in 1978, since then with government aproval and help it grew to become the largest of the West bank settlments, it sits between Jenin and Nablus, and now houses about 19,220 Israeli settlers.
Nazareth, the Largest Arab city in Israel, built about 4000 years ago (early estimates, 2200 BC), houses 75,922 people.
the First has a University Funded by the state, the second has been demanding a University, and working for establishing one, for more than 30 years.
the key to success in the Jewish state aparently is occupation!
Just FYI: more than 5000 Arab Palestinian Students (from Israel), study in the Palestinian universities in West Bank, mainly Jenin and Hebron!

school_g_19.

أريئيل هي مستوطنة اسرائيلية بُنيت في الضفة الغربية عام 1978، مذ ذاك الحين وبموافقة الحكومة ومساعدتها توسعت لتصبح كبرى المستوطنات الاسرائيلية في الضفة الغربية المحتلة. وهي تقع بين جنين…

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Palm Sunday – Jerusalem 1931

Palm Sunday is in another two weeks, and I just found this on Facebook (reposted by my dad). We’re not a family of great believers, but we do believe that we, Arabs (Christians and Muslims) lived in Palestine before the Occupation in 1948.

This footage is considered rare, though it may not be as accurate. But looking at the fashion, and looking at the people and the land, it did take place in Palestine before 1948.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F100011520930696%2Fvideos%2F516965788697448%2F&width=500&show_text=false&appId=112780658830227&height=365

The branches they’re holding are Palm branches, the same ones people were holding to welcome Jesus Christ to the city of Jerusalem on that Sunday.

Bar Bahar/ In Between – a film by Maysaloun Hamoud

I haven’t seen this film yet, though I’ve heard it received good reviews, and for once the Arabic woman stereotype is broken. For god’s sake, people around the world think that Arab women are supposed to be of one kind, but in this film, as it appears in the trailer, Arab women can live on their own, party, be successful, and still be women, just like any other woman in the whole world.

I can’t wait to watch this movie. It sounds great, maybe you should also watch it. Plus, my good friend Shaden is in it.

In a nutshell

Jews and Arabs must admit that they’re enemies, and must find a way to live with that.

Live with the fact that they’re enemies, and then later, if that works, they can start finding a way to live with each other.

 

The same applies to anything.

Christians and Muslims must admit that they’re racists (I’m basically referring to Christians and Muslims in my society), and cannot entirely tolerate one another, and must also find a way to live with that.

 

Surely you can agree or disagree.

I won’t wish you a Ramadan Karim

A post from last year.
Ramadan Karim

Strawberry Fields

Every year I decide to write a post about Ramadan: either to wish my friends a Ramadan Karim, or just to criticize Ramadan. But each year I find no words to justify my thoughts and I keep postponing the task. It’s the middle of Ramadan now and here is what I have to say:

There are few things you should know about me. One, I’m not a racist (Or as I like to believe I am not). Two, I hate religions. Three, I hate the religion of Islam in particular. And four, I always try to justify my opinion. And I mostly know that I might lose a lot of followers after posting this.

When it comes to religions, I need to say that growing up in the Middle East in a Jewish country, among a majority of Muslims people who keep more traditions as time passes by, all that made…

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Their Independence is our Nakba

Nakba = Catastrophe in Arabic (or as I refer to it: the Palestinian Holocaust).

I don’t know how anyone would think it’s fair that we, the Palestinians living in Israel, have to acknowledge the Israeli day of Independence.

What should I feel when I see the Israeli flags hanging in every corner?

Why can’t we remember and mourn the Nakbah Day while we have to stand in the minute of silence for the Holocaust victims and their soldiers?

Why do I have to hide my distress with the state at work?

Why do I have to hide my true identity when I walk down the street?

And then I have to commemorate and mourn in silence on the Nakbah day or the Land Day.

How can all that be fair?

nakba_day_by_graphic_resistance-d3ga83r

 

قصة حيفا ترويها شواهدها

شعر كتبه صديقي العزيز الشّاعر والكاتب والصّحفي شاهين نصّار
شعر عن مدينة حيفا، لمن عرفها وسكن بها، عرف قيمتها
a poem written by m y dear friend, the poet, writer and journalist Shahin Nassar. A poem about Haifa, the city that only those who know it(her) and lived in it (her) knows how much it is worth.

مش عادي

في حيفا قصص كثيرة يحاكيها الزمان 

وروايات أخرى مخفية عن الأعيان

هناك حكايا مخبأة بين الأزقة والجدران

إنها لمدينة يعجب لها القادم من أي مكان

في حيفا، حدائق معلقة أنماها إنسان

جنة على الأرض ملأها الحنان

ويقين أنها كونية في كل زمان

لكن في مقابرها تخفي شجن

على ماضٍ كان لها مرصوص البنيان

ومجد تليدٍ يولد من قلب الدمار

  • * * * * *

شواهد حيفا تحكي أحداثا لا تعرف البدء

والنكبة لم تضع لها حدا ولا إنتهاء

تقصّ على مرآى العابرين منها افتراء

النظام السياسي الجديد الذي حطّ وسط الصحراء

بمعايير عصرنا شواهد قلّة قبل الاجتراء

ورغم شحّتهم، يزهو فيها الأبطال الشهداء

وعميدهم القسّام في بلد الشيخ يأبى الدمار

  • * * * * *

هناك لن يبكي الطفل على جد الجدِّ

ولن يعثر الباحث عن أسلافه بجدِّ

على إجابة عمّا حلّ بمصير الأعيادِ

ومع ذلك، قد يجد هناك من يشهدِ

على ازدهارٍ نما من قلب الدمار

  • * * *…

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A Toast!

On Tinder, across the boards, in the middle East, in the middle of war, two foreigners, fall in love on a dating website and manage to get married.
Amazing.

My friend, the groom, deserves the best of happiness, and I’m glad he found his other half in the most unexpected place on the planet.

Read the post I reblogged.

The Singing Martingale

I saw the other day that some (well, exactly two) friends of mine in Haifa just got married (to each other). Since I didn’t get a chance to be at their wedding, here’s my uninvited toast (the groom’s side):

One of many people’s objections to internet dating – including my own – is that it feels too contrived, that the element of fate is taken away by a machine, and so, among other things, it makes for really trite, awkward ‘how we met’ stories. Theirs, however, is an exception. He was a German living in Haifa, and she was an American living in Beirut, and they met not because internet dating works, but because it doesn’t. They met, in other words, because Tinder has a bug: it doesn’t notice international boundaries, even when they’re impenetrable. So, despite my friends’ geographic incompatibility, their images were presented to each other by the…

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I won’t wish you a Ramadan Karim

Every year I decide to write a post about Ramadan: either to wish my friends a Ramadan Karim, or just to criticize Ramadan. But each year I find no words to justify my thoughts and I keep postponing the task. It’s the middle of Ramadan now and here is what I have to say:

There are few things you should know about me. One, I’m not a racist (Or as I like to believe I am not). Two, I hate religions. Three, I hate the religion of Islam in particular. And four, I always try to justify my opinion. And I mostly know that I might lose a lot of followers after posting this.

When it comes to religions, I need to say that growing up in the Middle East in a Jewish country, among a majority of Muslims people who keep more traditions as time passes by, all that made me believe that religious traditions should be avoided, for one main reason: they make our lives a living hell.

I grew up as a Christian,  but I always wanted to learn and know about other religions. I grew up tolerant and understanding. Hell, I even used to try to fast during Ramadan. Sometimes, among everyone around  me, I used to feel Christian and Muslim at the same time. But after the age of 18, after reading too much, learning more about the real reality, the one that is not banned, the one that is meant to be visible for the eyes of the adults, I knew that I cannot live a fake life, and be ridiculous.

Like myself, I think every atheist started questioning the existence of God or the supreme being from an early age. I have to confess, while learning that there’s such a thing as atheism, I started realizing that I can no longer believe. I cannot force myself to believe in entities and matters that do no exist to me. I decided to be an Atheist, because I can’t tolerate any more bullshit, and I can’t see the word from a religious perspective.

I will dedicate another post about Atheism, now I’d like to focus on why I don’t think Ramadan is a good idea. During Ramadan, Muslims have (and must, with no excuses) fast from dawn till sunset. And now during the summer it makes it about 15 hours a day. 15 hours without water, without any kind of food. Without food that can be okay, the human body can fast for more than that, but 15 hours without water? isn’t it too much? And it’s an obligation for everyone to fast. For everyone. Unless you’re sick, travelling, pregnant or on your period. But still, it’s summer time, and it’s obligatory to drink water all the time, 5 glasses in the morning and keep drinking more than two liters during the entire day. Even when you’re not thirsty, you must drink lots of water. But no, during Ramadan, you’re not allowed to drink any drop of water until it’s time to eat.

from www.barenakedislam.com
photo from http://www.barenakedislam.com

So, okay, it’s a tradition, and Muslims are all happy during this month, they get to fast, they get used to it after two days, and then the “Ftour” – breakfast (that’s from where the word break fast came from) time comes up at 8 and they all gather around one table and have a glorious amazing feast. Not even realizing that it’s bad for their health to eat too much at once after 15 hours of an empty stomach. I think that’s insane, it loses the whole meaning of fasting. Wasn’t Ramadan an occasion to feel  solidarity with the poor, hence the fasting? But no, on Ramadan people are obliged to give charity, not because they want to, but because if they do they will go to heaven. And from all my understanding of Islam: they’re only mission is to go to heaven. And it’s all done by fasting, giving charity, praying, wearing the Hijab, avoiding any drinks and entertainment, and even killing others for that. Killing others doesn’t only refer to what ISIS are doing, but also for what other Islamic countries are doing: execution for adultery, fornication, prostitution, robbery, being homosexual, etc. And that’s all because punishing the sinner on earth while he or she is still alive will ease God’s punishment when they die. I’m sorry, but I must say that’s a complete horseshit.

Anyway, back to Ramadan. During this month in Islamic or just Muslim cities or countries it’s illegal to eat in public. The penalty differentiate from one place to another: in some places you only get to pay a fine, in other places you get God-knows how many lashes and spending time in prison. Is that fucking fair?

Now lots of Muslims will be offended by my post, they will call me ignorant for giving small and little facts about what’s going on in the world of extreme Islam. But paying a fine for eating in public during Ramadan is in almost every Muslim town. People have to admit that the Islamic religion is not a moderate religion, the rules are strict and most of the time they don’t make any sense. I know lots of secular Muslims, but by a lot I mean just a few, and maybe some of them grew up in secular families, others had to suffer a lot to become secular. And it mostly depends on the place. Maybe in places like Haifa, Yafa, Acre and some other mixed cities people can easily be secular, but in most Muslim towns and villages the notion of being secular does not exist. That’s why young people who want to actually live move to much more convenient place.

I don’t know how that works in other Arab countries, but I know that’s how it goes for the Palestinian people, especially the ones living inside Israel.

To cut a long post short, you can call me racist, or ignorant, but that won’t change my view on religions, and especially the Islamic one, and I think that Ramadan is just a month to keep the ridiculous, difficult and pointless tradition alive. Ramadan is an example of why the Muslim world will keep going backwards. Because keeping traditions comes with a good price, and everyone is stubborn to keep all stupid traditions to prove their existence and persistence.

 

While this post is getting out of hand I want to add one last thing: I want a free Palestine, but not only the freedom from occupation, but also from its own people. If Palestine will be another copy of an Islamic country, then I want none of it. If the people of Palestine will keep their mind traditional just the way it is, then please keep dreaming about a fake freedom. Freedom only comes when your mind is free, and independent.