Monday, February 9, 2009

gathering sparrows and flowers


Lina Hassan, 10, was killed by an Israeli shell

Children Bearing Rocks

with stones in their hands,
they defy the world
and come to us like good tidings.
They burst with anger and love, and they fall
while we remain a herd of polar bears:
a body armored against weather.

Like mussels we sit in cafes,
one hunts for a business venture
one for another billion
and a fourth wife
and breasts polished by civilization.
One stalks London for a lofty mansion,
one traffics in arms
one seeks revenge in nightclubs
one plots for a throne, a private army,
and a princedom.

Ah, generation of betrayal,
of surrogate and indecent men,
generation of leftovers,
we'll be swept away--
never mind the slow pace of history--
by children bearing rocks.

~ Nizar Qabbani


Father & Daughter . A father lifts up and plays with his daughter behind a makeshift mesh fence in the slum neighborhood of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

A Song for Childhood

The moon rose
over childhood
And childhood was hills
gathering sparrows and flowers
in baskets under the moon
I'll pursue it, weeping and
falling on jagged stones.

It is a confiscated childhood.
From books and oil lamps, sometimes,
to prison and release, sometimes,
sometimes my life is counterfeit
Inside a city besieged by guards.


Light for Gaza

The moon rose
over childhood
And childhood was a pine tree
leaning across the shore of a sea
and twinkling above it, in dreams,
a star with many a mystery
I'll spend a sleepless night in that tree
in the dew
and light for it
an oil lamp.

This is a confiscated childhood
From books and oil lamps, sometimes,
to prison and release, sometimes,
sometimes my life is counterfeit
Inside a city besieged...

~ Hussein Barghouti

These poems are from the book Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation (1989), ed. Zachary Lockman and Joel Beinin.


X-ray Girl. A young Palestinian refugee girl stands on the streets of Beach Camp in Gaza City, clutching an x-ray photograph. Beach Camp is one of the world's longest-standing refugee camps. August, 2008.

4 comments:

gaby said...

I went back to my post and found this...I must respond! Here is the post ...

February 5, 2009 1:04 PM
zohan said...
In some sense the State of Isreal represents a tremendous achievement for the Arab countries. In exchange for a fraction of one percent of their territory they managed to expropriate the property of their Jewish citizens (estimated at between $13 and $30 billion in 1950 dollars) and expel. 870 000 Jews from thier territories without incurring any of the bad publicity that afflicted Hitler, the Arabs managed to accomplish one of Nazi Germany's primary goals, creating a vast empire free of Jews. For the first time in 2500 years an Arab could walk down the streets of Bagdad without encountering a Jew. Morocco, and Algeria rid themselves of hundreds of thousands of Jews.
Peace Zohan

February 6, 2009 11:42 AM
northshorewoman said...
Zohan, are you Gaby's friend from Tel Aviv? It sounds like it because your salutation of Peace rings into the same well as the Zen of Gaby.

SO as for your accusation of two peace loving persons being the same poster I can assure you I did not post this but I do appreciate that more than one person can carry the Zen of peace!

I also dont live in Tel Aviv but here is a letter from someone in that area...just to provide a small voice which is NEVER heard on your site!!
PEACE! GAby

Subject: Letter to Gaza citizens from a concerned
neighbor

> > Dear neighbor, My name is David and I live in Israel, thirty minutes(or one minute rocket time) from you, in a beautiful house by the woods. I hope
someday to have you over for a cup of tea. We have a
lovely view from the balcony. On a clear day we can see our jets bombing your neighborhood.
I think it's time we had a heart to heart.
> It's time you knew the truth. After all, what are neighbors for? You might have wondered why both you and your parents were born in a refugee camp.
> Why is it that even though we live only 30 minutes apart, I live in prosperity and you live in poverty and filth? Why you live in despair and hatred while we live in hope and love.
> >
> > Here is the truth, neighbor:
> >
> > There really was a Holocaust. I realize you've
> been taught otherwise.I know, that ever since you were a small child you've been told that the Holocaust is something the Jews fabricated to justify taking your
land. Well, dear citizen of Gaza, it really happened.
> Not very long ago. It happened. And guess what?20It's NEVER going to happen again.
The time in history when Jews were led to slaughter,
persecuted, raped and pillaged is over and will never recur. Never. Now we have our own country. Now we have the bombs. We will never forget what was done to
> > our people and you better not either. We don't hate you. We don't hate anyone. Jews are a peaceful people.
We do not want your land. We don't want oil. We
don't want to rape your women or murder your children. We never tried to force our religion on anyone. Our eternal capital, Jerusalem, is open to all faiths to love and to worship. We treat your Arab brothers who live among us as equals. Our hand has been extended to
> peace with our neighbors since day one. We have proven this time and time again through numerous negotiations and extensive compromise.
We ask only for one thing. Leave us in peace.
> That's right. We have no other demands. Just leave us in peace. It's as simple as that. If you don't, we will fight back ferociously and mercilessly. We will destroy
your homes and your cities. We will make your miserable lives even more miserable. If you don't want this to happen any more, leave us in peace.
Our soldiers are not motivated by hate but by
> determination. We embrace life and will do anything to preserve it.However, we will kill and die to protect our land and our way of life.
> That's what theyshould be teaching in your schools instead of useless lies.
A terrorist is a terrorist. Sorry to be the one to
> break the news, but it's about time somebody told you that a terrorist is nothing more than a coward. Not a hero. Not a Shahid. There is nothing heroic in blowing yourself up amongst a crowd of woman and children. Anybody cando it. Anybody can hide inside a school or a mosque and blindly fire rockets into cities, hoping to kill as many babies as
> possible. There is nothing courageous or admirable in these acts of
> cruelty. To take pride in an act of terror is pitiful and pathetic. I
> know you've been raised to believe the contrary, but it is a lie. I have seen how your
> > children are taught to commit suicide. How your
> suicide bombers are glorified. This is tragically sad. A real hero faces his enemy and doesn't hide in schools and hospitals. A real hero protects his people and will die for them but not among them.
Israel exists and it belongs to the Jewish People.
> I've seen your school books. I know that Israel has been omitted from your maps.
> > Contrary to what you've been told, the State of
> Israel really does exist. Look outside your window. We are here and we
> are not going anywhere. Dear Palestinian neighbor, it's time to
> deal with the facts.We love our beautiful little country. We will protect
> it with our lives. You are not getting it. This was explained to you in 1948. You
> > got your country and we got ours. Your arrogant and
> stupid leaderspromised you that you will get the whole thing.
> Thousands of liveshave been lost for nothing. It's NEVER going to
> happen! While you have
> > been foolishly drooling over our land instead of
> nurturing your own, we have built one of the most beautiful and successful
> countries on Earth. We have done it not to spite our greedy
> neighbors, but ratherin spite of them. We've planted forests and quenched the desert. We've drained wetlands and culivated fields. We built universities, opera
> > houses, superhighways, hospitals, skyscrapers and
> stadiums. We have millions of refugees, but no refugee camps.
You could do the same. Focus on what you have and not
> on what you will never have. It takes love, hard work and determination. We can help.
> > We have experts and scientists helping developing
> nations across the globe. Accept the facts, lay down your weapons and join us in making this great region of the planet even greater.
> >
> > Remember, we're neighbors.
> >
> > David Rosenblatt, Sarigim, Israel – Jan. 9th, 2009

northshorewoman said...

Gaby, have you no shame? What you posted is an insult to the children of Palestine, to the memory of those who have died, who have been maimed, imprisoned and whose childhoods have been stolen.

My spirit in this post was to honor the children of Palestine. To perhaps nudge us all--all of us living comfortable lives--to reflect on what can we do to stop this continuing cycle of oppression.

Have you no compassion for the children of Palestine and their stolen lives?

Don't send any more of your propaganda and Zionist misrepresentations of history, whether your own or others.

Inform yourself, Gaby. Begin the process of decolonizing yourself rather than miring / mirroring yourself in the biased stories and histories.

Obviously, you find something compelling about my posts because you keep visiting. I am heartened by that because that means some of the truths glimmer their way to you. But my blog is not a place for me to inform people like yourself you are not willing to think about their own complicities and to get into tit-for-tat debates. This is useless and not a way forward. It just mires people into two camps. I'm not interested in that; that is not helpful to the children of Palestine who are the hope and the future.

Why don't you start your own blog? Maybe a blog on how Zionist Jews and nationalistic, patriotic Israelis and privileged Jews whose heads live inside hasbara and whose bodies enjoy the comforts of free existence, such as lolling on the beach in Mexico, and traveling wherever they want--UNLIKE PALESTINIANS--write about how to begin decolonizing those sorts of Jewish mindsets. Other Jews have done the work, why not you, too?

Gaby said...

ALL Your posts are always about how bad the Isrealis are... but it is really simple. ....

When the bombs stop coming from Hamas the retaliation from Isreal will stop.

End of story!! Happy !!

Gaby said...

PS I am neither a zionist or jewish or isreali !! Its just when i find blatent prejudism I like to balance things a bit by giving a little glimpse on the other side of the coin!

And everything you accused me of I reverse the same right back at you!! Life is a mirror!