Monday, March 19, 2012

Cedar Tree

As I read old poetry I scribbled years ago, I stumble upon one that I actually used to perform in spoken word performances. I am beginning to realize the rhythm of it, but it may not be obvious to the reader. 

Another poem about a massacre. October 25 2006.


On this anniversary of the Iraq Invasion by the United States, I began to think of younger years as the war continued and more innocent people died. I remember telling my high school friends, when we graduate university, we will still be somehow involved with this war. And here we are today.

The following poem is one I wrote following the events in Haditha. That this was written nearly 6 years ago and millions of graves away--truly saddens me. What a travesty the US has committed, and will only continue to commit, so long as it views the world as strictly its own. 

Anyways, here is what I wrote when I was 18. I was in a phase of religious renewal, and very much (and still) disappointed with the Muslim nations. Sadly, little has changed.

Friday, March 16, 2012

When writing about death

In my various roles and jobs here, I become the framer of pain. I am the one who packages it into a report, or a web story, or a presentation. I create media campaigns to create awareness. I take the life of a human being, snip at it according to my narrow understandings and experiences, and make it into something presentable.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A message to Eva Longoria: Modeling for ethnic cleansing is not activism

 The show "Desperate Housewives" has won the comedic and dramatic actress, Eva Longoria, much acclaim across the US and the world, as her image glows from the box families spend much time facing. And this week, as Western media continued to ignore Israel's gross attack on Gazan civilians, Longoria was off to model something much more older and dull than a Buick. Played by Eva Longoria, Gaby, one of the desperate housewives, has to take up an embarrassing job as a car show model at the mall to make ends meet in an episode that aired during the first season. This week Longoria seemed to be playing a similar role in Israel's misleading peace loving PR campaign, while Israel sent missile kisses to Gaza, exploding in blushes of innocent blood as the actress posed for the cameras. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I sit upon these steps and wait

Originally published October 25 2010

The difference between nature and the human mind is that so long as the mind functions, all things can stay alive. Those flowers died on that step, blew into the wind, and disappeared.

And perhaps that is nature's way of moving on. Nature does not know emotion.  It continuously adapts. A new flower emerges, much like the one before it. 

Yet a single memory makes it near impossible to replace a great man or woman. The mind deeply roots memories, discriminating and deciding what is relevant to life. And they live. Even the ones that haunt us.

I remember this day, when I stumbled down from my home only days after my arrival, picking the flowers of winter, and placing them on this step--a step I climbed in my childhood and into adulthood. The first time I ever came to this distant place, I begged my mother to take me to the fields and pick flowers with me to dry them. I remember a blood red flower, and I stuck it between pages of childhood illustrations. 

The last stone

Written March 11 2011

This is the final stone I cast into the dark, sky waters of faith.
Waves ripple the stars with the yearnings of a destitute soul
And land at the pillar where Satan made his appearance:
in my mind.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Braving the storm

The "naive ones" confront the storm. They brace themselves for its dark clouds and feel the sting of its first drops in luck. The gust of wind that pushes against them without sight of an ending to ominous clouds of abuse, the lack of no one to hold onto as they endure, is the survival of the soul battling the cage that usurps its free spirit.

Because they dared to challenge it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Poisoned Date Palms

"Over there is like here, neither better nor worse. But I am from here, just as the date palm standing in the courtyard of our house has grown in our house and not in anyone else’s. The fact that they came to our land, I know not why, does that mean we should poison our present and future?"

Friday, March 2, 2012

One of the coldest seasons in the last 20 years

And yet, Palestine is ever so beautiful despite horrid Zionist Occupation:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Returning to Palestine: Dismantling the caged identity

My grandfather, buried
in Northern California

I am the oldest of four children, and so I became the carrier of hopes and aspirations my parents seemed unable to reach. While my father immigrated to the US when he was 15, with only his early childhood and teenage years in Palestine, they  are the bulk of his memories. It was these he related to me: the warm bread his mother made, the cold of winter, the water wells, his father’s visits from the US, his ignorance to how poor they were but the reality of their humble happiness.

My grandmother,
buried in Al Bireh, Palestine
And as a result of these stories, it became my own determination to bring forth the years we spent in diaspora, to hopefully return to live in Palestine. My first visit was when I was five, just shortly after the conclusion of the first intifada. I ran back to the US to relate to my kindergarten teacher the destitution I had seen, wearing a shirt with a Palestinian  flag on it that my parents had dressed me in. It was the apparel of someone baptized by the struggle. With my wild hair in my face, I jumped in front of my teacher to tell her where I had went, the soldiers I had seen, the taste of Rukab and kanafe and barbeque. I had lived in my father’s childhood. I saw those who were left, his uncles, the elders that entertained the stories I had heard my father once speak. The narrative of my father was still alive in my childhood, I lived it for two months, and you would hear them all, all the adults, laugh well into the night.