Forthcoming

"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." author Toni Morrison (1931- 05.08.2019)

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me”; Nora Ephron, author/comedian

"Make your story count". Michelle Obama

"Social pain is understood through the lens of racial animus". Researcher/author Sean McElwee writing in Salon, 2016

"We are citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear."  Chelsea Manning; activist/whisleblower

“My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you, And no fascist minded people, like you, will drive me from it. Is that clear?” Paul Robeson; activist/singer

“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

"We are more alike than we are different"v  Maya Angelou

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Watching Gaza

2008-02-03

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

 

We are all watching Gaza. Some fret, others send money to someone who might pass it to a family. We dare not send it to an organization that could lead to charges of supplying Hamas--a (US/Israel) banned 'entity'. (The T-list they assign Hamas to really scares us; have no doubt.)

The rest of us criticize the Arab leaders, the American leaders, the Israelis, and the Palestinian Authority itself.

Last week I read in a North African paper that because of Israel’s policy towards Gazans, Mauritania, one of a handful of Arab countries with official ties to Israel, was considering suspending their diplomatic relation. A few days later, we hear of an armed attack on the Israeli embassy in Mauritania’s capital. Now instability threatens the country and neighboring Chad.The  Saharan area, where the US desperately wants to impose its Africom base, is destabilizing!  Back to Gaza, if we can bear it.

We watched Gaza’s economy crumble. We watched Israel mercilessly attack its people. We watched the electricity go off, the streets fill with water, the dead laying in pieces, the crushed homes-- score upon score—blasted. We watched the tens of thousands of Gazans protest the Annapolis conference (while we ourselves remained mute). We hear UN administrators’ reports of scarcity and poverty, of its inability to feed its Gazan wards. We read of spreading hunger; we listen to experts warning of increasing disease and rising death and despair.

Maybe be a few of us write to a US official to plead for some respite for the Palestinians. Perhaps a few more write to an Israeli embassy demanding a change in their heartless, torturous policies.

But essentially we are all simply watching. At a certain point in the crisis, we have to look at the facts. We are not ignorant. We cannot pretend the treatment of Gazans, and all Palestinians for that matter, is anything but absolutely wrong-- morally and politically. But we are all rendered mute. We simply watch.

Anyone who once ventured into Gaza to offer moral support is now stopped. Anyone who sent funds to help rebuild hospitals and schools are now afraid to do so. Anyone who spoke for the elected Gazan government no longer does so.

When the wall at Rafah was broken and desperate people rushed into Egypt for supplies, we had new images. Still we simply watched. Some thought those forays into the markets on the Egyptian side of the border were a sign of the fortitude of the Gazans and cheered them on. Others saw the open border as a tactic by Israel to test if it might later dump the whole of Gaza onto the Egyptians. I watched, embarrassed.

Are we not all somewhat embarrassed by this? by our own cowardice and fear of Israel? by our reluctance and inability to take a stand for a banned people?

Surely we are not waiting for our chance to elect a new US president to represent our cause for Palestinians.

 

 

 

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