Monday, July 31, 2006


'This Week In Palestinian Blogs: World On Fire'
by Naseem Tarawnah

While the flames of war engulf Lebanon, Gaza is still under attack. Many of the victims have been Palestinian children, some barely a year old; and as their families prepare to burry them Haitham Sabbah asks the fundemental question: “How shall we forget? How shall we forgive?”

As sound of artillery shells resonated from the nearby Al-Magazi refugee camp, Mona El-Farra overhears one of the girls at the children’s center in the Nusseirat camp say: “Nobody can stop me from dreaming, nobody should take my dreams away.”

Mona has been touring the camps and hospital emergency rooms in Gaza the last few days with many stories to tell; stories of sadness , of freedom and of resilient children of Gaza whose dreams continue to dance.

Laila El-Haddad still finds it difficult to blog from the U.S. especially when the news from back home has been mixed. While her in-laws have fled to Syria her father’s cousin in Gaza tells her that with no electricity in the area people can eat only what they cook the same day as lack of refrigeration and sweltering summer heat add to the already accumulating frustration. Meanwhile Fida, Laila’s activist friend from Gaza, writes her an email along with some photos of the Rafah crossing: “I came back and thought I can do some thing , but the Israelis destroyed more and killed more , and now in Rafah a lot live in the schools after they lost there houses.”

Fayyad of KabobFest is not surprised at Zawahiri’s latest video as he attempts to jump on the recent wave of support for Palestine and Lebanon where traditionally resistance movements there have viewed Al-Queda with contempt.

While pictures of Israeli citizens signing missiles before they are launched into Lebanon and Gaza have become popularized on many Palestinian blogs, Fayyad wonders if this is considered “Jewish terrorism” since “When a Muslim commits a crime, the whole of his religion goes on trial.”

In Hebron, Katie from Postcards From Palestine describes a week full of harassment that starts with a Palestinian family trying to celebrate a birthday party despite the aggravation of neighbouring Israeli settlers and intervening Israeli army soldiers wondering “whether or not this birthday party was legal”  and ends with her frustration over the beating and jailing of her friend.

Collective punishment and scare tactics: Naj from Gaza translates leaflets dropped by Israeli planes from occupied skies. Naj also documents the amount of damage that can be done by just some of the Israeli incursions in three days.

Elsewhere, just west of Nablus, the Israeli Army closed off a checkpoint and opened it briefly to allow only Israeli settlers in, leaving dozens of frustrated Palestinians to stage a non-violent protest by lying down on the ground to close the road with their bodies. The Israeli army responded with excessive beatings and sound grenades.

Last March Haitham Sabbah published two interesting posts about Samia, just another Palestinian refugee trying to cross the border to see her homeland. Recently another Palestinian blogger, Reem, had the good fortune of meeting her to talk about what it means to be banned from entering one’s homeland.

Lastly, Hayam Noir writes an open letter to Kofi Annan, Dr. Marcy Newman writes one to Israel.

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