I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend that any and EVERYONE interested in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict to watch this hour and a half long film.
This film follows a group of children in Jenin’s Freedom Theater, opened by the Israeli Arna Mer Khamis, as an attempt to help children receive an education for children who’s lives have been disrupted by Israeli activities.
It starts out with getting to know the children, as they play and act in the theater, as they talk about their ambitions in life for their future, and follows as these children are transformed by the conflict and turn into fighters, who go on to fight against the Israeli Defense Forces that attack the camp during the Second Intifada.
Arna’s son Juliano, director of this film, was also one of the directors of Jenin’s theatre. With his camera, he filmed the children during rehearsal periods from 1989 to 1996. Now, he goes back to see what happened to them. Yussef committed a suicide attack in Hadera in 2001, Ashraf was killed in the battle of Jenin, Alla leads a resistance group. Juliano, who today is one of the leading actors in the region, looks back in time in Jenin, trying to understand the choices made by the children he loved and worked with. Eight years ago, the theatre was closed and life became static and paralysed. Shifting back and forth in time, the film reveals the tragedy and horror of lives trapped by the circumstances of the Israeli occupation.
I have never seen a film that represents the struggles of the Palestinians as up-close and personal as this one, with one especially powerful shot being that of Ala, sitting as a child on the rubble of his home shortly after it had been destroyed by Israeli forces, before fast-forwarding to him during the Intifada, a militant leader coordinating attacks against the invading Israeli forces.
Once again, I can’t praise this film highly enough, and it will emotionally ravish you as you see the toll the conflict has had on the Palestinian people, with those in Jenin specially affected due to the siege, and you can practically see the childhood being stolen from these kids.
No other film that I’ve ever watched has offered such a unique and insightful perspective, as this film actively follows a resistance movement AS they fight against the IDF forces, adding a much needed human element to a side that is constantly smeared as nothing more than “terrorists.
Baby’s movements are so strong now that he or she can no longer be thought of as a little creature doing blissful aqua somersaults….
…nope! It’s more like, “ahhhh!” as you feel a hard unexpected pressure wave pushing your tummy out and about from the inside….”aaagghh! There’s a little person moving inside my tummy!”
Looking forward to meeting this little person.
Soon there won’t be enough space in there for this growing resident traveller!
If Barack Obama, the US president, believes that a nation torn apart by race issues can become a post-racial society, then there is legitimate hope for a post-veil society. It is a society where a Muslim woman can get on with the task of living her life - in education, employment, security and safety in the family, private and public spheres. It is a society where who she is, rather than what she wears, is her definition and her contribution.
In such a society, the veil is no longer her only definition, no longer even her primary definition. This is a society where a woman’s choice to veil or not to veil is her choice and hers alone. There are those who will say that this article is contributing to the monolithic obsession with the veil. In some ways they are right, it is yet another article added to the thousands dedicated to this subject, when they ought to be focusing on other issues.
Yet, curiously, it is veiled Muslim women themselves who raise this point, fed up with seeing themselves portrayed as nothing more than the veil they wear. I feel it too as a Muslim woman, yet I feel compelled to write about it in order to create a movement to get over it. I have to keep writing about it till the Sarkozys of the world stop women gaining citizenship because of it. I am driven to keep highlighting the Marwa Sherbinis of the world - a woman stabbed in full public view in a German court, at the hands of a man who hated her for her headscarf.
It may shock both liberals who oppose covering of any sort, as well as traditionalists who would enforce mandatory veiling on women, that Muslim women more often than not have other priorities, and also want something other than their clothing discussed. For example, in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, where “saving” Muslim women is high on the list of justifications for invasion, the discourse on veiling is low on the list of women’s concerns.
Quoted from an op-ed by Shelina Janmohamed.
My hope is for a what-veil society
I’ve been wearing hijab for more than 10 years, entirely by choice and I’ve never felt defined by it. It’s a pity that so many people infer and extrapolate so many assumptions on seeing a Muslim woman who chooses to cover her hair, neck and breasts.
So what? The world is full of real issues. Let’s deal with our significant problems: youth gangs, corporate persons who put profit before ethics, moderns forms of exploitation of the so called developing world, poor nutrition from over consumption of junk foods, domestic violence, incest and the list of real issues can go on and on …. a future of no social support that few people are preparing for….I did say we could go on and on and on…..
Some of the most valuable books I’ve ever read are war narratives. Eleni by Nicholas Gages is the historical account of his mother and family in the Greek Civil War. The Book Thief by Mark Zusak is a fictitious but deeply touching account of a child fostered by a poor family in war time Germany. Half Of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie is a story which explores the historical reality of the War for Biafra in the late sixties in Nigeria while simultaneously exploring the theme of love and doing justice to both themes.
All three authors have been personally touched by war as they or their parents lived through the horrors of war and even the fictitious narratives are filled with details that have come from the archives of history and the living memory of survivors.
The most powerful conclusion that we draw from these tales is that war is ugly.
Politicians decide on wars and our children, our siblings, ourselves, our communities suffer both as civilians or soldiers. War strips us all of what we value most about the human condition. Compassion and integrity dissolve as the deeply ingrained impulse for survival, for self-preservation takes over.
Within the ugly mire of war are polished gems of humanity, to be found not only in great fiction but as often unsung war heroes. These are men and women who hold to principles of kindness and justice no matter how dire the situation.
To be sure, amidst the persecution of Muslims in Burma today and in the Syrian refugee camps, in the ugliest situations where man’s inhumanity to man is given free rein with the excuse of war, there are good men and women, gems, unsung heroes. And God takes account.
In Boston recently, Americans had a glimpse of how ugly war can be. In war free zones like the US and the UK or the Caribbean, war is more of a distant entity than a daily reality. We were appalled at the deaths, injuries and amputations experienced by marathoners and bystanders. Children and mothers were not spared. Terrorism is not fair by its very nature. But neither is war.
Allow me to share a powerful excerpt from “Half of A Yellow Sun”:
“Finally, the plump man muttered, ‘Fucking American policy.’
‘Nothing wrong with our policy,’ the redhead said.
‘Power comes with responsibility. Your government knows that people are dying!’ Richard said, his voice rising.
‘Of course my government knows people are dying,’ the redhead said. ‘People are dying in Sudan and Palestine and Vietnam. People are dying everywhere.’ He sat down on the floor. ‘They brought my kid brother’s body back from Vietnam last month for God’s sake.’
Neither Richard not the plump one said anything.
……….. ……….(skipping a bit here)…..
Later….the title of the book came to Richard: ‘The World Was Silent When We Died.’ He would write it after the war, a narrative of Biafra’s difficult victory, an indictment of the world. Back in Orlu, he told Kainene about the journalists and how he had felt both angry with and sorry for the redhead and how he had felt incredibly alone in their presence and how the book title had come to him.
She arched her eyebrows. ‘We? The world was silent when we (in italics) died?’
‘I’ll make sure to note that the Nigerian bombs carefully avoided anybody with a British passport,’ he said.
“Odenigbo’s Mother’s visit had ripped a hole in her safe mesh of feathers, startled her, snatched something away from her. She felt one step away from where she should be. She felt as if she had left her pearls lying loose for too long and it was time to gather them and guard them more carefully. The thought came to her slowly: She wanted to have Odenigbo’s child. They had never really discussed children. She once told him that she did not have that fabled female longing to give birth, and her mother had called her abnormal until Kainene said she didn’t have it either. He laughed and said that to bring a child into this unjust world was an act of a blasé bourgeoisie
anyway. She had never forgotten that expression: childbirth as an act of a blasé bourgeoisie - how funny, how untrue it was. Just as she had never seriously thought of having a child until now; the longing in the lower part of her belly was sudden and searing and new. She wanted the solid weight of a child, his child, in her body.”
From “Half of A Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Is love this misguided need to have you beside me most of the time? Is love this safety I feel in our silences? Is it this belonging, this completeness?
—Kainene’s note to Richard in Chimamanda Adichie’s “Half Of A Yellow Sun.”
Thinking of doing weekly Pilates or yoga classes later this year when baby is a little older. Then I remembered I don’t have a babysitter!
Oh well, I’ll be exercising at home till someone starts preschool!
As parents we learn so much when we ask our children direct questions instead of assuming we can mind read.
I found it odd that Yusuf, usually very enthusiastic to hug mummy’s tummy and talk to “his best friend The Baby,” (with no prompting from me), seemed to have lost interest in doing just that.
I asked him how come he doesn’t talk to the baby anymore.
He said, with a hint of reserve and sadness in his voice, “Because mummy you said my hands were too cold .”
Poor child. Yes I did say that, since lately he’s wanted to touch my pregnant tummy directly and up till a few days ago, if he had just come in from the great outdoors, his hands would have been quite cool.
Now to repair the bit of connectivity I accidentally dropped!
Yesterday Jonah wrote up a “voucher” for me on the page his daddy had used as a test page for the printer.
It said “Free Water Plant Copon” and had his name on it.
What that means is he’s going to water the plants for me after school.
Apparently I’m getting The Mummy of the Year Award for Being Such A Good Mummy Every Year.
I decided to accept the gesture of appreciation without asking questions or trying to analyse the situation.
I believe in taking any not-so-frequent words of appreciation graciously!
Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are. To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken, out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect, is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.
Met my doula today! She’s totally awesome. We both feel we’ve got shared values and beliefs about birth and that we’ll be a great team.
Will share her website soon!
Baby is no longer just moving. It feels more like tumbling!
Lots of shopping lists to make to be sure we’ll all be ready for birth- and that other things that would be better done before the birth than after will finally get done.
For instance I want to get a big set of ceramic cookware (as in what Dr. Mercola recommends) and maybe new curtains for the dining room. From my experience if I don’t get these before baby is born it will be ages before I can find the time!
Definitely having Braxton-Hicks contractions over last few weeks, and gradually more frequently than before! When I feel hurried they seem more likely to come on.
Walking is not as exhausting as it was at the end of the 2nd trimester. It turns out that my iron stores were very low and since I started taking therapeutic doses of iron I’ve got a lot more bounce in my step!