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Thursday, March 01, 2007


The Thinking Bloggers

Thank you to Kate of Kate/A/Blog for giving Umkahlil a "Thinking Blogger Award."

The Thinking Blogger Award rules are:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.

I will start first with Kate. When I first started blogging, I happened upon her blog and was very impressed by her insight and humor, which never fails to inspire "thoughtful laughter":

Ms. Clinton woos the rightwing fundies and Jewish votes with periodic pilgrimages. She recently slipped a note between the stones of Jerusalem's Western Wall - many Jews believe that pleas placed between the stones of the holy site are answered by God (Hillary's note said "Me 2008").
and more humor:

Every week for several weeks we read the same hyped headline that "Bush poll numbers plummet." We now use "plummet" in our household as synonymous for all fake drama or excitement, i.e. my electric bill was $1.37 less and straight faced I can say my electricity costs have plummeted this month.

The author of Annie's Letters has had a profound effect on the way that I view effective Palestinian resistance. An excerpt from one of her letters-to-the-editor:

Political Zionism has shown no compassion for real community and a true sense of home. The indigenous Palestinians have been ruthlessly and intentionally impoverished, dismissed, displaced, demonized, and destroyed in every way possible. Zionists want to own every conversation plus that prime spot of real estate in the Middle East, and they want to be admired and protected while they commit a terrible crime against humanity with America's help.

Bonsoir is another Palestinian resistance blog written by a young man wise beyond his years. An excerpt from his review of West Bank Story, a musical comedy that won an Oscar for best short film and which presents the conflict between a heavily armed occupier and its victims as "balanced," and in eighteen minutes shows a love story between an occupied Palestinian girl and a nice Israeli soldier:

Mr. Sandel [director], if you have a little bit of rationality you will admit that occupation soldiers are never nice and wise. Israeli soldiers who serve the Zionist apartheid regime in its plot to cleanse the Palestinians never care for those they are killing and wose lives they sabotage every day. Israeli soldiers do not raid Palestinian territories because they enjoy helping the Palestinians. The only fun an Israeli soldier has is when shooting or beating a Palestinian and watching him or her bleed till death.

Peace Palestine contains one of the most insightful essays I've seen on a blog, "On Being An Art Restorer--Palestine Solidarity Activist":

A painting is not only cleaned and retouched, often it is consolidated, given a new lining, a new stretcher is built. At times, its dimensions must be modified, and there are always surprises that come to the fore once it enters into the laboratory. Sometimes it is disinfested if there are damages from insects, and most of the time one is working more often with a scalpel and syringe in hand than with palette and brushes. At least 75% of the work involves things that aren’t visible to the eye, because they aren’t located on the painted surface.

The same can be said for activist work. The writing campaigns at all levels, from letters to representatives and editors, letters of solidarity to prisoners and academics under pressure, to writing articles, books, opinion pieces and research projects such as the beautiful Palestine Atlas by Salman Abu Sitta are all useful and important.

And finally, another thought provoking blog is Arab Woman Progressive Voice:

She poignantly describes her flight as a little girl from El-Bireh in June 1967 and return:

I remember seeing my uncle, the family's patriarch, weaping. This is a man who spent eight long years in Al Jafer, the desert Jordanian jail. I don't know if he ever wept in jail or under torture. But I remember him weeping in Burka. That's when I got scared. He and all the men were glued to the radio. I remember them standing on the open veranda looking towards Jerusalem. Pointing. To fires. Planes on the horizon. And weeping.Someone tells my mother that our house received a direct hit. She collapses. Two of my teenage cousins are so upset on her behalf that they decide to go back to El Bireh to see for themselves. They come back with the news: the house is still standing. My mother lives.

. . . But on the day of our return, I remember, or my mother told me, that she finds that the dough she had left behind and was planning on baking six days ago has risen and spelled out of the tajen. She kneeds a new batch.I remember the smell of the fresh baked bread. The first thing we eat under occupation.

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