Nabka Day 2019 / #nabka71

Nabka Day

Today is Nabka day, the 71st anniversary of what the Palestinians call “catastrophe day.” You can see more by checking out Twitter #nabka71

Here’s just a glimpse into the plight of the Palestinian people.

#BDS – Join the Boycott on Nabka Day 2019

The global #BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) has been gathering momentum. More and more people across the world stand in solidarity with the Palestinians, you could be one of them. You can check out the BDS movement website here and register your support.

Palestinian Poetry – Mahmoud Darwish

Here’s a beautiful poem by Mahmoud Darwish:

A State of Siege


A woman asked the cloud: please enfold my loved one
My clothes are soaked with his blood
If you shall not be rain, my love
Be trees
Saturated with fertility, be trees
And if you shall not be trees, my love
Be a stone
Saturated with humidity, be a stone
And if you shall not be a stone, my love
Be a moon
In the loved one’s dream, be a moon
So said a woman to her son
In his funeral
He goes on to add:
During the siege, time becomes a space
That has hardened in its eternity
During the siege, space becomes a time
That is late for its yesterday and tomorrow

Mental Health Poem – Black Hole Razzmatazz

Mental Health Poem - Black Hole Razzmatazz

Black Hole Razzmatazz is a mental health poem, thoughts on the turmoil of mental health problems and an acknowledgement of the suffering and bravery.

Black Hole Razzmatazz – Mental Health Poem

 
The whole black hole. Years of study, research, expense, effort,
and taxing intelligence culminated in scientists capturing the
black hole on film when they could have taken an x-ray of my
brain and trophied the same result at minimal costs. I could
have painted a picture, sculpted it with my bare hands, led
them right into it, brought them on a whistlestop tour. But
they were probably scared and thought they'd be swallowed up
whole.

Brexit Poetry – Out to Lunch

Brexit Poetry - Out to Lunch

And now for a bit of Brexit poetry seeing as there’s no end in sight and the world looks on as British politicians try to sort out the Brexit mess.

Out to Lunch

Bunch of grand chaps pledged to
R
eturn Britannia to whilom glory and
E
ndow her people with bling and swagger. They sought to
X
tract her from the traitorous union, but
I
n-House rhubarb thwarted their grand plan.
T
oo bad she now looks like she’s out to lunch.

Brexit Poetry

Poem About the News – Didn’t Make the News Again Today

poem about the news - Didn't Make the News Again Today

This is a poem about the news discussing the choice of stories and headlines, alongside thoughts on what constitutes news and what doesn’t as well as the click bait nature and unfathomable news item selection.

Didn’t Make the News Again Today

 Home flattened,
kids slaughtered
...didn't make the news again today.

Slaved for years,
bills left unpaid
....didn't make the news again today.

Flesh dwindled,
water infested
.....didn't make the news again today.

Stood up,
raised my voice
....didn't make the news again today.

Funny that.
I bet a little improvised explosive device 
would.

Art for Social Change – Palestinian Art

Art for Social Change - Palestinian Art

A Palestinian artist has been creating art for social change. Using wax, she sculpted wax ice cream figures of the children killed during the 2014 aggression.

Latest UN Report on Israel and Palestine

Last week, the UN published the results of its inquiry into Israel’s rule of engagement during the Great March of Return. According to the Commission of Inquiry, Israel may have committed war crimes. This despite evidence that the Palestinians killed “did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious injury to others when they were shot.”

After interviewing over 300 officials, witnesses, and victims, the Commisssion concluded that only a fraction of the victims could be classified as armed Palestinian forces.

An estimated 23’000 people were injured or maimed by Israeli snipers, among them clearly identifiable healthcare workers, journalists, and children. The Commission stated that “less lethal alternatives remained available and substantial defenses were in place, rendering the use of lethal force neither necessary nor proportionate, and therefore impermissible.”

Santiago Canton, the Commission chairman concluded that “the commission has reasonable grounds to believe that during the Great March of Return, Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and must be immediately investigated by Israel.”

The Commission’s findings are now being made “available for an appropriate legal body to use”, according to UN media adviser Johan Eriksson.

UN Investigation Report

Art for Social Change – Palestinian Art Scene

The Palestinian art scene isn’t short of talent or verve. Although funding is often unavailable, Palestinian artists continue to create stunning art. Today’s Palestinian artists focus on depicting solidarity, self-sufficiency, and independence. Thus, art is not just for social change but an expression and reflection of life in Palestine.

Poem About Nature – The Polar Bears

Poem About Nature The Polar Bears

The Polar Bears is a poem about nature, a reflection on the recent news story covering polar bears entering a town in Russia.

The Polar Bears

 The people of Belushya Guba on the Novaya Zemlya 
archipelago didn't know what to make of the
polar bears fleeing the disappearing ice.

They came knocking, strolled through the wintery town
as if they owned it / a whole pack of
polar bears bolting from the vanishing ice.

The town's people, awestruck at first, soon scattered,
pulling children behind to flee from the
polar bears escaping the melting ice.

First, the town's trash heaps had lavished grubby grub,
fattening and stuffing the
polar bears breaking away from the departing ice.

Then, schoolyards, playgrounds, snowy gardens,
and doorbells charmed the
polar bears abandoning the passing ice. 

But their cheek and high spirits melted
and cleared the cuteness of the
polar bears hightailing the dwindling ice.

The town's mayor declared a state of emergency,
never ever had anyone seen so many
polar bears decamping the bunking ice.

How they managed to lift it within a couple of weeks,
no one knows, but now, there's no sign of
polar bears fleeing the disappearing ice.

Next year, will Siberian tigers, huskies, musk deers,
and brown bears join
the polar bears splitting from the lapsing ice?

Torture at Lybian Detention Centres

torture at Lybian detention centres

The following Channel 4 News footage shows torture at Lybian detention centres run with the financial support of the European Union.

Torture at Lybian detention centres

EU Response to Migrant Crisis

The EU has struggled to formulate a comprehensive and fair response to the migrant crisis. Migrant, refugee and asylum seeker distribution varies significantly from state to state. Countries like Germany, Austria, the UK, France, Sweden, Greece, and Italy have seen the largest numbers. In contrast, Eastern European countries and smaller nations have only taken in few.

The June 2018 mini emergency summit on the migrant crisis failed to achieve tangible results. Both the EU’s own migrant redistribution plans and the UN’s arrangements only catered to a small number of people fleeing wars in Syria and Lybia. An EU-wide approach is lacking as individual countries continue to adhere to self-made rules.

What’s more, right-wing politicians have used the EU migrant crisis to increase votes and stir up tensions.

Torture at Lybian Detention Centres Nothing New

As part of its response to the migrant crisis, the EU has provided Turkey and Lybian with financial aid for migrant detention centres. The EU tasked both nations to intercept migrant boats and return them to shore to stop them progressing toward EU shores.

However, according to a Guardian report, NGOs had already warned of serious human rights abuses prior to the establishment of the centres. Amnesty International’s Director for Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme, Steve Valdez-Symonds, had expressed fears that the plans were likely to lead to

lengthy and indefinite detention …….. in potential breach of EU and international law and the convention on human rights.

Steve Valdez-Symonds

Others predicted that the detention centres would become magnets for traffickers which is precisely what the Channel 4 News footage highlights. Because EU member states failed to accept migrants within a reasonable time frame, these detention centres have turned into overcrowded, long-term camps. Migrants experience squalid conditions, lacking basic supplies of clean water, food, medicines, and blankets.

According to the EU’s own audit, the abuse of unaccompanied minors is also staggering. Human rights abuses and deprivation of liberty are commonplace.

Torture at Lybian Detention Centres Highlights Need for EU-wide Response

It remains to be seen whether the release of this footage will make EU politicians redouble their efforts to implement an EU-wide response to the migrant crisis.

Malnutrition in Yemen – Update

malnutrition in Yemen

Malnutrition in Yemen is threatening the lives of millions of war-displaced people. According to Aljazeera, 14 million Yemeni are at risk of starvation, with no end to the crisis in sight.

Malnutrition in Yemen – Aljazeera Reports

Malnutrition in Yemen

UN Response to Humanitarian Disaster In Yemen

The UN has published its review of the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan. According to the report, over 22 million people were in need of humanitarian aid in January 2018, over half of them in dire need.

To date, the UN response staff are reaching just short of 8 million people each month, delivering food and medical supplies. The collapse of everyday life along with health, business, and educational structures have made the delivery of aid more difficult.

Hodeidah Withdrawal Plan Agreed

Hodeidah is a strategic port for the delivery of aid. According to a UN spokesperson, agreement on “Phase 1 of the mutual redeployment of forces,” was reached on Sunday without the disclosure of details.

However, observers believe that the Houthi rebels have not yet signed the official documents and may withdraw from this agreement. The rebel-controlled city is vital when it comes to the distribution of aid to millions of suffering civilians.

12-Year Old Girl Weighs 10kg – Donate Now

The girl seen on the Aljazeera video is 12 years old and weighs 10kg. If you would like to make a donation, please check out this list of aid agencies, working on the ground in Yemen. If your agency is missing from the list, please get in touch, and I will publish your details.

Palestinian Children – #Gaza #trauma #BDS

Palestinian Children

Let’s not forget the Palestinian children, #BDS.

Palestinian Children

If you're a Palestinian child, life is bleak

you're definitely going to be traumatised
your environment is hostile
you're scared
you may get arrested
you have to drink dirty water
you may get shot
you may get killed

Why?

because you are one of thousands of Palestinian children
and live in #Gaza
Palestinian Children trying to overcom the trauma
the unthinkable suffering of Palestinian children