Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The named victim receives a great deal more mourning than the unnamed one, or so I've heard...
So, here are some names, thanks to Ma'an News Agency.

The first 187 Palestinian victims were identified as:

Ibrahim Al-Jamaj
Isma’il Al-Husari
Isma’il Salem
Isma’il Ghneim
Eyman Natour
Eyhab Ash-Shaer
Ibrahim Mahfoudh
Abu Ali Ar-Rahhal
Ahmad Al-Halabi
Ahmad Al-Kurd
Ahmad Al-Lahham
Ahmad Al-Hums
Ahmad At-Talouli
Ahmad Zu’rub
Ahmad Abu Jazar
Ahmad Radwan
Ahmad ‘Udah
Ahmad Abu Mousa
Ahmad Tbeil
Adham Al-Areini
Osama Abu Ar-Rus
Osama Abu Ar-Reish
Osama Darweish
Ashraf Ash-Sharabasi
Ashraf Abu Suhweil
Amjad Abu Jazar
Ameen Az-Zarbatli
Anas Hamad
Anwar Al-Bardini
Anwar Al-Kurd
Ayman Abu Ammouna
Ayman An-Nahhal
Ibrahim Abu Ar-Rus
Basil Dababish
Bassam Makkawi
Bilal Omar
Bahaa Abu Zuhri
Tamir Qreinawi
Tamir Abu Afsha
Tawfiq Al-Fallit
Tawfiq Jabir
Thaer Madi
Jabir Jarbu’
Hatim Abu Sha’ira
Hamid Yasin
Husam Ayyash
Hasan Baraka
Hasan Abid Rabbo
Hasan Al-Majayda
Hussein Al-A’raj
Hussein Dawood
Hussein ‘Uroq
Hakam Abu Mansi
Hamada Abu Duqqa
Hamada Safi
Hamdan Abu Nu’eira
Haydar Hassuna
Khalid Zu’rub
Khalid Abu Hasna
Khalid An-Nashasi
Khalid Shaheen
Raed Dughmush
Rami Ash-Sheikh
Raafat Shamiyya
Riziq Salman
Rif’at Sa’da
Rafiq Na’im
Ramzi Al-Haddad
Ziyad Abu ‘Ubada
Sarah Al-Hawajiri
Salim Abu Shamla
Salim Qreinawi
Sa’id Hamada
Salim Al-Gharir
Suheil Tambura
Shadi Sbakhi
Shahada Quffa
Shahada Abd ar-Rahman
Sabir Al-Mabhouh
Suhayb Abu ‘Iffat
Suhayb Abd al-‘aal
Tal’at Salman
Tal’at Basal
‘Aasim Ash-Shaer
‘Aasim Abu Kamil
Abid Ad-Dahshan
Abd ar-Raziq Shahtu
Abd as-Sami’ An-Nashar
Abdul-Fattah Abu ‘Uteiwi
Abdul-Fattah Fadil
Abdullah Juneid
Abdullah Al-Ghafari
Abdullah Rantisi
Abdullah Wahbi
Arafat Farajallah
Azmi Abu Dalal
Isam Al-Ghirbawi
‘Alaa Al-Qatrawi
‘Alaa Al-Kahlout
‘Alaa ‘Uqeilan
‘Alaa Nasr Ar-Ra’i
Ali Awad
Imab Abu Al-Hajj
Omar Darawsha
Omran Ar-ran
Anan Ghaliya
Gharib Al-Assar
Fayiz Riyad Al-Madhoun
Fayiz Ayada Al-Madhoun
Fayiz Abu Al-Qumsan
Camellia Al-Bardini
Ma’moun Sleim
Mazin ‘Ulayyan
Muhammad Al-Ghimri
Muhammad Al-Halabi
Muhammad Asaliyya
Muhammad Az-Zatma
Muhammad Az-ahra
Muhammad Gaza
Muhammad An-Nuri
Muhammad Abu Sabra
Muhammad Abu ‘Amir
Muhammad Abu Libda
Muhammad Hboush
Muhammad Al-Mabhouh
Muhammad Sha’ban
Muhammad Abu ‘Abdo
Muhammad Salih
Muhammad Tabasha
Muhammad Al-Habeil
Muhammad Abdullah Aziz
Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab Aziz
Muhammad Awad
Muhammad Abd An-Nabi
Muhammad Salih
Muhammad An-Najari
Muhammad Hamad
Muhammad Barakat
Muhammad Muhanna
Mahmoud Al-Khalidi
Mahmoud Abu Harbeid
Mahmoud Abu Matar
Mahmoud Abu Tabour
Mahmoud Abu Nahla
Mustafa Al-Khateib
Mustafa As-Sabbak
Mu’ein Hamada
Mu’ein Al-Hasan
Mumtaz An- Najjar
Mansour Al-Gharra
Nasser Al-Gharra
Nahidh Abu Namous
Nabil Al-Breim
Nathir Al-Louqa
Ni’ma Al-Maghari
Na’im Kheit
Na’im Al-Kafarna
Na’im Al-Anzi
Nimir Amoum
Hisham Rantisi
Hisham Al-Masdar
Hisham Abu ‘Uda
Hisham ‘Uweida
Humam An-Najjar
Hanaa Al-Mabhouh
Haytham Hamdan
Haytham Ash-Sher
Wadei’ Al-Muzayyin
Wasim Azaza
Walid Abu Hein
Walid Jabir Abu Hein
Yasser Ash-Shaer
Yasser Al-Lahham
Yahya Al-Hayik
Yahya Sheikha
Yahya Mahmoud Sheikha
Yousif Thabit
Yousif Al-Jallad
Yousif Sha’ban
Yousif Diab
Yousif Al-Anani
Yousif An-Najjar
Younis Ad-Deiri

Please take a moment to mourn each of these people.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

For Gaza

Where do I start?
There are no words.
There are always numbers:
375 Palestinians killed in Gaza…and the death count continues to rise…
1,720 Palestinians have been injured

…and how is one to heal when they do not allow medical supplies or doctors through the border?…and when they're bombing the medical supply centers and pharmacies that do exist?…and the tunnels, that might have been used to bring in new supplies.

Part of me is afraid to say this. Negative thinking is not helpful. I should say "Israel will stop the bombing and everyone in Gaza will heal."

Yesterday, I tried to pray. I don't really know how, so I opted for creative visualization. It was hard to picture Gaza without war. I realized that I have never seen it portrayed, except in times of war. I thought about how sad this is. There was a battle of images within my brain: hope vs. the-current-reality. Hope eventually prevailed. If only this were true in real life.

In Bethlehem, they canceled Christmas to mourn the attacks. If you are Christian and you read my blog, please-please-please convey this powerful piece of information to your families. There are usually lights in front of the barn where Jesus was (according to Christian doctrine) born. This Christmas, they turned them off. In Palestine, Christians do not celebrate on the 25th of December but in the beginning of January…if I remember correctly, it's the 7th, but I could be off by a few days, I'm not sure. They plan to keep the lights off for the local Christmas celebration as well.

I feel desperate. Helpless. Hopefully not hopeless, because then what's the point?
I remember this feeling from the beginning of the Iraq war. I hope this one doesn't last as long. I really, really, hope it doesn't. I guess that means I'm not hopeless after all.
This is a good thing.
I'm glad I found one good thing.

Friday, December 19, 2008


The president-elect is not our lover. He is not a potential messiah. He's not going to save us.
And in my opinion, that's okay.

I know, I know, this might be considered blasphemy by Obama extremists on both sides of the spectrum. But why?

When Obama put the words "hope" and "change" under his picture on a poster did that really convince so many people that he represents all possibility of hope + change? Did we forget how to hope for change outside of electoral politics? In grassroots social movements and activism? In real community organizing?

I know I already blogged about "cautious optimism," and that's still how I feel about Obama...although I admit I'm getting increasingly cautious by the day. Yes, he appointed Rahm Emmanuel, whose father was a member of the Irgun (a Zionist terrorist group) and now he has this anti-gay, anti-choice pastor delivering the invocation at his inauguration. Of course I'm disappointed. But my hope doesn't lie in Obama so I'm not crushed, betrayed, devasted. These were bad decisions. He's the president of the United States. The president of the United States makes bad decisions, it's probably somewhere in the job description. But he might not declare war on hella countries like McCain probably would have. So I'm still glad about that. He's not Bush. Glad about that. He's got a new dialogue going about race by the mere fact that he's a Black president. I'm pretty happy about that dialogue too - it's great to see more (white) people acknowledge that race exists and, for a minute, forget to pretend that they're "colorblind." He made politics a lot more "hip" and I'm glad about that too- - it gets a lot more people aware and involved.

To some who identify as "more radical" this probably makes me a sellout, but I disagree. I'm not selling out and I'm not in love with the guy. But now he's in office and, unless your daddy owns an oil company and your brother is the governor of Florida, you can't change that. I just feel like hating Bush took a lot of energy from the progressive movement, and I don't want us to re-focus on tearing apart Obama...there are so many more productive things for us to focus on. And I know there were a lot of organizations dedicated specifically to hating (or impeaching or criticizing or whatever) Bush...what are they doing now? How can we re-allocate their resources and memberships? What happens next?

I'm never going to be a flag-waving patriot. Even if Obama were perfect, he's not powerful enough to reverse this nation's history of colonization, genocide, militarism, and capitalist greed. I'm not gonna say that that's okay, but it's true. I support hope but let's be reasonable, people. Let's hope for the future, let's hope for specific victories, and let's never let hope be represented by the flag of an imperialist nation.

So, those are my most recent obamathoughts. What are yours?

...Who would have thought? Me, the practical one? It feels weird.