Falastin Volume 2 Issue 1

Page 1

Volume 2 Issue 1 December 2017

Letter from the Editor in Chief With a new year brings new beginnings. Readers of Falastin, we proudly present to you the first edition of our second volume. It’s been one year since the start of the magazine, and our goal has, and always will be to empower our voices and reclaim our narrative. Art is one of the most powerful means of resistance, because it lasts forever and reminds the oppressor that we are here, and we refuse to be silent. Whenever I set down to write my Editor’s letter, current events always change my initial direction. In this issue of Falastin, we set out to celebrate and acknowledge an important part of Palestinian culture, harvesting olives. However, as we celebrate the end of harvest season, we have also been faced with more injustice. The recent decision from the United States president to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ignores centuries of history. From before the time of Aristotle, Jerusalem has been Palestinian land, and it’s inhabitants have been Palestinians, and it will remain Palestinian land, and it’s inhabitants will remain Palestinian and proud. We at Falastin wish our brothers and sisters in Palestine strength during these times. As Palestinian Americans living miles away from the direct crossfire, it is our duty to raise our voices against injustice and oppression to our people. Therefore, we urge you to join in our form of resistance by contributing art, written pieces, and photography to our magazine. I’d like to thank and congratulate Falastin’s staff on a successful first volume. Thank you Rania for all your assistance throughout our past and current issues. I’d like to thank PACC’s board and all of our sponsors for all your support. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this magazine in any way, and finally, a huge thank you to all the readers of Falastin for your encouragement. All the best, Reem Farhat Editor in Chief of Falastin Staff of Falastin Razan Ewashah: Nonfiction Editor Aya Mustafa: Poetry Editor Marah Siyam: Fiction Editor Aseel Zeinaty and Hiba Birat: Arabic Editors Aseel Washah: News Editor Razaan Halak: Layout Editor

We’d like to extend a special thank you to Tala Ismail for her assistance with editing and to Salma Zaitar and Duunya for their art on the front and back covers! 2

Letter from the Executive Director It has been more than a year since we had the first conversation about starting this idea of a quarterly magazine. Through your support, readership and contributions we have successfully been able to complete Volume 1 of Falastin and begin Volume 2. I am incredibly proud of the team behind the magazine. Their dedication to the magazine and ultimately the cause of Palestine leaves me in awe. Attending their meetings, watching the juices flow and witnessing continuous improvement with each issue gives me hope, in such grim times, for a brighter future. As a result of President Trump’s recent declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel there has been a recent revival of the Palestinian spirit and the resistance movement. President Trump crossed a line. Jerusalem is, has been and will always be, the capital of Palestine. The duty falls upon us to ensure that this need to speak up, resist and demand change does not die down. We, unfortunately, tend to be reactionary people and once something fades from our present and transforms into a memory, it gets put on the back burner. This must not fade, this must stay ever present and this must cause a change. Partake in this call for action by contributing to Falastin whether it be through an article, a story, a poem, a photo, etc. Give this magazine to someone who may not know about what’s going in Palestine. Through Falastin we relay stories, photographs, and articles so that you can see and learn about Palestine and the struggles Palestinians face through the eyes of those who have gone. Get more involved with PACC. With the new year, we have a lot of exciting projects in the works! I would like to thank the Editor in Chief and staff members of Falastin for their dedication. I would also like to thank the sponsors of this magazine. It’s only with their support that we can continue printing the magazine and growing. Thank you to the board of Directors for their support. Last, but not least, thank you for picking up and supporting Falastin. All the best, Rania Mustafa Falastin Advisor Executive Director .

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Photo taken by Helda El-Temawi


TABLE OF CONTENTS Pg. 6-7 “Freedom” by Ahmad Jamhour Pg. 8-9 “Farah and the Olive Tree” by Reem Farhat Pg. 12 “Water and Oil” by Marah Siyam Pg. 13 “To My Grandmothers” by Aida Elsamna Pg. 14 “The Gift to Cherish” by Rayan Abbasi Pg. 15 ‫ يوسف قطب‬- ‫قرية الطيبة‬ Pg. 18 “Kafr Kassem” by John Gordon Pg. 19 “The Olive Tree” by Aya Mustafa Pg. 20 ‫ رجاء غزاونة‬- ‫سميحة خليل‬ Pg. 21 ‫ غزالن الحج‬- ‫الزيتون‬ Pg. 24 “Sawa: We Make Things Happen” by Sanat Karkat Pg. 25 ‫ اماني أديب شحادة‬: ‫ بقلم‬- ‫مصطفى عبد العزيز مقادسة‬ Pg. 26-27 “Dream Defenders” by Ahmad Abuznaid Pg. 28-29 “The Siege: Interview with Actor Motaz Malheez” Pg. 30-31 “Teared Roots” by Salma Othman Pg. 34-36 PACC Poetry Competition Winners Pg. 40-41 “The Olive Orchard” by Rahma Abukwaik Pg. 42-43 “South Africa’s Apartheid” by Aseel Washah Pg. 44 Khalto’s Tips Pg. 45 People of PACC: Nazeeh Abuhadba 5

Freedom Ahmad Jamhour I turn on the TV Only to find that the lives of our oppressed brothers and sisters were taken by the bullet An oppressor so insecure that they are scared of the youth Armed with nothing but some stones and the power of truth We watch as these people die everyday Nothing we can do is the excuse that we will often say I cannot wait for the day when our brothers and sisters are free Free from the grasp of tyranny Our hearts are surrounded by glee Trying to escape this world that is all but reality But we cannot escape the fact that our brothers and sisters are suffering With watery eyes that tear up like the rains of thousands of years But they know that after every storm there is a rainbow Nothing they fight for will ever be in vain Wallahi Palestine will one day become free All they want is what’s rightfully theirs Occupation kills millions, what more is needed to be said? Millions of our brothers and sisters are already dead However, it is never too late We should stand up for the oppressed and change their fate The alarm has sounded when will we wake up? We keep hitting snooze but no one can truly sleep through these alarming sounds Sounds that make my heart ache and my skin as cold as ice What do you not understand these people have not enough to suffice? A restless hunger that brings them to their knees We can’t use our hands so let’s use our hearts Before the world as we know it is torn apart By a weak people that have no credibility Relying on others to give them their position in the world and their money How can we succumb to such a people that have no real power When we can go out there and change it all with our tongues God hears all prayers and allows not a single one go to waste Don’t you all see we can eliminate all that is distasteful They have tanks and guns and missiles But they don’t have the power of God Wallahi Palestine will one day become free This is the Most Just’s Justice for our enemies We have Someone to turn to in times of pain Palestine will one day be free of these chains But not without a fight; not from them alone, but from us until we see ours faults and turn them around completely, no form of victory will ever come We know our enemies, but they know us better Why don't we step up and become more knowledgeable than them? Only then will we be able to eradicate all of the world’s oppression God has asked to pray and fast and that we do But He has also requested that we fight for the rights of all those who don’t have them


The blood and the houses and the land of the Palestinians Are collapsing at our hands, when will we break free from this prison Only then will we be able to eradicate all of the world’s oppression God has asked to pray and fast and that we do But He has also requested that we fight for the rights of all those who don’t have them The blood and the houses and the land of the Palestinians Are collapsing at our hands, when will we break free from this prison Of arrogance and ignorance preventing us from thinking the way we need to Believing in falsehood and avoiding the truth How blind could we be? Blind enough to condone this apparently We have all the means to change this reality Let us just take it one step at a time and not jump into the battle so impatiently We are quick to judge others but do we ever judge ourselves as frequently? Palestine is our fault, why are we unwilling to see It doesn’t mean we can’t change our priority If one Muslim is murdered, than all Muslims have underwent such a reality We are all mortals, no one can attain immortality Let’s use the short life we have to inspire good and spark our legacy Wallahi Palestine will one day become free This land will one day thrive like an olive tree Roots so strong and leaves so powerful No one will ever dare mess with us the way they have before I call upon all of you to stand up Stand up for your Muslim brothers and sisters that are trying to live it up In a land that doesn’t provide the fortune we have here At least we can give back with any little bit of charity A land mentioned in our book what more of an honor could it recieve? The Holy Land that deserves not only our words But it also deserves our blood, prayers, and all of our thoughts My blood bleeds not only the color red But also the colors black, white, and green Palestine will one day become free Our victory is sooner than we know As long as we stay steadfast on this deen Let us all take a vow at this very moment To do all that we can possibly do to end this testament Of pain and suffering to people that are all but innocent Oh Allah give them the life that they wished for Everyone stand up for your Muslim brothers and sisters You cause more change than you know or believe I promise that no one here including myself is doing enough Let’s all try to stay awake until dusk Asking God to give us our long awaited victory Wallahi Palestine will one day be free Illustration by Ahmed Abdul Majeed


Farah and the Olive Tree Reem Farhat When Mama’s laughter broke into a coughing fit that left her hands inked crimson, Farah knew something was wrong. Sumaya, the healer of their village, agreed. One morbid night, she told Mama in hushed tones to start preparing for the worst. “You are a widow, and you have no living relatives to take care of your daughter in your stead, Nadya. You need to have a plan.” Mama sobbed into Sumaya’s shoulders all through the night as Farah tiptoed back into the bedroom. She tucked herself into the bed she shared with her mother as silent tears streamed down her face. Shaking in the cold of the night, Farah held out her hands and made dua, like she’d seen her mother do countless times. That night, she asked Allah to save her mother. When Farah awoke the next morning, her mother was nowhere to be found. However, the scent of shai and zaatar quelled any worries she had. Everything was just as usual. Mama had made breakfast and was probably hanging laundry out to dry. Her dua was answered! Farah went outside to help Mama with the laundry, but when she arrived, Mama had collapsed on the floor, the pile of laundry she was holding was scattered all around her. “Mama!” Farah yelled, as she ran towards the heap on the ground. “Mama, Wake up!” Farah shook her mother. Her wails and screams must have alerted the neighbors, who came running and yelling. Mama was carried into our home by Fatima and Ayesha, two longtime family friends. They put wet cloths on Mama’s head and told Farah to leave the room while her mother rested. “Don’t worry, Farah,” Ayesha told her. “Your mama will be fine, insha Allah. Just have faith.” Farah’s heart felt heavy. She didn’t want to be treated like a child or pushed away. She decided to go to the one person in the village who might be able to help. She walked towards the door, hesitating for a second. Farah never left her home without Mama - she wasn’t even sure she knew the way. She shook her head and walked out anyways, gulping down the tears threatening escape. Upon finding and reaching the healer’s doorstep, Farah knocked and called her name. “Khalto Sumaya, it’s me, Nadya’s daughter.” A few seconds later, the door opened, with Sumaya hastily struggling to pin her white hijab to her head. “Farah, is everything alright with your mother?” She asks breathing heavily. “Yes… no, actually, but-” the young girl paused to reorient herself. “Khalto, can I ask you a question?” “Of course, "answered Sumaya, as she led Farah to the chairs on her lawn. They sat down next to each other. “I heard you and Mama talking last night.” Farah said, looking straight ahead before turning to face Khalto Sumaya. She missed the look of horror and shame on the older woman’s face by a split second. “Is my mom going to die?” “Child, the truth is, I don’t know. No one does.” She reached up to rub her eyes. “If your mother is meant to die, she will, and if she is meant to live, she will. It’s up to Allah to decide.” “Is there anything else we can do? Anyone else who can help my mom?” “You can’t outrun fate.” Sumaya answered resolutely. “But what if that’s not Mama’s fate, Khalto? What if we are just giving up early?” A heavy silence filled the night air. “You are a smart young girl, and strong too, MashAllah. I’m going to tell you a little secret. There is one thing we haven’t tried, but I heard could help.” “I would do anything.” “I know you would. But this is dangerous, and I want you to be careful if you choose to embark on this journey.” Sumaya began hesitatingly. “There is an olive tree in the town of Deir Aban. This tree is so special that it is proclaimed to contain special nutrients that aren’t in other olive trees. This could save your mother.” “So all I have to do is bring back some olives from this tree?” Farah asked. Sumaya nodded. “However, only a select few are able to tell this tree apart from other trees. So you


need to make sure your intentions are pure and your conviction is strong.” That night, Farah snuck out of her home, bringing with her a bottle of water and her father’s leather pouch filled with all the Liras her mother owned. She replayed Khalto Sumaya's instructions in her head over and over. Deir Aban would be around 7 hours away by foot. After about three hours of walking, relying on instinct to guide her until she reached the next town and could ask for directions, Farah ran out of water. Her throat felt like it had been laying out in the sun for too long. Unable to keep moving, Farah collapsed in the sand. The area was desolate, and she could find no signs of a city nearby. A while passed before Farah saw a man on a camel approach. The man was dressed in rags, and had a hatta wrapped around his shoulders. As he got closer, Farah could tell he was an elderly man. “Amo!” She called out, and he came to her. “Do you know where I can get any water?” He smiled widely displaying his two missing front teeth. His moustache was stained yellow from tobacco. “What is a little girl like you doing alone in this desert?” He asked as his eyes moved to the leather pouch Farah was clutching to her side. “I am delivering a message,” Farah answered, remembering Sumaya’s advice not to tell anyone where she was headed. “Do you know where I can get any water, Amo?” She asked again. This time, she was shaking from both fear and thirst. She held the pouch a little tighter. “I have some water with me, Amo,” he replied, getting off his camel and holding it in front of her. She eyed it dizzily, bringing her mouth close to the edges of the bottle, before it was swiped away hastily. “For a price, of course,” he told her, and out of desperation, Farah began to reach into her pouch. “No, no, no, not money, ya Bint Hassan.” Farah gasped aloud. “How do you know who I am?” She asked apprehensively. “I know your father. And I know that pouch, because I made it for him and engraved the symbols on it,” he told her, holding out his hand for her to shake. Farah looked at the pouch once more; an object she had known her whole life, now, felt entirely unfamiliar to her. “I am Omar al-Qatani. You are Farah, I assume?” He asked as he gave her the bottle of water. She nodded before saying, “Baba used to talk about you all the time.” She took a huge sip before feeling embarrassed for drinking so much. When she gives it back, he tells her to keep it. “You two used to steal from the merchants together, and give all the food to the Masjid.” He laughed a bit and lit a cigarette. “So, where are you really headed, ya Amo. I can take you there.” Farah knew in her heart she could trust this man, and told him. He laughed, “You were going to go all the way to Deir Aban by foot?!” Farah told him she had no other choice, and he told her she was lucky, because they were halfway there anyways. They both climbed onto the camel and made their way to the town. “Do you know where exactly this ‘magic’ olive tree is?” asks Omar mockingly as he turns his attention away from the reins and looked at Farah. “No, but Allah will tell me.” Farah thought back to the dua that she made a few nights ago. She didn’t expect this to be the way God answered it. By giving her the strength she needed to save her mom herself, and by sending people her way to help her. In that moment she felt overwhelmed with gratefulness. After a few hours passed, Omar informed Farah that they arrived in Deir Aban. They rode the camel midway through the village before Farah asked him to stop. “You sure it’s here, Amo?” He asked skeptically. Farah paid him no heed and began walking. As she got down, she felt a strong sense of calm wash through her. There was a warmth that was beckoning her, it wasn’t harsh like the waves of the desert sun, but soft and welcoming. She closed her eyes and followed this feeling inside. He wondered what could draw this child to this tree. It was the smallest and most malnourished. The branches dropped like vines and could barely hold onto the sparse olives it held. But Omar decided to trust Farah. Her conviction was definitely a trait from her father, and not one to be questioned. Farah gently picked a handful of olives from the tree. “Why don’t you take more, Farah?” Omar asked as she reboarded the camel. “Mama isn’t the only sick woman in Palestine, Amo.” She said matter of factly. The olives did not make Mama recover overnight. Slowly, but surely, however, she was getting better. And Farah found within herself a strength she never knew she had. She visited Omar once a week to hear stories about her father, helped her mother more around the house, and began to learn healing from Khalto Sumaya on Fridays after prayer.




The Gift to Cherish Rayan Abbasi As a Palestinian-American living in the United States, I count the days until I board a plane and head to my home country. My excitement to travel was usually only because I would be able to spend time with my cousins, since I have none in America. However, my mindset changed from wanting to spend time with my cousins, to wanting to spend time in Al-Aqsa. I’ve come to the realization that spending time in the Holy Land of Jerusalem, only minutes from Al-Aqsa, is a dream for many people, and it was a blessing I took for granted. Up until the summer of 2017, I never gave much thought to the fact that I was one of the few Palestinians who had the opportunity many people dream of. This was also the summer that had turned my life upside down, the summer that made me emotionally attached to my homeland. July 14, 2017, an infuriating, heartbreaking, and mind boggling event occurred. Al-Aqsa, was closed for Friday prayers for the first time since 2000 and the Israeli placed metal detectors at the gates of the masjid. The Palestinian community didn’t sit idle and cry; however, they did quite the contrary. They stood up for themselves and protested every day by the Lion’s Gate for nearly two weeks. They also prayed every prayer in front of the soldiers and fearlessly chanted while staring them down. Personally, I was irritated that the oppressors did such a thing. My family prohibited me from chanting with them in fear that something would happen to me. Nonetheless, I was and still am very proud of the Palestinians because they didn’t surrender until they achieved their goal, which was reopening the Remission Gate, and removing the metal detectors . The series of events that took place were truly devastating, but they forced me to realize how proud I am to be a Palestinian. I came to the realization that we, Palestinians, take our beloved Jerusalem for granted. As a Palestinian American, I never really thought much of Al-Aqsa because, to me, it was always there and I could go whenever my heart desired. However, this summer was different. Due to the political climate, my ability to go into Al-Aqsa was suddenly limited, and I wasn’t able to visit. It made me realize that I never thanked Allah for the opportunity He gifted to me, until He took it from me. On July 27, 2017, Al-Aqsa reopened, and you could feel the energy of the people all over the streets. I immediately decided to visit the site upon hearing the news of its reopening. When I got there, the oppressors were still throwing gas bombs to overcome us. To me, in that moment, not being able to breathe, and the possibility of being injured did not matter. I entered with a full heart and all that mattered was that Al-Aqsa was open and that I was only a couple of feet away from it. It was so surreal and blissful to have our mosque back. From that day forward, I went to Al-Aqsa for every prayer I was able to attend, and I loved and cherished every second I spent inside. Palestine is crying and pleading for our presence as much as it’s pleading for our help. We should never neglect the Holy Land of Palestine.


‫قرية الطيبة‬ ‫يوسف قطب‬

‫تقع إلى الشمال الشرقي من مدينة رام هللا ‪ ،‬وتبعد عنها ‪ 21‬كم ‪ ،‬تقوم على تالل جبلية عالية ‪ ،‬وترتفع ‪ 068‬م عن سطح البحر ‪ .‬بناها الكنعانيون‬ ‫وسموها (عفرة) بمعنى الغزالة ‪ ،‬وعندما احتل الفرنجة فلسطين سموها (إيفرون)‪ ،‬و عندما زارها صالح الدين األيوبي سماها الطيبة ‪ .‬تبلغ‬ ‫مساحة اراضيها ‪ 18102‬دونما ‪ ،‬ويحيط بها أراضي قرى عين يبرود ‪ ،‬سلواد‪ ،‬عرب الديوك ‪ ،‬دير جرير ‪ ،‬ورمون ‪ .‬قدر عدد سكانها عام‬ ‫‪ 2211‬بحوالي (‪ )262‬نسمة وفي عام ‪ )2008( 2291‬نسمة ‪ ،‬وفي عام ‪ 2261‬وصل العدد الى (‪ )2922‬نسمة ‪ ،‬وفي عام ‪ 2201‬زاد الى (‬ ‫‪ )2110‬نسمة ‪ ،‬وفي عام ‪ 2226‬وصل (‪ )1082‬نسمة ‪ .‬يوجد في القرية آثار تعود إلى ماقبل المسيح ومنها كنيسة أثرية للروم األرثوذكس ‪،‬‬ ‫وكنيسة الخضر‪ ،‬وكنيسة مارجرجس ‪ .‬كما تحتوي على بقايا قلعة صليبية (البوبرية) وأساسات أبنية ‪.‬‬ ‫في بلدة الطيبة الواقعة إلى الشرق من مدينة رام هللا يزدهر عدد من الصناعات التي تجذب السياح والتي تصل إلى شتى أنحاء العالم‪ .‬ففي هذه‬ ‫القرية الصغيرة التي ال يتجاوز عدد سكانها بضعة آالف نسمة يُصنع الشمع والسيراميك و النبيذ والجعة المحلية التي يطلبها السياح من كل العالم‪.‬‬ ‫وباإلضافة للمكانة الدينية والتاريخية لهذه القرية وما تحتويه من أماكن قديمة‪ ،‬تعتبر هذه الصناعات عامل جذب آخر يزيد القرية انتعاشا ويعزز‬ ‫من انتماء أهالي القرية لبلدتهم وأرضهم‪.‬‬


Water and Oil Marah Siyam Today's the day I become an adult; I have been trusted with a task only people specially chosen by the higher ups, (my mom and dad), can do. If I mess up today then my life is over; I'll pack all my stuff into a blanket and sling it over my shoulder. I'll fill my pockets with jelly beans and my bag with soda cans and be on my way, expelled from the village I've called home since I left the womb. I've been dreaming about this day since I learned that you can't eat an olive pit without choking to death. I’m going to mature so much I feel like I should buy new, bigger clothes to match my new internal growth. We are going jidd-ing! It's a magical time of the year where you and your family go to your olive trees and pick all the olives to either make olive oil or just eat them. I add the “i-n-g” because I learned in English class that when you are performing an action you have to add “i-n-g” to the word. Don't get me wrong, jidding might sound easy, but it's not. This is the first year my mom is letting me go with her and my aunts, and it's going to be a long day of work. Only the mentally and physically strong can survive this two-week long process. In my village, we pick the olives then throw them in a huge pit of fire and squeeze them to make a darker version of olive oil which has a richer and more smokey taste then regular olive oil. It's my favorite, and it's called Zeit Badoodiya. I don't know why so little villages make such a mouthwatering oil. It's almost time to go and my mom just gave me a new orange sweat Photo Taken by Sereen Tartir suit to wear. I put it on and tie my hair into a side ponytail before looking at myself one more time in the mirror giving myself a pep talk. “Alright, listen up, chump! You are the underdog and those olive trees aren't going to pick themselves. Don't you dare let even one olive fall to the ground. Every olive will be picked and loved then eaten, got it?” I say as I tie my hair up pushing my bangs out of my eyes to clear the way. Our olive trees are not that far, but with all the checkpoints it takes us almost an hour to get to them. Once we arrive, I jump out of the car with my water bottle in hand ready to conquer the day. My mom puts a square towel on her head and the pot of makloubeh on top. It's a tradition to sit under your olive trees and eat makloubeh with your fellow olive pickers. We begin to walk down to the olive trees, my legs are shorter than everyone else's so I'm a little behind. As I catch up with my mom I see the makloubeh that stood so tall on her head fall to the ground without her even flinching. I run to see what everyone is gasping at. I run and see black. Everything was burnt; every olive, every leaf, everything is gone. The question of "Who's did this?" does not exist. I desperately try to grab some olives to squeeze, hoping that maybe some oil will come out, but only my tears flow.


To My Grandmothers Aida Elsamna It was the summer of freshman year of high school that changed my life forever. After finding out my grandmother was suffering from a terminal illness, and knowing she did not have much time left, my family and I set out to visit and care for her at her home. However, it wasn’t the easiest trip to plan, because she lived in Gaza, Palestine, a city under constant siege from the Israeli occupying forces. This is when my journey of revelation truly began. The obvious reason for visiting Gaza was to visit my ailing grandma, but I believe God had something else in His plans for me. Upon entering Gaza, I faced my first challenge as a Palestinian-American Muslim girl, fueling both my anger and sorrow for all the suffering citizens of Palestine. With that in mind, to enter Gaza, one must go through the Rafah border in Egypt, which has been closed since 2007. However, people could enter the gates of Gaza a few times over the past ten years; this was just the beginning of my realization of how controlled Gaza was. Not only was it a living hell for the natives of Gaza, they were also denied access to help because of this unforsaken and incredulous rule. After a tenhour drive through the Sinai Desert, we arrived at the Rafah border where we witnessed thousands and thousands of people trying to enter the check point, several of them there for different reasons. It was ninety-five degrees. There were no stores, no water, and only one restroom within a five mile radius. Eventually my family entered the border building as I was left outside, alone and without a phone. I went into an extreme state of panic and did not seem to move. As much as I tried, I continued to stay rigid and motionless. But after a few moments of what felt like hours of terror, I knew I had to find a way in, and my anxiety attack was something that certainly could not help me. So with that, by the help of God, I finally moved out of my unwavering position and strode across the desert, hunting for someone to help me get in. I ended up speaking to multiple border officers, asking them to Photo Taken by Helda El-Temawi allow me in, using my broken Arabic dialect. After over an hour of convincing, one officer finally let me through, reuniting me with my family once again. But my struggle of course did not end there. It was something that I learned I had to deal with in order to survive the rest of my trip to Gaza. After entering the building, I was separated once again from my family as we were all interrogated in dark and gloomy rooms for hours. Once the interrogation ended, I was strip searched, feeling my dignity taken away from me. But I knew that if I wanted to see my grandma, I had to deal with whatever was going to come my way. However, after all the interrogations and strip searches were over, we were faced with another obstacle. We still were unable to enter Gaza and were told to try again the next morning. So with that, we were forced to leave the border in the middle of the night and as told, tried again the next day. But this time we were prepared for what was to come next after entering the border building. Once interrogations were completed for the second time, we finally were able to enter Gaza. This experience gave me a little glimpse of what it was like to live as a Palestinian in Gaza. As a citizen in your own home, you are treated like a foreigner. You are treated like a criminal simply because of the identity you hold. If you are a Palestinian Muslim you are automatically targeted for a life of unfortunate cruelty.




Kafr Kassem: A Film by Borhane Alaouie John Gordon On an October afternoon in 1956, the Israeli military imposed a curfew on an Arab village with little notice. Arriving home after working in the fields, the villagers of Kafr Kassem were unaware they were violating the curfew. Later that night, Israeli forces surrounded the town. The events leading up to this oftencommemorated event are reconstructed through the everyday lives of the townspeople who stoically attempt normalcy under unusually challenging conditions. BACKGROUND Borhane Alaouié’s Kafr Kasem premiered in 1974 at the Carthage Film Festival, the oldest festival celebrating African and Arab cinema, where it won the Tanit D’Oro Award for best film. It was also honored and nominated for the Golden Prize at the Moscow Film Festival of 1975. Despite its regional accolades and reach, the film was only briefly run, screened in just a few locations outside Syria and Lebanon. Because of the political crises in the region, the film became dormant almost immediately after its release and was largely forgotten. Recently a group of volunteers found a grainy copy of the film and began the process of restoring, translating, and adding subtitles to the film in order to bring it to the English-speaking world. Kafr Kasem made its US premiere and international revival with English subtitles in October 2017 at the Anthology Film Archives in New York City. The event was a great success with a sold out crowd. The event drew a diverse crowd including artists, musicians, authors and survivors from the massacre. After the screening, there was a presentation about the events and discussion with residents of the town of Kafr Kasem. Using Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1966 The Battle of Algiers as a visual and political reference, Kafr Kasem skillfully refuses to force conclusions upon its audience. The Israeli general who ordered the massacre at Kafr Kasem is depicted with the same objectivity as Lieutenant-Colonel Mathieu in The Battle of Algiers. Borhane Alaouié also adopts the newsreel and documentary style of The Battle of Algiers, using fictional realism to tell the story of the Arab workers and their massacre. The film begins with the testimony of the general, while the workers are introduced through the narrative of the spy as he meets with military officials. The film continues its serpentine meandering as it leads us to the doomed fate of the characters. Alaouié relied on official transcripts and records to depict these events as accurately as possible. At the same time, the film presents the daily lives of the townspeople, their history, their humanity, and their ability to create normalcy and humor in surreal circumstances. DIRECTOR Acclaimed French film critic, Serge Daney, called director Borhane Alaouié a “topographerfilmmaker” for his seeming laissez-faire approach to provoking thought in his audience. Alaouié began his career in 1968. Film-making was a break from the sort of activism in his circles at the time. He explained, “Friends asked me, ‘You don’t think that, with the money spent on this film, it would have been better to buy Kalashnikovs?’ I said, ‘Kalashnikovs we have, movies, no.’ So, I went on.” Alaouié was born in Lebanon in 1940 and studied film in Belgium. Kafr Kasem was his first film. Immediately after its release, Alaouié’s hometown was plagued by civil war, sending him into exile for the rest of his career and delaying the production of his second feature film, Beirut, until 1982. His later works – It is Not Enough God Is With The Poor, A Letter from War, A Letter From Exile, and After the Gulf War – explore panArabism and the Arab condition. His most recent work is Mazen and the Ant, released in 2008. FUTURE SCREENINGS Going forward, there has been great interest in showing the film in venues all over the US at film houses and community centers. The importance of the massacre and awareness of it should not be underestimated. This story and its relevance today, as current events mirror events such as this, makes it imperative that the public educate themselves about the events and actions depicted in the film. Palestinian historical tragedies often mirror historical tragedies that occurred in other parts of the world, as those who wish to subjugate others will always be central to struggles for self-determination. Kafr Kasem as a Palestinian village has withstood great tragedies and has carried on with Palestinian steadfastness, sumud.


The Olive Tree Aya Mustafa It was on this land It was by his hand My life began due to a gentleman It was with water and sunlight I grew to have strength and might I learned how not to go down without a fight It was my leaves that gave the children shade My olives produce oil that is used for first aid Life was great up until the first raid Men in green stampeded the ground Made the match spark to a fire all around Roots torn and thrown to the side creating a mound Laughter from the enemy was an unbearable stab Oh, how I hated their uniform colored olive drab If only I had hands I would have thrown them a piercing jab I stood helpless for what is an olive tree to do When she’s attacked by a raging Zionist crew As the fire climbed my trunk, I wondered how this terror wasn’t taboo?

Photo taken by Tala Zeitawi


‫سميحة خليل (‪)3222 – 3291‬‬ ‫رجاء غزاونة‬ ‫ولدت في بلدة عنبتا‪ .‬نشطت منذ ريعان شبابها في العمل الوطني‪ ،‬اجتماعيا وسياسيا فكانت عضوا مؤسسا للكثير من االتحادات واللجان‬ ‫والجمعيات‪ ،‬وشاركت في عشرات المؤتمرات الفلسطينية والعربية والدولية‪ .‬كرمت وحازت على عشرات األوسمة والدروع في محافل فلسطينية‬ ‫وعربية ودولية‪.‬‬ ‫تقدمت المتحانات الثانوية العامة عام ‪ 2269‬بعد ‪ 11‬سنة من‬ ‫الزواج‪،‬ودرست األدب العربي في جامعة بيروت العربية بين‬ ‫أعوام ‪ ،2261 – 2269‬إال أنها لم تتمكن من إكمال الدراسة‬ ‫للسنة الثالثة بعد أن منعتها سلطات االحتالل اإلسرائيلي من‬ ‫السفر إلى بيروت لتقديم االمتحانات‪.‬‬ ‫أسست عام ‪ 2211‬جمعية االتحاد النسائي العربي في البيرة‬ ‫وكانت رئيسة لها‪ ،‬وفي العام ‪ 2216‬أسست مع مجموعة من‬ ‫النساء جمعية إنعاش األسرة التي بقيت رئيسة لها حتى‬ ‫وفاتها‪،‬كما رشحت في العام نفسه عضوا في المجلس الوطني‬ ‫الفلسطيني وانتخبت في اللجنة التنفيذية لالتحاد العام للمرأة‬ ‫الفلسطينية وأصبحت أمينة سرها‪ ،‬وفي عام ‪ 2261‬انتخبت‬ ‫رئيسة االتحاد العام للمرأة الفلسطينية في األراضي المحتلة‪.‬‬ ‫أصبحت في عام ‪ 2211‬عضوا في قيادة الجبهة الوطنية في‬ ‫المناطق المحتلة والمشكلة من ائتالف وطني عريض ضم‬ ‫شخصيات قيادية تمثل كافة الفصائل واألحزاب والنقابات‬ ‫المهنية والشخصيات الوطنية المستقلة‪ ،‬حيث كانت المرأة‬ ‫الوحيدة في هذه الجبهة‪ .‬وفي عام ‪ 2210‬أصبحت عضوا في‬ ‫لجنة التوجيه الوطني‪ ،‬وهي الهيئة القيادية العليا التي ضمت‬ ‫رؤساء البلديات ومندوبين عن األحزاب والفصائل والمؤسسات‬ ‫والنقابات المهنية والشخصيات الوطنية‪ .‬وقد عملت الهيئة بشكل‬ ‫علني واتخذت من مجمع النقابات المهنية في القدس مقرا لها‬ ‫إلى أن أعلنتها سلطات االحتالل اإلسرائيلي خارجة عن القانون وقامت باعتقال أعضائها وإبعاد بعضهم وفرض اإلقامة الجبرية على البعض‬ ‫اآلخر‪.‬‬ ‫تعرضت سميحة خليل خالل سنوات االحتالل إلى االعتقال ست مرات ولفترات مختلفة دون محاكمة‪ ،‬وفي عام ‪ 2208‬فرضت عليها اإلقامة‬ ‫الجبرية لمدة سنتين ونصف‪ ،‬ومنعت عن السفر لمدة اثنى عشر عاما متواصلة حرمت خاللها من االلتقاء بأوالدها‪.‬‬ ‫رشحت نفسها في االنتخابات األولى لرئاسة السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية في عام ‪ 2226‬وحصلت على ‪ %22‬من األصوات‪.‬‬ ‫ألفت كتاب زاجل بعنوان “من االنتفاضة إلى الدولة” باإلضافة إلى العديد من المقاالت السياسية واالجتماعية ومجموعة من األزجال حول‬ ‫األوضاع الشعبية‪.‬‬


‫الزيتون‬ ‫غزالن الحج‬ ‫تتوالى المواسم و تبقى شجرة الزيتون تقاوم و يبقى الفالح الفلسطيني محافظا على أرضه و عاداته و مواسمه‪.‬‬ ‫ها هو موسم قطف الزيتون يحل في فلسطين و تبدأ معه طقوس جميلة و أصيلة لطالما كانت أبرز سمات المجتمع الفلسطيني الذي تربطه بشجرة‬ ‫الزيتون عالقة خاصة حتى باتت تلك الشجرة عامال للتوحد و التقريب بين أبناء شعبنا الواحد‪ .‬ففي موسم ( الجداد ) قطف الزيتون تتجلى فكرة‬ ‫العونة ؛ و هي عبارة عن األعمال التطوعية الشبابية لمساعدة المزارعين في قطف الزيتون خاصة و أن هناك مناطق كثيرة أصبحت موضع‬ ‫احتكاك مع الجدار الفاصل مما يحتم ضرورة التجمع من قبل المزارعين لقطف الزيتون في فترة زمنية واحدة ‪ .‬ما أجملها من أيّام حين نقطف‬ ‫الزيتون حيث التجمع األسري و ترديد األغاني؛ مثل "عالدلعونا و عالدلعونا زيتون بالدي أجمل ما يكونا"‪.‬‬ ‫يستخدم الزيتون في فلسطين في العديد من األغراض الزراعية و الغذائية و الصناعية و المناخية و البيئية و الدوائية من أهمها‪:‬‬ ‫‪ -١‬االكل ‪ :‬بعد عصره‬ ‫‪ -٢‬المخلالت ( رصيص)‬ ‫‪ -٣‬الجفت ‪ :‬للتدفئة في الشتاء‬ ‫‪ -٤‬تصنيع الصابون‬ ‫‪ -٥‬التصنيع السياحي مثل التحف و الهدايا من خشبه‬ ‫‪-٦‬الدواء‪ ،‬قال رسول هللا صلى هللا عليه و سلم ‪((:‬كلوا الزيت وادهنوا به))‬ ‫‪-٧‬اإلضاءة حيث كان قديما يستخدم في إضاءة الفوانيس‬ ‫‪ -٨‬تلطيف المناخ‬ ‫كذلك يشكل قيمة اقتصادية كبيرة تعود بمردود مالي للمزارع الفلسطيني بعد بيعه لتنكة الزيت بمبلغ يقارب ‪.$١٥١‬‬ ‫شجرة الزيتون شجرة مباركة وردت في القرآن الكريم في قوله تعالى ‪ ((:‬و التين و الزيتون)) فلنحافظ على هذه الشجرة المباركة و نزرعها‬ ‫بكثرة في أراضينا لتبقى صامدة وشامخة في وجوه أعدائها فإننا باقون على هذه األرض ما بقي الزعتر و الزيتون‪.‬‬

‫‪Photo taken by Helda El-Temawi‬‬




Sawa: We Make Things Happen Sanat Karkat

Ramallah, Palestine – headquarters to the intricately hidden offices of Sawa – All the Women Together Today and Tomorrow, or simply Sawa Organization with a base nestled in East Jerusalem is a homegrown support space made for all those who need it. Sawa, meaning together in Arabic, was formed by a group of friends in 1998 and is a leading Palestinian organization dedicated to providing support, protection, and counseling for victims of violence and abuse. This nearly twenty-year-old organization has maintained a low profile while achieving high-level success through its three main programs. First and most notably, is the toll-free national “Listening Helpline” which operates across the West Bank and Gaza through its three digit number, 121, symbolizing Sawa’s one to one counseling approach and care. There is also a toll-free number, 1(800)500-121, for those within 1948 borders. Callers are able to seek psychosocial support, medical consultations from the organization’s doctor, and legal advice from their lawyer. The Helpline operates seven days a week, sixteen hours a day, and has the capacity to go in emergency 24/7 mode like it has in the past during the last two assaults on Gaza. Throughout the last three years, Sawa has documented 56,888 cases via the Helpline with cases ranging from domestic abuse, sexual assault, and bullying, to helping connect families in Gaza during crisis. Callers are as young as five years old and vary in social, religious, and economic backgrounds. The second program is Sawa’s Mobile Clinic which travels to marginalized communities across Palestine provides basic medical exams and medicinal distributions, different health awareness sessions, and face to face counseling. Throughout the last 15 months, Sawa’s Sexual and Reproductive Health mobile clinic visited over 50 marginalized communities scattered across Area C, which are among the most underserved populations as they are under a mix control of the Israeli military and the Palestinian Authority and receive little to no assistance. Sawa’s Doctor and counselors held over 2,700 sessions at both public and private spaces willing to host. The third main program is focused on workshops on women’s rights, understanding violence, and how to become allies for victims of violence and abuse. Sawa works closely with and offers training to members of the Palestinian government within the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Labor and more as well as the Family Protection Unit and police officers of different ranks on how to help victims of violence. Sawa also works with schools to educate students and teachers on these important issues and where they can turn for support if needed. Sawa has earned a reputation of trust, hard work, and direct impact throughout Palestine. The organization’s General Director Ohaila Shomar and office manager Jalal Khader, Esq. have built Sawa into a hub of inclusion, equality, and creativity aimed at challenging crippling social taboos. Sawa was among the first organizations in Palestine to vocally address sexual assault and gender-based violence. Every year Sawa holds its annual conference in November which aims to challenge stereotypes and shed light on serious problems silently hidden throughout Palestine. Past conferences focused on the Tramadol epidemic in Gaza, a painkiller addiction that continues to receive little attention, and child pornography in Palestine. This organization relies on international donors to facilitate their work. For more information on Sawa Organization and to offer your support please visit their Facebook page, @Sawa.Organization or website at www.sawa.ps All donations big or small can go a long way, to donate, volunteer or for any other inquiries please email info@sawa.ps Sawa, we can achieve great things!


‫مصطفى عبد العزيز مقادسة‬ ‫بقلم ‪ :‬اماني أديب شحادة‬ ‫بِسْم هللا الرحمن الرحيم‪،‬‬ ‫اما بعد… أنا مصطفى عبد العزيز مقادسة‪،‬‬ ‫احد الفلسطينين المعتقلين في سجن عوفر‪.‬‬ ‫ْال َي ْو َم بالزبط بصادف تمام السنة الخامسة‬ ‫الي في السجن‪ .‬كان اول يوم من أيام الربيع‬ ‫‪ ٣\١٢‬كمان كان عيد االم‪ .‬كانت أمي قبل‬ ‫بيوم من اعتقالي قاعدة في المطبخ و بتذكر‬ ‫اخر رحلة الها على القدس‪ ،‬قالت عبرنا‬ ‫بصعوبة بس عبرنا‪ .‬صلينا في األقصى‪" ،‬يا‬ ‫هللا ما احلى االقصى و حيطان االقصى و‬ ‫ريحة األقصى" و بعد ما صلينا طلعنا قعدنا‬ ‫تحت شجر الزيتون و صلينا العصر كمان‬ ‫تحت الشجر‪ ،‬ااه يرحم هداك ْال َي ْو َم‪ ،‬يوم ما‬ ‫بتعوض كديش النا ما عبرنا االقصى‪.‬‬ ‫أخذت أمي نفس عميق و بلعت ريقها و‬ ‫ابتسمت‪ ،‬قالت اشتريت يومها سمسمية‬ ‫عمري في حياتي ما اكلت ازكى منها‪،‬‬ ‫طعمها من القدس غير‪ ،‬كأنها من الجنة‪.‬‬ ‫‪Photo taken by Helda El-Temawi‬‬ ‫بعد ما استشهد ابوي‪ ،‬زي كل امرأة‬ ‫بستشهد جوزها و بتصفي لحالها مع كومة اوالد‪ ،‬أمي اشتغلت بكل اشي موجود تتكبرنا‪ .‬خياطة‪ ،‬تتطريز‪ ،‬و حسب الموسم مرة بتعمل رصيص‬ ‫وزيت و مرة بتشتغل بتمريط الملوخية‪ .‬أمي كانت زيتونة جبارة رغم جسمها الهش و الضعيف‪ .‬كانت تعمل المستحيل لتكبرنا و تطعمنا‪.‬‬ ‫مشكلتها الوحيدة انها كانت بتخاف علينا كثير‪ .‬بتذكر اول مرة خوفتني فيها كان عمري سبع سنين‪ ،‬قالتلي اصحى تبعد من عند باب الدار بعدين‬ ‫بيجي ابو الجدايل‪ ،‬هذا واحد كبييير و الى جدايل كبااار و بخطف األوالد الصغار‪ .‬و من يومها لحد ما صار عمري تقريبا احدى عشر سنة و‬ ‫أنا مستحيل ابعد من عند باب الدار لحالي‪ .‬هللا يسامحك يا أمي‪.‬‬ ‫و دار الزمن و جرى و إجى الوقت لعيد االم‪ ،‬و أنا هلكت شب و بدّي افرح قلب أمي فقررت اجيب الها هدية من القدس‪ ،‬السمسمية الي بتحبها‬ ‫و عمرها ما ذاقت أطيب منها!‪ .‬رحت ووصلت على محسوم قلنديا‪ ،‬الطابور كان طويل و طبعا ما كان طابور‪ ،‬كانت الناس فوق بعضها البعض‬ ‫و كل خمس دقايق يهب صوت صريخ و اليهودي الي على اخر المحسوم برفع بارودته و بصيح"ارجع لورا‪ ،‬ممنوع تدخل"و من بين وفد‬ ‫الناس المتجمعة طلع شب "يلعن أساس الي جابكم يا اوالد ستين كلب" و قفتوا و سألت شو صار‪ ،‬رد"والد الكلب بعبروش اَي حدا تحت ‪٠٦‬‬ ‫سنة" و الحل يعني مش رايح اقدر اعبر أنا الثاني؟‪ .‬كان اسمه دمحم‪ ،‬بحر علي دمحم و الشرار في عينيه‪ ،‬قال وهللا لو اخر يوم الي اال اعبر القدس‬ ‫ْال َي ْو َم‪ .‬الحظت أني واقف بالطابور عالفاضي وقررت امشي مع دمحم‪.‬‬ ‫مشينا في االتجاه المعاكس و بعد ما أبعدنا تقريبا ‪ ١٦‬متر شوفنا الباصات المتجه عالقدس كان الفاصل بينا و بينها شيك و احجار و‬ ‫شوية شجر‪ .‬مسك دمحم فيا و قلي بتعبر معي‪ ،‬الصراحة قلقت بس عشان فرحة أمي قلت له معك! فجأة جاب دمحم حجر و بلش يدق في الشيك‬ ‫المصدي تفتح مجال كفاية لنعبر منه‪ .‬الناس اتجمعت حولينا‪ ،‬حاولنا أنقلهم روحوا عالمحسوم حتى ما نلفت األنظار بس مين احنى لنسلب حقهم‬ ‫في دخول االقصى‪ .‬و بلشنا اندخلهم" بتعبر من الشيك‪ ،‬بتنط عن الحجار‪ ،‬بتمشوا وراء الشجر شوي شوي تتوصلوا الباص و بتركبوا‪ ،‬اذا شافكم‬ ‫حدا و سأل عن التصريح سمو حالكم مش فاهمين و احكو من الشرق و الغرب تيبعدوا عنكم‪ ،‬ألنهم بفكروا إنكم عبرتو عن المحسوم‪ .‬يال‬ ‫يال" دخلوا‪ ،‬و بعدين إجى دوري أنا و دمحم دخل دمحم اول و مسكلي الشيك من الجهة الثانية‪ .‬اول ما حطيت اجري في الطرف الثاني سمعنا‬ ‫صياح بالعبري و هجموا اليهود و إجت كمان دورية‪" .‬اكلنا هوى" دمحم بقولي اشرد اشرد و أنا مصدوم اول مرة بشوف ابو الجدايل‪ ،‬طلع‬ ‫يهودي وسخ و معفن بدون خوذة حماية‪ .‬هللا يسامحك يا أمي هذا الي خليته مصدر رعب الي و أنا صغير‪ .‬كيف بعرفش بس غيرتي على‬ ‫ارضي ووطني خلتني امسك الحجر الي كسرنا في الشيك و اضربه برأس اول جندي قرب علينا‪ ،‬أنا ضربته من هان و الرصاصة صاوبتني‬ ‫من هان و تم اعتقالي بعدها أنا و دمحم‪ .‬بما أنا فتحنا الشيك و عبرنا فكروا أنا بنخطط الشي اكبر و فتحو معانا تحقيق‪ .‬سألوني عن اسماء كثيرة‬ ‫يا أمي‪ .‬هللا محي شباب فلسطين أكيد هاالسماء عاملين العماليل باليهود‪ .‬اإلشي الوحيد الي بأسف علي أني في عيد االم بدل ما اجيبلك يا أمي‬ ‫السمسمية التي بتحبها‪ ،‬جابولك الناس خبر إصابتي و اعتقالي على محسوم قلنديا‪ .‬سامحيني يا أمي على وجع قلبك و ال تبكي علي‪ .‬ابنك بطل ما‬ ‫تخلى عن ارضه و ال عن وطنه‪ .‬اذا وصلتك رسالتي هاي يا أمي معناها وصلك جثماني معها‪ .‬أنا يا امي أخذت على نفسي عهد اإلضراب عن‬ ‫الطعام حتى تحقيق المطالَب‪ .‬كان كل مطلبي يا امي أني اشوفك‪ ،‬احكي معك و ابوس ايديكي ………ابنك الشهيد البطل مصطفى‪.‬‬ ‫‪25‬‬

Dream Defenders Ahmad Abuznaid Being raised in occupied Palestine, injustice for Arabs was a norm I would come to realize at a young age. Shortly after my birth in East Jerusalem, my family relocated to South Florida for a few years, and from there decided to take a bold chance and move back to Palestine. The immediate strip search orchestrated by Israeli soldiers given to my mother and I as soon as we landed in Tel Aviv, and the sense of hostility from the many kids in school, didn’t give off a vibe that Palestine was home. These struggles are evident for many kids who have moved to a new place, but my story exists under an entirely different context with the brutal Israeli occupation as the backdrop. In February of 1994, when I was ten years old, an incident took place where a Jewish settler named Baruch Goldstein from Brooklyn, New York, opened fire in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Khalil during the holy month of Ramadan’s morning prayers. This event came to be known as the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre. Twenty-nine people were killed inside the mosque that day, and the injuries from the attack resulted in the death toll of fifty to seventy. Shortly after the massacre, Palestinians gathered and protested justice for the victims near the mosque and the Ahli Hospital located in Hebron, and while others were mourning the massacred in a nearby cemetery, the Israeli army opened fire at all three locations listed, increasing the number of injuries to two-hundred and fifty people in total. Similar to the other Palestinian children faced with harsh day to day realities, I had no choice but to quickly grow up. When I moved back to Florida for the 7 grade I initially felt like I had experienced a completely different world, and that I now would be able to live the “normal American life.” I, of course, started to notice that all that glitters are not gold. I went to an inner city high school as a part of a pre-law magnet program that would bus kids in from all around the county. The more I gave attention to the treatment of my Black and Latino friends and the communities in which they lived, I started to note similarities with the treatment of Arabs in Palestine. Of course both situations have some differences, but once I spoke with my friends about their experiences, or when I, myself, was there to bear witness, it felt awfully familiar to what I lived through in Palestine. How is it that a young child could not feel welcome walking down the street he was born on, how could a farmer not be allowed to tend to his land, how could someone take what is yours from you without possibility of recourse? These thoughts followed me as I continued through life. During my years spent at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, I learned a great deal about myself. It was during my college years that I heard the story of Martin Lee Anderson: a fourteen year-old boy who was beaten to death in a juvenile boot camp in Bay County, Florida. His murder was covered up by authorities and his official autopsy report alleged that he died due to complications of sickle cell anemia. A video later surfaced showing prison guards brutalizing him as he fell down to the ground. In response, a group formed consisting of student leaders from Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College, -all colleges located in Tallahassee, Florida near where Martin was killed. As young leaders, we were furious that such an injustice could happen, and we took action. We ended up planning and executing a sit-in overnight in Governor Jeb Bush’s office and after 30+ hours of camping out, the State of Florida began to meet some of our demands, including, first and foremost, the governor arranging a meeting with Martin Lee’s family and the arrest of the guard responsible for Martin Lee’s death. That day I felt for the first time ever the power of the people, and it was a great feeling. Although I knew activism was important to me, I decided to continue onto law school to pursue my Juris Doctorate. I didn’t know what type of law I wanted to practice, but I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. After graduating law school and passing the Florida bar exam, I wanted to get to work immediately. To help me decide which type of law I would practice, I decided to visit my father. While on that visit, I read the story of a young black male named Trayvon Martin who was killed by a neighborhood watchman. The headlines demonizing this innocent teen caused me and my friends to look deeper, and deeper, until we decided that we had to do more. th


It had been over a month since Trayvon's death and the killer was still not arrested. We knew that this called for action, but we also knew that this time we would need to build something lasting, something more powerful. That’s when my friends and I adopted the name “Dream Defenders” and along with 150 callers from around the world, we planned and executed a 40 mile march from Daytona Florida to Sanford Florida, the very site of Trayvon's death. It took us three days; we slept on church floors at night and walked during the day. Once we got to Sanford, we engaged in an act of civil disobedience by blocking the doors of the Sanford Police Department. Our message was clear: if they wouldn’t arrest George Zimmerman for the murder of a child, then they had no right being open for business. The Dream Defenders continues to take action against mass incarceration, in particular the overincarceration of Black and Hispanic youth in the state of Florida, while also developing leadership and responses to the call for justice. After five years as a part of the leadership of the organization, it was time for a transition. I became excited about doing more work within the Palestinian community and within the Arab American community as a whole, and I found the perfect opportunity at ACCESS, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services. ACCESS is a non-profit organization created to aid the Arab immigrant population within the United States by providing various social, economic, health and educational services. With consideration to our current political climate, we have a great deal of work to do. I believe that we, the Arab American community, are in an era with an imperative call to action, one that is perhaps more urgent than ever. We have a president in office who has disrespected almost every segment of the American population. We have to deal with surveillance, criminalization, detention, and deportation of our community. We have a media communicating fallacious messages about us without proper representation or research. We have community members suffering from a lack of healthcare, housing, employment and equal opportunity. We have problems that are only being made worse by a lack of leadership at the very highest levels of governing officials of this country. However, despite all of these problems, every single one of us has a stake in this fight and the power and opportunity to create a better future for us all.


The Siege Interview with Motaz Malhees Sunday, October 22 was NYU’s final showing of the Palestinian play “The Seige,” which tells the riveting story of the 2002 siege on the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. We interviewed Motaz Malhees, an actor in the play who is from Jenin, Palestine.

What is the hardest part about doing a play like this? The hardest part about doing this play is that you are talking about a sensitive story. I actually know one of the guys from the actual siege - he’s my friend. I stayed in his house with him in Portugal, and I know how painful it is for him. It’s really hard because you are talking about a real story, and you are holding the story of other people who are suffering. They were people just like us, and they wanted to defend themselves in their own land, in their home. This is a sensitive story, and it is one that means a lot to me. We researched this story for a year and a half, and when you look deeply into it, you learn how painful it is. We did interviews with the real fighters, which was really difficult. You see them standing and talking strongly, but you can feel the pain inside. And people have to know about them because fifteen years have passed and it seems like nobody cares about them now, so we have to wake the people up and tell them, “Come on, watch what is going on.”

Have any of the freedom fighters from the siege seen the play? No, none at all. There were two guys who wanted to see it in Britain, but it was hard for them, due to private things in their lives. But they are friends, they did the interviews [for the play] with an open heart, and some of them are friends of the director.

Who is the friend you know? His name is Anan Khamis. He lives in Lisbon and he works in the Palestinian Embassy in Portugal. He is such a great guy, an amazing person with a white heart. The rest I do not know personally.

Can you talk to me about your character? My character was originally someone else, but we sat with the director and discussed the idea of having younger characters because in reality, there were fighters as young as 18 in the church. I have a specific character in mind, but I’m not going to mention names. Even in the play we don’t mention names because we are talking about multiple fighters. My character is a hyper young guy who is always in the church and who wants to make a contribution. He doesn’t take anything seriously in the beginning, but then he realizes it’s not a game. The character is new to the freedom fighters, and he is young, and lost his mother during the first intifada. So we used that information to build the character.

How much of the play is the script and how much of it is improv? As an actor, you are not going to follow the lines always. We are not that kind of theatre where you have to say the lines perfectly like in Shakespeare. Sometimes if I feel something, I say it. For example, in the sun scene, I say “Habat al Nar,” and I danced, but that was not in the script. Improv is not just the [spoken] script, it’s also movements and action. This play is alive, and we have to keep it alive. It’s not just like you come and follow the structure. This isn’t true, and we are looking for truth.

What kind of reactions have you gotten from audiences during the play? After our first show I heard about how a man from the audience came up to our technician and told him, “You are a terrorist.” The technician was speechless, so all he could do was laugh. There were so many people that wanted to stop the play. Avi Dichter¹, a guy in power in Israel, sent a message to the president of NYU to stop the show, but they refused and said it’s here and it’s going to happen, and you are not going to stop it.


Financial Times gave the show four stars and reviewed it to be as good as a Broadway show, maybe even better. We are not here to say, “We are Palestinians, we are poor, we are victims,” but in fact that we are professionals, we are actors, we are doing good things, and we are touring the world. We do what we do for the people that support us and stand beside us. We do not want to be people who are known as only Palestinians but also as professionals because we all have a story.













Spread the message. Tell the message. I have a friend who stops people in the streets and tells them what’s going on over there, and it happened in front of me, last night, and she tells people where she comes from and is explaining the area, Palestine. There are many young people who don’t know. Sometimes, you tell someone I come from Palestine, and they say, “Pakistan?” When that happens, you tell them, “No, no, no, it’s a different country. It’s Palestine, and it’s been under occupation for 70 years.” If you are a human being living here you have to hear about every bad thing in the world. Other people have to know about it. We want your support, your messages, your letters, because we are fighting in this way. __________________________ 1. Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee

Photo taken by Freedom Theatre


Teared Roots Salma Othman Have you ever seen your roots being torn up in front of you? Have you ever had to witness your history and everything you knew being burned in front of you? Have you? Because I have. I saw them march onto my land and rip out my trees. You might say that they are just trees, but they aren’t any ordinary trees, they are olive trees. The same trees that carried my history. The same trees that helped me when I cried. The same trees that gave my family money. The same trees that kept my family alive for so long. These trees are everything and these trees are being destroyed. They are being ripped, burned, and destroyed from my precious land. You might ask who would do such a horrible thing. The answer is simple: the Zionists. The same Zionists who took over my land., my home, my country. They took over, and everyone else in the world just watched, letting it happen. I’m guessing you want to know how it all started. It wasn’t a long time ago when I was happy, excited, and planting my olive trees. Let me tell you the story of how it happened and how my life almost ended:

6 years ago “Fatima, Fatima,” my brother Yaseen said while poking me repeatedly. “What do you want from me?” I responded annoyed. I hated it when he acted like he was my little brother when he was actually older than me by 3 years. “Baba wants you to come help him plant the olive trees,” he said completely ignoring my tone. I jumped out of my bed right away, got ready and ran out of the house. I have always wanted to plant the olive trees, but my dad used to always tell me that I was too young. I’m finally old enough now. Now, I can actually plant my history into the ground. “Fatima, yallah, we don’t have all day. Come, let me teach you,” said my father in a gentle tone once I got outside. “Take the olive branch. Be very gentle, it’s fragile. You dig a hole in the ground then you put the seed in and start putting dirt all around it. Then when you get to the top start patting dirt down on it and close the hole. Do you get it?” “Yes, I get it,” I replied getting to work right away. We sung songs, planted trees, and had an amazing time. Everyday I would go to school and come back, but I would make sure to stop at the olive trees. Sometimes I would just sit there between the aisles of all the trees. On some days, I’d sit in total complete silence, but on other days I would talk. I would talk about the occupation. I would talk about how the soldiers bothered me on my way to and from school. I would talk about anything and everything and, sometimes, I would just cry. One day, on one of my quieter days, I was just sitting with the olive trees when it happened. The Zionists came with their torches and pots. They ripped the olive trees from their roots and put them in pots to take them to sell. I remember it so clearly; they took 10. They started burning the rest. I started to yell. I yelled for my brother, I yelled for my father, I yelled for the neighbors. I yelled and yelled and ran towards the Zionists. I wasn’t scared; I was infuriated. I was sick and tired of them killing everyone. I was so mad that they were ripping my roots and my history and burning them. I was so blinded by rage that I attacked. The Zionists raised their guns and prepared to shoot. I didn’t care anymore; let them shoot me, I don’t care. If I can't live in peace, I don’t want to live anymore. But that’s not what happened. My brother came outside in that exact moment. He saw me running towards the guns and he screamed. He screamed so loud that I was sure all of Palestine shook. “No, not my sister!” he exclaimed. The Zionists smirked, changing the direction of their guns towards my brother. That is when my fears were confirmed. They wanted to shoot my brother and leave me to live with the guilt and that’s when I realized I made the worst mistake in my life. Without a thought and before I could blink, the sound of the gunshot was heard. I panicked and looked at my brother as he dropped to the floor. I completely forgot about everything and just focused on keeping him alive.


“Yaseen, Yaseen, stay awake. Don’t close your eyes, keep your eyes on me. Baba! Baba!,” I yelled out, then turned back to Yaseen. “Everything will be ok. Don’t worry, don’t worry. You will be fine, you will get better. It’s nothing to worry about. It’s nothing at all,” I told him, trying to keep him awake and calm. I kept pressing on his wound, but he just kept bleeding even more. He got shot right next to his heart. I know I told him that he won’t die, but deep down I knew that he would. He was my only brother, my only sibling and I loved him. He protected me ever since our mother passed away, and he was always there for me. “Fatima! What happened? What’s wrong!” my dad worriedly asked. “Nothing, he's going to be fine. Everything is going to be ok, I promise,” I replied tearfully. “Fatima, you should never make a promise you can't keep. You and I know I won't survive this,” Yaseen struggled to say. “Let me say this one thing before I go. Take care of Baba. Take care of yourself. Take care of this land and this house. Take care of this country. Don’t let all the lives of the people who died protecting this country, be lost in vain.. Do something to change this country and to change this world.” He took in a harsh ragged breath and said the shahadah and then all there was left was silence. I started to cry. I didn’t just cry for him or for myself. I cried for my mother, my brother, my father, my olive trees, my old life, my country. I cried for everything and everyone. I just sat there with my brother in my lap and held Baba. I don’t know how long we sat in silence, but Baba turned to me and quietly said, “Fatima, God told us and promised us that one day we will be free. That one day we will regain control and power. We just have to be patient.”

Photo taken by Rania Mustafa


We wish you all a Merry Christmas And A Happy & Peaceful New Year

Muna & Basem Hishmeh 32


PACC Poetry Competition Winners Theme: Identity Occupied Identities Yusuf Haddabah Occupied Identities Palestinian-American 2 contraries, too contrary Half of me occupied.. the other half occupying. 1948…. When the birds flew away from home, When the olive trees collapsed, When our houses, land, and schools disappeared like the smile on our children’s faces, When cowardly soldiers with rifles would face a young innocent boy with just a stone…. Settlers started to call my home, “home”. 1492… When you, the natives, gave hospitality and generosity to greedy newcomers. But all they gave in return, was corruption, bibles, diseases, and a trail of tears. They created holidays to celebrate the mass murders of your people and the robbery of your land, They rewrote their dark, gory history into a mythological fantasy. And lied to our children to have them honor such an evil man. But then described you as the “godless savages” So I beg you not to label me as a product of these killers who've caused such a genocide, The ones who've settled on your land and left your hearts unsettled. But I'm here to recognize your struggle… that my ancestors endured, So we hustle together against identities that seem repellent to each other. Native? American? Palestinian? I leave you with questions But implore you to find answers in the history of these (un)settlements

2 contraries, causing battles within myself.. Over thinking. Situations where I ask myselfShould I do what Palestinian ethics tells me to? Or what American ethics do? Feels like Missiles being rocketed from one half of my identity to the other, like the missiles being fired from Israel to Gaza. But it's my identity. It's who I am. It's what makes me, me. And I'm appreciative of it, Because no matter how weak it may make me feel at times It only makes me stronger.

Photo taken by Sereen Tartir


Being Black And Muslim


Fatima Manjang

Joammi Abbasi

Basically if you’re not being called a terrorist, You’re going to be called a n*gger or abeed. Statistically I am the most unprotected person in the US. Fighting both battles at the same time gets tiring. Sometimes it feels like you’re ignored 2x, hated 2x, And stereotyped a 100x more. We are the largest group of American-Muslims But always seem to be the last ones invited into the conversation on Islam. Why does the world hate me, And want me to hate myself?? No, I will not choose between my religion or my race; You’ll have to embrace me as both or ignore me 2x.

A modest woman walks down the street She keeps her eyes low and manner neat What is her story? What are her dreams? But ignorant people it seems Have already given her an identity They call her terrorist, a rag-head, oppressed “Get out of my country! Go back to the Arab terrorist camp where you belong!” Their words hit like sticks and stones. They relish in the thought of breaking her down. But sticks and stones can’t break her souls and her bones. She knows who she is. She knows what makes her. She is like a diamond. She doesn’t crack under pressure But only shines brighter. She holds strong to her faith. She knows that Allah knows her struggle. She supplicates, ‘’ Ya, Allah give me strength in double When the wolves stalk my wake” She knows that the hijab she has on her head Is a symbol of her promise and mission to God. To be the best representative of Islam, To carry herself with grace and dignity. To smile and speak kindly, Even to those who disrespect her so malignantly, For she fears no one, Only Allah, the One and Only Supreme The One whom she shall return to In her true home. So until then, she grips her faith with passionate strength And gracefully carries on through the enmity. She knows her identity And will overcome the one that's been placed on her.


Mirror, Mirror Shatha Alhussein The blaring sound of my alarm awakens me, reminding me it’s time to start a new day. I check my phone for my daily news, which shows me BREAKING NEWS: MASS SHOOTING IN ORLANDO FLORIDA, 49 DEAD I wept for the lost lives, ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY I wept for my fellow Muslims. Looking at my reflection through the dusty mirror I questioned, Is today the day to hide my identity? I was always proudly an Arab American Muslim, just not recently. Recently I questioned our ability to ward off this ever-growing hate, Recently, I questioned my identity. I could never hurt a fly, I was taught not to, So why did these imposters insist on convincing the world we’re all killers? Did I misinterpret the religion, or did they? As I finished getting ready, I stood in front of the mirror once again. This time I was placing my Hijab on my head, I uttered words of encouragement to myself. “Be unapologetically Muslim Arab American, Show them what your religion stands for. Never surrender your identity out of the fear of it being socially unacceptable. Continue to be prideful of your identity and the truth will shine on its own.”





The Olive Orchard Rahma Abukwaik I was once a naïve young girl. I was innocent and didn’t know any better. That was a long time ago, and I’m much older now. I like to look back onto those beautiful days, and reflect on everything that has led up to my current state. When I was little, my younger sister and I loved to race each other in our backyard. Our neighbors would peek out from their windows every morning to the sound of our laughs and giggles. We would play and race from sunrise to sunset, not letting a day pass by in which we weren’t enjoying every minute of those precious 12 hours. Our lives were never perfect. In fact, our lives got pretty complicated after some time. “Complicated” as in we weren’t able to play outside anymore because it was simply too dangerous. We were stuck inside, playing with what little toys we had. I remember one day when my younger sister decided that she’d had enough. She didn’t like being trapped inside. She missed the old days, the smiles, the laughs, and everything in between. Her heart ached at the thought of waiting any longer to play outside with me. That day, she picked herself up at the break of dawn and stepped outside. I grabbed her arm, insisting that she come back inside. She refused. She wanted to prove to me that nothing was going to happen, and that it was safe. As she was walking further and further away from the door, I ran back inside to tell my parents. I was terrified that something horrible would happen to her. Suddenly, we heard a shriek from outside. We ran towards the door, and bumped right into my little sister who was crying of fear. “The soldiers saw me,” she said while sobbing. “And they threatened to kill me.” We could barely make out the words she was saying, for her entire body had been struck with a deep sensation of fear. Siti, my grandmother, comforted her. She told her about this magical place she used to go to when she was afraid, upset, or disappointed. She called it her “safe haven.” And from then on, my sister spent her time in my grandmother’s “safe haven” instead of playing with me. I felt betrayed and hurt. Every day she would walk outside to this place, and I’d lock myself up inside all alone. This so called “safe haven,” to her, was nothing but an olive tree orchard, to me. I thought it was silly to believe that a land full of olive trees would comfort her. She treated it like her second home. On good days and on bad days, you’d find her under the largest olive tree in the orchard, picking and eating from the juiciest olives. As I said before, I was a young, naïve girl who didn’t know any better. Looking at where I am today, how little I’ve moved forward, it saddens me that I disconnected from my sister. I miss her sometimes, and it kills me inside that I can never be the older sister to her like I once was. I’ve been on my own for 2 years now. I am a 22-year-old woman with nothing, but my recently born little brother. He’s almost three years old now, and he has yet to understand that his mother, father, grandmother, and sister were taken away from him by the army that forced us all inside. When my family died, I took my newly born brother and hid in the olive orchard. I cried for hours, trying to wrap my head around how my little brother will survive without his mother. Around a week after my family had died, I fell asleep one night in the orchard with my brother in my arms. I felt his warmth rubbing off against me. He’s all that I had left, and I didn’t want anything in the world to take him away from me. I gave him a firm kiss on his tiny forehead, and gave him a tight squeeze. Nobody was going to hurt my precious little brother. He was my everything. He is my everything. As I was starting to fall asleep, I felt my brother twist and turn in his sleep. He let out tiny whimpers and cries. I sat up to comfort him. His complexion was very pale, and he began coughing uncontrollably. He started to spit out blood with every cough. With tears in my eyes, I began to shake. I couldn’t let anything happen to him. I wouldn’t. He’s all that I had. I picked him up in my arms, and I ran. I went knocking from door to door, trying to find somebody, anybody, to help. There was no one. My little brother was dying, right there in my arms, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.


Slowly, but surely, malnutrition was sucking every ounce of life out of my delicate baby brother. I sat in the orchard, placing him on the grass right beside me, and I cried. I rolled up into a ball right beside my dying brother, and I cried. Every tear I cried would drip onto the ground, and would seep right into the earth. I was watering this olive tree with my tears of sadness and desperation. It was as if the tree soaked in my sadness and sympathized with me. This olive tree felt my pain and wanted to help. The wind around me began blowing hard, and I could feel several olives hit the top of my head. I looked over to my beautiful baby brother, to what might’ve been the last time I would ever glance at my little angel. Something, however, caught my eye. In my brothers hand was an olive. He had it placed by his mouth and was weakly sucking on it. As malnutrition sucked the life out of him, it seemed as if this olive in his mouth was giving it back to him. The light inside of his eyes grew much brighter. His original complexion was beginning to reappear. It was giving him life, giving him a chance to survive. I knew he was going to be okay. And he is. My brother Saleh is only 4 and a half years old now. That olive tree had saved his life. I know I used to make fun of my sister for calling an orchard her “safe haven” and spending most of her days there, but this place is now my safe haven. My sister called this place her second home, and I’m calling it my first. This is my home. A home is supposed to make you feel safe, protected, and give you an ounce of hope whenever you need it. And that is exactly what this place is to Saleh and me. It’s our home. Our safe haven. Our everything. And although the situation in Palestine is quite difficult, the only way we could get through any of it is with hope. And that is exactly what this olive tree orchard provides me with. And it will continue to do so for Salah and for me for the rest of our lives.

Photo taken by Tala Zeitawi


South Africa’s Apartheid: A Palestinian Reality Aseel Washah and Reem Farhat

Apartheid is a policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination. The most notable example of apartheid in action is in South Africa during the 1900s. However, today, Palestinians are also subject to this discriminatory policy through Israeli laws and the construction of an apartheid wall pushing into the West Bank. South Africa contains an abundance of natural resources and minerals, and in 1884, the discovery of gold in South Africa made it a target of interest for the English (Boers), and the Dutch (Afrikaners). Tension between the Dutch and English presences in South Africa lead to the Boer War. The Dutch victory led to independence from the English and made the Dutch the main imperialist force in South Africa. In 1948, the Dutch colonists elected the Afrikaner National Party. In order to maintain white domination, the political party ruled with the slogan, “apartheid.” Their goal was to separate South Africa’s white minority from its non-white majority and divide South Africans along tribal lines to eliminate political power. They did this with the Bantu Self-Government Act, which created ten Bantu homelands that separated black South Africans from each other, enabling the government to denationalize their identity as South Africans. From 1961 to 1994, more than 3.5 million people were forcibly removed from their homes and deposited into Bantustans, which are territories set aside for black South Africans. Passbooks, which contained personal information and fingerprints, were distributed by the Afrikaners, and were needed to enter and move around in South Africa. This resulted in black South Africans becoming aliens in their own country because it restricted their movement. Similarly in Palestine, an occupying colonialist force came in the form of the British Mandate in Palestine. The Zionist movement to create a Jewish national home in Palestine propelled mass immigration following the release of the Balfour Declaration. In May 1948, the Nakba occurred, which translates to “catastrophe” in Arabic, where Israeli forces expelled 700,000 Palestinians out of their homes resulting in a Palestinian refugee crisis that is still ongoing. The Nakba bears a striking resemblance to the expulsion of the Black South Africans in the Bantustans.

Arguably, Palestinian resistance reached its height in the 1987 Intifada, which means uprising. It was sparked after an Israeli army truck struck and killed four young Palestinian workers. This uprising proceeded with civil disobedience, strikes, demonstrations, and refusal to pay taxes. Israel responded harshly, closing Palestinian schools, conducting mass arrests, imposing closure and curfew, and shutting down demonstrations with brutal force. Later restrictions on Palestinians continued throughout the years. A Palestinian identity card, the hawiya, was created in 1993, and like the Pass Books, it restricted Palestinian movement in their own homeland. Also, the construction of the apartheid wall restricted neighbors from visiting each other and divided the West Bank and Gaza, as well as creating numerous social, economic, and political issues for Palestinians. In South Africa, to combat the injustices within their country, South Africans engaged in nonviolent demonstrations, protests, strikes, political action, and eventually, armed resistance. The South Indian National Congress and the African National Congress (ANC), a political anti-apartheid party, organized a mass meeting during which people burned their passbooks and asserted that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black or white.” This demonstration caused 150 people to be charged with high treason. Nelson Mandela, a prominent South African leader and politician, led the demonstrations. In 1961, he formed the Umkhonto we Sizwe, which translates to “Spear of the Nation.” This was the military wing of the ANC showing the strong conviction of the South Africans to defeat apartheid in South Africa. In 1962, Mandela was arrested for planning to overthrow the government. The people led mass violent protests during Mandela's imprisonment. The media coverage of South Africa began to quickly spread. This caused immense pressure on the government to end the racial injustices. In February of 1990, Mandela was released from prison and that same year, he was unanimously nominated by the South Africans to speak with the President and highranking officials to negotiate with the government in 1990. Four years later apartheid officially came to an end in South Africa with the creation of a South African Democratic government under the new presi-


dency of Mandela. Over 20 years later, South Africa continues to face repercussions of apartheid. Racial tensions in South Africa are one of the many remnants of the effect of colonialism and the oppression of indigenous South Africans. In Palestine, Israel continues to control all aspects of Palestinian life such as limiting water and electrical resources, demolishing homes, restricting movement, and engaging in ongoing

daily harassment. Although the issues that face South Africa and Palestine are different there are clear parallels. Similar to South Africa’s path to freedom, we hope Palestine will be able to gain freedom from the Israeli occupation through organized resistance movements. It was South Africa’s very own Nelson Mandela who said, “Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”


Khalto’s Tips: Upset Stomach Instead of reaching for that Pepto-Bismol every time you have a stomach-ache, try some of these Khalto approved remedies that have been working for centuries! Cumin and warm water  Eating a spoonful of cumin and following it with a cup of water is sure to ease your stomach ache and help with bloating. If you are uncomfortable swallowing the cumin by itself then you can mix it with the water. Loose leaf sage tea  Boil water in a teapot and add a handful of loose leaf sage (pronounced maer-eh-miya). Let it sit for a few minutes. You can add a spoonful of honey for additional flavor. Lemon water  Before breakfast, squeeze half a lemon into a cup of room-temperature water and drink it. Bread  Eating a plain piece of toasted pita bread If you have any Khalto’s tips related to medicine, beauty, or other topics, email them to our team at litmagazine@paccusa.org with the subject: “Khalto’s tips” and you could get featured in our magazine!

A series of original short stories, poems, opinion pieces, interviews, artwork, photographs and so much more! We’re providing our PACC community with the chance to contribute in any of the following categories, you just might get published. To contribute email:

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Next issue is the expected to be released in February 44

People of PACC: Nazeeh Abuhadba Nazeeh Abuhadba is a PACC board member. A father of five and an incredibly active member of the PACC community, Nazeeh also accompanied PACC on it’s first Homeland Trip, during which PACC sponsored an educational trip to Palestine for ten applicants. For his hard work and dedication to the Palestinian cause, he was chosen as this issue’s Person of PACC and answered the following question: What in your life has inspired the work you do at PACC? What inspired me the most to do the work I do at PACC is the fact that I grew up during the first Intifada in 1987 while a series of youth led uprisings against the Israeli occupation took place. For my family, it was extremely difficult for us living in such a horrifying situation under the occupation of the Israeli army. We constantly lived in fear of being attacked, arrested, or even possibly killed. The fact that we personally experienced it first-hand made me feel the need to try and make a difference and bring attention to the truth. We all contribute to the education of our future generations on what really happened and continues to happen. We also work on giving them a personal connection towards the cause. I believe that it is very important to create a new educated generation that carries on the legacy of the older generations and shows the whole world the suffering we have been experiencing as a result of the occupation. I feel that we have succeeded tremendously with creating that new generation through PACC.







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