“. . . who imprisoned the soul in rock?. . . (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

Waleed Khdair (Abu Khalid) carries on the family legacy of making sabots
Waleed Khdair (Abu Khalid) carries on the family legacy of making sabots

from THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
JERUSALEM’S INTANGIBLE CULTURE: TRADES AND CRAFTS
Ali Qleibo
Issue 205-May 2015
The ever-shifting, elusive “character” of Jerusalem is a reflection of the dynamic needs, desires, and wishes of its inhabitants. Intangible culture is not merely the listing of professions and trades; it is the sung parodies that advertise the new seasonal cucumber (asabe’ el bubbu ya khyar), and the variety of recipes that Jerusalamites swap about the best way to prepare artichokes and ‘akkube (a wild form of artichoke) or preserve bitter oranges both as marmalade and sharab, or even how to construct a kite using dough instead of glue, bamboo, and newspaper sheets. It also includes visiting the cemetery to pray for one’s deceased close relatives after the early morning ‘Eid prayers and reciting the fatihah each time one passes by a cemetery, mausoleum, or maqam. It is the marking of the Muslim New Year with green olive twigs on house doors, the special sweets, and the family visits. The homes we live in, the neighborhoods, the services rendered, the consumer lifestyle, the values and norms, and the way people interact is a world view in which tangible and intangible cultural expressions interweave to impart Jerusalem its unique character. It is the human art of making life livable. . .
(More. . .)

from ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
NATIONAL PARK ZONING USED AS PRETEXT FOR ETHNIC CLEANSING OF EAST JERUSALEM
Jesse Rubin, Jerusalem
April 29, 2015
Atef Totanji does not know when the Israeli authorities will demolish his family’s home. “But we know they will come,” he said.
___For the past 15 years, Totanji has lived with his wife and six children in a two-bedroom house on Imru al-Qays Street in Wadi al-Joz, a neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. On 17 April, they received a notification from the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality that the house would be demolished in two days’ time.
___At 4 a.m. on Sunday, 19 April, the family packed up its belongings and moved them outside. Each truck that downshifted on the large hill beside their home caused a momentary panic.
___But the Israeli bulldozers never arrived. The family’s lawyer, Ziad Kawar, was able to postpone the demolition until 26 May.
___Kawar has appealed in the district court, a move that theoretically allows the residents of Wadi al-Joz to challenge demolitions planned in the area. But mounting a challenge would be a costly and lengthy process.
(More. . .)

from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
ONE PERSON SHOT AT PROTEST AGAINST ISRAEL’S CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICAL PLANTS IN TULKAREM
Huwwara Team | Tulkarem, Occupied Palestine
April 29, 2015
Around fifty Palestinians and international activists gathered today in Tulkarem, east of Nablus, to protest the presence of 11 Israeli chemical plants located in the city. The protest took place outside the Gishuri chemical plant on what is locally referred to as the “death road” due to the health problems caused by the Israeli plants. . .
. . . Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters aimed directly at peaceful demonstrators and the press. As the protest continued, a 22-year old Palestinian man was shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet, hitting him in the abdomen. He was later taken to the local hospital and appeared to have suffered superficial damages only, although he was in great pain. The protest quickly subsided after this event.
(More. . .)

from INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT
FOUR FAMILIES MADE HOMELESS IN A DAY
International Solidarity Movement & Jordan Valley Solidarity
April 28, 2015
Yesterday morning (27th of April 2015) at 5 am in the area of al Makhrouk, al Jiftlik, the Israeli military arrived with bulldozers and demolished four houses belonging to Fathe Abdullah Ahmad, Tareeq, Yakub, Mohammed and Mahmoud Lahafe Dadoub. The houses were located right next to the agricultural settlements of Masu’a and Argaman.
___The first house to be demolished was owned by the Tareeq family, where Mohammed Abu Amer lived with his family of five. This was the second time in less than a year that their home was destroyed, despite not receiving a demolition order. As farmers of dates and vegetables they lived next to the land they were working on. Three of the family members are children aged 1, 5 and 3 years old.
(More. . .)

Fathe Abdullah Ahmad Tareeq in front of Mohammed Abu Amers family’s demolished home.
Fathe Abdullah Ahmad Tareeq in front of Mohammed Abu Amers family’s demolished home.

from MONDOWEISS
HANEEN ZOABI’S POWER AND VISION (AND ANSWERS TO THEODORE)
Philip Weiss
April 29, 2015
For years I have known that no understanding of the conflict would be complete without seeing the Palestinian politician Haneen Zoabi in action. . . She is now on tour in the U.S.; and if you have any chance to see and hear her, you should.
___In fact, as Zoabi spoke– a woman of small stature but majestic spirit and political intelligence, exercising complete control over the crowd, even over her opponents holding the Israeli flag at the back of the room and over Theodore the student from Stuyvesant High School in the third row who rose to challenge her — I kept wondering why the New York Times has not run a huge profile of this woman . . . why she does not have the status that she ought to have in our discourse as a global justice figure, along the lines of a Havel, a Walesa . . .an Aung San Suu Kyi. And the answer of course is, Because she is Palestinian.
(More. . .)

“NAME OF THE SOIL,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be

when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?

who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awarq.
From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.
(More. . .)

Palestinian politician Haneen Zoabi, Member of the Knesset
Palestinian politician Haneen Zoabi, Member of the Knesset

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