“. . . time has scattered them, their suns and their names dispelled. . .” (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

The long-awaited reconstruction began in Gaza City on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Photo: AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra.
The long-awaited reconstruction began in Gaza City on Thursday, July 23, 2015. Photo: AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra.

❶ From: MONDOWEISS
GAZA  RECONSTRUCTION  FINALLY  BEGINS  OVER  A  YEAR  AFTER  ISRAELI  ATTACK
Isra Saleh El-Namy
Aug. 10, 2015
Awad Nawasra, 52, was delighted when he got a call from the Ministry of Labor in Gaza to come and sign a contract in order to start rebuilding his completely demolished home in Gaza’s el-Maqazi camp. . .
____Nawasra’s home was targeted by the Israeli military planes three times during the conflict last summer. Four of his family members were killed in the first raid.
[. . . .]
____The current plan aims to build only one floor for every completely damaged house, regardless of the size of the previous house.
____Reconstruction is now being seen in nearly all of Gaza’s districts as part of the funds that were pledged at the Cairo Conference to reconstruct Gaza have started to be delivered to Gaza.
More. . .

❷ From: THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEM)
ISRAELI  SETTLERS  SET FIRE  TO  PALESTINIAN  FARMLANDS
Aug. 10, 2015
Extremist Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian farms and pasture lands in the south of the West Bank city of Nablus, local Palestinian sources told the Anadolu Agency yesterday.
____Member of the council of Burin Village Waleed Obaid said that a number of settlers snuck into the eastern areas of the village and set fire to over than 10,000 square metres of pasture lands.
____The settlers, who came from a nearby illegal settlement, withdrew safely under the protection of the Israeli occupation’s troops, he explained.
More. . .

Palestinian olive farm burning. Burin Village near Nablus Yitzhar Settlement
Palestinian olive farm burning. Burin Village near Nablus Yitzhar Settlement

❸ From: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  TROOPS  DEMOLISH  HOUSE  IN  SALFIT,  DELIVER  NOTICES  IN  NABLUS
Aug. 10, 2015
SALFIT―Israeli forces on Monday demolished a home under construction in the village of Deir Ballut in western Salfit and delivered demolition orders in western Nablus, locals said.
____Dawood Abdullah, a local activist, told Ma’an that large numbers of Israeli troops escorted two bulldozers into Deir Ballut in the early hours of Monday and immediately started to tear down an incomplete house belonging to Adnan Abdullah.
____The activist said that the home, which was in an area known locally as Khallat Qaswal, was one of 60 houses in the village located in land classified as Area C.
More. . .

❹ From: AL-MONITOR (PALESTINE PULSE)
PALESTINE  NOT  EQUIPPED  TO  FACE  POSSIBLE  EARTHQUAKES
Ahmad Melhem
Aug. 9, 2015
RAMALLAH — An earthquake that measured 5.2 magnitude hit Palestine on June 27. Since the earthquake, whose epicenter was in the Red Sea region, the Earth Sciences and Seismic Engineering Center at An-Najah National University in Nablus has been tracking seismic activity south of Aqaba.
____This earthquake was one of hundreds that had been tracked by earthquake detectors in the region since the beginning of the year, which prompted experts to renew their calls for increasing preparations to face a possible earthquake. Studies indicate that Palestine, which is situated in a seismically active region, would be greatly affected by a strong earthquake.
[. . . .]
____According to Dabbeek, several faults exist in Palestine, and their time to crack or cause an earthquake has come.
More. . . 

❺ Opinion (Personal essay)
From: MONDOWEISS
FROM  GAZA  TO  OXFORD:  PERSISTENCE  TRIUMPHS  OVER  TYRANNY
Said Al-Yacoubi
Aug. 10, 2015
This story was written for the Gaza-based We Are Not Numbers project.
____As I prepare to leave the UK to return to Gaza, my mind is a jumble of thoughts. When I originally filed my visa application so that I could study in the UK, my mind was a mess. . .
____It was two years ago that I was accepted into a clinical training program at Oxford University. Until then, I never believed that some dreams do come true. . . I was among just 50 students from all over the world to be selected for this training at Oxford. It is only a two-month course, but let’s face it, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
[. . . .]
____Now, as I am about to finish my training course at Oxford, my visa will expire as of August 21. I will not be allowed to stay in the UK anymore. However, I also will not be allowed to enter Egyptian lands until the crossing is open again. . . . So, my only real choice is to do nothing but wait. Fingers crossed again.
More. . . 

TWO POEMS BY IBRAHIM NASRALLAH
“TENTS”
There are tents of blood and terror
in the dust
pitched there to make a myth of the sky.
There are tents of wind in our blood
that take us everywhere though we appear motionless,
so the lime in the lore of the mejana **
and a smell from the sea surround us.
The singer has multiplied in us.
The imam has multiplied in us.
Talk has multiplied in us.
Departure and the medallions of war multiply and
fragment our bodies with victory!
And we are still here,
fifty years old―steeped in killing―
and on our own.

“COUNTRIES”
There are villages and towns in the dust
amid heaps of ashes.
Now time has scattered them,
their suns and their names dispelled.
There are towers without guards in the dust,
paths without people,
blunt swords searching for sharpness,
a reason for every absence and return.
There are countries buried in the dust.
So the wind went to the wilderness
to speak of their lore to the silence.

**A Palestinian song form

From: Nasrallah, Ibrahim. RAIN INSIDE: SELECTED POEMS. Trans. Omnia Amin and Rick London. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 2009. ―Available from Amazon.
About Ibrahim Nasrallah

Said al-Yacoubi (far left), with two members of the Oxford transplant team.
Said al-Yacoubi (far left), with two members of the Oxford transplant team.

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