“. . . I have not seen a dragon in the land . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Birzeit University Cast of "The House of Bernarda Alba,” a play written by Spanish Dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca and directed by Fathi Abdul Rahman. (Photo: Birzeit.edu)
Birzeit University Cast of “The House of Bernarda Alba,” a play written by Spanish Dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca and directed by Fathi Abdul Rahman. (Photo: Birzeit.edu)

❶ Birzeit University Theatre Wins Five Theatre Festival Awards
❷ Netanyahu: Israeli army to continue incursions in Area A
❸ Israeli Soldiers Beat up Palestinian near Nablus
❹ HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH report slams ‘discriminatory’ Israeli closure of Palestinian quarries
❺ Opinion/Analysis: WHY NETANYAHU IS DOUBLING DOWN ON THE GOLAN HEIGHTS
❻ POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ BIRZEIT  UNIVERSITY  THEATRE  WINS  FIVE  THEATRE  FESTIVAL  AWARDS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 21, 2016
Birzeit University’s Theatre Group, Mawasem Masrahyeh, have won five awards for their performance in “The House of Bernarda Alba” play in the 12th Philadelphia Arab Universities Theater Festival, held in Philadelphia University- Amman, Jordan.
___Produced by the Deanship of Students Affairs at Birzeit University and directed by Fathi Abdel Rahman, the play “The House of Bernarda Alba”, was inspired by the work of the Spanish writer and poet Federico Garcia Lorca, which displayed the plight of women in their societies.      MORE . . . 

NETANYAHU:  ISRAELI  ARMY  TO  CONTINUE  INCURSIONS  IN  AREA  A
Ma’an News Agency
April 21, 2016
In spite of recent talks with Palestinian officials, Israeli armed forces will continue to intervene in parts of the occupied West Bank under full Palestinian Authority (PA) control, high-ranking Israeli officials said on Wednesday.
___During a meeting of the Israeli security cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, and Israeli army Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot “made it clear that the IDF (Israeli army) maintains the possibility of entering Area A, and anywhere necessary, according to operational needs,” a statement read.      MORE . . .  

ISRAELI  SOLDIERS  BEAT  UP  PALESTINIAN  NEAR  NABLUS
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
April 21, 2016
Israeli soldiers last night assaulted and beat up a Palestinian youth . . . .  Ahmad Bassam Mohammad, 21 years old from the village of Asira al-Qibilia in Nablus district, while he was attempting to enter Israel for work. [He] was transferred to Rafidia public hospital in Nablus for medical treatment [. . . .]
___According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, “Most cases involve a “small dose” of ill-treatment . . .  or degrading treatment. These acts have become an integral part of Palestinian life in the Occupied Territories. From time to time, however, cases of severe brutality occur,” the group has remarked.       MORE . . . 

A quarry in the southern West Bank town of Beit Fajjar stands empty on April 5, 2016, after Israeli forces shut it down. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)
A quarry in the southern West Bank town of Beit Fajjar stands empty on April 5, 2016, after Israeli forces shut it down. (Photo: Human Rights Watch)

❹ HRW  REPORT  SLAMS  ‘DISCRIMINATORY’  ISRAELI  CLOSURE  OF  PALESTINIAN  QUARRIES
Ma’an News Agency
April 21, 2016
Israeli authorities’ closure of 35 Palestinian quarries in the occupied West Bank since March is threatening the livelihoods of 3,500 workers and may constitute “collective punishment,” a HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH REPORT revealed on Thursday.
___The Civil Administration, a subsection of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) . . .  closed down the quarries in late March and confiscated millions of dollars’ worth of equipment, a move which HRW said highlighted “the discriminatory nature of Israeli rules for Palestinian quarries.”      MORE . . .

❺ Opinion/Analysis:  WHY  NETANYAHU  IS  DOUBLING  DOWN  ON  THE  GOLAN  HEIGHTS
+972 Blog
Shemuel Meir
April 21, 2016
What led Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to wake up one fine day and declare, during a highly publicized but insignificant reserve duty exercise in the Golan Heights (and without the army Chief of Staff present, as is customary) that “we struck Syria dozens of times” . . . . __Despite the military terminology and context of Netanyahu’s performance in the Golan, the answer to this riddle can be found on the diplomatic front [. . . .]
___ It appears Netanyahu was trying to take advantage of the civil war and disintegration of Syria in order to gain international recognition for redefining Israel’s borders.      MORE . . .

“NORMAL  JOURNEY,”  BY  MOURID  BARGHOUTI

I have not seen any horrors,
I have not seen a dragon in the land,
I have not seen the Kraken* in the sea,
nor a witch or a policeman
at the outset of my day.
Pirates have not overtaken mu desires,
thieves have not broken down the door of my life,
my absence has not been long,
it only took me one lifetime.

How come you saw scars
on my face, sorrow in my eyes,
and bruises in my bones and in my heart?
These are only illusions.
I have not seen any horrors,
everything was extremely normal.
Don’t worry,
your son is still in his grave, murdered,
and he’s fine.

*a legendary sea monster of large proportions

Interview with Mourid Barghouti  
From Barghouti, Mourid. MIDNIGHT  AND  OTHER  POEMS. Trans. Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, UK: Arc Publications, 2008.  Available from Amazon.   
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