“. . . I gathered up Haifa sand and cleansed myself with it . . .” (Abdallah Abu Bakr)

Yafa Street in Haifa, Palestine, before the 1948 Israeli occupation. (Photo: taken from Razan Masri Blog, razanmasri.com)

❶ Israeli forces demolish Palestinian home, seal off restaurant in Jerusalem area

  • Background: “Spacing Palestine through the Home.” Transactions of the Institute Of British Geographers.

❷ Israeli forces demolish 3 Palestinian-owned buildings in Lod, deliver demolition orders in Haifa
❸ Israeli forces ransack printing shops in West Bank, seize computers
❹ POETRY by Abdallah Abu Bakr
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency    
Nov. 22, 2016
Israeli authorities on Tuesday morning completed the demolition of a Palestinian house under construction in the al-Tur village of the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem, according to the family.
[. . . .]   Separately, Israeli authorities sealed off a restaurant owned by Moussa Naim Fatafta in the Jerusalem-area village of Silwan.
___According to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, Jerusalem municipality crews sealed off the restaurant over claims that Fatafta had not obtained a construction license, nor a license to run a restaurant.     More . . .

  • Harker, Christopher. “Spacing Palestine Through The Home.” Transactions Of The Institute Of British Geographers 34.3 (2009): 320-332.     Source.    

[. . . .] There is a now an established politics of directly confronting the Israeli Occupation through direct action activism, lobbying, advocacy work and education. Such political work has established Palestine as ‘a moral cause’ among a very particular set of international networks, primarily through a human rights discourse that condemns the manifold wrongdoings that are intrinsically part of occupying another nation. Such work is both absolutely necessary and in some circumstances effective. This is particularly the case when organisations are able to generate quantitative data.
___However, what I want to suggest is that it may also prove beneficial to explore and experiment with complementary strategies. People such as Khaled and Abdullah [whose “home” stories are told at the beginning of the article] have their own specific cultural and historical contexts, and while they have undoubtedly been affected in many different ways by the actions of the Israeli Occupation, they are also people who have been affected by time and snowfall. I think foregrounding the multifaceted nature of  Khaled and Abdullah’s pasts and presents might help us to imagine a Palestinian future that is not tied so intimately to Israeli Occupation, where Palestinians move beyond tropes such as refugee, victim or terrorist. Similarly, the homes of Khaled and Abdullah are complex sites at which ideas around family and security, the construction and destruction of built materials, and some of the histories and geographies of Birzeit village and Palestine intersect. These domestic spaces and practices (in contrast to the demolished home) are an effective milieu for generating more complex representations because of the banal, quotidian and intimate practices that take place there (in addition to the violent and ⁄ or destructive processes that may co-constitute such sites). Envisioning Palestinians in Birzeit as people who make homes in particular ways, while nevertheless living under occupation, encourages greater degrees of intimate engagement than geopolitical analyses. Intimacy is important in this context because it challenges the orientalist practices of folding distance (both cultural and spatial) into difference that are partly responsible for allowing the atrocities that occur in Palestine to continue.

Ma’an News Agency     
Nov. 23, 2016
Israeli forces early Wednesday demolished three buildings belonging to a Palestinian family in the city of Lod in northern Israel, while demolition orders were delivered to Palestinian homes in the Haifa district.
___Sources told Ma’an that Israeli forces and border guards in Lod facilitated the demolition of the three buildings which belonged to the Shaaban family in the neighborhood of Karm al-Tuffah north of Lod city without any prior notice.      More . . .

View from the old city walls on East-Jerusalem. Israel
East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood. (Photo: vevesworld.com)

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA    
Nov. 23, 2016
Israeli forces Wednesday ransacked two printing shops and seized computers during raids into the northern West Bank districts of Salfit and Qalqiliya, said municipal and security sources.
___Israeli forces stormed and ransacked ‘Alam al-Ibad printing shop during a raid of Al-Zawiya village, west of Salfit.
[. . . .]  In a different incident, forces stormed the Asayel Yaffa printing shop during an overnight raid into Qalqiliya city, seizing six computers.     More . . .  

“A HAIFA PRAYER,” by Abdallah Abu Bakr
I was on my way from Haifa to Haifa.
That’s been my only road ever since I was a child.
I went down to the shoreline and paddled in the ocean
then dug a hole in the sand and buried my heart.
That way I know for sure I would never forget her.
I gathered up Haifa sand and cleansed myself with it
because, God knows, I know precisely
how I should pray to God
and how I should worship her ―
my Haifa.

―Trans. John Glenday

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY. Ed. by Henry Bell and Sarah Irving. (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

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