“. . . in the icy morning, the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen . . .” (Mourid Barghouti)

Family photo of Tamir Rice, fall of 2014; killed Nov. 22, 2014 (Published: New York Times) Photos of Memorial to Abdullan and Tamir at http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774241

❶ . ‘Young lives taken too soon’: activists dedicate memorial to Tamir Rice in Aida Refugee Camp

  • Background: “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies

❷ . 2016 Christmas Message: Holiday message from PMNH-BU
❸ .  Jerusalem resident forced to demolish own home
❹ .  POETRY by Mourid Barghouti
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `

Abd al-Rahman Ubeidallah, 13 (Pictured: left), Killed October 5, 2015, in East Jerusalem (Photo: The Institute for Middle East Understanding)

Ma’an News Agency     
Dec. 3, 2016
In the span of one year, a 12- and a 13-year-old boy were shot and killed by armed authorities — one in the occupied West Bank, and one in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.
___Their names were Abd al-Rahman Ubeidallah, 13, and Tamir Rice, 12, and on Friday, a memorial was unveiled in their honor in the Aida refugee camp — where Ubeidallah was born, raised, and killed — near the southern occupied West bank city of Bethlehem. __Tamir, an African-American child, was shot by local Ohio police on Nov. 22, 2014 while playing alone with his toy gun in a park in Cleveland.
[. . . .] ___Almost one year later, on Oct. 5, 2015, Abd al-Rahman was shot in the chest by Israeli forces as he walked home from school during clashes in the Aida refugee camp.     ___Neither the American police officers nor the Israeli soldiers who killed Rice and Ubeidallah were indicted for killing the boys.
[. . . .]  “We are dedicating this memorial in honor of two young lives which have been snuffed out unjustly,” said Reverend Graylan Hagler, who came with members of his congregation from Washington D.C. to dedicate the memorial inside the Aida playground, built by the NGO Playgrounds for Palestine.         More . . .

  • McEvoy-Levy, Siobhan. “Stuck In Circulation: Children, ‘Waithood’ And The Conflict Narratives Of Israelis And Palestinians.” Children’s Geographies 12.3 (2014): 312-326.    SOURCE.  

(Siobhan McEvoy-Levy is Assoc. Prof, and Department Chair, Department of Political Science, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN)

The use of the term ‘waithood’ to describe a distinct experience of young people who are stuck in their transitions to adulthood has emerged quite recently in the international development literature. Researchers with a focus on the Middle East and Africa have noted that both the structural violence of economic exclusion and the direct violence of war make it very difficult for young people to become adults in traditional terms and they may become trapped in a prolonged or even permanent state of social, cultural and economic limbo. The terms ‘a generation in waiting’, ‘involuntary waithood’ and ‘wait adulthood’ have been coined to explain such thwarted youth transitions.
[. . . .]   Alongside the focus on waithood, scholars of international relations, peace and development have also recognized children (though not youth) as a vulnerable moving (and movable) mass. Rather than being trapped in a state of youth-hood, children in conflict zones are forced to grow up too soon while circulating within and across state borders.
[. . . .]    Every young Palestinian interviewed in the West Bank described their main challenge as simply ‘the Occupation’. Supporting a ‘waithood’ thesis, university students were concerned about how the political situation would affect their employment, future relationships and family. For example, a female student states that her main worry was for her transition to adulthood: Huma (aged 23): “I fear can’t have a job, can’t make my life. Everybody wants to have stability, make a family and go to their work. So if I don’t do these things I will become hopeless.” Several young people identified their own lack of mobility, on the one hand, and a loss of friends and family to emigration, on the other, as key challenges.
[. . . .]  Hamdi, who is male, uses an image of ‘the Palestinian child’ to make a quite complex political point. Male children are propelled into taking a stand, taking on older youth and adult roles, by occupying space, literally, in front of a tank, to reverse the stuckness imposed by the occupation. That role in itself is a reversal of normal childhood development and another way of being stuck. While the image is one of movement through uprising, arguably Hamdi himself remains ideologically stuck in a first Intifada narrative. He admitted feelings of guilt about not doing more himself to resist the occupation, and like many of the participants believed there would be a third Intifada. Much like Alena, Hamdi is partially performing a role in reproducing the Palestinian master narrative, a pattern repeated among the Israeli interviewees where the reality of stuckness is also betrayed by the rhetoric of mobilization. [. . . .]

Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH)
Dec. 2, 2016
The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University wish you a great holiday season and wishing you and yours a wonderful new year. May 2017 be a year of progress towards peace and sustainability for our planet.       More . . .  

Volunteer of Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) teaching children (Photo: PMNH website, Dec. 2, 2016)

Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 3, 2016
A Palestinian resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan was forced Saturday to demolish his own home after the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem warned him that unless he does it himself, it will demolish it and force him to pay exorbitant amount of money in costs.
___Said Abbasi, the home owner, told WAFA that he was forced to demolish the building that houses his and his brother’s homes under the pretext it was built without a license.     ___He said a total of 12 members of the Abbasi family, mostly children, were displaced as a result of the demolition of the two 300-square-meter homes.     More . . .

Waiting for the school bus,
watching his breath turn into mist near his nose
in the icy morning,
the schoolboy’s fingers are frozen,
too stiff to make a fist.

On the pillow of regret,
the defeated soldier
lazily tries to get up,
raising his broken toothbrush
to his teeth.

Early or late,
The stranger awakens in his exile, his homeland.
Their clothes, their car number pates, their trees,
their quarrels, their love, their land, their sea
belong to them.
His memories are like rats gathering on his doormat,
new and warm
in front of his closed door.

On a lonely pillow,
the mother throws a quick glance
at the bed of her elder son,
made for the final time
and empty, forever.

A voice from the neighbouring window is heard:
“Hello, good morning, how are you?”
“Hello, good morning, we’re fine,
we’re fine!”

From: Barghouti, Mourid. Midnight and other Poems. Trans. By Radwa Ashour. Todmorden, Lancashire, UK: Arc Books, 2008. Available from B&N.
About Mourid Barghouti

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