“. . . stand in Manger Square And mimic the dance-steps of Zorba the Greek . . .” (Samih Mohsen)

IMG_4498
Israeli side of the wall in Northeast Jerusalem between Anata and Pisgat Ze’ev, 2010

❶ Palestinians tear down Israeli iron gate in protest of separation wall
. . . . . ❶ ― In Photos: Daily struggle of Palestinian workers at Checkpoint 300

  • Background: “Young Palestinian Voices from East Jerusalem.” Palestine-Israel Journal of Politics, Economics & Culture. 

❷ Dar al-Kalima hosts conference on demographic changes in Arab world
❸ Video: Bethlehem museum decorate Olive tree to reflect city suffering caused by Israeli occupation
❹ POETRY by Samih Mohsen
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ PALESTINIANS  TEAR  DOWN  ISRAELI  IRON  GATE  IN  PROTEST  OF  SEPARATION  WALL    
Ma’an News Agency
Dec. 2, 2017 ― A group of Palestinian youths allegedly managed to bring down an iron gate that was set up by Israeli forces as part of Israel’s illegal separation wall, running through the village of Anata in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.
___Spokesperson of the Fatah movement in the nearby Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, Thaer Fasfous, told Ma’an that several youth used hand tools to bring down the gate on Friday as an act of protest against Israel’s separation wall.
___Fasfous pointed out that the gate is located in the middle of the separation wall that runs through Anata, and separates it from the nearby illegal settlement of Pisgat Zeev.   MORE . . .
. . . . . ❶ ― IN  PHOTOS:  DAILY  STRUGGLE  OF  PALESTINIAN  WORKERS  AT  CHECKPOINT  300
Ma’an News Agency
Nov. 24, 2017 ― In the early hours of the morning, typically before dawn, hundreds of Palestinians in the southern occupied West Bank must endure long waits at the 300 checkpoint, one of the only access points Palestinians from the southern West Bank have to Jerusalem and Israel.
___Palestinians crowd into the cement- and metal-barred walkways, push through turnstiles, pass a metal detector, and show their IDs and permits to Israeli soldiers in order to travel to Israel for work. The process can at times take hours and cold winter temperatures coupled with hours of waiting time means frustrations are high.  MORE. . .

Zayyad, Ziad Abu, moderator.  “YOUNG  PALESTINIAN  VOICES  FROM  EAST  JERUSALEM.”
PALESTINE-ISRAEL  JOURNAL  OF  POLITICS,  ECONOMICS  &  CULTURE
,  vol. 21, no. 2, Nov. 2015, pp. 90-103.  October 24, 2015 ― a roundtable discussion in East Jerusalem on the topic of “Young Voices from Jerusalem.
[. . . .] Participant: There are several reasons behind the recent escalation in the situation: Partly the youth are frustrated with the internal Palestinian situation and frustrated with the failure of reconciliation process between Hamas and Fateh . . .  the Jerusalemite youth are directly or indirectly affected by the Israeli authorities, and they are being treated as enemies, not as citizens or residents: They are not allowed to build, East Jerusalem villages and neighborhoods are isolated, high taxes, fines, racist treatment they receive at the Israeli municipality authorities, racist treatment at Israeli courts, besides the attacks on al-Aqsa Mosque.
[. . . .] Participant: Feelings of insecurity and being in danger existed before, and in most times, but the recent incidents increased the level of danger. The Israelis are randomly executing Palestinians in cold blood, and afterwards they frame them with accusations. Some of us here at this roundtable discussion were attacked by the Jewish terrorist group Price Tag. . .
[. . . .] Participant: The main problem with the wall is that it divided the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem and tore the Palestinian social fabric. From an economic perspective, each divided area developed its commercial center. East Jerusalem’s Old City and city center seem like a ghost town after 5 pm, but the surrounding neighborhoods behind the wall and checkpoints developed after the construction of the wall are full of people and busy commercial areas that are open until late at night. Many Jerusalemites opened businesses in these areas with the advantage that they don’t have to pay taxes. Palestinian East Jerusalem residents do their shopping in these areas. The economic crisis is that the city center is being emptied and marginalized. The Palestinian Jerusalemites are not allowed to enter al-Aqsa Mosque; only a certain age group can enter the mosque. The situation in East Jerusalem has changed dramatically in recent years; the landscape of East Jerusalem has changed dramatically.     FULL ARTICLE. . .  ..

DAR  AL-KALIMA  HOSTS  CONFERENCE  ON  DEMOGRAPHIC  CHANGES  IN  ARAB  WORLD   
Palestine News and Information Agency – WAFA
Dec. 2, 2017 ― The issue of migration, displacement and demographic changes in the Arab world was the subject of an international conference hosted by the Bethlehem-based Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in collaboration with the Christian Academic Forum for Citizenship in the Arab World (CAFCAW).
___A Century of Migration, Displacement and Diaspora: Demographic Shifts in the Arab World – 1917-2017” was the title of the conference that convened in Limassol, Cyprus, according to a press release by Dar al-Kalima.
___The Reverend Mitri Raheb, president of Dar Al Kalama University, opened the conference with a speech in which he discussed the most important challenges facing the Arab world today –    MORE . . .
❸ VIDEO:  BETHLEHEM  MUSEUM  DECORATE  OLIVE  TREE  TO  REFLECT  CITY  SUFFERING  CAUSED  BY  ISRAELI  OCCUPATION  
Palestine News Network – PNN 
Dec. 2, 2017 ― In a ceremony attended by a group of Palestinians and Internationals to initiative by Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation “HCEF” as part of Bethlehem Heart of Christmas, Bethlehem Museum celebrated lighting its Christmas tree which was decorated with gas bombs and live bullets fired by the Israeli occupation army on the Palestinian.
___The tree was decorated with dozens of teargas and stun grenades which were painted with Christmas decorations, and child of the cave was placed in a suitcase surrounded by barbed wire and walls to express the suffering of the city of and its people because of Israeli occupation.    MORE . . .    ..

“LAMENTATION,”  BY  SAMIH  MOHSEN 
At Manger Square, at midday,
The chairs outside the cafes
Are taken by Western tourists, in September
They sip at their longing for God
The streets teem with passers-by
And foreign languages
We tread on the shadow
Of an old man stretched out on the pavement
With his arm and a tattered shoe for a pillow
His mattress was a story. . .
We pass by his wounds without seeing
Beer tickles our bellies to laughter
And telling inane anecdotes
We try to release the child within us
We stand in Manger Square
And mimic the dance-steps of Zorba the Greek
We step
We laugh
We step into the ring of lamentation.
―–translated by Henry King

Samih Mohsen was born in the village of Naqour in Nablus, Palestine (Occupid Territories) in 1953, and has published two collections of poetry, Exiting the Narrow Rooms and Kingdoms & Peril.       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 Barnes and Noble.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s