“. . . a saddening symptom of the demise of Al-Quds [Jerusalem] . . .” (Ali Qleibo)

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Bethlehem Christmas Tree lighting (Photo: Ma’an News Agency, Dec. 2, 2018)

SELECTED   NEWS   OF   THE   DAY. . .
| JERUSALEM  ANNOUNCED  PERMANENT  CAPITAL  OF  ISLAMIC  CULTURE
The Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers, at the conclusion of its emergency session in the Bahraini capital, Manama, on Thursday, announced Jerusalem a permanent capital of the Islamic culture.    ___The conference adopted a document on a draft program of action on enhancing Islamic and international support for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Jerusalem.    More . . .
. . . . Related  Hordes of Israeli settlers break into al-Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Father Hanna warns of conspiracy targeting J’lem real estate
. . . . Related  New cameras set up by Israeli occupation around Aqsa Mosque
. . . . Related  Israel prevented Muslim call for prayer [Hebron] 47 times in November
|  THOUSANDS  CELEBRATE  CHRISTMAS  TREE  LIGHTING  IN  BETHLEHEM
Only meters away from where baby Jesus is said to be born, thousands of people made their way to Manger Square and gathered around the gigantic Christmas tree, to welcome in the holiest month of the Christian year – December.   ___Locals and foreigners, wrapped up in their coats and beanies, listened to speeches from the likes of the Mayor of Bethlehem, and the Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, with others including top officials from the Catholic church, such as Father Francesco Patton.    More . . .
NEW  SETTLEMENTS  PLANNED  IN  THE  HEART  OF  THE  WEST  BANK
The Israeli government on Sunday approved a map of “national priority” areas, including a number of settlements in the heart of the occupied West Bank.    ___The map aims to promote Israeli migration to the towns on the map, as well as to grant larger budgets for building. The National Law will increase budgets to “strengthen the Jewish character of Israel.”    ___The settlements referred to are: Magron, Shvut Rahal and Kerem Re’em, usually referred to as “isolated settlements” because they are built outside major settlement blocs in the West Bank.  More . . .
. . . . Related  IOA resumes settlement expansion activities west of Salfit
. . . . Related  Israeli settlers spray paint ‘Death to Arabs’ in Palestinian village

COMMENTARY    AND    OPINION. . . .
JERUSALEM,  TWENTY  YEARS  LATER
By Ali Qleibo
More than twenty years after the Oslo Agreement, it has become evident that the slogan “Gaza and Jericho First” was a euphemism, preparing the ground for the Israeli takeover of our city. The Israeli Judaization of Jerusalem has escalated to an unprecedented level. In the systematic takeover of Jerusalem, most institutional Palestinian offices in Jerusalem have been driven out. The checkpoints and the arbitrary inclusion, or exclusion, of major Arab “suburbs” have created a great demographic change, leading to the total isolation of Jerusalem and of Jerusalemites. Through Israeli-manipulated bureaucratic procedures and unsurpassable barriers, families are broken apart. And as one walks the streets of the Old City, the blatant scarcity of rural peddlers in their colorful embroidered garments and of people in general is a saddening symptom of the demise of Al-Quds.    More . . .
. . . .  Related  Al-Quds: The Indigenous Jerusalem: Palestinian Tourism Organizations during the Past 20 Years, By Raed Saadeh
.  .  .  .  .  Also by Raed Saadeh
|  INTERNATIONAL  MEDIA  WATCH  FROM  ALRAY  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AGENCY (Dec. 2, 2018)

POEM  FOR  THE  DAY. . . . 

“WE  TRAVEL  LIKE  OTHER  PEOPLE,”  BY  MAHMOUD  DARWISH

We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere. As if travelling
Is the way of the clouds. We have buried our loved ones in the
darkness of the clouds, between the roots of the trees.
And we said to our wives: go on giving birth to people like us
for hundreds of years so we can complete this journey
To the hour of a country, to a metre of the impossible.
We travel in the carriages of the psalms, sleep in the tent of the
prophets and come out of the speech of the gypsies.
We measure space with a hoopee’s beak or sing to while away the
distance and cleanse the light of the moon.
Your path is long so dream of seven women to bear this long path
On your shoulders. Shake for them palm trees so as to know their
names and who’ll be the mother of the boy of Galilee.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so I can put my road on the
stone of a stone.
We have a country of words. Speak speak so we may know the end of
this travel.

From: Adonis; Mahmud Darwish; and Samih al-Qasim. VICTIMS  OF  A  MAP:  A  BILINGUAL  ANTHOLOGY  OF  ARABIC  POETRY. Trans. Abdullah al-Udhari. London: Saqi Books. 2008.

 

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