“They’ve grown to become trees plunging deep roots. . .” (Fadwa Tuqan)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli army detains three youths from villages near Ramallah, seizes surveillance cameras

WAFA
August 24, 2019
The Israeli army detained early this morning three Palestinian youths from villages near Ramallah and seized street surveillance cameras in these villages, according to local sources. . . .
· · · · The sources said the soldiers seized tapes from the street surveillance cameras installed by shop and homeowners in these villages.
· · · · The arrests and seizure of the cameras are believed related to the Israeli army investigation into the explosion from yesterday near the village of Ein Arik that killed one Israeli settler and injured two others.   More . . . .   

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian citizens in West Bank cities

Groups of Israeli settlers on Friday rioted and attacked Palestinian citizens in al-Khalil and Nablus districts in the West Bank.
· · · Local sources reported that hordes of Israeli settlers gathered near Road 60 east of al-Khalil City and hurled rocks at Palestinian vehicles. More . . . .

In one East Jerusalem neighborhood, summer vacation has become a war zone

For children in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, summer vacation means dodging rubber bullets and watching their fathers and brothers arrested and humiliated every day.
+972 Magazine
August 22, 2019
At the entrance to Issawiya in East Jerusalem, eight children are laughing as they chase one another in circles. I take out a camera and a few of them begin to gather around me. The oldest of the group is 13 years old, and tells me that they are playing “Jews and Arabs.” Do you know it? She asks. There are two teams: the Jews shoot at the Arabs and the Arabs throw rocks. The game ends when one of the teams wins.
I look on as they play but cannot really seem to make out the rules. It’s a bit like tag, only that instead of tagging one another, they pretend chase, detain, and shoot each other. The children’s home is just across the road. . . .   More . . . .

OPINION and BACKGROUND

The Future of the Two-State Solution and the Alternatives — A View from Gaza

Palestine-Israel Journal
Vol. 24 No. 1, 2019
By Husam Dajni
. . . . This article will address the following questions: What are the indicators of the erosion of the two-state solution? What are the chances the Palestinian leadership and the international community can keep this solution viable? What are possible alternatives to the two-state solution? And what is Hamas’s vision for the two-state solution and its alternatives, given the new reality?  More . . . .
(The Palestine-Israel Journal is a non-profit organization, founded in 1994 by Ziad AbuZayyad and Victor Cygielman, two prominent Palestinian and Israeli journalists, and was established concurrently with the first phases of the Oslo peace process to encourage dialogue between civil societies on both sides and broaden the base of support for the peace process.)

The East Jerusalem Municipality (Amanat al-Quds): History and Horizons

This Week In Palestine
Issue: 256, Aug 2019
By Walid Salem
The Jerusalem municipality was established by the Ottomans in 1863. At that time, it was composed of five members: three Muslims, one Christian, and one Jew. The British Mandatory Period began in 1917. . . . The Israeli occupying authorities dissolved this council on June 21, 1967, and began to enforce Israeli law in East Jerusalem whilst extending the responsibilities of the Israeli municipality to include East Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the 1963 elected city council continued operating and still represents East Jerusalem in Arab, Islamic, and international federations of capitals and cities today. . . .
· · · During President Mahmoud Abbas’s term, an amended Law No. 10 of 2005 was passed regarding the election of local authorities. Article 69 of the law stipulates that “members of the Municipal Council shall be selected in accordance with the Law of the Municipality of the Capital (Amanat al-Quds Law).”
· · · In January 2012, President Mahmoud Abbas issued a second decree appointing a new municipality for Jerusalem.    More . . . .
(In December 1998, Turbo Design put out the first issue of an English-language magazine called This Week in Palestine (TWiP). Twenty-one years later, the magazine is now considered to be a major Palestinian success story and, unfortunately, remains the only English-language magazine in Palestine. TWiP essentially promotes and documents Palestine. . . .)

POEM OF THE DAY

“SONG  OF  BECOMING,”  BY  FADWA  TUQAN

They’re only boys
who used to frolic and play
launching rainbowed kites
on the western wind,
their blue-and-green kites
whistling, leaping,
trading easy laughter and jokes
dueling with branches, pretending to be
great heroes in history.

Suddenly now they’ve grown,
grown more than the years of a normal life,
merged with secret and passionate words,
carried love’s messages like the Bible or the Quran,
to be read in whispers.
They’ve grown to become trees
plunging deep roots into the earth,
stretching high towards the sun.
Now their voices are ones that reject,
that knock down and build anew.
Anger smouldering on the fringes of a blocked horizon,
invading classrooms, streets, city quarters,
centering on squares,
facing sullen tanks with streams of stones.

Now they shake the gallows of dawn
assailing the night and its flood.
They’ve grown more than the years of a life
to become the worshipped and the worshippers.

When their torn limbs merged with the stuff of our earth
they became legends,
they grew into vaulting bridges,
they grew and grew, becoming
larger than all poetry.
――
Translated by Naomi Shihab Nye

From ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN PALESTINIAN LITERATURE. Ed. Salma Khadra Jayyusi. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. Available from Columbia University Press.

 

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