“. . . is it my country or the source of my exile . . .” (Zuhair Abu Shaib)

SELECTED NEWS OF THE DAY

Israeli army destroys road students in West Bank village use to reach their school

WAFA
August 28, 2019
Israeli army bulldozers destroyed today a road the al-Tira village council had opened a year ago to facilitate movement of students to their school and back as well as movement of residents in general, according to Abdul Jaber Mohammad, head of al-Tira village council located to west of Ramallah. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ He stressed Israel wants to build a road in that area to connect the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Horon to the highway that connects Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.    More . . . .

Israel Punishes Gaza with Fuel Cuts

Palestine Chronicle
August 27, 2019
The Israeli government took retaliatory aim at Gaza’s electricity supply Monday ordering fuel shipments into the coastal region to be cut-in-half “until further notice”, over alleged Palestinian rockets attacks against southern Israel on Sunday night.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Mohammad Thabet, a spokesman for the Gaza power company said:  “We already are in a crisis and now the Israeli decision will make it worse. It will have a grave impact on the lives of 2 million people and on vital services such as hospitals.”   More . . . .

Committee Calls on International Community to Protect Palestinian Civilians

IMEMC-International Middle East Media Center
August 28, 2019
The Legal and International Advocacy Committee of the National Commission for the Return and Siege Breaking Marches strongly condemns the continuation of the Israeli occupation forces targeting the Palestinians participating in the return and siege breaking marches in Gaza Strip.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The demonstrations have been held for 71 consecutive Fridays, and on August 23, 2019, the Israeli occupation forces, deliberately used excessive and lethal force against demonstrators, injuring 122 civilians, 50 of them with live bullets. These injuries included children, women and 3 badged paramedics and journalists.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Committee affirms that the return marches and the popular activities that still maintain a peaceful approach, to which the Israeli occupation forces react with deadly force, demonstrating Israel’s arrogance and contempt for the International Law system of human rights. . . .
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ Therefore, the Legal and International Advocacy Committee calls for the implementation of the recommendations in the report of the international commission of inquiry, which was adopted at the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council. More . . . .

State of the Gaza Strip Border Crossings (01 -31 July 2019)

Palestinian Center for Human Rights
August 27, 2019
During the reporting period (July), the Israeli authorities continued to impose their closure on the Gaza Strip for the 13th consecutive year along with tightened restrictions on the crossings surrounding the Gaza Strip, contrary to the Israeli claims of easing restrictions on the movement of persons and goods.  Further, the Israeli authorities continued to control entry and exit for pedestrians from the Gaza Strip at the Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing as they narrowly allow some categorioes such as patients of urgent cases and their companions, who both undergo a very long and complicated process in order to get travel permits and are subject to tightened security measures while traveling through the crossing.  During July, the Israeli authorities at Beit Hanoun “Erez” Crossing obstructed the travel of 661 patients . . . .  More . . . .

POEM OF THE DAY

“NAME OF THE SOIL,” BY ZUHAIR ABU SHAIB

what is its name?
what is the name of the soil
that falls from my withered body?
what is its name as it drifts and gathers
under my clothes
while, slowly, I build wall after wall?

I picture a sky full of clouds
I see it as I wish it to be
when night falls, I gulp my fill of springs
in darkness I lift my latch
to wise men

I ask my guests
who imprisoned the soul in rock?
who left prophets spread-eagled on doorsteps?
who risks everything to capture the earth?
a man who does not know his own shadow

what can I call this rug of soil?
is it my country or the source of my exile?
is it my miracle or my cross?

what is its name?

――Translated by Tom Pow

From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014).
Zuhair Abu Shaib was born in Deir al-Ghusun, a town near the city of Tulkarm in the northern West Bank and studied at Yarmouk University. He was a teacher and journalist in Yemen, and a book designer. He was also editor of the journal Awraq.

 

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