“. . . into the shadow of the Holy Heights. . .” by Reja-e Busailah

News of the Day

Report: Israeli raids at Al-Aqsa reflect official tendencies to change status quo in Jerusalem

September 09, 2019
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) confirmed in a new report that the Israeli occupation forces escalated their attacks in the occupied city of Jerusalem, as party of a policy adopted by the highest Israeli political level, amid clear indications of Israeli tendencies to break the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The report, which examines human rights violations in Jerusalem in August 2019, explained that the most serious incident witnessed in the city was on the morning of Eid al-Adha, August 11, when hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque following a decision by the Israeli Prime Minister to perform their Talmudic rituals in commemoration of the so-called Tisha B’Av.  More . . . . 

31 violations against media freedoms in Palestine during August

September 9, 2019
August 2019 has witnessed a modest decline in the number of violations against media freedoms in Palestine, which resulted from the decrease in the number of Facebook closures of Palestinian journalists and news websites claiming that “they have violated the criteria of Facebook”.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms “MADA” has documented a total of 31 attacks during August 2019 (compared to a total of 38 attacks documented during July), 17 of which were committed by the Israeli Occupation while 6 violations were committed by Palestinian Authorities. Moreover, the Facebook has closed 8 pages for Palestinian journalist and news websites during this month, noting that Facebook has closed 16 pages belonging to Palestinian journalists and news websites during July.  More . . . .

Teenager Injured, Three Students Among 15 Detained By IOF

Days of Palestine
September 9, 2019
Israeli occupation forces shot and injured a teenager today and detained three students who were among at least 15 Palestinians detained in various raids in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙Local sources said Israeli military stormed Beit Rima village, northwest of Ramallah city, where soldiers ransacked two houses and detained three children who were on their way to school. During ensuing confrontations, soldiers opened fire towards local youngsters injuring one in the neck with a rubber-coated steel bullet.  More . . . .

Medical Neglect Kills Palestinian Prisoner In Israeli Jails 

Days of Palestine
September 9, 2019
The Palestinian political prisoner Bassam al-Sayeh, 47, died on Sunday in the Israeli Assaf Harofeh hospital.
˙ ˙ ˙ ˙ The Israel Prison Service had rejected many Palestinian calls for the release of al-Sayeh, who was suffering from bone and blood cancer, despite his deteriorated health condition.  More . . . .

Poem of the Day

IN THE SHADOW OF THE HOLY HEIGHTS, by Reja-e Busailah     

for Haniya Suleiman Zarawneh, killed by the Israelis at the age of 25, near
Jerusalem, January 4, 1988

The sun came out that day from the depth of winter
like the rare orphan of good luck —
what else can the light of heaven be
on a day rising from the dead of winter?

And she had risen before the sun that day
and like her mother and grandmother before her
she washed by hand and wrung by hand
the linen for spouse and child,

and like mother and grandmother
she walked up the wooden ladder
with the pail onto the roof
into the shadow of the Holy Heights —
so clear was the sky
it almost recalled the sight and the scent of the sea down west.

Faithfully she hung her labors on the rope
article by article
that the good sun might dry them for her,
she clasped each with a wooden pin
as safeguard against the prankish wind —

it was no senseless nature that did it when she was done
just about to come down for other chores,
it was no fiendish Nazi,
it was one of the Chosen
selected her heart for his anointed lead
so that limp went the spring in the covenant
which joined soul and limb —

and the good sun shines
and the sheets and the skirts and the nightgowns
and the small socks
and the outfit for the wooden doll
they toss in the wind
and smell like linen hand-washed and sun-dried
they swing lighthearted on the rope
waiting for mother to collect them.

From BEFORE THERE IS NOWHERE TO STAND, Ed. By Alicia Ostriker. Lost Horse Press, 2012.
REJA-E BUSAILAH, who has been blind since infancy, and who (along with his family) was forcibly evicted from his home in Lydda into exile. Educated in Cairo, he earned a PhD in English from NYU and taught for thirty years at Indiana University. His recent collection of poetry is POEMS OF A PALESTINIAN BOYHOOD, Smokestack books, 2019. You may hear Reja-e Busailah read one of his poems here.

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