“. . . like sudden fruit fallen on a wasteland. . .” (Ghassan Zaqtan)

(A blog linking to information about PALESTINE not available in mainstream media.
“Online Resources” above lists helpful sites. Works by Palestinian poets close all posts.)

Eleven-year-old Firas al-Shirafi plays the ganun
Eleven-year-old Firas al-Shirafi plays the ganun

Rami Almeghari
Gaza City
24 February 2015
Eleven-year-old Firas al-Shirafi has experienced three major offensives against Gaza during his short life. Last summer, he was confined to his home in the Tal al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City as it was too dangerous to venture outside. As Israel bombed and shelled buildings and infrastructure across the Strip, Firas did his best to replace the sounds of destruction with life-affirming tunes.

“The only shelter for me was my music,” said Firas, who plays the qanun, a traditional string instrument.

JASMINE FESTIVAL, MARCH 3-10, Ramallah, Jerusalem
The Jasmine Festival is an annual festival that has been primarily hosted in Ramallah since the spring of 2011, with concerts also held in several other Palestinian towns and cities such as Bethlehem, Nablus, Shafamer, Jerusalem and Hebron, as well as the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The Jasmine Music Festival highlights genres such as Jazz, Western Classical music, Contemporary Arabic music, Sufi and traditional music from India, and traditional and folkloric music from Palestine and the world, and as such is an integral part of the ESNCM mission to promote music in Palestinian society in its different genres and forms.

By Saed Bannoura
Friday February 27, 2015 13:33 – IMEMC News
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement denouncing the Israeli attacks on Islamic and Christian holy sites in occupied Palestine, and called for international protection. Arab League condemns latest assaults, demands protection to holy sites.

Friday February 27, 2015 10:11
Several Israeli military vehicles invaded, on Friday at dawn, Kuful Hares town, east of the central West Bank city of Salfit, to accompany Israelis touring archaeological sites in the town. Dozens of Palestinians suffer effects of teargas inhalation in Bethlehem.

by Ramzy Baroud, February 26, 2015

Truly, US President Barack Obama’s recent call to address the root causes of violence, including that of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) and al-Qaeda was a step in the right direction, but still miles away from taking the least responsibility for the mayhem that has afflicted the Middle East since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Palestinian-American journalist, author, editor, Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) taught Mass Communication at Australia’s Curtin University of Technology, and is Editor-in-Chief of the Palestine Chronicle. Baroud’s work has been published in hundreds of newspapers and journals worldwide and his books “His books “Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion” and “The Second Palestinian Intifada: A Chronicle of a People’s Struggle” have received international recognition. Baroud’s third book, “My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story” (Pluto Press, December 18, 2014) narrates the story of the life of his family, used as a representation of millions of Palestinians in Diaspora, starting in the early 1940’s until the present time.

WILL THEY BELIEVE, by Ghassan Zaqtan
Will the children forgive the generation
trampled by horses of war, exile and preparation for departure?
Will they think of us as we were:
ambushes in ravines
we’d shake our jealousy
and carve trees into the earth’s shirt
to sit under
we the factional fighters
who’d shoo the clouds of war out of their carriages
and peer around our eternal siege
or catch the dead
like sudden fruit fallen on a wasteland?
Will the children forgive what we were:
missile shepherds and masters of exile and chaotic celebration
whenever a neighboring war gestured to us
we’d rise
to set up in its braids a place
good for love and residence?
The bombing rarely took a rest
the missile launchers rarely returned unharmed
we rarely picked flowers for the dead or went on
with our lives
If only that summer had
given us a bit of time’s space
before our mad departure
Will they believe?

Born near Bethlehem, Palestinian poet, novelist, and editor Ghassan Zaqtan has lived in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Tunisia. A poet who writes primarily in Arabic, Zaqtan is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Early Morning (1980), Ordering Descriptions: Selected Poems (1998), and Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me (2012, translated by Fady Joudah); the novel Describing the Past (1995); and the play The Narrow Sea, which was honored at the 1994 Cairo Festival.