“. . . they come to burn the love in our hearts . . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

PLEASE NOTE: With this posting the form and content of this blog will slightly change. It will present fewer news items and give more background for those items. This is in hopes of providing the reader (and the blogger) with deeper understanding of the issues that shape the news. I will soon find a means to provide direct links to these articles.
Thank you. H.K.

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A Palestinian Bedouin boy feeds camels in a poverty-stricken quarter of the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis. (Photo: Getty Images, January 20, 2016)

❶ Video: Hebron settlers steal wooden furniture from Palestinian home for Lag BaOmer bonfire
❷ Israel steps up war on Palestinian culture
❸ Why camels mean more than just money to Gaza’s Bedouin
❹ Opinion/Analysis: TIME  TO  END  THE  ‘HASBARA’:  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AND  THE  SEARCH  FOR  A  COMMON  STORY
❺ NOTES – Writings related to above news stories
❻ POETRY by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
❶ VIDEO:  HEBRON  SETTLERS  STEAL  WOODEN  FURNITURE  FROM  PALESTINIAN  HOME  FOR  LAG BAOMER  BONFIRE
Ma’an News Agency
May 24, 2016
A group of right-wing Israeli settlers broke into an uninhabited Palestinian house in the southern occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday and stole wooden furniture, presumably to be burned during bonfire celebrations for the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer.
___A spokesperson for Hebron-based activist group Youth Against Settlement, Issa Amro [said] the families have been banned from accessing their homes in Hebron’s Old City since Israeli forces sealed the area around al-Shuhada Street in 1994.     MORE . . .
(Note below)

❷ ISRAEL  STEPS  UP  WAR  ON  PALESTINIAN  CULTURE
The Electronic Intifada
Alia Al Ghussain
May 18, 2016
The Palestinian community in Haifa enjoyed a small victory in March when a theater successfully challenged the Israeli government to win reinstatement of official funding cut after controversy over the staging of a play about prisoners last year.
___But the reinstatement also threw into focus the constraints on Palestinian artistic expression in present-day Israel and some saw the resumption of official funding as a double-edged sword.    MORE . . .     RELATED FROM THE NEWS . . .   
(Note below)

❸ WHY  CAMELS  MEAN  MORE  THAN  JUST  MONEY  TO  GAZA’S  BEDOUIN
Al-Monitor (Palestine Pulse)
Rasha Abou Jalal
May 22, 2016
Despite the difficulties that hinder camel breeding in the Gaza Strip, such as the scarcity of green pastures and ongoing urban sprawl, Bedouin families continue to breed camels as part of their heritage. To them, camels are a source of income and livelihood [. . . .]
___ . . . Arabs used to praise camels in poetry, and the Quran gives the example of camels in Surat al-Ghashiyah, verse 17, to show the greatness of God’s creation: “Do they still not look at the camel, how it had been created?”       MORE . . .    

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The Israeli demolition of Palestinian structures in central Hebron. (Photo: Ahmed A. Rjoob, Conservation and Management of Archeological Sites 11: 3–4, 2009)

❹ Opinion/Analysis:  TIME  TO  END  THE  ‘HASBARA’:  PALESTINIAN  MEDIA  AND  THE  SEARCH  FOR  A  COMMON  STORY
Middle East Monitor
Ramzy Baroud
May 24, 2016
Merely being in the company of hundreds of Palestinian journalists and other media professionals from all over the world has been an uplifting experience. For many years, Palestinian media has been on the defensive, unable to articulate a coherent message, torn between factions and desperately trying to fend off the Israeli media campaign, along with its falsifications and unending propaganda or ‘hasbara’ [ . . . . ]
___ Not only are Palestinians expected to demolish many years of Israeli disinformation, predicated on a make-believe historical discourse that has been sold to the world as fact, but also to construct their own lucid narrative that is free from the whims of factions and personal gains.       MORE . . .  
(Note below)

NOTES –  WRITINGS  RELATED  TO  NEWS ITEMS
(complete writings are available online through EBSCO databases from most libraries)

DEMOLITION  OF  PALESTINIAN  CULTURE  IN  HEBRON
In 2000, during the al-Aqsa Intifada, Palestinian heritage was destroyed by the military operations of the Israeli army. They deliberately demolished the historic centres of Nablus and Hebron, and subsequently constructed the separation wall inside the OPTs, causing unprecedented and irreversible damage to Palestinian heritage. The separation wall also cuts off hundreds of archaeological sites annexed to Israel or to illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
__From:  Rjoob, Ahmed A. “The Impact of Israeli Occupation on the Conservation of Cultural Heritage Sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: The Case of ‘Salvage Excavations’.” Conservation & Management of Archaeological Sites 11.3/4 (2009): 214-235.

RESISTING THE WAR ON PALESTINIAN CULTURE
Writing is an act not only of preserving history and human experience, but also of resistance to intruders and colonizers. Although we do not write only because there is occupation and injustice, we write the kind of literature we do because there is occupation. . . .  We know we belong here in Palestine. We write not to beg for our rights and for a better life, but to fulfill our obligations to ourselves, to others, and to the generations to come.
__From: Alareer, Refaat R. “Gaza Writes Back: Narrating Palestine.” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 37.2 (2014): 524-537.

REGARDING  THE  ‘HASBARA’
So these assumptions are reinforced. You know, the Jews are the good people; Arabs are the bad people. Jews are like us. They’re white people creating a Western-style state in a savage untamed region of the world. So after ’67, there was this move towards making uncritical support of Israel the cornerstone of being a good Jew. Being a Jew and a Zionist are now merged, and Israel is the religion. Christian Zionists marched up and embraced the idea. We all got to return so we can have an apocalypse. So they embraced this settler movement. Liberal Christians then bought the mythology. The U.S. government developed our huge military industrial complex. With this framing, the history and trauma and aspirations of Palestinians become more and more invisible.
___So this manipulation happens by controlling the message. How is that done? We have Birthright trips, which are basically brainwashing. We have students that have been recruited and, I’ve heard, paid to use social media to compliment Israel. They call this public diplomacy. There are a ton of free junkets for all kinds of people, ranging from academics to food and wine critics, to go to Israel. We have all the academic collaborations. We have our Israeli ambassadors in all sorts of Jewish settings and forcing what the message is. So there is this multimillion-dollar industry to brand Israel with pink washing, green washing, faith washing, and all those kind of things.
___From: Rothchild, Alice, and Askia Muhammad. “Silencing Voices That Question Israeli Actions.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (2015): 21-25.

“ENEMY,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like sakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From: A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

“. . . even more proud of guns and treachery. . .” (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

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Street of shops in Arab Quarter, East Jerusalem, in danger of losing all customers and becoming a ghost town (Photo: Harold Knight, November 9, 2015)

❶ Israel to confiscate vast tract of land in Jericho
❷ Israeli forces detain 25 Palestinians across West Bank
❸ Home demolitions in Jerusalem
❹ Analysis: Hebron: land, settlements and settlers
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Israeli restrictions and escalating violence threaten to turn Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter into a ghost town
❻ Poetry by Yousef Al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAEL  TO  CONFISCATE  VAST  TRACT  OF  LAND  IN  JERICHO
Jan. 20, 2016
Israel is set to declare 1,500 dunams (370 acres) of land in the occupied West Bank district of Jericho as “state land,” Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced Wednesday.
___The plans were revealed earlier in the day by Israeli Army Radio, which said the land was located north of the illegal Israeli settlement of Almog and had been used by settlers over the past 20 years.
___COGAT confirmed the plans were in their “final stages,” and said they were in accordance with a political ratification.
___Israeli Army Radio reportedly said: “This is a very sensitive issue which will likely garner harsh critique from Europe and the United States, and of course from the Palestinian Authority.”    More . . .
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  DETAIN  25  PALESTINIANS  ACROSS  WEST  BANK
Jan. 20, 2016
Israeli forces detained at least 25 Palestinians in predawn raids in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.
____In Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians from the city’s Thinaba neighborhood, Palestinian security sources said. . . .
___The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that Israeli forces detained five teenagers from East Jerusalem. . . .    More . . .
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
HOME  DEMOLITIONS  IN  JERUSALEM
Jan. 21, 2016
Dozens of Israeli soldiers raided Jabal al Baba, situated east of the Jerusalem-area village of Al Ezarriya . . . Three families, those of Hajja Hamda Abu Kateba, Ali Abu Kateba and Ghassan al Jahaleen, were forced out of their homes, which were then demolished under the pretext of construction without Israeli-issued permits. . . .
___Just yesterday Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah slammed the displacement of Palestinian Bedouin communities. In a statement the prime minister said . . . “Israel’s systematic violation of international laws is no longer acceptable by the international community.”   More . . .

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Israeli guard tower and Apartheid wall, center of Hebron (Photo: Harold Knight, November 7, 2015)

Analysis
ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
HEBRON:  LAND,  SETTLEMENTS  AND  SETTLERS
Sergio Yahni
Jan. 19,2016
For the last two weeks Palestinian and international activists have staged a sit-in at the entrance of Hebron’s Shuhada Street to protest new policies implemented in the city that oblige residents of Shuhada Street and the nearby Tel Rumeida neighbourhood to register with Israeli military authorities. . . .
___The checkpoint leads into the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, which Israeli authorities declared a closed military zone on November 1, 2015. This closure forced all local residents to register and be assigned numbers in order to travel to their homes. . . .
___Those measures allegedly come to protect a few hundred Israeli settlers living near Shuhada Street and in the Tel Rumeida area.
___Settlements are the most immediate problem faced by Palestinians in the West Bank. More . . .
Opinion/Analysis
MONDOWEISS
ISRAELI  RESTRICTIONS  AND  ESCALATING  VIOLENCE  THREATEN  TO  TURN  JERUSALEM’S  MUSLIM  QUARTER  INTO  A  GHOST  TOWN
Allison Deger
Jan. 20, 2016
Green metal panels shutter recently out of business storefronts along al-Wad Street, a narrow stone road inside of Jerusalem’s Old City walls that links Damascus Gate to the holy sites of the Western Wall and the al-Aqsa mosque . . . . six stores on al-Wad Street alone have closed since October . . . .
___The famed “best hummus joint in Jerusalem,” Abu Shukri’s, has taken to half-days. . . . after the loss of Jewish-Israeli customers who no longer venture into Palestinian sections of the Old City. Even more business may shut their doors in the coming weeks, threatening to turn the Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter into a ghost town.
___“Palestinians are afraid to come and the tourists, if they come they don’t stop and they don’t talk to us,” said Jihad Rajabi who owns a t-shirt and souvenir store on al-Wad street. When Israeli police set up more than a dozen new checkpoints inside of East Jerusalem neighborhoods last October, Rajabi lost many customers. More . . .

“ENEMY,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like sakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—Translated by DM Black

Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.

Call to prayer, early afternoon, Jericho (Video: Harold Knight, November 8, 2016)

“. . . they come to burn the love in our hearts . . .” (Yousef al-Mahmoud)

The separation Wall in Jerusalem. (Photo by George Azar)
The separation Wall in Jerusalem. (Photo by George Azar)

❶ 2 Palestinians shot dead as attacks kill 3 Israelis, injure 28
❷ Israeli forces shoot, injure 23 Palestinians with live bullets
❸ Demoralization and Resistance: Israel’s Unseen Policy and Jerusalem’s Refusal to Abandon Its Collective Identity
❹ UNRWA slams Israel’s use of force against Palestinians
❺ Opinion/Analysis: Of course, It is an Intifada: This is What You Must Know
❻ Poetry by Yousef al-Mahmoud
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
(Please read “Purpose” above. Thank you for “following.”)
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
2  PALESTINIANS  SHOT  DEAD  AS  ATTACKS  KILL  3  ISRAELIS,  INJURE  28
Oct. 13, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Three Israelis were killed and up to 28 injured, several of them seriously, in at least four separate attacks across Israel and occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, with at least two suspected Palestinian attackers shot dead, Israeli medics and police said.
____The Israeli government immediately began discussing punitive measures against Palestinians, including the closure of Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem and arming more Israeli citizens with guns.
More . . .
Related . . .
Summary of violence today
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY
ISRAELI  FORCES  SHOOT,  INJURE  23  PALESTINIANS  WITH  LIVE  BULLETS
Oct. 12, 2015
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured at least 23 Palestinians with live bullets during clashes in the occupied West Bank on Monday, with two more shot and injured by Israeli settlers, Palestinian sources reported. [. . . . . ]
____Clashes have injured more than 1,300 Palestinians since the beginning of the month, with 152 shot with live and rubber-coated steel bullets on Sunday alone, according to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health and the Palestinian Red Crescent.
More . . .
THIS WEEK IN PALESTINE
DEMORALIZATION  AND  RESISTANCE;  ISRAEL’S  UNSEEN  POLICY  AND  JERUSALEM’S  REFUSAL  TO  ABANDON  ITS  COLLECTIVE  IDENTITY
Megan Driscoll
Oct. 2015
Though never far out of sight, Jerusalem was notably at the center of much of the world’s focus this year, as tensions mounted throughout the occupied city. Following the death of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir this past July and a fierce reaction from Palestinian Jerusalemites, many pondered whether or not a third Intifada was brewing in the streets of Shu’fat, Silwan, Wadi al-Joz and elsewhere. Israel’s reaction to the growing popular resistance was in turn swift and forceful . . . . little has been dedicated to the underlying psychosocial impact of the occupation force’s growing repression in East Jerusalem.
____Historically, Israel has worked to undermine the collective identity of Palestinian Jerusalemites since it first occupied the city in 1967. Over the past four decades, the state has implemented a complex network of measures that comprehensively work to minimize Palestinian presence in Jerusalem.
More . . .
THE MIDDLE EAST MONITOR (MEMO)
UNRWA  SLAMS  ISRAEL’S  USE  OF  FORCE  AGAINST  PALESTINIANS
Oct. 13, 2015
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) on Monday condemned the recent murder and injury of a number of Palestinians by Israeli security forces. [. . . . .]
____The clashes erupted after groups of Jewish settlers forced their way into East Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound for several consecutive days last month.
____UNRWA expressed its concern over the use of live ammunition by Israeli forces to disperse demonstrators — a policy the agency described as “excessive use of force”, which, it said, “may be contrary to international law enforcement standards”.
More. . .
❺ Opinion/Analysis
PALESTINE CHRONICLE
OF  COURSE,  IT  IS  AN  INTIFADA:  THIS  IS  WHAT  YOU  MUST  KNOW
Ramzy Baroud
Oct. 12 2015
When my book ‘Searching Jenin’ was published soon after the Israeli massacre in the Jenin refugee camp in 2002, I was quizzed repeatedly by the media and many readers for conferring the word ‘massacre’ on what Israel has depicted as a legitimate battle against camp-based ‘terrorists’.
____The interrogative questions were aimed at relocating the narrative from a discussion regarding possible war crimes into a technical dispute over the application of language. For them, the evidence of Israel’s violations of human rights mattered little. [. . . . .]
____Even when video evidence emerges countering the official Israeli narrative and revealing, as in most other cases, that the murdered youth posed no threat, the official Israeli narrative will always be accepted as facts, by some. Isra’, Fadi, and all the rest are ‘terrorists’ who endangered the safety of Israeli citizens and, alas, had to be eliminated as a result.
– Dr. Ramzy Baroud has been writing about the Middle East for over 20 years. He is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com.
More . . . 
Dr. Ramzy Baroud

“ENEMY,”  BY  YOUSEF  AL-MAHMOUD
They come from all the ends of the earth to sit among us
they come from the ends of the winds
they bring sickness and a hissing like sakes
they come from the ends of the snows
they come smelling of death
they come with blood-dipping knives
they bring panic and terror
they are utterly not-to-be-trusted
they are utterly murderous
they are proud of their murders, they are drinkers of blood
proud of tooth and nail
even more proud of guns and treachery
they come to burn the love in our hearts
and turn it to torture and bitterness
they bring sorrow, terror, sickness. . .
How have they come to sit among us?
—-—-Translated by DM Black

From A  BIRD  IS  NOT  A  STONE:  AN  ANTHOLOGY  OF  CONTEMPORARY  PALESTINIAN  POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available From Amazon.com.
—-Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.

Palestinians attempt to break through a section of the separation wall Israel built in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis, 11 October. (Photo by Yotam Ronen, ActiveStills)
Palestinians attempt to break through a section of the separation wall Israel built in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis, 11 October. (Photo by Yotam Ronen, ActiveStills)

“. . . Her house is above the carnations . . . “ (Yousef Al-Mahmoud)

Nora Sub Leban in her home in the Muslim Quarter of Old JerusalemNora Sub Laban in her home in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem

❶ from THE ELECTRONIC INTIFADA
LAST PALESTINIAN FAMILY IN JERUSALEM NEIGHBORHOOD FEAR EVICTION AT ANY MOMENT
Sarah Levy
25 March 2015
A Palestinian family that has lived in Jerusalem’s Old City since 1953 is being forced out of their home by Israeli settlers backed by the state.
Since 9 February the Sub Laban family of eight have been twice subjected to eviction attempts by Israeli settlers and police. The family are expecting a third attempt to come at any time. . .
. . . Although the family have an appeal hearing before an Israeli district court to challenge the eviction on 31 May, the court has refused to give an order that would prohibit an eviction before that date. The constant fear of invasion and eviction by Israeli settlers, police — or both — has effectively put the family’s lives on hold.
(More. . .)
❷ from ALTERNATIVE INFORMATION CENTER (AIC)
SETTLERS TAKE OVER EAST JERUSALEM PROPERTY
Armed Israeli settlers Wednesday took over a Palestinian-owned property in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan
Protected by a large number of Israeli police, armed settlers broke into Silwan early Wednesday morning and occupied a building, which houses four apartments belonging to the al-Malhi-Faraj family. The settlers removed all furniture from the flats, changed the door locks and shuttered the windows closed.
. . . located in the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood of Silwan, flanking the southern wall of the al Aqsa mosque compound.
Israeli police cordoned the neighborhood off in advance, preventing Palestinian residents from approaching the property. A quarrel took place between Palestinians and the Israeli police, during which police physically assaulted and briefly detained Muhammad al-Malhi, 13.
(More. . .)
settlers_silwan
❸ from THE INDEPENDENT (UK online news)
ISRAELI SOLDIERS FILMED WAKING PALESTINIAN CHILDREN IN MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FOR QUESTIONING
Lizzie Dearden
March 28, 2015
Footage showing terrified Palestinian children being woken up by armed Israeli soldiers for questioning in the dead of the night has emerged. Boys as young as nine are shown being questioned about stone throwing and photographed by soldiers who dismiss their parents’ protests.
Volunteers from . . . the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, happened to be living in the flat block visited by troops in Hebron.
(More. . .)
❹ from PALESTINE NEWS AND INFORMATION AGENCY – WAFA
ISRAELI MILITARY ERECTS WATCHTOWER OVERLOOKING GIRLS’ SCHOOL IN HEBRON
March 31, 2015
The Israeli military forces Tuesday took over a Palestinian’s home, which is adjacent to a local elementary girls’ school in the old town of Hebron and erected a military watchtower overlooking the school’s yard.
. . . Israeli military forces deployed in the area and caused female students to panic and hampered their school day. . .
. . . Many Palestinian students must pass through Israeli military checkpoints just to get to school, and the military uses these checkpoints to harass and delay students.
(More. . .)
❺ from INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE EAST MEDIA CENTER
SCHOOLCHILDREN INJURED NEAR BETHLEHEM
IMEMC & Agencies
March 31, 2015
Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday morning, the Teqoua’ town, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and fired gas bombs causing many schoolchildren to suffer the effects of tear gas inhalation.
Eyewitnesses said the children were walking to school when the soldiers stormed the village, especially since their schools are on the main road.
(More. . .)

“ABOVE THE CARNATIONS,” BY YOUSEF AL-MAHMOUD
Her house is above the carnations
on the path to the wind-swept hills. . .
At evening we sought refuge there
watching out for the guns and the aeroplanes.

The crack of bullets followed our coffee
and smashed into our conversation.
The crack of bullets and the bark of artillery
came near to the flowers inside the windows
came near to the warmth and the water jug
debris clattered down the outside stairway
and fell towards the marble pavement.

Her house is above the carnations
there we were in it
we had sought refuge there
and so we moved to where the Jewish soldiers could no longer see us.

—-Translated by DM Black
—-Yousef Al-Mahmoud is a prominent broadcaster and poet, and former head of the Ministry of Culture in his native Jenin.
—-From A BIRD IS NOT A STONE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN POETRY (Glasgow: Freight Books, 2014) –available from Amazon.com.

albazz_spring12_smallfrom JADALIYYA
“Snapshot: Palestinian Spring”
Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz