Book Review: Struggle & Survival in Palestine/Israel

‘Struggle and Survival in Palestine/Israel’ book is an incredible read by all means, I actually can not wait to start reading it all over again and copy out the quotes that I found to be informatively mind changing.

For those of you who wish to lean about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, and for those who know enough but wish to learn more ethnographic stories collected from pre Ottoman to the recent situation, this book is highly recommended. It is a collection of stories/essays about individuals who set an example of many who follow, be it Palestinian or Jewish, the authors are mostly scholars, anthropologists and specialized in the Israeli Palestinian conflict as well as Middle Eastern studies and they bring together a wide perspective juxtaposed to form a some kind of 360 historic view upon the situation. Israelis who were immigrants and how their immigration reflects upon them and how it slowly translates into their recent development into different ideologies and perception, sided with vis versa stories of Palestinians and their evacuation making them refugees or revolutionists or with shattered identities. This book is massive explosion of information, and what I love mostly about it is the diversity in its selection to collect stories that include the refugee, holocaust survivor, the zionist understanding in different perspectives from murder fanatics to just lovers of the land, the person behind Rabin’s assassination and the Leftist who bought a Palestinian home to the humanitarian who joins Palestinian protests and revolutionists, while stories of the Palestinians include, the modernists, the educated, the farmer, the refugee, the suicide bomber, and the activist. The book ends with the tragedy of the present day, the ongoing injustice and blind folded Zionists who continue to make this reality and long living tragedy.

On May 15 the world all together will remember the Nakba; marking 70 years this year for the 700,000 Palestinian made refugees who have become today around 7,000,000 stateless, homeless, with minimal to no human rights and we still continue to live recognizing the state of Israel who happen to be the reason behind this catastrophe.

This book, helps us understand a better picture of the conflict, a sided view of understandings, and a to understand the stories in this book is a step closer to a more free humanity.

From the book:

Page 93: ‘From then on, Yizhar seemed to have lost his naive faith in the wisdom and sound judgment of political leaders… Page 95: There seems to be no doubt as to his innocence, and the storyteller hopes his commander will let the man go, yet ‘security’ has the upper hand, and at the end of the day the shepherd is taken away. There is no big drama in the stories; they are but a glimpse into the reflections of a single soldier who sees things differently.

Page 117: ‘Canaan’s biographers underline his nationalism and the connection between his ethnography and his political involvement during the mandate, linking his interest in popular culture with a desire to defend Palestine against the political, demographic, and cultural challenge of Zionism.’

Page 145: ‘Abul Rahim became aware at a still young age of the danger the Zionist project in Palestine and the British Mandate’s commitment to support it. Jewish colonies were built on the coastal plains not far from his lands. He saw peasants evicted from sold lands becoming homeless and unskilled laborers in towns.’

Page 166: ‘In American Hillel discovered that nations were in fact political and civiv entities rather than organic cultural communities, as they were understood to be in Eastern Europe and Palestine; one could, for example, be both American and Jewish without the one identity threatening the other. For Hillel, distinguishing between Jewish as a religious adulation and Hebrew as national affiliation both reflected reality and provided solution to the problem of dual loyalty. The Jews in America were Jewish by religion and American by nationality. In Palestine, they were Jewish by religion and Hebrew by Nationality. The tragedy of European Jewry was that they were denied the liberty of choosing their nationality and were frequently not accepted into the body politics. The entire raison d’etre of Zionism became cleat to Hillel: to grant this freedom of choice to Jews.’

Page 193: ‘Walid told us what had happened to him. We knew that he had fled his village as a boy in 1948 amid the chaps and dear and found himself alone in Lebanon. He thought his family had preceded him there, but instead they had hidden in the mountains and returned to their village after the fighting stopped, becoming citizens of the Israeli state… Page 194: ‘In keeping with his greater life philosophy, his struggle for him as a Palestinian was about positive change, redemption, and humanity.’

Page 234: ‘My mother came running from the kitchen to find an Israeli army unit handcuffing her children and dragging them into the street. The event was customary. Soldiers often stormed into homes people’s homes and broke the arms and legs of men and boys so as to send a stern message to the rest of the neighborhood that they would receive the same fate if they continued with their intifada.’

Page 302: ‘Israeli advertisements for homes in Abu Tur and other formerly Palestinian neighborhoods of West Jerusalem henceforth employed this tern as a means to identifying the value of the property in question: “authentic Arab-style house in Baka… with original tiled floors and high ceilings”; “superb Arab house completely refinished in the heart of New Tzedek”; “Arab house for sale in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem… with lots of arches.”…Page 393 ‘I just want to make a Zionist statement before I go on, in terms of living in an Arabic house. This did not bother me in the slightest. I mean, if it had bothered me, I wouldn’t have made aliya. And because we had contact with the Kurdish family who lived here before us, I actually associate the house more with their period than with the previous Arab owners, none of whom I had any contact with. This isn’t to say that I am not interested in the history of this house, the question of why there was a cistern underneath the property, and so on. As an archeologist and ancient historian, I’n very interested. But politically speaking, it’s not a problem for me.’

*Aliya in the above context mean immigration to the State of Israel

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Build a wall around Trump

“This photograph is by Aimee Song @somgsofstyle on instgram”

I am not a political person (in some kind of way, but so political in many other ways) but someone like Trump! Becoming a president! I mean, the world got to have better ways to vote on that. It is hard for me to believe that the Americans really wanted him, and if they really did… then there must be something wrong with the Americans… and if that is right! Then the world needs to find new ways to make sure presidents are only positions made for true leaders who want to make this world a better place (not worse).

And America! For what it stands for, they have proved to us what media is all about. The land of dreams coming true and all that bull shit, well now we know what we can make of a brand by making up a cool branding to it but we must also know that false branding wont stay up for too long.

Anyway enough said. I stumbled upon this photograph and I loved it. Because this is what we need to go out for, finding ways to stop having awful leaders guide us to wrong directions. We want a world where it belongs to everyone and not to anyone. We want a world were traveling is easy access for everyone, a world were diversity is branched out, where acceptance is rooted, where freedom is respected. A world were we each live the way we love that is healthy for ourselves and for those around us. Making this image of a world difficult or impossible is just wrong people presenting us. Unfortunately we are currently living in that era. And fortunately we are the ones that have the opportunity to be the next Martin Luther King or Gandhi.

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. Gandhi

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Martin Luther King Jr.

When in Brussels

When in Brussels, there is so much to see, eat, try, and do before you leave to your next destination. Brussels is a nice city to take your time in exploring and wandering around, taking your time to breathe in every little beauty you find.

Brussels in 24 hours: You can start your day early walking towards the Justice Palace where you will have the space to see Brussels from a top view, this will give you the time to check out Brussels famous Flea market on your way down at Marolles which is open until 2pm, then as you head towards the Sablon area you will find a beautiful fort known as the Halle Gate, you will then reach the Notre Damn de la Chapelle which is at the start of the Grand Sablon, walking upwards towards the Petit Sablon, rest by the gorgeous fountain (my very favorite spot), then you will be heading towards the Royal Palace, where you will enjoy the gigantic architecture, right across of it is brussels park, where you can go for a walk or a resting point on a bench, then head down to Place Royale (the square), check out the beautiful street of Coudenberg, which you can then take a right if you wish to see the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula (which I missed unfortunately), and then back to Grand Place, check out the Mannekin Pis, pass by Saint Hubert, Town Hall (that should not be missed), Rue des Bouchers, and then head to Place Sainte Catherine for great seafood dinner.

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Just like a Lioness

They hunt to feed their lion and cubs, they watch over their children, they are beautiful and wise animals. We found those three ladies in like a comma type of pass out. Flipping and turning while more than a dozen off-road cars surrounded them. They did not move, they only looked for a little bit, but continued to snooze.

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Spiritual Readings & Giraffes

Muhammad (pbuh) counselled us, saying,

“Don’t try to discern the Essence of God.”

When you form ideas about his Essence, you’re just speculating.

It’s not really God’s Essence you’re beholding – it’s only your opinions soaring.

On the way to God there are a hundred thousand veils.

By nature, we all cling to some veil, while thinking we are truly seeing Him.

That’s why the Prophet outlawed such false ideas, to save us from useless imagination.

One whose conception of God lacks reverence is doomed to fall on his face.

To fall on your face is to fall head first while still thinking you’re higher, like a drunk who can’t distinguish earth from heaven.

Witness His wonders – lose yourself in awe.

When one beholds the wonders of God, abandoning pride and the claims of the ego, contemplating His work, you find your trust station and fall into silence concerning the Maker.

Then you will only say from the depths of your soul, “I cannot praise You enough.”

Jalaluddin Rumi – Mathnawi IV: 3700-3709

Photos of the Giraffes are captured during my Safari trip in Serengeti, for more on my travel experience click here. 

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A Safari Experience… Living inside a Car

How does it feel to live inside a car for 4 days?

Awesome, most of the time. Freezing cold during sunrise, and very hot during the day. Looking out the jeep into the wild is the best scenery ever, it keeps getting better. Shaking the inside and outside of your body all throughout keeps you in shape, and the food box they give you makes you want to never eat again, so it kinda is a good diet and workout. We have literally, watched sunsets, and sunrises, it rained, it was cloudy, we saw hot air balloons and wild animals just the car’s distance. We experienced two flat tires, we got stuck in the mud during the storm in the middle of the wild, we survived a near death experience, we almost crashed into a buffalo, but we survived it all. Life inside a jeep car during your safari is one experience not to be missed.

Click here for the Full Safari Experience 

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Oriental Summer 

Shop for the Oriental look 

Light & Summer Fresh at Zimmermann also items can be shopped at BrownsFashion