Against the tide

I will not be polarized

I will not be factionized

Tribalized

Sectarianized

Colonized…and fragmented

Like a heartbroken nation

I will not be moved by hatred

Or blindly pick a side

And hide

Behind a well crafted slogan

I will not place my trust

In demagogy

I will embrace ideas

Not ideology

An enemy of my enemy

When a tyrant

Is MY enemy

Choosing the best of two evils

Is choosing evil

I will not fall for this game

Of demonizing an entire people

I will not delight when pain is inflicted

On another

I will not close my eyes

To inhumanity

I will defend my enemy’s rights

Because freedom

Is not a commodity

To be had by some

And denied to others

I will not delight

In the suffering

Even of those

Who oppressed me

More importantly

I will trust

My maternal instinct

What passed through my womb

Though precious…is not distinct

A beautiful human baby

Of flesh and blood

No different from that

Born by the ‘other’

There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’

Every death will be mourned

By a grieving mother

Her tears

More powerful

Than any flag

I will not be polarized

The Real News: Fears from fundamentalism are growing in Gaza after Hamas’ latest public modesty campaigns

Imra’a: For my sisters in the Arab world and beyond

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I

am

woman

Imra’a

Whole

Not a fragment of your shadow

Not a rib torn out of your torso

Not a mail order

Not a house slave

Not a fairytale princess

Not a damsel in distress

Not a genie in a bottle

Not a saint

Not scattered

Not arranged

Not lacking in brain or piety

Not a fountain of propriety

I am eternity

Lived in an instant

I am constant

Randomness

I am chaos in stability

In songs you ache for me

I am your refuge and your refugee

Your barren desert and your fertile field

Your homeland

Your ‘watan’

My womb yields the fruit of life

I am your daughter

Mother

Sister

Wife

A prince of poetry wrote of me

 “Alommo madrasaton…”

A mother is a school

 When well prepared

You prepare a well-mannered nation

A thousand and one Arabian nights

I am inspiration

In the holy scriptures

I am temptation

I am your Eve in the Garden of Eden

My qualities revealed in the holy Quran

‘inna kaydahonna azeem’

I am your dream

Your ‘hoor alayn’

Your seduction

Your redemption

Your struggle

Your salvation

I am your strengths and weaknesses

All rolled into one

I am your lived reality

And all that you refuse to see

I am what you cannot define

Cannot confine

To a fantasy

I am human

Of flesh and blood

My virtue unquantifiable

My faults monumental

I am neither a reflection of you nor on you

Your ticket to paradise does not begin with my virtue

Your redemption does not begin with my submission

Your peace of mind does not begin with my conformity

Your honor is not defined by my chastity

Your vice is your own

Your honor is your own

Your fantasies are your own

For I can barely carry

My own burden

Alone

I am

woman

Imra’a

Whole

Written by Samah Sabawi February 18, 2013

CNN: Soccer stars protest Gaza bombing

December 2, 2012 — Updated 1831 GMT (0231 HKT)
Palestine Stadium in Gaza City was bombed by the Israeli airforce last month during a conflict with the territory's ruling Hamas party.Palestine Stadium in Gaza City was bombed by the Israeli airforce last month during a conflict with the territory’s ruling Hamas party.

 

(CNN) — A group of soccer stars have called for Israel to be stripped of hosting rights for a top European age-grade tournament next year following last month’s bomb attacks on Gaza.

More than 60 players including Didier Drogba, Eden Hazard, Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba signed a petition which was posted on the website of former English Premier League and Spanish La Liga striker Fredi Kanoute.

“We, as European football players, express our solidarity with the people of Gaza who are living under siege and denied basic human dignity and freedom,” the statement said.

“The latest Israeli bombardment of Gaza, resulting in the death of over a hundred civilians, was yet another stain on the world’s conscience.”

American soccer star playing for Palestine

It cited reports of a bomb attack by Israeli forces on a football stadium in Gaza on November 10, which killed four teenage players, and said that two players from the club Al Amari had been detained in Israel “without charge or trial” since February.

“It is unacceptable that children are killed while they play football. Israel hosting the UEFA Under-21 European Championship, in these circumstances, will be seen as a reward for actions that are contrary to sporting values,” the statement said.

“Despite the recent ceasefire, Palestinians are still forced to endure a desperate existence under occupation, they must be protected by the international community. All people have the right to a life of dignity, freedom and security. We hope that a just settlement will finally emerge.”

Tel Aviv will host the European Under-21 Championship next June, when eight nations will compete in Israel.

European football’s governing body UEFA has already rejected calls to move the tournament from pro-Palestine groups including the disputed territory’s football association.

Refugee United: Palestinians debut at Homeless World Cup

“UEFA is an apolitical organization and (Israel) earned the right to host this competition through a fair, democratic vote,” UEFA president Michel Platini said in June.

“I am sure that it will be a beautiful celebration of football that, once again, will bring people together.”

World football’s governing body FIFA also says it does not interfere in countries’ political affairs, but said it would help rebuild the stadium in Gaza — as it did in 2006 following a similar attack.

“We see it our mandate to rebuild football infrastructure which has been destroyed,” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said last week.

“Football brings people together and we will support any reconstruction necessary when football infrastructure is destroyed through disasters.”

Palestine: A national soccer team without a nation

Valcke’s statement was criticized by Israeli media, which reported that the stadium was used by Hamas militants to fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Palestine’s bid for recognition was boosted last week when the U.N. general assembly voted to upgrade its status to that of a non-member observer state — a move which was opposed by Israel and the U.S.

“We came to the United Nations not to confront the U.S. and not to isolate Israel or to discriminate Israel. We came to preserve the two-state solution,” Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat told CNN’s Piers Morgan.

Read original article here.