Bloody S(EID)ege

 

Bloody S(EID)ege!!!

 

The stove is running

the aroma of a cauldron of spices

colours, laughter, hennah

a moment of joy

the clinking of the bangles

sweets adorn the tables

lanterns lit

homes adorned

walls decked with streamers everywhere

children playing and

laughters echoing everywhere

markets filled

hugs everywhere

Eid Mubarak

contrast that

no electricity

no gas

deafening silence and

wailing mothers

no food

no shelter to hide

no lanterns lit

but the sky is lit

with missiles fired

the smell of

blood & death

No children playing anywhere

no laughter

walls down

rubble everywhere

no electricity

no gas

no food

heck, there is no life in Gaza

A last hug and a kiss

S(EID)ege Mubarak!!!!!

 

 

hug kid

food

 

 

 

hug hugs

NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE for Trayvon Martin Today

Today is a dark day in the collective history of Americans and the American Judicial System. The killer of Trayvon Martin is found innocent on all counts and is a free man walking. Race politics still exists in America and it is painful to watch it surface its ugly head again. Trayvon, is now being put on trial for being black and a “thug”–everyone seems to have forgotten he is the victim. Victim blaming is the worst form of legitimizing injustices, it exists in rape cases and it exists in race cases.

Below are some of the highlights of the different commentary on the Zimmerman Trial and my thoughts on them:

no J,nop

“Since it was Zimmerman who stalked Martin, the question remains: what ground is a young black man entitled to and on what grounds may he defend himself? What version of events is there for that night in which Martin gets away with his life? Or is it open season on black boys after dark?

Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict will be contested for years to come. But he passed judgement on Trayvon that night summarily.

“Fucking punks,” Zimmerman told the police dispatcher that night. “These assholes. They always get away.”

YES: what would allow a person of colour to stand their ground and get away with it? Because stand your ground didn’t work in this case: –different state–affluent neighbourhood–black father and white teenager (oppressor)

and this case: 

no J,nop

“Fla. mom gets 20 years for firing warning shots”

same state-same law-no deaths-Different verdicts–

This case was a clear case of defending herself against her oppressor-whom she had already taken out a protective order!

 

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No Justice, No Peace: What I’ve Felt and What Is Next in the Wake of the Trayvon Martin Verdict

“This means organizing to change dangerous laws like the “Stand Your Ground” and the “Stop and Frisk” policies as well as heartless gun laws in our country.”

I can’t agree more–the reason this verdict is dangerous is that it allows for illegitimate use of Stand-your-ground laws and self-defense by any person who is a bigot-gives them the legitimate license to kill so long as there is reasonable suspicion that they are possibly under threat.  All these laws have serious repercussions for people of colour…better believe that being Black in America just got super ugly—

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To those who defend this verdict by saying Zimmerman wasn’t white–read this:

White Supremacy Acquits George Zimmerman

“Watching Zimmerman in the defense seat, his sister in the courtroom, and his mother on the stand, one can’t deny the skin color that informs their experience. They are not white. Yet Zimmerman’s apparent ideology—one that is suspicious of black men in his neighborhood, the “assholes who always get away—” is one that adheres to white supremacy.”

Yes, this is why White supremacy matters–this is why race is a key card here-Trayvon is now on trial for being a “thug” -his life’s record being thrown in the public to malign him after his death–it feeds back into the stereotype that black people are to be feared and therefore it is okay to kill them–don’t believe me-check this craziness on twitter:

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The comments in this article are extremely racist–for all those who are faint of heart-your heart will bleed.

“Post-Racial” America Finds George Zimmerman Not Guilty of Murdering Black 17 Year Old Unarmed Trayvon Martin

and for the dose of the REAL truth: ,Martin Bashir tells it like it is—could it be because he shares his name?

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and in the guardian: ”

“George Zimmerman acquitted in Trayvon Martin case” –

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“O’Mara, Zimmerman’s lead attorney, said his client was “very, very happy” with the jury’s decision. Asked if Zimmerman was scared for his future, O’Mara said: “I think he’s going to be great, I think he’s still worried and hopefully everyone will respect the jury’s verdict as they should and most have said they will, and we’ll take it day by day.

“I think he wishes he could wave a magic wand and get his life back. He has to be very cautious and protective for his safety because there’s still a fringe element out there who have said they want revenge.”

The propaganda for the safety of Zimmerman only means more reasons for him to use “stand your ground” law as he now legitimately fears for his life and can use that as “reasonable” reason to believe he is under threat to possibly kill again. Yeah, parents of children of colour should be very concerned!!!

and if you want to know WHY and HOW this could have possibly happened? check out this link that gives you “Legal Insights on the Zimmerman Verdict”

“state’s 2005 “Stand Your Ground” law removed a person’s duty to try to run away in the face of danger before using deadly force, created a presumption that such force is lawful and immunized those who kill in self-defense from prosecution and private lawsuits.

The law provides that a person who claims to have killed in self-defense can seek a court ruling, before any trial, that they acted legally, but Mr. Zimmerman and his lawyer decided against that option and presented his case directly to a jury.”

and this should scare us because the Law truly is blind and it is dependent in the hands of those defending or prosecuting. It is a game of words–and whoever gets the last word in-wins!

This is the reality- there is no point in hiding our heads in the sand. We must tackle racial politics head-on rather than playing ostrich.

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Ramadan Mubarak -unless you are in Guantanamo

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Yasin Bey (Mos Def) going through the painful Guantanamo Bay forced feeding procedure.

The blessed month of Ramadan is upon us. Many of us are busy planning how we will go through this Ramadan. Many of us are worried about the scorching summer heat, looking up ways to remain hydrated throughout the day, and planning meals or feasts to end the fast at sunset. For many of us, Ramadan is a time for the whole family to come together and enjoy yummy delicacies, to thank Allah for his bounties, to be steadfast, more mindful of our prayers, spend our nights standing in Taraweeh, waking up early morning to eat Sahoor. Overall, it is a month of Happiness for most Muslims, despite the  physical difficulty of hunger and thirst. However, the sad reality is that this Ramadan of 2013 (1434) perhaps is not a month of happiness for many around.

I just watched a bone-chilling video of Yasin Bey (Mos def) voluntarily undergoing the Force feeding practice at Guantanamo Bay of the Muslim prisoners there. I cried watching that video. My heart wept seeing a fellow human being in that sort of agonizing pain. You have read about it, seen many articles on the internet about the hunger strike and the forced feeding, but NOTHING can prepare you for what you will see in this video. If you are weak of heart, please do not click the link

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2013/jul/08/mos-def-force-fed-guantanamo-bay-video

This is a painful procedure to even watch-to undergo it every day, twice a day, is nothing short of pure torture. This is not humane. I have no words. My heart makes a special prayer for the detainees. Many of these men have been cleared for release and proven innocent, yet they have not been released.

Please sign this petition to President Obama to stop this insanity. They are going to continue this procedure in the month of Ramadan. Send a message to Washington to END THIS CRUELTY!!!!!

Ramadan Reflections: My Room

I am currently visiting my parents in Vancouver. They still live in the same house that I last lived in before I moved to the East coast 3 years ago. I am very nomadic when I visit my family. The other day, it hit me that I can no longer lay claim to my room as “my room” since  my baby sister has completely taken over it. She and I shared this particular room for 5 years and had been roommates for 13 years before I moved away. Whenever I visit my family, my stays are of longer durations.  My family is always excited to have me over and do everything in their capacity to ensure my comfort. One of the bedrooms is almost always made available for me to stay in, however, I get anxious and have troubles sleeping in a new space, so I generally crash on the couch in the living room. Our home (3 years since I moved away, and I still can’t refer to it as just my parents home, but ours) is not huge, but a cozy little place. growing up here, that was one of the things that I loved most about it. It was sometimes hard to really find privacy (which would get annoying), but you always felt the presence of the people in the house. At times, it seemed to be a small home, but for our family of 6, it served its purpose.

Since I moved out, it meant that each sibling had a room of their own and basically a private space. We managed well in this home of ours. Since, I don’t see this house as separate from my existence,  there really is never any need for any sort of formality. Comfort to me is not defined by my convenience but by the convenience of the hosts that I am visiting. Sometimes,  to me, requiring a private space to sleep in is not important when I visit, but this very Bedouin-like attitude of mine is in fact what impedes their normal routine.

It occurred to me that although when I was around, there was 6 of us who managed fine in this space, but now that there are 5, somehow that same space seems small when the 6th member of the family rejoins. I started thinking about the irony of life, that once people who are integral parts of our homes, and lives, can all of a sudden seem to be the very cause of disturbances. Like molecules that are constantly moving and adjusting according to the space allotted to them, human beings do the same.  My room is no longer mine, but rather I am a guest in the house. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t behave as a guest, nor am I made to feel unwelcome or as a disturbance, but I am no longer an everyday part of their lives. The layout of the house and the natural flow of the space is now adjusted to be managed without my being there, hence my very presence disturbs the equilibrium of this home.

Life, as a cycle is cruel! As children, we are entirely dependent on our parents, our lives unimaginable or even non-existent without their constant care and nourishment. As we grow up, we crave our own personal spaces, so we move away. I remember when I was younger,  I always thought I could not live without my family for a day, let alone spend 3 years away from them. Being the eldest, I had a lot of responsibility placed onto me. My parents, out of habit always called out my name first when they needed something, before they called out any of my other siblings. There was a huge dependence and reliance on me. Similarly, I was so used to just having everyone around me, that the very thought of not being around them was crippling. It would shake me to my core and I would spend sleepless nights crying; yet I have survived the past 3 years, and so have they. It is not to say we don’t miss one another or even miss each others’ constant presence in our lives, it is just that life takes over.

I often think about my grandparents who have passed away. My maternal grandfather passed away 21 years ago and my maternal grandmother passed away almost about 9 years ago. I think how my mother lives without them in her life? I wonder how my father lives without his dad, who passed away 4 years ago. Our time on this earth is limited, we are bound to each other in relationships of love and nurture. We deem ourselves incomplete, and incapable of living without one another, yet life stops for no one. It continues its vicious cycle of living. Time flows seconds into minutes into hours, into days into weeks into years into decades into centuries. We all come to this world, and leave. When we leave, we cause pain to those we leave behind. At those moments life seems impossible to live, yet we too find the strength and the will to continue living. First we miss our loved ones every waking moment of our lives, then it becomes every other day, slowly, we miss them on happy occasions, or remember them on the day they passed away. Those  people who were once crucial to our very survival , their memories start to fade and they become a distant, hazy image in our heads. Everyone around adjusts and makes themselves a little more comfortable in the space those loved ones once occupied. There remains no empty or extra space.

Just like my room is no longer mine, this earth is also one day not going to be mine. We all do return to Him. Our time on this earth is temporary and short, yet we spend majority of our time inconveniencing everyone around, when we all know we will leave one day. We spend our lives making strong buildings, and yearning to earn unlimited amounts of money for a future time we cannot guarantee we will have. In the process often times, we burn bridges, break hearts, humiliate, keep animosities, lie, cheat and deceive, all for our temporary existence and comfort  in this world. Before I moved away, at times I would feel that my family didn’t value me enough, and I deluded myself into believing that once I was away, they would realize how dependent they are on me. I think we all become slaves to the idea of others existence somehow dependent on us. Yes, we are interdependent, but no life ends with another. It is arrogant to believe my non-existence would somehow stop the world. Coming back to visit my paternal home this Ramadan has been a humbling experience because I realized that once where I was an integral part of my family’s daily life, they have been forced to adjust without me, just as I am forced to without them. This does not mean that our love for one another has diminished, but just that we have learnt to manage without one another.

Our lives should not be slaves to our ego’s desire to be the centre of attention, nor should we live in a life of delusion to think that somehow the world revolves around us. Those of us who live today are blessed to experience this beautiful month of Ramadan. How many of us will live to see the next Ramadan, none of us know. May we all gain the blessings of this month and may we be granted another day to live and utilize the blessings within this blessed month. May we continue to realize the temporary state of our stay in this world, even after this month of Ramadan is over and may we continue to live our lives to the fullest servitude of Allah rather than the worldly possessions and whims (Ameen).