first day in scotland

January 11, 2009 § Leave a comment

1. arrived in scotland on friday.  exhausted.  all three of us.  so glad to see friends and blather a bit.  but it is 2am and aza is still awake.

2. watched a really interesteing documentary on the quran today.  i want to read it.  at least an english translation first and then tackle the arabic version.  or maybe arabic and english side by side.  could probably only do that for a surah here and there.

there was a bit on the sufis.  maybe in my next lifetime i will be sufi.  i love twirling in circles and humming to myself.

3. bought some homepathic medicine for aza before we left the states.  chamomilla works pretty well for evening out her mood.  her eruptions of frustration come farther apart.  the astounding part of the homeopathic remedies is the ‘stress’ combo i bought.  it is about 6-8 remedies in one pill.  i have taken it twice and it makes me really sleepy.  and i have to sleep.  no matter what is going on around me.  actually, i took it because i didnt expect it to work.

see, i was trying to get aza to put the medium sized pill in her mouth but she kept spitting it out.  it tastes a little chalky.  so i put it in my mouth to prove to her that it was ‘yummy’.  and half an hour later i could barely keep my eyes open. she was wide awake.

the next night, same game with aza.  and i dont think about it and let the pill dissolve on my tongue to convince her that it is like candy.  and soon after i found myself dipping into sleep.  again, she was still awake.

does this mean i have found something that works on my insomnia? or am i sleeping cause i am out of the states?

4. the weather: as warm as washington, dc.  not bad at all.  not, and i repeat, not, like chicago.  saw a picture of chicago on bbc news today.  all i could see was snow, long coats, scarves, and hats…and maybe eyes peaking out.

5. the news here is generally much more reliable in terms than in the states.  the television cable news, that is.  there is much more footage from gaza.  and on channel 4 the host of the enws program was actually arguing with the israeli spokesperson about the israeli obfuscation and contradictions.  i wanted to write him a thank you letter. or something.

6. there are a few things i left undone in the states and i am wondering if there is a way to still do them…or if somethings simply are meant to be left undone…

maternity care in gaza

January 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

The situation is perilous even for those seeking maternity care in Gaza’s overloaded hospitals. Pregnant women face the decision of whether to deliver at home or risk trying to reach a medical facility, where critically injured patients take priority. Gaza City’s main Shifa Hospital emptied its maternity ward on the first day of the Israeli air assault.

from the l.a. times

because we still are here

January 5, 2009 § Leave a comment

because we still are here

a site chronicling the solidarity of women of color with palestine…

women of color globally

have written and stood

in solidarity with Palestinians for decades.


as suheir hammad chants:

if there are any people on earth who understand how new york is

feeling right now, they are in the west bank and the gaza strip…

there is life here. anyone reading this is breathing, maybe hurting

but breathing for sure. and if there is any light to come, it will

shine from the eyes of those who look for peace and justice after

rubble and rhetoric are cleared and the phoenix has risen.

affirm life.
affirm life.
we got to carry each other now.
you are either with life, or against it.
affirm life.


you are invited to continue this tradition in the wake of israel’s current massacre of Gazans. to continue this tradition of transnational feminist solidarity with Palestinians. to find breaths, to find words, to co-create the phoenix in the midst of this rubble.

visiting family and friends

January 5, 2009 § 1 Comment

1. going: we three days till lift off.  so much still left to do.  cant even make a to do list because it is too overwhelming to look at.  but it is keep getting stuff done or sit down and cry about gaza.

2. new calendar: el compa bought me the we’moon calendar.  i have always wanted one but dont spend time in hippie crystal shops and i forget to order one online.  so i am really excited.  the lil hippie girl in me is twirling in her broomstick skirt and crocheted halter top.

3. why i need revolutionary motherhood:  visited highschool best friend on sunday.  it was really good to see him and his daughter.  half way through the trip i realized that i have spent years trying to like his wife.  but i dont have to like that chick.  i dont even like chicas like her.  the first time i met her, i knew that she was exactly his type…the same chica that he was always fascinated by in high school.  long hair, waif, shy, ‘sensitive’, frail, pale, an ‘artist’ who creates tiny art so that there is no risk of rejection or critique, is into her ‘own’ thing and has very little energy to extend themselves out of their relatively self-created and self-centered worlds.

when her daughter was a toddler she acted as if she and my highschool bf coming over to hang out at my house was such a huge imposition because she had a toddler.  and traveling with her toddler was so daunting because she was so sensitive to making sure her child was in child safe/toddler proof area.  and she had to determine the times that were most comfortable for her because she was the mother, etc. etc. etc. and so most of the time i went over to their house.  and i was cool with that because i didnt have a kid.

and now that i have a toddler.  we still had to go over to her house.  on her schedule. and when we get there no one bothers to us that another chica and her one year old are coming over.

and this after aza has been dealing with major transitions for the past two weeks.  meeting a bunch of new people, spending three days and nights with her grandparents and aunt and uncle (which is they longest we have ever spent apart from her and remember she is only 20 months old) a two-three day car trip, now hanging out at my mothers house.  her sleep schedule is off.  we are all a bit exhausted.  and we still have two plane trips and two-three more countries to deal with in the next two weeks.

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surrounded in smoke

January 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

dear aza,

we put you to sleep early tonight.  you didnt have a nap and had played with kids for hours today.  so by the time that we got back home, you had whimpered and then nodded into dream land.

in the back ground cnn is playing.  supposedly they are providing a ‘balanced’ coverage of israel’s attack on gaza.

today one of the mothers of the children you played with, asked if we were taking you with us to palestine.  i laughed.  what a strange question.  how can i not take you with me?  where would i leave you?  where could you find more love than with us, your crazy parents?
this ‘balanced’ coverage infuriates me.  i am not sure if it is because the numbers of those who have died and are wounded are not considered to be central to the coverage, or if it is because i cannot understand why one would try to treat the two sides as equal when it is obvious that handmade rockets do not equal one of the strongest and best-equipped militaries in the world.  if the conflict, the two sides, are not balanced, why provide balanced coverage?

i have dreams of being surrounded in smoke.  and i cant see anything but you in my arms.

tracing out invisible maps

January 2, 2009 § 2 Comments

last night we hung out with my brother and his girlfriend and watched a stoner movie: pineapple express.  aza was asleep upstairs.  the movie was decent, a comedic noir.  in the middle of the movie we somehow got on the topic of my lil family’s impending trip to palestine.  and the fact that the border guards kinda dont trust me.  we ended up stopping the movie and i found myself drawing invisible maps of the middle east on my mother’s leather stool explaining the nakba, the 1967 war, the occupation.

it was post-midnight, we were a couple of drinks in, and his girlfriend keeps asking me questions.  so i keep tracing out a history of genocide and survival into the air.

when i would return from palestine on break, those of us in the organization with which i worked, were expected to to speak to groups of people, to share our experiences with folks in the states.  the organization encouraged us to speak infront of middle class liberal churches who saw us as a ‘voice for the voiceless’ and you know, we as americans have a ‘louder’ voice than the palestinians with whom we worked so we should use that voice to explain the situation in palestine.

i hated doing this.  resisted doing this.  the last thing i needed to do was use my privileged voice to be the palestine ‘expert’ simply because i had spent a smidgen of time in the region.

what i did was spent alot of time hanging out with my friends and my especially my brother’s friends who congregate at our house.  the boys and girls i had grown up with.  kids who had a high school education (if not the diploma), kids who worked shit jobs and hustled in rag tag cars.  i am like the big sister who made it out of our suburban neighborhood.

i really like talking to these kids.  they understand that the media doesnt tell the truth.  that you cant just stay neutral in a fight.  that the us government is shady.  i tell them: people think its muslims vs jews, but its not really, its just that palestinians have territory that israel wants.  so they are trying to get rid of the palestinian people.  and they nod their heads: yeah, thats real.

i tell them: its like living in the ghetto.  you hear someone got shot down the street.  you cant stay in your house all the time living in fear.  you got to get your kids ready for school.  you probably walk with them because you dont want them walking alone when the streets are hot.  so you keep living your life.  you got to go to work, buy groceries.  you probably dont have as much money as you need.  you probably have more family members living with you than you would like.  you dont think like, im living in the ghetto and its dangerous.  you think, what do i got to do today?  when the cops roll by you stay out of the way.  life is life is life.  thats what its like.

imagine me trying to explain this liberal church folks who think hip hop is too violent but really want to see peace in the middle east.

anyways, after his girlfriend exclaimed: hey i get why israel doesnt like you! and we all get another drink, we turn back on the movie and watch a couple of stoners kill a whole bunch of people.  we go to bed.  and i sleep better than i have in weeks.

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