our sister’s tattoo

April 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

dear friends and familia,

we are raising 250 dollars to support our sister, aaminah, who, a few weeks ago, lost her best friend, ex-husband, son’s father, and compañero.

i love aaminah and eric’s story. it is a story that we dont often get to hear. a story of discovering who you are piece by piece and learning to reclaim your heritage in the face of a world that tells you to ignore who and where you come from.
when aaminah said she wanted to get a tattoo to memoralize eric, i knew that i wanted to help her get this tattoo. but she can’t afford it on her own. and i can’t afford it on my own. and so i am asking all of you to donate what you can for this ink and flesh memorial.
sometimes, life is really complicated. death is complicated. but a tattoo close to aaminah’s heart of her fallen companero is really simple.

please donate as much as you can. may we as a community hold her and her family in our hearts.

visit our sister’s tattoo and make a pay pal donation

in memory of him and in love for aaminah we are fundraising for her to get a tattoo in honor of his life. so that she can hold him close to her heart, always.

this is her sketch of the tattoo.

a dreamcatcher with a feather – signifying our shared Blackfeet/Blood heritage – surrounded by his name, which is in turn surrounded by the transliteration of the Arabic for “To Allah we belong and to Allah we return”, which is what we Muslims say in times of hardship, especially death.

the root of the problem

April 29, 2010 § Leave a comment

from the o’odham solidarity across borders collective

In light of the state’s new attack of SB 1070 on migrant communities, OSABC would like to show a perspective and experience that is often overlooked in the immigration struggle, that being the indigenous impacts. Indigenous communities have, and still are being attack by the state (meaning the political entity, also called “government”) since the first migrants, European settlers, arrived to this hemisphere. But that, we already know. What OSABC would like to express is, WE ARE STILL HERE. As O’odham, we have seen our lands occupied by three colonial states (Spain, Mexico, and now the United States), and STILL, we have endured in the face of colonization. The very land that this bill was passed on, is still O’odham land! From the Phoenix Valley, to Scukson (Tucson is from an O’odham word), to Rocky Point, to the Sierra Madres in Mexico, this is O’odham jewed.

The passing of SB1070 leads us to the police state, and does not just affect migrants, it affects us all! SB 1070 like policies already occur on the Tohono O’odham Nation since the mid-90’s with the states push for immigration enforcement. Border Enforcement that would be a Berlin-like Wall through our lands to control movement. The current push for immigration reform by politicians and by reformist activists includes the push to secure “their” borders which would be the forced removal and relocations of all indigenous tribes that live in the border region (Yaqui, Lipan Apache, Mohawk to name a few). This dismissal not just shows the colonial attitude that both reformist activists and politicians have, but also the settler privilege that they evoke when constructing border policies.

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April 28, 2010 § Leave a comment


Originally uploaded by maia medicine

a couple of months ago there was a thunder and lightening storm for hours. i hadnt seen anything like it in cairo before. this is a desert city. rain that lasts for more than 20 minutes is an event. this is a picture from the windshield of our taxi as we sat on the road between zamalek and abdeen.


April 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

orchid 1

Originally uploaded by maia medicine

little snapshots from my office and the altar in it. decaying flowers. very baudelaire-esque.


April 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

sunflowers 2

Originally uploaded by maia medicine

sunflowers on my office windows


April 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

orchid 4

Originally uploaded by maia medicine

orchids from my altar.

on living in a police state

April 27, 2010 § 6 Comments

(picture of collage of a tree and flowers and chains. it reads: border home lands)

so arizona decided to become a police state.  i have to minds about this.

on the one hand.  this is so fucked.  and if you are reading this blog im sure you dont need me to run down the list of reasons that this is so so so fucked.

on the other hand.  im kinda like–meh.  i mean, a police state is fucked.  dont get me wrong.  its just not unusual or abnormal.  ten years ago when i was living in nyc there was a law (maybe it still exists?) that you had to have your id on you at all times.  and the police could ask for your id at any given time.  and you would be charged if you didnt produce it.

and a couple of years ago in dc, the police roped off an entire section of the city, and created summer checkpoints and the law was  that if you didnt have proof that you lived there, or had a good reason for being there, you would be turned away.

and of course palestinians inside of israel as well as in the west bank and gaza have lived under a police state for decades.

oh yeah, and so do we, here in egypt.

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keep the record on play

April 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

outlandish. this is like my favorite song right now…

excerpt of an open letter to mubarak

April 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Open Letter to H.E. the Egyptian President, Mr. Hosni Mubarak,

April 20, 2010.

Your Excellency,

I wish to submit this open letter to Your Excellency with the hope and belief that you would give the important issue of international human rights an urgent and positive consideration. Specifically, my appeal to you is concerned with Egypt’s shoot-to-kill policy applied on poor Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees crossing over from Egypt to Israel.


Here is what was reported by Reuters only last February, 2010:

“Egypt Police Kill Migrant At Israel Border

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Reuters) – Egyptian police shot and killed an Ethiopian migrant Tuesday, injured two others and arrested 10 as they tried to cross the Egyptian-Israeli border, medical and security sources said.”

Here is another similar report by AFP on March 27, 2010:

‘ “Egypt police kill two Eritrean migrants at Israel border

AFP – Egyptian police shot dead two Eritreans on Saturday as the would-be migrants tried to cross the border illegally into Israel, a security official told AFP. Four people were also wounded during the shooting, including one who was in a critical condition, and another person was arrested. “

Mr. President:

The above murders are only examples of the inhumanity perpetrated by your government at the Israeli/Egyptian border. It should be noted that according to reliable sources, the refugees were shot in the back as they were fleeing from the Egyptian soldiers. What does this indicate about the humanity, let alone the bravery, of the soldiers?

It is time, Mr. President, that you put an immediate and a complete stop to your soldiers’ travesty, an international crime by any standards.


There are a number of tragic and, at the same time, ironic aspects to the situation occurring at the Egyptian side of the border with Israel. An amazing one is the fact that Egyptians who are members of the African Union are killing other Africans from entering, of all places, Israel! The Israeli government, on the other hand, applies civilized and humane standards that avoid mistreating, let alone killing refugees. The other irony is that Egypt thrives on the water (86%) cascading from Ethiopia free of charge. The soil that produces food in Egypt came from Ethiopia. But Egypt murders Ethiopian refugees at the Israeli border with impunity. A further irony is the fact that Egypt claims to be in compliance with international human rights declarations but its soldiers commit murders in open day light! In addition, the Egyptian government mercilessly loads refugees on airplanes and drops them back to Eritrea, for example, and only the Almighty knows what may have happened to the unfortunate human beings.

when we were in israeli prison this was the story.  the africans, more than a dozen, were grateful to be in israeli prison.  because that meant they had made it over the egyptian desert border where they would have been shot on sight.

the strange thing about this letter is this: The Israeli government, on the other hand, applies civilized and humane standards that avoid mistreating, let alone killing refugees.

not true.  simply. not. true.  the israeli government treatment of non-jewish, and esp. non-jewish african refugees is deplorable.  ppl are tortured in prison.  those detention centers are neither civilized nor humane.

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even when ngo’s work, they don’t

April 21, 2010 § 2 Comments

ok. im a great lover of satire.  and hand relief international is the best i have read about what is so so so wrong with human rights/aid work.

i have worked for so many aid agencies, ngo’s, volunteer programs, accompaniment programs, community organizations, etc etc.  and almost none of what i did any good.  this is not because i was not ‘good’ at my job.  far from it, in just about every org. i worked in, i climbed up the success ladder quickly and viewed others’ resistance to me as an opportunity.  frankly, i was a superstar. or at least one-in-training.

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