notes on a (continuing) revolution

February 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

–there are a bunch of thoughts running through my head about the ousting of mubarak and suleiman (omg we did it!) and how the revolution continues and how a lot of analysis i am reading coming out of the states doesnt seem to take into account that the revolution is not over to those who are most relevant in the discussion — the freedom fighters who put everything on the line to bring us to this huge first step.

–which leads me to thoughts about how i am getting exhausted by reading analysis by people who write as if they know what is needed next.  all yr predictions were wrong so far, a month ago egypt wasnt even on yr radar, and now you know what folks here need to do to be free?

–really havent been able to write properly lately.  they just come out as little sketches and notes.  still processing a lot of it–mentally physically emotionally.

–there were a few moments when i was afraid.  when the gunshots got too close.  too many friends getting arrested.  walking on october 6th bridge in the middle of the afternoon during clashes.  aza telling me she had a dream that she was shot by the police, but then she flew into the air so they couldnt reach her…

–there were many many moments when i was amazed, and filled with wonder.  when we took over july 26th bridge from the police despite the tear gas and riot cops gear.  the community members organizing themselves to defend their neighborhoods.  h, who spent days and nights at tahrir, after the police beat him and broke his leg while they imprisoned him for four days after jan 25.  he had a cane, a cast, a lap top, his guitar, and a bag full of change.  the way my friends just took care of the freedom fighters, journalists, artists, protesters — they basically ran a guest house for two weeks, free of charge, with much love, and a good dose of alcohol.

–so much thanks to jo and kelsey who did free babysitting for us while we cal and i went down to tahrir.

–i know.  in my bones.  what freedom feels like.

–seeing anarchy and chaos at work.  beautiful.


guilty pleasure

September 22, 2010 § 2 Comments

this song is my guilty pleasure.  it is not guilty because it is sung by a 9 yr old and is about hair.  but because my daughter would LOVE to be able to whip her hair, but her curls are going to have to get a bit longer before she can do that.  in the meantime i spend a lot of time telling her how gorgeous her hair is.

on the other hand, this song is sung by a 9 year old girl, with a cute ass mohawk.  so maybe it would be good for babygirl to watch willow and see that no matter if your hair is long and short, you can whip that hair…

ive got queer dreams

September 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

1. the curvature writes a kick ass piece on the relationship between birth rape denialism and feminism.

But even questions of technical definitions and what exactly it is that we wish to eradicate in fighting this thing called “rape” aside, I do know one thing for sure. When women come forward and start saying “I was raped,” when they find the power to use that word to describe their own experiences and open up to share their trauma with the world, responding with “no you weren’t” — with whole blog posts about the subject, in fact — is about the worst possible way that a person can do feminism.

And doing feminism this way has consequences, just like using feminism oppressively always has. As far as consequences go, I don’t care whether or not it “turns people away” from the “movement,” frankly — after all, if this is what they hope to encounter upon sticking around, I think that they deserve fair warning, and I can’t exactly blame them for wanting no part. What I care about is the pain and the harm that it causes. What I care about is the fact that if, after years of struggling to finally claim the word “rape” for my own experiences, someone had immediately responded to me in this way with something about how calling myself a rape survivor was insulting to real survivors or harming their activism, I just might have died. Literally.

2. you ever have those moments in your poly queer life when you realize that people think that you dont have sexual ethics, because you dont have the same ones as they do?  like folks fear the unpredictable?  i never read that book, the ethical slut, but there are days when i dream of being around folks who just assume that you are queer unless told otherwise.  although i find it funny when folks wont just come out and ask you.  maybe i should make tshirts.

3. like when someone knows you are an atheist, and act like you are condemning your child to everlasting hell because you didnt teach her that ‘god loves her’.  i dont care if you tell that god loves her.  its weird when folks talk to my daughter about god, but arent willing to talk to me about god or religion or theology.  like, what are you so afraid of?

4.  i am so grateful for my friends.  honestly we know the coolest people.  quirky alive and and pure hearts.

5. it is early morning and aza and habibi are sleeping.  each on a couch.  i am in the living room, at the table, next to the television, typing.   ive got early morning dreams.  dreams of gaza, of dancing, of sitting by the sea and writing poetry for hours and months.  dreams of telling the truth no matter what.  dreams of black and white photographs still wet.  dreams of watching life into this world and leave this world.  dreams of good food, good music, and good laughter.  queer queer dreams.

how fucking beautiful life is

September 2, 2010 § 2 Comments

1. i had this incredible dream a couple of nights ago about how ‘enlightenment/satori is nothing’.  it ended with two glowing red suns in the sky.

after this dream, i have been feeling kind of down.  i realized that i have had in the back of my mind this lil wish, someday you will reach enlightenment.  and i know its fucking silly.  but it leads me to seeing how much of my life has been invested in this lil idea and now im not sure what to do.  with the whole living thing.  if my goal for my life is nothing…then what?

2. aza tells me the best stories about god.

sometimes she asks me ‘why’?  or ‘who did this?’ and i tell her: god did.  because i dont have another answer.  like, who made the flower orange?  who made my nipples like this?  who made this bump on my leg?

i figure, god did, is an honest answer.  about as honest as, i dont know.  and, that is just the way things are, babe. (these are things i also tell her…)

then she asks me, where is god?  and i say, god is inside of you, babe.

anyways, today she told me that god is america with her sister.  and god’s mama’s name is luna.

i really think that we could spend a lot less time teaching our kids about religion and spirituality.  and a lot more time letting them teach us.

did i mention i am like the most religious-friendly atheist around?

3. you can go to my flickr and check out pics from the past couple of weeks.  i will probably upload a few when we get real internet.  pics from dahab, hanging out with aza’s grandparents, and getting kicked out of our apartment and having all of our shit trashed.  good times.

4. i am really grateful to aaminah for all the beautiful things she sent.  amazing.  i am going to take a pic of the books and skirts and shirts and well all of it.  i dont know how to explain the feeling, like sitting outside on the curb with a big bowl of soft vanilla ice cream on the hottest day in summer. also thank you to aza’s grandparents for their gifts.  all of it, precious.

5.  sometimes i get really scared to see how fucking beautiful life is in all of its multiplicity and variety and just wow.  i cant handle it.

some quick thoughts on blogging at feministe

August 13, 2010 § 16 Comments

honestly, it takes me while to process things sometimes and to find the words.  so in time i may have other things to say, but for now…

–i can look back now.  read the first two posts that caused such a ruckus.  and realize that i still do not have a clear idea why people got their panties all in a twitter.  i understand that it happened.  i accept that.  but honestly, i do not understand the motivation of people to come onto a blog post after the first hundred comments or so and say the exact same thing that twenty other people have already said.  what is the point of that?  do people really think i am going to have a conversion experience: woah. dude. i just hadnt considered what a horrible, selfish, entitled person i am, thanks for enlightening me comment number 547.

–you do not have the right to child free spaces.  you have the privilege of being able to choose child free spaces.  it is a privilege.  it is not a right.  there is a difference.

–i had a hard time with the comparing pwd with children.  but no i dont think it is able-ist to compare pwd to children.  no more than i think it is racist to compare the treatment of black folks to the treatment of pwd.  it is only able-ist to do so, if being compared to children is an insult.  and then we need to interrogate why being compared to a child is an insult in our culture.

–i am still resistant to explain that children are an oppressed class of people.  it just seems so fucking obvious.  and i refuse to do 101 for folks, unless i am getting paid.  so. please go google it, if you still do not understand why the united nations and nearly every other organization that does human rights work, classifies children as a protected class based upon children’s inherent vulnerability and  our civilizations exploitation of children.

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to do list

August 9, 2010 § 1 Comment

to do

finish essay on birth and death

blog for ramadan

work on a couple of submissions for the month of august

get call for submissions for outlaw midwives vol. two out

get fotocopies ready for thaura zine distro

doodle and draw more

write up reflections on blogging at feministe

get my mind in the mode of ramadan…im still not there yet…although i can smell it in the air

clean house

laugh more

find a new awesome apartment and move in

answer emails

update thaura distro blog with pics of ‘how i make a zine’

finish the aza zine: diaries of a bad ass princess

eat a wonderful fucking meal

make stickers: ‘outlaw midwife at your service’ and ‘7,000,000,000 broken hearts’

still working on stencil idea

and not being so hard on myself.  letting go of perfectionist ideals that i try to fit myself into.  and letting mistakes flow as easily as successes.  cause without mistakes, we die.  mistakes are often a good enough reason to live.

end of the week random links…

July 23, 2010 § 4 Comments

some random notes:

cuntastic blog linked to this awesome looking childbirth education class in florida.  has me dreaming about creating a radical childbirth education course.

The POWERful classes are innovative and off the beaten path of standard childbirth classes because they serve a dual purpose. The first is to share information with women about their pregnancy, birth and postpartum so that they can make informed and empowered decisions about their health and the health of their baby. The second purpose is to introduce women to social justice organizing so that they can impact positive change as leaders in their communities.

The classes, which were also offered last year at Power U, will cover topics ranging from birthing options, nutrition and breastfeeding to reducing toxic housing conditions, improving neighborhood schools and negotiating fair rent prices.

“I feel more respected in these classes,” stated one class participant, who is also a teen mom.

–this weekend i am doing the printable pdf for outlaw midwives zine.  pulling out my geometry brain…any help in this arena would be much appreciated…

–aza insists on being called: princess mafina or amira mafina.  but not aza.  definitely not aza.

–midwife pamela on fb linked to this article:

Don’t Judge Pregnant Women Based on Junk Science

This is especially true when it comes to pregnant drug using women. For nearly two decades popular media claimed that any illegal drugs used by pregnant women would inevitably and significantly damage their babies.

The actual scientific research contradicts this assumption. Carefully constructed, unbiased scientific research has not found that prenatal exposure to any of the illegal drugs causes unique or even inevitable harm. This research is so clear that that courts and leading federal agencies have concluded that what most people heard was “essentially a myth.” As the National Institute for Drug Abuse explains, “babies born to mothers who used crack cocaine while pregnant, were at one time written off by many as a lost generation. . . .  It was later found that this was a gross exaggeration.”

–some of these notes may develop into blog post.  or maybe not.

–i am basically nanowrimo-ing a memoir and then after a couple of weeks seeing if it is worth working on.  i had just figured that i didnt have the emotional energy to do it.  but i hate having something sitting there undone staring at me.  me, unsure if it works or it doesnt.  so i am writing my ass off and then when i am done, i can see what the next step would be.

anyways the writing reminded me of living in the woods reading the peace pilgrim.  and how reading her little book really did act as a guide for how to live in this world as a free person no matter what.

–oh there are a couple of awesome posts on checking dilation during labor without a vaginal exam.  lovely.

this one…

and this one…

–i will write soon about the viva palestina september/october convoy to deliver aid to gaza.  but here is the link to it for now…

–while the more that i learn about the placenta, the more amazed i am by it, i am not sure if i could knowingly eat placenta lasagna.

–aza is running around with a can of tuna.  habibi is cooking potatoes.  it is july in cairo and the heat swims in the air like a prayer.  i can drink smoothies all day.  mornings are chaos here.

stay curious

June 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

1. last night was a beautiful night.  more and more i find myself simply being myself in all of my social awkwardness, radical politics, temple goddess, dorky smile, bad mama, bra-less with flip flops, bookworm, philosophical debate loving self.

i had thought i would have time to paint: stay curious on my office wall before the party.  but people arrived on time!  what?  not everyone thinks that when i say ‘around nine’ i kinda mean ‘around eleven’?  ah.  start the grill and hand out drinks.


we started talking about fusion music arabic meets jazz.  so i put on miles davis sketches of spain.  aza starts to dance in the middle of the room this amazing improvisation.  she was completely into the music and the dance and the audience.  starting with her eyes and then radiating through out her body.  she was the embodiment of longing and reminiscence.

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what is truly damaging

June 11, 2010 § 2 Comments

im not sure if ive made this clear.  so please let me.

i am a really bad mother.

the latest incarnation of my bad mother status is that i take my daughter to places where people smoke.  yes, that is right she breathes in second-hand smoke.  thank goodness that there are people who care more about her health than i do, and refuse to hang out with us, because they dont want her exposed to their second hand smoke (sic).

actually, by that logic, what makes me a bad mother is that i let my daughter live in cairo.  you know, one of the smoggiest cities in the world, where simply breathing the air is a kin to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.  by that logic every mother in cairo is a bad mother.

now, dont get me wrong my daughter has spent some time in smoky environments since she was six months old.  not that anyone really bothered to notice.  other than n. americans.  in mexico, in our favorite bars, we hung out with aza and waved to the other parents out with their kids.  the only time we got the evil look was when some gringo with a waspy accent gasped at our heretical behaviour.  but you know wasps, i couldnt tell if it was the interracial relationship, the public breast feeding, or the sitting in a bar with a baby.  and honestly, i didnt really bother to find out.

i am a bad mama like that. kida kida.

now. you may ask why would i expose my daughter to such dangers.  think of all the damage that i am causing.

okay, give me a sec, let me just exhale and think about that…

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aza brought me roses this evening

June 5, 2010 § 2 Comments

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