Archive for March, 2011

Meeting

Posted in Friends, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 31/03/2011 by arabrhizome

So Yesterday I had to go to an advisory meeting. It’s a staff student advisory meeting in our school. It was a very interesting experience. I was taking the minutes in the meeting and that was an interesting experience. I’m typing them up now. I didn’t think I was going to be good at it, but no one wanted to do it so I did. We got through a lot of stuff. I think we’re going to follow up on a few issues. I never thought i would enjoy the admin side of academia but yesterday’s meeting was quite fun.

After that I met a good friend of mine and had a coffee with him. It’s been a while I haven’t seen him and it was nice to hang out with him. I’m hoping to see more of him after the break. I’m going to be working for most of this break. I was thinking of going somewhere at some point. I don’t know where exactly, or when, but I’d like to go away for a little bit. Anyway, that’s pretty much it from me today. I’m working because I need to send something to my supervisor tomorrow. See you all later.

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Land Day and BDS

Posted in Palestine, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 30/03/2011 by arabrhizome

I thought I would take today as an opportunity to write about Palestine, I haven’t in a while. Today in Land day or Yawm al ard in arabic. On this day 35 years ago, six Palestinian citizens of israel were murdered by the israeli army and police, a hundred wounded, and hundreds arrested. This day has come to represent the multifaceted suffering of the Palestinians. The Nakba reminds us of the forced removal and ethnic cleansing of most of Palestine in 1948. The Naksa reminds us of the occupation of Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. Today reminds us of the suffering of the Palestinian citizens of israel who suffer from discrimination and a second class (sixth or seventh would be more accurate) citizen status.

Let us go through what happened 35 years ago. The israeli government declared that it was expropriating thousands of dunams of land, mainly arab owned, in order to use them for security and settlement purposes. In fact, this land was to be used to create new Jewish-only colonies. The Palestinian citizens of israel saw this as the straw that broke the camel’s back and organised themselves. They called for a general strike from the Galilee to the Negev and marched in their thousands in protest against the unjust and racist appropriation by the government of their land.

The israeli army and police reacted as they often do when confronted by arab protesters by opening fire on the unarmed civilians. As was mentioned above, six people died, a hundred were injured, and hundreds were arrested. This day became an important date for the arab and Palestinian struggle against zionism and israel. This day is commemorated globally and reminds those who forget that 20% of the citizens of israel are Palestinians who weren’t ethnically cleansed in 1948 and are living as second class citizens in a state that treats them as enemies.

Since 2005, today is also the global BDS day. Indeed today has become a celebration of the non-violent strategy of boycott, divestment, and sanctions, against israel, adopted and called for by the Palestinian civil society. Non-violent resistant has been a constant of the Palestinian cause since 1948, and before, against the zionist project, even if zionists would like you to think otherwise. What happened 35 years ago is a reminder that Palestinians, inside israel, in the occupied territories, and in the Diaspora, have been using non-violent resistance for a very long time.

Now, as you know I do not think that non-violence is always the right way. I think that the use of force is sometimes justified against state violence. However, today has become the day we celebrate and promote the BDS movement. As I have written here before, this movement is not an end in itself, it is a strategy. It’s aims are three-fold. First, the end of the illegal occupation and colonisation of the West Bank, Gaza strip, and Jerusalem. Second, the implementation of the internationally recognised right of return of the Palestinian refugees that were forcibly removed from their homes and land in 1948. Third, the end of the discrimination suffered by the Palestinian citizens of israel.

As you can see, today was not chosen randomly to be the global BDS day. Clearly, the uprising of the Palestinian citizens of israel on the 30th of March 1976 and their repression by the state that is supposed to protect them is a significant and potent symbol. Today we remember those who died and were injured because they stood up and refused to have their land stolen, again. It is our duty to support the oppressed people of Palestine and refuse to buy products which contribute to their oppression. I will leave you with this video of a BDS flash mob in New York. Please join us and help the BDS movement grow stronger.

Time to Sleep

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , on 29/03/2011 by arabrhizome

Many things are happening to me right now. My picking up the guitar a few days ago and my not too bad supervision started a series of events in my psyche which led me to be quite happy. I don’t know what it is but I’m feeling quite good about myself. I have spent all day working today, not too much done but it’s better than nothing. I am feeling very tired right now, after a long day of work and some music. I will therefore keep this post short and go to bed. I have a long day of work and meetings tomorrow. I am also planning on maybe going to the gym, depending on how well I do during the day. Anyway, that’s all from me right now. Good night all.

Hello

Posted in about the blog, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 28/03/2011 by arabrhizome

Quick note today. I’m very tired and have been working all day. I had a nice supervision today. I was expecting it to be worse than it was. But it was actually quite good. I need to write as much as I can by Friday and send it to my supervisor. I’ve also started watching modern family which is quite good. I’m glad to have discovered a new series. Between this and community I have two new sets of characters to watch and laugh at. I’m looking forward to Doctor who starting again at Easter. Anyway, I’m really tired and will go to bed very soon. Good night dear readers I will see you tomorrow.

Playing Guitar

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 27/03/2011 by arabrhizome

So I picked up my guitar for the first time in a very long time. I have been playing, on and off, for 15 years now. My level is way lower than it should be. The thing is that I haven’t played it for extended periods of time during those years. In fact, I think that I haven’t played in almost a year. And even then it was only for a few days. I realised that I am incredibly rusty. The thing that suffered the most from my hiatus is my endurance. I struggled to get through a single song. The main problem seems to be bar chords. The space between my thumb and my index starts hurting a lot when I play a bar chord. I guess I need to play every day for a while to build up my endurance again.

It felt good to be making music again though. I love music and feel like I’ve been away from it for too long. I haven’t been listening to much music at home. I also haven’ been playing in a while. It sort of went away. It’s not like I made any conscious choice not to play or listen to music, it just sort of happened. The fact that i don’t have any sound system has obviously something to do with it. I’m thinking of buying myself an iPhone port thing. But the problem is that I don’t have any new music to listen to. I can’t remember the last decent album to come out. My taste is very specific and nothing in the last few years has really tickled my fancy.

Anyway, the point is that I did pick up my guitar today and I played for about an hour and felt great. My hand is killing me, but it’s a nice pain. It’s a bit like the good pain you get when you exercise. It feels like I’ve done something. I’ve also already come up with three or four possible main riffs for future songs. I love composing, and having a mac it’s very easy to record them and keep them for later. I am excited about making music again. I need to learn how to sing though, because I don’t know anyone who can do the vocals for my songs. I have started reading that singing for dummies book that I bought, it’s useful. I think that I will need some actual lessons though.

Well that’s pretty much it from me today. I’m still looking at the news a bit. I was excited to hear that the Syrian regime announced that it was going to lift the 4 decades old emergency laws, although it didn’t give a proper date. It will be interesting to see how things develop there. I haven’t written a post about it yet, because I don’t have enough information. I don’t want to write something that is not accurate. Libya is also interesting. The rebels are getting close to Sirte. It will be interesting to see what happens there. Yemen is still going on of course, as well as Bahrain. The newest violent flashpoint is Jordan where a protester was killed. I will keep up to date and hopefully write a post about each of these countries soon. In the mean time good night and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Shopping

Posted in about the blog, Culture, Me, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 26/03/2011 by arabrhizome

The highlight of my day today was that I went shopping. That’s pretty much all did. Well I also made myself a very nice lunch of steak and roast potatoes, with a side salad. I watched the news a bit and got both depressed and a little inspired. I got depressed by the news from Syria and the death toll there. Also, the poor Libyan lady who showed up at the hotel in Tripoli where the foreign press is stationed was incredible. We all knew that sexual violence was used as a weapon by the Gaddafi forces, but it was incredibly brave of her to show her wounds. If you don’t know, it’s a lady who was kidnapped at a check point in Tripoli and then subsequently rapped and abused by 15 of Gaddafi’s men. Check out the video of her talking to journalists and then being bundled up and led away by government officials.

Clearly this was both deeply depressing but also incredibly inspiring. It is depressing that she, along with countless other women, had to suffer such unimaginable and cruel treatment. But her bravery in taking such high risk by showing up at the hotel and speaking up is incredibly inspiring. I hope she is okay and that one day soon Gaddafi will pay for this as well as the countless other crimes that he has subjected the women and men of Libya to. Anyway, in Syria the protests have clearly escalated and have spread beyond Deraa and the violence by the state seems to have increased. I hope the people are safe.

Anyway, that’s all from me today, it’s a shortish post but I’m very tired and I want to relax a bit before going to bed. The post is however longer than what I expected to write when I sat down to write it. My work is going okay, I’m writing more than what I expected. But I’m still far away from where I’d like to be. Anyway, that’s all from me dear readers, I’ll see you later.

Hello and Good Night

Posted in about the blog, Me with tags , , , on 25/03/2011 by arabrhizome

I’m afraid I’m back on short posts for a bit. I’m just trying to adjust to a new sleeping pattern. I spent today watching community, the tv series. I haven’t even looked at the news. I’m just trying to get back to normal sleep in order to get some work done. In the mean time I’m not going to worry about the blog too much. I’ll give it half an hour a day, if I have something interesting to say I’ll say it, other wise it’ll be something along the lines of what I’m writing right now. Some insipid excuse for not writing more. Hope I don’t loose too many of you.