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February 14, 2009

Mahmoud Darwish’s mother, immortalized in poetry, dies at 96

Date: 14 / 02 / 2009 Time: 09:55
Huriyya Darwish at her son’s funeral

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The mother of late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish died on Friday, six months after burying her son.

The funeral procesion will begin Saturday after the noon prayer from her home at Jadeidi, five kilometers north east of Acre.

Darwish’s mother was a central figure in his poetry, immortalized as a symbol for the earth of his homeland in his famous poem, “For my mother” turned into a song by Lebanese singer Marcel Khalifah.

أمي …
أحنُّ إلى خبز أُمي
وقهوة أمي
ولمسة أُمي ..
وتكبُر في الطفولةُ
يوماً على صدر يومِ
وأعشَقُ عمرِي لأني
إذا مُتُّ,
أخجل من دمع أُمي !
خذينيِ إذا عدتُ يوماً
وشاحاً لهُدْبِكْ
وغطّي عظامي بعشب
تعمّد من طهر كعبك
وشُدي وثاقي ..
بخصلة شَعر..
بخيطٍ يلوِّح في ذيل ثوبك ..
عساني أصير ُإلهاً
إلهاً أصير..
إذا ما لمستُ قرارة قلبك !
ضعيني , إذا ما رجعتُ
وقوداً بتنور ناركْ ..
وحبل غسيل على سطح دارك
لأني فقدتُ الوقوفَ
بدون صلاة نهارك
هَرِمْتُ فردّي نجوم الطفولة
حتى أُشارك صغار العصافير
درب الرجوع .. لعُش انتظارِك!!
(من ديوان “عاشق من فلسطين” 1966)

I long for my mother’s bread
my mother’s coffee
my mother’s touch…
and childhood grows in me
one day on another day’s chest
I must be worth my life
at the hour of my death
worth the tears of my mother

Take me, if I return one day,
as a veil for your lashes
and cover my bones with grass
baptized by your footsteps
bind us together
with a lock of your hair,
with a thread waving from the hem of your dress,
I might become immortal
a god, I might…
if I touch the deep floor of your heart

Place me, if I return,
like wood for your brick oven…
and hang me on the roof like your laundry line
because I can no longer stand
without the prayer of your days…

I have aged, mother, so bring back the childhood stars
so that I
along with the swallows
can chart the path
back to your waiting nest

Darwish’s mother, Huriyya Darwish, attended her son’s funeral in Ramallah on 9 August 2008. She died at the age of ninety-six.


Norman Finkelstein at Leuven


LVSV Leuven, the Catholic University of Leuven & UNESCO Maria-Theresiacollege (MTC), Grote Aula, Sint-Michielsstraat 6, Leuven 3000

Tuesday the 24th of February 2009


The guest speaker will be Professor Norman G. Finkelstein, who will address the
audience on the theme:

“The Israel-Palestine Conflict: What we can
learn from Gandhi”

Norman Finkelstein received his doctorate in 1988 from the Department of Politics at Princeton
University. For many years he has taught political theory and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He is
currently an independent scholar.

He is the author of five books which have been translated into more than 40 foreign editions:

Beyond Chutzpah: On the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history;
The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the exploitation of Jewish suffering;
Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict;
Nation on Trial: The Goldhagen thesis and historical truth;
The Rise and Fall of Palestine: A personal
account of the intifada years

He has just completed a new book entitled A Farewell to Israel: The
coming break-up of American Zionism
, to be published in 2009.

“A person who can speak with more authority and insight on these topics [Israel and anti-Semitism]
than anyone I can think of.” –Noam Chomsky, father of modern linguistics

“It takes an enormous amount of academic courage to speak the truth when no one else is out there
to support him … His place in the whole history of writing history is assured, and that those who in
the end are proven right triumph, and he will be among those who will have triumphed, albeit, it so
seems, at great cost.” –Raul Hilberg, world’s leading authority on the Nazi Holocaust

This event is free and open to the public.

For more info:

Maria-Theresiacollege (MTC), Grote Aula

Sint-Michielsstraat 6
3000 Leuven

Contact person:
Denis Van den Weghe

The official website of Norman G. Finkelstein

Speak of an acquired taste

A substitute for the boycotted Coca Cola ?

They call it Mellow Yellow?
Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:48am EST

By Matthias Williams

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A hardline Hindu organization, known for its opposition to “corrupting” Western food imports, is planning to launch a new soft drink made from cow’s urine, often seen as sacred in parts of India.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or National Volunteer Corps, said the bovine beverage is undergoing laboratory tests for the next 2 to 3 months but did not give a specific date for its commercial release.

The flavor is not yet known, but the RSS said the liquid produced by Hinduism’s revered holy cows is being mixed with products such as aloe vera and gooseberry to fight diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Many Hindus consider cow urine to have medicinal properties and it is often drunk in religious festivals.

The organization, which aims to transform India’s secular society and establish the supremacy of a Hindu majority, said it had not decided on a name or a price for the drink.

“Cow urine offers a cure for around 70 to 80 incurable diseases like diabetes. All are curable by cow urine,” Om Prakash, the head of the RSS Cow Protection Department, told Reuters by phone.

Prakash, who is based in Hardwar, one of four holy Hindu cities on the river Ganges where the world’s largest religious gathering takes place, said the product will be sold nationwide but did not rule out international success.

“It is useful for the whole country and the world as well. It will be done through shops and through corporates,” he said.

The Hindu group has campaigned against foreign imports such as Pepsi and Coca Cola in the past, which it sees as a corrupting influence and a tool of Western imperialism.

The RSS was temporarily banned after a Hindu mob tore down a mosque in 1992 which lead to bloody religious riots.

The Shiv Sena, a hardline Hindu political party also known for attacking what it sees as threats to Indian culture such as Valentine’s Day, started a similar initiative last year to appeal to its powerbase in Mumbai.

To promote the food of the native Marathi culture, the Shiv Sena said it was “making a chain like McDonalds” to sell a popular local fried snack.


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