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April 23, 2010

Mourid Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah

Reviewed by Hugh Galford
Washington Report jan-feb 2001

Of the several final status issues yet to be honestly examined under Oslo, that of the Palestinian refugees—and their right to return—ranks among the most emotive. Scattered around the world, the refugees from 1948, their numbers swelled by those from 1967, now total an estimated 5 million. Even after 50 years, their attachment to home is awesome—especially when it is realized that many of them have never laid eyes on Palestine.

For Mourid Barghouti in I Saw Ramallah, the bridge home still exists, but the road to it has been filled with catastrophes and misfortunes.

In spring 1967, Barghouti left Deir Ghassanah, a village outside of Ramallah, to return to Cairo for his university exams. On June 5, he has three exams standing between him and graduation. And on June 5, while in the process of winning a university degree, he loses his home: Ramallah has fallen to the Israeli army.

read on

Aid ship to arrive in Gaza bypassing Israeli blockade.wmv

The Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union):

Somehow, I thought I could quickly track down each of these 100 titles, translate them (roughly), note whether or not an English translation or excerpt exists, and be done with it.

Apparently, my eyes were bigger than my…fingers?

So here you have it! The first 10 of the best hundred Arab novels selected by the Arab Writers Union. Tomorrow, insha’allah, the second 10.

1 The Cairo Trilogy by Egyptian (Nobel-prize winning) author Naguib Mahfouz. Yes, of course it’s available in English: Trans. William Maynard Hutchins, Everyman’s Library, 2001.

read on

Defense Minister: Israel needs to recognize the occupation must end

By News Agencies
bandannie : Could it be that he is smelling the coffee ?

Israel must recognize that the world will not put up with decades more of Israeli rule over the Palestinian people, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in unusually frank remarks Monday.

Barak’s comments came against the backdrop of severe friction between the U.S. and Israel’s hawkish government over an impasse in peacemaking.

“The world isn’t willing to accept – and we won’t change that in 2010 – the expectation that Israel will rule another people for decades more,” he said. “It’s something that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.”
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