umm Abdillah, Radio Islam Programming – 2014.09.01 | 6 Zul Qa'da 1435 AH
Radio Islam launched our Palestine Awareness Week (1-5 Sept 2014) this morning dubbed #KnowYourPalestine.
After a hyped season of activism for Gaza in South Africa and worldwide, we now acknowledge a need for more sustained forms of activism. Our aim is to take our audience beyond the popular rhetoric of emotional slogans and “victory will come” platitudes. We need to know hard facts and retain educational enrichment concerning the historical, military, and political background in the on-going struggle between the Apartheid State of Israel and Palestine. While Gaza was bombarded relentlessly for 51 days in Operation “Protective Edge” the rest of Palestine’s suffering continued too.
Amnesty International calls it collective punishment: prolonged curfews, house demolitions, administrative detention, army barriers blocking all movement between towns and villages, rules that require every Palestinian travelling to another town in the West Bank to obtain a permit from the Israeli Civil Administration, demolishing houses of families of wanted Palestinians (violating the Fourth Geneva Convention), rounding up and arbitrary detention of hundreds of Palestinians, even children, who are held in degrading conditions without charge or trial. The list is endless.
Through Israel’s blockades and essential services cut offs, Palestinians who long traded on excellence in education as an investment in the future, working their way into the upper echelons of governments and businesses throughout the region face poverty, hunger and unemployment. According to 2007 World Bank statistics, 80 per cent of students in Gaza were failing math, while an astounding 40 per cent were failing Arabic, their mother tongue.
Segregation policies, including the building of the Israeli Apartheid Wall has met broad international condemnation for carving off large segments of the West Bank, splitting families, separating farmers from their land and slicing east Jerusalem off from their hoped-for future state. The barrier has caused direct losses to east Jerusalem’s economy of more than $1 billion and costs the city’s economy around $200 million a year in lost trade and employment opportunities. Condemnation aside, the monstrosity of a “wall” continues being constructed.
This morning on Sabahul Muslim we posed a question to our audience regarding their favourite authors and novels on Palestine:
“Many novelists have tackled the theme of Palestine's occupation graphically. Can you name an author or book that educated & touched you?”
The responses that followed were overwhelmingly skewed in favour of Susan Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin.
“Mornings in Jenin reminds us that amongst the shocking headlines it’s the human story that matters most…. A powerful and moving piece of fiction.”
-- Kirkus Reviews
The story of Amal threads it’s way through six decades of Palestine-Israeli tension, eventually taking her into exile in Pennsylvania in America. Amal’s is a story of love and loss, of childhood, marriage, parenthood, and finally the need to share her history with her daughter, to preserve the greatest love she has.
Other offerings by our audience:
Maggie D @wdspattmuscol 5h
@sulaimaanravat @MRN1SA Footnotes in Gaza - Joe Sacco
F. Adam @zanah_za 4h
@sulaimaanravat Mahmoud Darwish - firm favourite & undisputed doyen. Also, Miral by Rula Jebreal. #KnowYourPalestine
tweety_573 @tweety_573 2h
@sulaimaanravat Occupation Diaries by Raja Shehadeh
Zaheera Akoojee I shall not hate by Dr Izzaledin Abuelaish
4 hours ago
Muji Saaj Padia Palestine-a beginners guide by Ismail Adam Patel
2 hours ago
Aslam. M. Patel Does Palestine yesterday today and tomorrow by Dr. SUWAIDAN count?
3 hours ago
Shabnum Randeree Why Israel? Haven't read yet but it's co author is South African. Heard it's a good read.
2 hours ago
Keen readers can access further titles via Al Awda. Some included on the list:
- Nakba Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory Edited by Ahmad H. Sa'di and Lila Abu-Lughod
- In Hope and Despair: Life in the Palestinian Refugee Camps (Amer Univ in Cairo Press; October 2003)
- One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse by Ali Abunimah
- Tasting the Sky by Ibtisam Barakat
- In Search of Fatima by Ghada Karmi
- Mahmoud Darwish, Exile's Poet: Critical Essays edited by Hala Khamis Nassar & Kathy Engel
- Married to Another Man: Israel's Dilemma in Palestine by Ghada Karmi
- Conversations with Edward Said (Tariq Ali)
Time to get reading! The best activist is an educated activist. #KnowYourPalestine