Monday, June 11, 2012

As you fix your breakfast, think of others. 
Don’t forget to feed the pigeons.
As you fight in your wars, think of others. 
Don’t forget those who desperately demand peace.
As you pay your water bill, think of others who drink the clouds’ rain.
As you return home, your home, think of others. 
Don’t forget those who live in tents.
As you sleep and count planets, think of others. 
There are people without any shelter to sleep.
As you express yourself using all metaphorical expressions, 
think of others who lost their rights to speak.
As you think of others who are distant, think of yourself and say 
“I wish I was a candle to fade away the darkness."

The words of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, provide inspiration for 20-year-old Shahd Abusalama, living in Gaza. The daughter of a Palestinian political prisoner, she writes about her life and struggles from Gaza. Today’s blog is about the prisoners who are still engaged in a hunger strike against the Israeli practice of administrative detention (holding prisoners without charging them with a crime) and the widespread use of longterm solitary confinement, as in the case of Hassan Sallameh, moved after 13 years of solitary confinement.

The seeming victory of the prisoners on May 14, however, is diminished by the more than 30 administrative detention orders that have been renewed and the three new ones that have been signed since the agreement.

She also writes about Mahmoud Al Sarsak, the Palestinian football star who has been imprisoned since July, 2009. He is now in the 84th day of his hunger strike, weighing only 100 pounds. To write a letter to the Israeli Prison Service, see: Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network’s action alert.

Read Shahd Abusalama’s blog on the Electric Intifada.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Israel’s stepped-up blockade of Gaza.

Five years ago, in June of 2007, after Hamas won elections in Gaza and expelled Fatah leaders, Israel clamped down on Gaza, denying entrance to Gaza for many products—foods, construction materials, fuels, etc.

For twelve hours today The Guardian UK is blogging from Gaza, exploring life there today and the effects of Israel’s blockade. Take a look at interviews with some of the children of Gaza, telling about their lives and their hopes for the future:

There you can also see a report on Gaza’s fishermen and more about the history of the blockade.