Monthly Archives: December 2013

iWrite

I like to write.
Writing to write to let my thoughts disperse and be free.
To not necessarily make sense at times but let loose and be written.
Thoughts become memories. Or actions. Or mistakes.
Thoughts written sometimes can save many things.
You write it. Hopefully read it. Think about it. Make sense of it. Then study it or do it or express a feeling to make do of it.
We can save lives with writing. Build towns and tell children how to grow up and become someone special.
Writing is an element. It’s a hobby. It’s a job or fantasy. Writing is writing until it makes history. Write until you make sense of your worry and become a special mystery. Write to find a lover or believe in a loved one.
Writing is success to some.
Words and symbols to equal positive or negative stress.
Writing.. Like this to see who understands.

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Samer Essawy

For Samer Tarek-El Essawy and family

We saw your pain
We felt your strength
Little did we know your hunger would cause change.

People claimed that nothing would happen.
But, look at all of the support your 277 day hunger strike made.

Days passed, and we saw your mothers pain.
Your fate was freedom and here we are celebrating it today.
Prayers have been answered and fireworks will explain all the joy we prayed for each and every second of the day.

Doubt, shame, and fear were never seen in your eyes.
Your heart and mind were golden and proved to shine.
Consistent and courageous you proved to be.
Samer Issawy knew he’d be free!
Samer Issawy knew freedom would ring!

Fearless men beat battles and make history.
We witnessed a hero now making his own story.
We learn about them in history class and hear legends from our elders, now Samer Issawy made his own story.

Hero, angel, everything in between.
Samer Issawy is Palestine and everything that Palestine stands to be.

Welcome home Samer your battle is done. Your freedom shines light on everyone else illegally in prison.
I hope you never endure any pain tragedy and hunger and happiness is all you feel.

Samer Issawy is our hero and we all hope you live in peace with your family.
No more bars and confinements just love and sincerity.

-Misoon Ghareeb

Words for Samer Issawy

Facebook posts and twitter tweets.
Saw your hunger and wrote your freedom for millions to see.
Joined together internationally and nationally to help you fight for victory.
Twitter stormed and Facebook reposted.
Letters and words from all over the world to show how much we wanted your voice to be heard and published.
10 days passed. Hungry for freedom.
20 days turned into 40 and 60 then 100 and your hunger strike stayed consistent. 277 days of pure agony and terror loss of life and mind to become a hero.
Everyone wanted the best for you to eat and stay healthy but you insisted.
No water. No food. No feelings.
Numb to the thought of no longer being.
Your mind and courage became your food and you made food for thought come true.
Freedom was your only thought and it showed.
December 23rd proved all your hard work was bestowed.
Tears of sadness have turned into tears of joy.
Hunger for freedom has turned into hunger for more.
History has become his story and Samer has paved the path of joy for every prisoner; not only in Palestine.
Politics and feelings coexisted to stand for justice and existence.
Freedom is ringing and I can see the fireworks in the sky.
Essawiah is so humbled and proud to call you one of our kind.
Every village will remember your name, because a Palestinian has finally caused positive change.
Hunger for freedom we thought would end in tragedy.
Hunger for freedom is now a new reality.
Welcome home Samer can’t wait to see you hug your family.

-MisoonG fellow Essawy💋

Freedom Rings In Palestinian American Writer —

Living in America and being raised as a Palestinian is a blessing.  Blessings come in all sorts of packages and being able to say I am a Palestinian living freely in America is a gift. I have moved from one country to another my entire life.  My name is Misoon Ghareeb and I am a Palestinian-American. It is more than a label, but an identity I am proud to carry.  I am a Palestinian American because I was born in Sacramento, California. My parents are both from Palestine however but moved to America after getting married for a better prosperous life and educational reasons because at the time Palestine was still under War and conflict and still is to this day. We have been blessed, myself and two older sisters, to be able to get the best of both worlds; Palestine and America all our lives.   The average American sees me and my family members and thinks “Chicano”.  I get remarks and shocked responses from many once they put the facts together that I am not from Mexico or of Spanish decent.  At first, they are in utter shock and don’t believe me and return with questions like, “You’re kidding right, you look Mexican.” When I tell them about Palestine and ask if they know where it is, they reply with, “Pakistan?” It is the everyday life I live and I love it.

I am always so excited to tell people about my country that is misinterpreted in the news and media.  If Palestine is broadcasted on any source, newspaper or news, it is always shown through Israel’s point of view. As the terrorists, murderers, and devil worshipers wish is entirely false of course.  I have lived in Palestine and have witnessed the daily struggle every Palestinian faces; heck I lived it. In order for anyone to understand what I mean, I must explain what I have experienced.  I have survived war, resistance, and occupation. I still don’t believe it, and when I tell strangers and friends they don’t either.  When I was in Palestine in 2008, Gaza was attacked and demonstrations and protests took place in my hometown of El-Essawiah. I remember it so vividly; it was a weekday.  It happened so suddenly, I was suppose to go to school but we woke up suddenly from  loud shouting and smell of burned rubber.  I lived with my mother who to this day is still in Palestine because of identification that Israel is not giving her, so it was just the two of us, the rest of my family were in America. We put the news on and it was reporting: “Breaking News, Gaza has been hit by Israeli missiles and drones.” Within hours of being bombed in Gaza, the men of my town went out to fight and protest and were attempting to help.  There is nothing to do but scream shout and fight and go out and show resistance, I wanted to do the same.  Al-Jazeera was broadcasting our city because men and children were being taken away for no reason, just because they were outside.  We live on a hill that is near a hospital that is Jewish; Hadassah.

Our area is meant to be the “safest” because when the Israeli Defense Force(IDF)  invade Essawiah they can only bomb and throw the tear gas from over the wall and not near our house but they completely did the opposite.  They entered from the beginning and end of the town putting stone wall checkpoints and with their guns, and bombs, as well as large massive dogs completely fearless; which is rare, blockaded the whole village from all entrances.  My cousin Mahmoud, who was fifteen at the time just like every other teenage boy wanted to see the action, but is always told to stay at home and be safe.  He didn’t listen and came downstairs from his house to ours through all the loud shooting and smoke banging on our door.  Somehow he managed to get out from my aunt’s tough control probably without her knowing.   He was all covered up in a scarf and was quite frightened but didn’t want to admit it. I tried to convince him how silly it is to go out and how they don’t care how old he is the soldiers will shoot and capture him.  He said he knows he will be careful but my mom and I locked the doors and told him there is no way to go out.  I went to go get him some juice and the next thing I know he jumped out through the back door of our balcony.  We got so mad; I ran after him barefoot in the cold December fog and ran like a crazy person screaming for him to come back.  We have these metal stairs that lead to more stairs and I don’t even know how he raced out to the main street.  This street is the narrowest one-way path you will ever see. It only leads to the beginning of the town, where the soldiers were.  I could see the green Jeeps the soldiers come in and fire burning as well as blue siren lights that they set off as well as the fireworks in the sky.  I didn’t know what to do and I heard boys coming my way.  I told one of them my cousin left if he knows him to tell him to come home.  I have no idea who they were, their faces were covered, so they can be unidentifiable, and I probably will never know. I just panicked and ran down to the end of the street seeing the craziest scene.  Around 100 men all wearing the Palestinian scarves “koffeyah” concealing their faces, gathered together planning to resist and ready to fight. Fight soldiers with weapons that can’t be warded off but these men were determined, and ready, to face the military with their bare hands and small rocks broken off the walls and streets.  I nearly fainted and I heard a really loud noise, looked behind me and a large truck was coming.  I hid in the corner of this little alley at the end of the street and waited for it to pass then ran back up the narrow street not looking back.  I felt like I was dreaming, and I was worried my cousin would get hurt or worse, get captured.  Meanwhile, I knew my mom was worried sick even if it was minutes of me being outside. Whenever our area gets invaded with soldiers, my mother and I always laugh and think we are in a movie.  Not like it’s funny but how it all happens.  We can easily get killed and always are under attack weekly if not monthly, and soldiers always come or throw bombs like it’s nothing.  My mother is still in Palestine.  I haven’t seen her in almost four years and she is my best friend.  Palestine is my life, and even if I am in America I am always connected and have a piece of my country with me in my heart wherever I go; always wearing my bracelets and necklaces connecting me somehow to my hometown.

Palestine is more than just a title and place that is said in my point of view. Legally, I am a Palestinian-American, but in reality in many others eyes I am only American because I only have a tangible piece of paper that states “Citizen of the United States.” Interpretation of identity is different from each individuals stand point and I see myself as a Palestinian whether I have actual “Haweya” Palestinian identification, or identification that states my nationality.  I was born in California, giving me rights as an American from birth.  However, from a young age I visited Palestine.  I knew my heritage as a child, as an infant, as a toddler and grew up on Islamic and Palestinian morals.

     My parents are both from occupied territories of Palestine My mother is from Shufat, and my father is from Essawiah and have blessed myself and my family to be able to live in America.  I may have been born into a “free” land one would say but it does not conclude my identity and character.  Freedom is not a word easily iterated off my lips because I do not believe it truly exists.  I have moved, and located, and lived under occupation, luxury, war, struggle and depression. I’ve had to deal with checkpoints, as an American, as a Palestinian, as a human being.  My background of being born in America gave me rights as an American to freedom of speech and lifestyle not comparable to the life given to a Palestinian.  My life is a gift, and some would literally die to be in my place to express themselves and their story through my path and situation.  Palestine is truly my identity.  Newt Gingrich once stated that, “The Palestinian people do not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity.” Oh surely he is wrong, we may not have a place on the map but we do exist and I as well as millions of other Palestinians are living proof that we are existent and alive.

Every day I feel empty and lost without my family and presence of my country—I live in America where everything is joyful, light, and accessible and anything you want you can have. Palestine is nothing like America and I always feel guilty any opportunity I get while living in California.  I use my success and knowledge to educate everyone I can the truth behind my life, my country, and my people who are not shown on the news.  News stations tend to report on Israeli perspective because of their strong allies with America – it’s a given and never a surprise.  Some news stations report on full stories and actual live footage from Palestine and occupied territories in Palestine and those are the ones to trust because they give you a 360 degree view on a  story, not just one perspective.

-Misoon Ghareeb

Twitter @NoosiMsooNs

Ugly

I’ve been called beautiful.
I’ve been called ugly.
What do I remember most?
Being asked if I’m lovely?
If I know how different I am.
If I’m good enough.
If I’m smart enough.
Constantly being questioned if society will accept me. (my mind)

My religion is ‘oppressive.’
My culture is beautiful.
My career choices only set for a man but never told how amazing I could be. Only negative things. Only deadly words never sweet sincerity.
Always being asked but not appreciated.

Yet, What do I remember most? Being ripped apart into tiny minuscule shreds by your terms.
Yes, YOUR words.
Having a conversation and realizing how different I am.
How ‘special’ I am because I wouldn’t conform to your ways. Since when did standing out become ‘ugly’? Since when did taking a stand become ‘exotic’?

My mind seems to be a magnet
to negativity and a repeller of positivity.
The good isn’t enough to outweigh the bad
because the bad brings hate. Hate brings change
so change brings understanding which resulted in
appreciation that became respect and finally LOVE.
I’ve been called beautiful but I’ve also been called ugly. I can only seem to remember the negative because it shaped me. It made me feel unstoppable.
It took me a year to finally say Thank you!

Thank YOU for springing the negative because look at how amazing it made me.
I’m loving who I’m becoming.