Honoring Mandela

The best way to honor Nelson Mandela isn’t by sharing his words, but by believing in them and breathing life into them. Madiba’s words were loud but his deeds were louder, and this is what made the difference he was prepared to die for…[1]

It is always hard to see great people depart. Part of it has to do with the feeling that they will take something away with them, what made them sources of inspiration and models to emulate. This, despite the fact that what makes them great in the first place is that their impact has already transcended their grasp and can hardly stop its course even after they are gone. Continue reading “Honoring Mandela”

Tripoli: In Memory of a Lost Generation

It is an image I will never forget. A teenage girl, her gently rounded head dangling out of the car window; her long black hair swinging to the beat of the wind, caressing her young features, lifeless; her eyes slightly visible, as she gazed far ahead, at a future she could no longer dream of living. The girl and her family had been killed by Israeli shelling in South Lebanon during Operation Grapes of Wrath in 1996. I revisited this image in a previous post but was unable to add the picture to the post, it hurt too much. Continue reading “Tripoli: In Memory of a Lost Generation”

Thinking about Palestine

There is never a good or right time to talk about Palestine. A cause, a dream, a responsibility, a defeat, a crime and a badge of shame on the world, which has affected, been used and abused, and shaped a considerable part of the Middle East’s contemporary history. As the situation in the occupied territories continues to evolve, or rather deteriorate, and with it the chances of a viable peace, keeping Palestine in the public discourse almost seems like a constant necessity to keep the cause alive. Continue reading “Thinking about Palestine”

Obama’s Middle East Strategy: A Brief Commentary

Recent events in the Middle East seem to dictate that, at least in the short and medium-terms, America’s hopes of turning increasingly towards Asia in the 21st century do not seem to be anywhere near coming to fruition.  And if there was ever a more pertinent time for a clear-cut and long-term U.S. strategy for the Middle East, it is today.  In light of the region’s ever evolving political landscape, ongoing transitions, ferocious battles and rotting stalemates, America’s role in the region is once again put to the test, with an opportunity to overturn weaknesses and mend past failures. Continue reading “Obama’s Middle East Strategy: A Brief Commentary”

Gaza: When Will the Guns Fall Silent?

With Gaza no longer in the headlines, it may seem as if nothing ever happened there.

But for the eight days of Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, we all discussed the futility of declaring victory for either side, because so long as innocent civilians died and the possibility of such attacks recurring remained, there could be no real winner. We were angered by Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians, children and journalists, wondering how their deaths would strengthen the security of the Jewish state. Continue reading “Gaza: When Will the Guns Fall Silent?”

Prisoners to Oblivion I

To talk about them is to keep them alive.

While they live in each of their mothers’ bitter tears and in every beat of their fathers’ weary hearts, we must utter their names to keep them alive.

While they live through their pictures, hugged and kissed by those they left behind, we must tell their stories to keep them alive.

And while they live in freedom and dignity in our memories, those they barely had time to build before they left, we must remember them as our own children, brothers, sisters, husbands and friends, just to keep them alive. Continue reading “Prisoners to Oblivion I”