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Poetry Project Bridges Language and Cultural Barriers between Arabic and Hebrew Speakers in Israel

The Two Project promotes Arabic and Hebrew arts and culture through the language of poetry.

The Two Project promotes Arabic and Hebrew arts and culture through the language of poetry.

The Two Project has just launched, a collaboration between Israeli Jews and Arabs to connect their cultures through the language of poetry. Hebrew and Arabic are both official languages of Israel. Six years in the making, the project is an offshoot of a recently published book, Two: A Bilingual Anthology (link is in Hebrew).

On their website, the Two Project's creators Almog Behar, Tamer Massalha, and Tamar Weiss write [Heb/Ar]:

This site is a part of the Two Project: a bilingual cultural project focusing on the literature and poetry of youth. Its aim is to create a convergence of dialogue between the two vibrant cultures of Israel, in Arabic and Hebrew. [The project presents] a new generation of writers and readers, who because of language barriers, culture, politics, and physical boundaries are not familiar with what goes on in the modern literary scene of their neighbors.

Anat Niv, editor-in-chief of Keter Publishing, who is responsible for the anthology, remarks:

The very fact that you are holding a book and reading it in Hebrew, with a text in Arabic script on the facing page, or vice versa, is a very powerful experience. Even if you don’t read Arabic, when reading this book you can no longer remain oblivious to the fact that this is a place where people live and create in two languages.

Follow the project on their website or on Facebook in Hebrew and Arabic. Two new authors, an Israeli Arab and an Israeli Jew, will be featured monthly.

PHOTO: Five Jewish Graves in WWI Gaza Cemetery

Foreign Policy magazine Middle East editor David Kenner visiting the British WW1 cemetery in Gaza and shares this photograph on Twitter.

The inscription reads: “In the mighty march of progress, he sought to do his best.”

The grave of Second Lieutenant W. G. A. Joseph of the Northamptonshire regiment is one of five graves belonging to Jewish soldiers which Kenner spotted.

Kenner is among journalists from around the world who swarmed on Gaza to cover a major Israeli offensive called Protective Edge against the 40-kilometer-long coastal strip, which started on July 8.

Dr Ashraf Al Qedra, spokesman for the Palestinian Ministry of Health, announced on his Facebook page the overall toll as of yesterday, the 34th day of fighting, as follows:

حصيلة العدوان الصهيوني الغاشم المستمر على غزة لليوم الرابع والثلاثين هي 1911 شهيد وحوالي 9861 جريح .

The toll of the aggressive Zionist attack, continuing on Gaza for the 34th day, is 1,911 martyrs and 9,861 injured

Follow our in-depth coverage: #Gaza: Civilian Death Toll Mounts in Israeli Offensive

Photo: Watching Rockets Fly Over Gaza from Space

From outer space, astronaut Alexander Gerst watches as Gaza erupts in flames. He tweets:

This photograph has been retweeted 33K times so far.

Palestinians are Friends with Journalists

Marcelino Torrecilla N. has started a series in Spanish called Stories from Gaza. The first installment by this United Arabe Emirates based Colombian was published on El Tiempo of Bogotá and tells a story of two Gulf News journalists in Abu Dhabi.

Taking pictures in the Gulf is challenging and even when trying to take pictures of women. But Palestinians are used to be photographed. The media are friends of the Palestinians and they know that. as Torrecilla translates:

In Gaza it is very different. With one of the highest concentrations of media in the world, the people of Gaza are used to being photographed. Not only this, but they welcome the eyes of the world. The Palestinians don't have an army to fight with. They have the rocks they throw at Israeli soldiers and they have their tears.

For more stories about the Gaza Strip in Spanish told by an eye witness, follow Marcelino Torrecilla's updates on Twitter.

This post was part of the elventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 14, 2014.

Nobody Should Be a Number: Names of Those Killed in Gaza

More than 100 Palestinians, many of whom were women and children, were killed since Israel launched Operation Defense Edge against Gaza last week

At +972, Michael Omer-Man lists their names in this post entitled “Nobody should be a number: Names of those killed in Gaza.”

No Israelis have been killed in the operation. Teju Cole comments:

VIDEO: Is the IDF Glorifying Its Air Bombings of Gaza?

Israeli blogger Elizabeth Tsurkov challenges the IDF to make an English version of a video it had released in Hebrew, which she describes as “glorifying air bombings of Gaza.”

She tweets:

At least 1,900 Palestinians have been killed, more than 10,000 injured, and 450,000 displaced since Israel launched a massive offensive called Protective Edge against the 40-kilometer-long coastal strip on July 8.

Follow our in-depth coverage: #Gaza: Civilian Death Toll Mounts in Israeli Offensive

PHOTO: Palestinians Teach Life

Palestinian Sayel tweets to his 1,800 plus followers on Twitter the following photograph of Gazans planting flowers in Israeli shells. He notes:

Today is Day 19 of an Israeli offensive on the Palestinian enclave, which has claimed the lives of at least 1,000 Palestinians and injured 6,000 others.

Timeline of Israeli Air Attacks on Gaza in 2014

Screengrab from Crowdvoice.

Screengrab from Crowdvoice.

CrowdVoice, a user-powered service that tracks voices of protest from around the world, lists a timeline of Israeli air attacks on Gaza in 2014. Here's an excerpt from their “explore the backstory” section:

A series of abductions and murders has inflamed age-old tensions and sparked armed unrest in Gaza. It began on May 15, 2014, when two Palestinian youths were shot dead during clashes with Israeli security forces during a demonstration in the West Bank. Outrage grew when video footage of the killings emerged, showing that the unarmed teens were shot with live ammunition, despite Israeli assertions that only non-lethal munitions were used against protesters. Later, on June 12, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped as they hitchhiked home from the West Bank. An Israeli military operation was launched to find the missing teens, and on June 30, their bodies were recovered. The government of Israel has blamed Hamas for the murders, and vowed swift retaliation. Hamas praised the kidnapping, but did not claim responsibility. In an apparent act of retribution, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, aged 16, was abducted near his home on his way to morning prayers and burned alive. Israeli authorities have arrested six people in connection with the teen's death. Tensions from the murders have boiled over into indiscriminate Palestinian rocket attacks into Israeli territory, and relentless aerial bombardment of Gaza.

 

Palestinian Drones Fly on Israel

Palestinian Al Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, unveiled three models of unmanned drones today, which it said it flew into Israeli skies.

Journalist Dima Khatib tweets:

The drones, made in Palestine, are called Ababil – after a type of birds mentioned in the Holy Quran, which protected Mecca during a war with Yemen in the year 571.

Gaza-based blogger Jehan Alfarra exclaims:

International Authors Condemn Israel's Continued Settlement Construction

Sixteen international authors who participated at the Palestine Festival of Literature, held from in several Palestinian cities from May 31 to June 5, released a statement condemning Israel's continued settlement construction and applauding the efforts of the Boycott Divest and Sanction (BDS) campaign. The statement, shared on Facebook, reads:

“Having personally witnessed the injustice visited upon the Palestinian people in the territories occupied by Israel, it is with the utmost sadness and dismay that we – the undersigned international authors and artists – note Benjamin Netanyahu's approval this week of yet another 1,500 new illegal settlements units in the West Bank. This is particularly unfortunate at a moment when the Palestinians have formed a unity government that has been recognized by the international community.

Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories have long since been pronounced illegal by international law. The Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories is itself illegal, and declared so by the international community through various UN resolutions.

Additional settlements can be seen only as an act of aggression, showing utter disregard not just for the human and civil rights of the Palestinian people, but for international law.

We applaud the non-violent efforts of the BDS campaign (www.bdsmovement.net) and express our solidarity with its demand that Israel should comply with the precepts of international law by:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab land and dismantling the Wall
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

We thus call for the Israeli Government to respect international law and reverse the approval of the thousand plus additional settlements units in the West Bank.

We furthermore call on the International Community to work to induce Israel to uphold basic principles of international law.

Signed:

Sharif Abdel Khouddous
Susan Abdulhawa
Teju Cole
Nathan Hamilton
Nathalie Handal
Brigid Keenan
Sabrina Mahfouz
Michael Ondaatje
Ed Pavlic
Eliza Robertson
Sapphire
Kamila Shamsie
Ahdaf Soueif
Linda Spalding
Janne Teller
Haifa Zangana

6th of June 2014.”

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