By C. P. Cavafy
Translated by Daniel Mendelsohn
547 pp. Alfred A. Knopf. $35
Posted: 17 Apr 2009 05:35 AM PDT
(In the photo at the left: same story over and over again, in Hebron as in Gaza, IDF soldiers do not respect the homes of Palestinians.) The old man sat in the light of a kerosene lamp and looked bleakly ahead. His wife sat in the opposite corner, crying loudly "They soiled our sheets, haram, haram, they broke our bed, fired guns in our bed and," the old man said, "they took all our money. The day after we left we found a 100 shekel note in the garden, that's all."
He was talking to a foreign photographer who had come to film the destruction in North of the Gaza Strip about the Israeli occupation of his house. Sa'ad Al Atar lived in a line of houses along a high ridge overlooking Gaza city in Atatra district. It was the part of Gaza nearest the Israeli border, and it also commanded long views of Gaza city, so it was bombed repeatedly in the first few days, and most of the houses were destroyed. Then the Apaches fired rockets at what was left and machine gunned anything that moved. Mr Al Atar stayed home with his family, even when machine gun fire came through the window and sprayed the wall behind them. The foreign Journalist put his fingers in the big holes in the plaster, but to him they were just dents in the wall; to Mr Al Atar they represented fear and salvation at the same time. But there was an even closer miss in the next dark room, where there were no lights. A row of smaller bullet holes at a lower level.
"We were eating our meal on the floor when these came. If we were sitting on a chair they would have gone through our heads. I am lucky that I cannot afford to put chairs in both my rooms," said Mr Al Atar.
What happened next? "The Israelis came and pointed their guns at us. They told us to get into the back room, where the shots had been fired, and to stay there, and they went on to the roof. They told us that if we moved, they would shoot us. They went upstairs, they stole my money, soiled the beds, left condoms everywhere. They fired holes in the bed - for what? While people were dying they were making love with each other in our bed, and then they destroyed it. All our money was in the mattress, everything for the whole family, and they took it all. Then after 3 days, they left. Just left."
His family of seven children and his wife listened in the gloomy light. "There is no glass in the windows, and we cannot afford even to buy plastic sheets," said Mrs Al Atar. "The UN gave us some blankets, but we have no money to repair anything and no one helps us. No one. And it is cold, even our clothes they cut up and soiled - look, look at these cuts, why, why they do this, why?"
They drank their tea in silence, the foreign photographer left, and the light went out.
Mrs. Al Atar
The Israelis have left us nothing, destroying our housed, stole our money and killed our young kids
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frieze Writer's Prize 2009
|Share this announcement on: Facebook | Delicious | Twitter|
frieze writer's prize is an annual international award to discover and promote new art critics. The award will be judged in 2009 by critic and art historian James Elkins, novelist and critic Ali Smith, and co-Editor of frieze magazine Jennifer Higgie.
•Entrants must submit one previously unpublished review of a recent contemporary art exhibition, approximately 700 words in length.
•Entries must be submitted in English, but may be a translation (this must be acknowledged).
•Entrants must be over 18 years old.
•To qualify, entrants may only previously have had a maximum of three pieces of writing on art published in any national or regional newspaper or magazine. Previous online publication is permitted.
•The winning entrant will be commissioned to write a review for the October issue of frieze and be awarded 2000 GBP.
•Closing date is 26 June 2009.
•Entries should be emailed as a word attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not send images.
Posted: 17 Apr 2009 12:37 PM PDT
Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of aid intended for the Gaza Strip is piling up in cities across Egypt's North Sinai region, despite recent calls from the United Nations to ease aid flow restrictions to the embattled territory in the wake of Operation Cast Lead.
Food, medicine, blankets, infant food and other supplies for Gaza's 1.5 million people, coming from governments and non-governmental agencies around the world, are being stored in warehouses, parking lots, stadiums and on airport runways across Egypt's North Sinai governorate.
Egypt shares a 14-kilometre border with Gaza that has been closed more or less permanently since the Islamist movement Hamas took control of the territory in June 2007.
Flour, pasta, sugar, coffee, chocolate, tomato sauce, lentils, date bars, juice, chickpeas, blankets, hospital beds, catheter tubes and other humanitarian- based items are all sitting in at least eight storage points in and around Al- Arish, a city in North Sinai approximately 50 kilometres from Gaza's border.
Three months after the end of the war, much of the aid has either rotted or been irreparably damaged as a result of both rain and sunshine, and Egypt's refusal to open the Rafah crossing.
"To be honest, most of this aid will never make it to Gaza," a local government official told IPS on condition of anonymity. "A lot of the food here will have to be thrown away."
The Gaza Strip was the target of Israel's three-week Operation Cast Lead, where both the enclave's civilian population and an already decrepit infrastructure were pummelled by powerful Israeli weaponry, leaving some 1,400 dead and over 5,000 injured by the time a unilateral ceasefire was called by Israel Jan. 18.
The United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) head in Gaza, John Ging, told IPS last week that the stranglehold on relief efforts in the post-war period was having devastating consequences, both physical and emotional, on the strip's population.
The last Situation Report released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Mar. 30 stated that the "amounts and types of deliveries reaching Gaza continue being subject to random restrictions and unpredictable clearance procedures, creating major logistical problems for humanitarian agencies."
Food aid and other essential humanitarian supplies for Gaza began pouring into Egypt at the outset of the war, and medical supplies were routed through Rafah - Gaza's only crossing that bypasses Israel - throughout the assault, while food aid was directed through Israel.
All aid meant for Gaza via Egypt must currently pass through either Al-Auja or Kerem Abu Sellem, Egypt's commercial crossings with Israel, and is subject to both Israeli-Egyptian trade specifications and Israeli import law.
Much of what is being stored in North Sinai - including food items like lentils, pasta, chickpeas, and juice - has been deemed by Israel to be "non- essential" to life in the Gaza Strip.
Two thousand "family boxes" - containing essential supplies for Palestinian families and donated by the Italian NGO Music for Peace - were recently rejected at the Al-Auja crossing by Israeli authorities because they each contained a jar of honey, the NGO's President, Stefano Robera, told IPS in Al- Arish.
Representatives from international NGOs currently in both Al-Arish and Rafah say not even a sliver of the aid donated is going through any of Egypt's transit points, despite assurances by the Egyptian government that the Rafah crossing remains open for "humanitarian considerations".
OCHA says Rafah was closed to all cargo for the month of March, and was opened for just two days to send blankets and mattresses into the Gaza Strip.
Since Dec. 27, 2008, the day Israel launched its war, just 43 trucks of what OCHA calls "human food products" were sent into the Gaza Strip via Rafah. The first truckload was sent in Jan. 10, 2009, more than two weeks after the war began.
Some organisations coordinating their aid through Egypt say North Sinai governor Mohamed Abdel Fadil Shousha asked them to simply donate the goods to local NGOs. Other witnesses told IPS that Egyptian security forces tasked with guarding aid supplies have been giving it away to residents of Al-Arish.
The Rafah border crossing opened in November 2005 when Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) signed an Agreement on Movement and Access as part of Israel's "disengagement" from the Gaza Strip.
In coordination with the PA, Egypt allowed passengers, cargo and humanitarian aid to pass under the supervision of both EU monitors and Israeli security. When Hamas, the Islamist movement democratically elected in 2006, seized control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, Egypt closed its border with the coastal enclave.
The Egyptian government has since refused to open the Rafah crossing to any cargo or non-medical humanitarian aid, leaving the supplies in a state of political limbo and Gaza's population grappling with the after-effects of both deadly war and continued economic siege.
Human rights organisations have recently said that not only Israel but Egypt, the EU and the U.S. could be in violation of international law for failing to adhere to the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access, and consequently violating the basic human rights of Gaza's 1.5 million people - particularly in the post-war period.
Dear art and architecture lovers,
Unless a tavern owner in a political pickle is promising free beer, you're just not going to see the kind of turn out at City Hall that we did this week.
Our community showed up on behalf of a wonderful, poetic art project that could change the way we view public art here – and won. Your presence, letters and phone calls made an impression and a difference. Don't let anyone tell you different.
So, what next? Here's a peek at my Sunday column that looks at why this project was in danger in the first place and what has to happen next, so these valiant, episodic efforts aren't repeated without real change.
Bruce Murphy of Milwaukee Magazine, a latecomer to the dialogue about Zweig, put quotation marks around the word journalism in a column on the subject. He was referring to the work I do and the nature of the dialogue in our city. (Are you one of Murphy's windbags?) As a rule, I tend to ignore these swipes from Mil Mag, but this was worth addressing and dovetails with some ideas I've wanted to share with all of you.
Hope to see you all out there tonight,
Mary Louise Schumacher
art and architecture critic
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Stay in touch via Twitter (@artcity) and Facebook.
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Art City is a newsletter about Milwaukee art, architecture and urban design. It is designed to keep readers up to date with the blog and what's in the paper. If you no longer want the newsletter, please respond to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. My apologies for any inconveniences.
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I ask myself whether in antique times
glorious Alexandria possessed a
youth more beauteous,
a kid more perfect than he.
Like one who's long prepared, like someone brave,
as befits a man who's been blessed with a city like this,
go without faltering toward the window
and listen with deep emotion, but not
with the entreaties and the whining of a coward,
to the sounds — a final entertainment —
to the exquisite instruments of that initiate crew,
and bid farewell to her, to Alexandria, whom you are losing.
Protesting the Israeli security forces’ disruption of PalFest
Tuesday, May 26, 2009• Video: PalFest 2008: John Berger Reads Ghassan Kha...
Monday, May 25, 2009
Today, my friends, we saw the clearest example of our mission: to confront the culture of power with the power of culture.Despite attempts to prevent the sharing and transmission of culture, Palfest is using all the communications tools at its disposal to reach out -- for videos, photos, blogs and other Palfest updates go here. Here's a video from the opening night:
Israeli forces ended their offensive against Hamas in Gaza on Saturday, 17 January, following the declaration of ceasefires by Hamas and Israel.
Highlighted below are some of the main buildings identified as destroyed or damaged in Gaza City and the surrounding area as of 16 January, when this latest satellite image was taken.
The image, taken for Unosat at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, has helped researchers identify at least 566 destroyed or damaged buildings.
The map below shows the main areas attacked in the three weeks of violence.
Palestinian medical sources say more than 1,010 Palestinians were killed in the violence, which began on 27 December 2008. Israel says 13 Israelis died, including 10 soldiers in the campaign and three civilians killed as a result of rocket fire from Gaza.
Interesting websites on Iraq
Photographing in Iraq:
Immigration detainees and their families lack basic ways to get information when things go wrong.May 5, 2008N.Y. / RegionNews
After the deaths of two immigrant detainees, a review of the cases prompted recommendations for faster reporting of deaths and better sharing of information.July 3, 2008
The government should be rushing to improve the oversight and care in its sprawling detention system to protect all detainees.June 11, 2008
The immigration detention process is subjected to little oversight or accountability.May 24, 2008
It is increasingly difficult to pry records that should be open out of federal agencies.May 11, 2008
A bill would require the secretary of the Homeland Security Department to report all deaths in immigration detention within 48 hours to the Justice Department's inspector general as well as its own.May 7, 2008
As authorities continue rounding up illegal immigrants in these harsh days of ever-stricter enforcement, the potential for abuse will grow largely out of sight.May 6, 2008
Immigration detainees and their families lack basic ways to get information when things go wrong.May 5, 2008
The Senate immigration bill that is lumbering toward final passage is overloaded with provisions that will make life harsher and more unfair for immigrants.June 27, 2007
Lawmakers and government investigators are examining deaths of immigrants who die while in custody as immigration detention system swells to meet demands for stricter enforcement of immigration laws; family members and advocates have difficulty getting information about those who die in custody of immigrant detention, patchwork of federal, private and local facilities; new Immigration and Customs Enforcement report finds that 62 immigrants have died in custody since 2004; immigration officials ...June 26, 2007
Questions are being raised about the treatment in jail of a detained immigrant who hanged himself.February 23, 2007
A case before a federal court of appeals has linked the Bush administration's methods of interrogating prisoners to a sharp change in the standards of humanitarian law at home.March 11, 2005
Edwin Bulus, who fled Nigeria after members of family were jailed for allegedly plotting coup against military regime, has been detained by Immigration and Naturalization Service since arriving at Kennedy International Airport in May 1995, and his treatment has sometimes been harsh; is accused by Federal Government of entering country with false documents, and has since been denied parole while request for asylum is pending; asylum advocates describe handling of case by immigration service as K...April 1, 1997
SEARCH 12 ARTICLES ABOUT IN-CUSTODY DEATHS:
Explore a Detention Watch graphic showing the locations of immigration detention facilities across the country.
A list of resources as selected by researchers and editors of The New York Times.