disappearing women

Originally posted on ku[to]starehe:

several years ago, i sat down in a matatu and a man touched my thigh. i told him to stop touching me. the man next to him told me it was because my skirt was too short.

i began to wear longer skirts.

two days after that, a man at odeon reached out and squeezed my breasts between his long fingers as if checking for ripe tomatoes. i told him to stop touching me. he told me my shirt was cut too low for him to resist.

i began to wear shirts with a higher neckline.

a few days after that, a man at work run his hand over my butt and smiled at me. i told him to stop touching me. he said my trousers hugged my butt very nicely, told me he was only being appreciative and if i didn’t want him to be, i shouldn’t wear such…

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Dream Keeper

By Langston Hughes

Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world

United Nations Climate Summit Opening Ceremony – A poem to my Daughter

Nebila Abdulmelik:

This was so moving, brought me to tears. Thank you for speaking your truth, and for speaking truth to power!

Originally posted on IEP JELTOK:

On 23 September 2014, I  addressed the Opening Ceremony of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit. I performed my new poem entitled “Dear Matafele Peinem” written to my daughter. My full statement, along with a live performance of the poem, can be viewed below, followed by the studio version, and the full text of the poem itself:

The clip below is a studio version which was recorded before the actual performance.

dear matafele peinam,

you are a seven month old sunrise of gummy smiles

you are bald as an egg and bald as the buddha

you are thunder thighs and lightning shrieks

so excited for bananas, hugs and

our morning walks past the lagoon

dear matafele peinam,

i want to tell you about that lagoon

that lucid, sleepy lagoon lounging against the sunrise

some men say that one day

that lagoon will devour you

they say it will gnaw at the…

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Westgate, A Year Ago

It was a year ago on Sunday that we were at the Storymoja Hay Festival, an annual literary fest that brings writers, poets, filmmakers, photographers, Creatives, artists and journalists to Nairobi for beautiful sessions delving into the arts and encouraging creative expression and exploration. The likes of Teju Cole, Kwame Dawes, Warsan Shire and Wole Soyinka have graced the festival. Last year, the highlight was to have been Kofi Awoonor. Unfortunately that never came to be. He was shot down, alongside 68 others during a siege in one of Nairobi’s premier malls, Westgate.

Incidentally September 21st also marks the International Day of Peace. How do we have peace when our bodies are continuously and unapologetically used as battlefields for others to fight with?! When our collective humanities are discarded for other more superficial and divisive identities? Until we are able to see the next person, not as a distant stranger, but as a brother or sister, as a fellow human being, we won’t be able to see sustained peace.

Running Orders

Nebila Abdulmelik:

#InSolidarity. #FreePalestine.

Originally posted on Love, InshAllah:

free

Running Orders

“They call us now.
Before they drop the bombs.
The phone rings
and someone who knows my first name
calls and says in perfect Arabic
“This is David.”
And in my stupor of sonic booms and glass shattering symphonies
still smashing around in my head
I think “Do I know any Davids in Gaza?”
They call us now to say
Run.
You have 58 seconds from the end of this message.
Your house is next.
They think of it as some kind of
war time courtesy.
It doesn’t matter that
there is nowhere to run to.
It means nothing that the borders are closed
and your papers are worthless
and mark you only for a life sentence
in this prison by the sea
and the alleyways are narrow
and there are more human lives
packed one against the other
more than any other place on earth
Just run.

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Bidding farewell – EID Mubarek

EID Mubarek to my entire Muslim Ummah. As we sadly bid farewell to the blessed month of Ramadan, I’m reminded that like was said with the death of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), “If you worship Muhammed (PBUH), he is dead. If you worship Allah, He is eternal.”

Similarly, if we worship Ramadan, it is gone. But if we worship Allah, He is always.

May the end of this month bring respite to the unrest, the injustice and the indignity raging across our globe – and the love that we need to counter all of this ugly.

In solidarity and struggle – today and always.

We’ve lost the last vestiges of our humanity

‘What makes it even more unconscionable, more horrific is that they’re being blamed for their own deaths – there’s a deliberate, systematic campaign to blame the victims….

Let’s put things in context. It’s very disingenuous to say no nation will accept being shelled by rockets…it’s the other way around, it’s exactly the other way around! No nation can accept to be imprisoned, besieged by air, by land, by sea and being starved and deprived of the most basic requirements for decent life….no nation can accept to be treated like defenseless canon fodder’ – Hanan Ashrawi

May we always remember Rasul’s words paraphrased:
“If one of you sees something wrong, change it with your hand; if you cannot, then with your tongue; if you cannot, then with your heart and this is the weakest [level of] faith…..there is no part of faith behind that, not even so much as a mustard seed.” – Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)

Take action.
Join the BDS movement.
Add your voice calling for a military embargo of Israel.
Demand that  companies who are contributing to the death, destruction, oppression, occupation and injustice to stop doing so.

In Solidarity and Struggle,

The Lion’s Daughter

In Solidarity – Resistance is Existence

Palestine

The constant bombardment and occupation, the arbitrary arrests and indefinite detention, the incessant killing – an entire family of 18 killed at once from an attack – the very real fear and reality of being bombed to non-existence – regardless if you’re an infant or an elder, a student or a fighter, the deliberate policy to suffocate existence and ability of people to live lives of dignity,  crushing any possibility for ‘loving thy neighbor’  for over half a century  – if that isn’t terrorism, I don’t know what is. We must join the BDS movement  –  we must boycott, divest and sanction Israel until it stops its systematic policies of state oppression, violence, destruction, apartheid and terror against the Palestinian people.

In Solidarity. Resistance Is Existence and Existence Is Resistance.

Further viewpoints:

Marwan Bishara – On Journalistic Responsibility: Media & Palestine

‘…a military occupation is a violence-based system managed through force; one that breeds more of the same. No act, terrible as it might be, could or should be seen separately from the larger system of violence governing an occupied territory. Separating individual cases of violence from the larger context of collective violence is morally irresponsible and journalistically misleading.

The occupation is not a theological or religious issue. Not a question of Muslim and Jew, Arab and Israeli. It’s about power, its pretexts and ramifications.’

Richard Falk – Tormenting Gaza

‘Granted that such indiscriminate rocket attacks are unlawful forms of resistance, but to single out this lesser type of violence and overlook the greater violence distorts the context in biased and unacceptable ways. Surely, the greater occasion of terror is that being inflicted on the hapless Gazans as disclosed by comparing the casualty figures, and surely the political condemnation by responsible governments and even more so by the UN should be directed at the aggressor, who also happens to be the only political actor with the means to end the escalating violence.

The international reaction to this latest crisis confirms for all with eyes to see that geopolitical alignments, not law or justice, dominate the diplomacy of leading western states and the UN, when it comes to the Middle East, and especially if it concerns Israel-Palestine, and never more so than in relation to Gaza.’

Here’s an interactive map that chronicles disproportionate attacks on Gaza since 2005 and 11 Infographs that break down the injustices.

Join the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement for justice, freedom and equality.

In Solidarity and Struggle,
The Lion’ Daughter

Ramadan – Satisfaction of My Soul

Ramadan-prep
I couldn’t put it any better:

‘…fasting is about gaining a deeper awareness and mindfulness of one’s self and, in turn, the world in which one is situated. From the outside it might seem like it’s about deprivation of food and drink. But by shifting focus away from a simple satiation of my stomach and looking more towards the satisfaction of my soul, I realize that are many different ways that I can nourish myself and many different parts of me that need to be nourished that I often times neglect, my heart being a primary amongst those….’
– Imam Khalid Latif

Jumah Kareem!

Ramadan Kareem

“Ramadan is a month long spiritual gym where we work on metaphysical muscles through more deliberate disciplines, prayer, reflections and worship.
It is an annual Muslim attempt to simultaneously grow vertically in their relationship with their Lord and horizontally with fellow human beings through emphatic and various acts of charity.
It is a month of self-auditing and self-evaluation.
May we all be able to bring ourselves to a level where we can accept and welcome all what Ramadan can give us.”
-Imam Abdullah Antepli

Ramadan

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