Running Circles

we are strong together

the struggles seem a-plenty
the solutions too far and too few
we squabble over space amongst ourselves
while our world is constantly shrinking
squeezing us too tight
that we must ration our breaths

we’re too busy running circles
we’ve dropped the basics along the way
it’s time
to slowen our pace
time to go back
pick up the pieces
of ourselves and each other we’ve left behind

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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.

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

The Africa I Envision – #TheAfricaWeWant/Need

#TheAfricaWeWant

I envision an Africa
Where our little ones grow up
Believing the world is their oyster
Knowing that whatever dreams they may have,
‘Their dreams are valid’
And not only are pockets packed with dreams
But dreams also pack pockets

An Africa
Where our elders are well taken care of
Because we’re not only thinking about the ‘youth bulge’ but also the resulting ‘aging bulge’
Where our youth are not robbed of today at the promise of tomorrow
Where our educators, our healers, our artists, activists and creatives are valued
Where we tell, retell and value his and her stories equally

An Africa
Where our dignity cannot be bought or sold for a dollar
Where we don’t have to fight to survive
Where we don’t struggle for
Sima/Ugali/Foufou/Injera/Aish
Or Freedom

An Africa of
Solidarity and Sisterhood
Beauty and Brotherhood
Unity but not uniformity
Where the multiplicity of our voices strengthen us

Where our Africanness is not determined
By the shade of our skin
Our ability to Afro-speak
Dress in ‘African’ garb
There is no shade of African
#TheAfricaWeWant is one
Where we recognize
‘I am not African because I was born in Africa,
But because Africa was born in me’

I envision
Seamless borders
Where no visas are required for African citizens
Where I can travel freely from Cairo to Capetown,
By road or rail
Where my journey from Dakar to Mogadishu is not punctuated by a stop over in Europe
Where the color of my passport is only a mere technicality

I envision
An Africa of conscious citizens
That would rather take a stand than take a seat
An Africa that respects its people and the planet
And an Africa that reflects the realities, aspirations and ambitions of its people

I envision
An Africa where our voices matter
Not simply at the ballot boxes
An Africa where half of our 55 nations have females heading them
An Africa which has no room for rulers preaching ‘democrazy’
No room for impunity
Where leaders realize they are public servants
Hired and fired by the will of the people
Where the bellies of people trump pockets of the high & mighty

An Africa
Where war drums and guns are silenced
Overwhelmed by the tranquility of peace
Where police protect rather than harass
Where we critique our governments without risking our lives

An Africa
Where harmful practices – FGM, early and forced marriages
Mothers dying giving life, children on the streets
Disease and poverty
Are confined to story books

Where security is defined by
Satiated bellies, healthy bodies, educated minds,
The safety of our streets, our homes, our schools
Our communities

I envision
An Africa where we pull each other up
For when one is down, so are we all

I envision
An Africa of the highest standards
Where “TIA” is a statement of excellence
Because there’s no room for mediocrity in #TheAfricaWeWant & Need

I envision an Africa that is the epitome of
Equality
Integrity
Solidarity
And self-sufficiency

One in which all members of our African community lead and live lives of dignity, respect and justice.

This is not only #TheAfricaWeWant, but also #TheAfricaWeNeed if we are not only to survive, but to thrive for generations to come.

#PanAfricanism

tasfa

She asked me,
What is this thing called Pan-Africanism?
Who is Pan-Africanism?
Is he/she/it still alive?

I didn’t have the answers for her.
In fact, I had more questions.

Was it a he/she/it?
Was it a baby waiting to be nurtured?
An elder who’d passed on without passing anything on?
Had it left behind any heirs to take up what it had started?

I didn’t know because all the seats
Where such conversations took place seemed
(Pre)occupied by men of another generation
They told me what they thought I should know
The rest, apparently didn’t concern me

But I was having trouble digesting what I’d been fed
I wanted to live Pan-Africanism
Breathe it, grow it, build it, share it
So that I may know it as intimately as they seemed to

Is it the United States of Africa?
Seamless borders
One people?

Is it that pain in my right
That I feel as strongly in my left?
Is it her hunger that gnaws equally at me?
His thirst that I can’t seem to quench for myself?
Is it blood beyond kin?
Is it where I dry the tears you cry?

Is it decisions made that transcend time and space?

Is it evolution or revolution?
Freedom or regulation?
A struggle or a celebration?

Is it Lumumba, Selassie, Fanon or Sankara?
Or Cisse, Mongella, Neto, the female Mandela’s, Machel’s, Nkrumah’s?
Often forgotten, without whom the sky would’ve fallen

Is it anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anti-establishment?
Authoritarian or totalitarian?
My way or no way?
Or there is no one way but let’s discover what is way?

Is it truth?

Is it a place where none is too good for the other?
Or a place where we’re too busy being better?

Where your fears become mine
As do your sorrows
So we fight them together

Where the tears cried or withheld
By the river in the South ail me in the North
Because our veins through which it runs are inseparable
And so are our dreams
Our aspirations
And our deepest hopes

Where the death and demise
Of one is that of all
As is victory

Where the sum of all is the sum of one

What are the qualifications?
Is there a cut off age/bracket?
Is it a reserve for the literati?

Must one speak African?
Converse in Afro-speak?
Be blessed with a particular accent?
Is it a matter of attire—
“Where are your African clothes!?”
A hairdo or a hairdid?
A birthrite or a birthplace?

Is it a theory, an ideal?
A panacea, a place to aspire to?

Is it a was, is, or will be?

Is it even an ism?

©copyright, Nebila Abdulmelik, May 2013

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