Saturday, September 5, 2009

....With Palestine

poem by Anne Selden Annab

Darwish did not die for Palestine
Darwish lived for Palestine...

Darwish loved and died with Palestine
not for Palestine- WITH ... Darwish lived for life

For life as long as his own wide awareness could hold on
and as long as his own Palestinian eyes could see

his own Palestinian skin could feel
his own Palestinian heart could beat


for more new poems might be written
as long as his own Palestinian body and mind

could persevere

as long as any of us can...
as long as any flower might bloom

For dignity
For identity
For memory
For poetry
with Palestine

Do not exile the beloved poet
from his greatest glory
and the echo of all his words
"I come from there and remember"

poem copyright ©2009 Anne Selden Annab

My letter to the Guardian RE Ziad Asali's "If you build it, the state will come"

RE: Ziad Asali's "If you build it, the state will come"
comment I just left online
  • AnneSelden's profile picture AnneSelden

    05 Sep 09, 7:19pm (14 minutes ago)

    I do very much hope this "If you build it, the state will come" idea catches on to help infuse Palestine with the positive energy and attention it needs in order to survive- and thrive.

My letter to the Daily Star RE Peace urgently needs the radically new By Rami G. Khouri

RE: Peace urgently needs the radically new By Rami G. Khouri

Dear Sir,

Excellent to see Rami G. Khouri pointing out the importance of "Resolutions 181 and 194, which called for the partition of Palestine in 1947 and then addressed the Palestinian refugees’ rights in 1948."

Zionist ideologues like to argue that respecting the Palestinian refugees right to return destroys Israel- but clearly from the very beginning of this 60 year long 'peace process' honoring the idea of two states actually goes hand in hand with respecting the Palestinians' basic human rights :
UN Resolution 194 "Resolves
that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible"

The core issues really do need to be at the forefront of any serious effort to help shape a just and lasting peace for all the people.

Anne Selden Annab

My letter to the NYTimes RE U.S. Rebukes Israel Over Settlement Plan

RE: U.S. Rebukes Israel Over Settlement Plan

Dear Editor,

Good to see such a firm headline: "U.S. Rebukes Israel Over Settlement Plan". For everyone's sake, w
e the people of the world, and all our leaders and doers and thinkers should rise to the challenge of doing all we can to help stop the violence, the hate, the religious extremism, the bigotry, the delusions and the pervasive cynicism that is consuming and destroying so many innocent and vulnerable people on all sides of the many Israel/Palestine divides.

Anne Selden Annab

My letter to the Washington Post RE Jimmy Carter's The Elders' View Of the Middle East

RE: Jimmy Carter's The Elders' View Of the Middle East

Dear Editor,

From afar, it is easy to be convinced that a one state solution will inevitably bring justice and peace and all the many the benefits of real democracy to the oppressed and displaced people of historic Palestine.

But will it?

It is hard to imagine that things could become worse- but they can.

Carter, stepping up to bring attention to the importance of supporting a two state solution is wise to point out "A more likely alternative to the present debacle is one state, which is obviously the goal of Israeli leaders who insist on colonizing the West Bank and East Jerusalem."

Already the Palestinian refugee crisis is the largest, longest running refugee crisis in the world today. How many more Palestinians will Israel impoverish and displace because as things are today it is easily able to do exactly that?

Hussein Ibish recently explained on his Ibishblog why he wrote his newest book What's Wrong with the One-State Agenda?
"I am not an optimist who thinks it will be easy or inevitable to end the occupation and secure peace between Israel and Palestine, and I have no illusions about the difficulties and the considerable prospects for failure. However, I also have no illusions about the alternative, which is not a single, democratic state for all the Arabs and Jews between the river and the sea, or, for that matter, a nonviolent, Gandhian campaign of civil disobedience. The practical alternative is continued conflict, violence and occupation in an increasingly religious context that intensifies the process of turning a conflict that is difficult to resolve into one that is completely impervious to any solution. Neither Palestinians nor Israelis, nor their friends in the United States and around the world, can afford to believe that the other side is going to be vanquished, capitulate or simply abandon its national agenda and interests."

Anne Selden Annab

Friday, September 4, 2009

Palestinians protest against stolen land and kidnappings at night

The British countryside is home to the real sites behind Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and other works by the literary sisters

Moving along the Brontë Trail, Wayfarers walkers passed through the spectacular English countryside.

The Full Brontë

The British countryside is home to the real sites behind Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and other works by the literary sisters

  • By William Ecenbarger
  •, September 03, 2009

Yallah Underground Teaser #2

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Go Back to School With the Smithsonian!

Improving Education (2000). Image courtesy of the National Postal Museum.
September 3, 2009

Go Back to School With the Smithsonian!

American Art Museum

Picturing the 1930s is an immersive multimedia experience that provides a vision of what life was like during the Great Depression. Browse a virtual movie theater where you can watch interviews with artists working during the period, view artwork, listen to radio programs, watch short films and even create a documentary movie of your own. You can find this and other media-rich learning aids on the Classroom Activities site. For grades 6-12.

Teachers: get your pupils involved in the world of art with Student Podcasts. This program invites students to discuss pieces in the museum’s collection. For grades K-12.

Educators are also encouraged to browse the museum’s Education Resources, a page chock-full of lesson plans and ideas on how to incorporate the arts into the classroom. These guides encompass a wide variety of subjects such as history, science and literature. There are currently 28 guides available, and new guides are added three times a year. For grades K-12.

Environmental Research Center

Check out the Environmental Research Center’s Education and Outreach Programs for a host of hands-on science programs and activities that foster learning experiences in the field as well as in the classroom. If you’re a college undergrad or graduate student, also be sure to check out the Environmental Research Center’s professional training programs. For grades K-12 and collegiate students.


Smithsonian Folkways—the Institution’s nonprofit record label—offers a Tools for Teaching website that promotes cultural understanding through a series of lesson plans and education kits. Through studying music, students can enhance their understanding of other subject areas, such as history, geography, language arts and social studies. For grades K-12.

National Air and Space Museum

The Classroom Resources site offers learning guides and online activities that allow you to test your knowledge of the science and history of aeronautics. For grades K-12.

Educators can make use of the museum’s Teaching Resources, which include posters and teaching packets that cover a wide range of topics from how things fly to the structure of the universe. Also be sure to check out Educational Videoconferencing—programs that feature the museum’s staff and volunteers who use artifacts and photographs to teach the history and science of aeronautics. The videoconferences are geared to students in grades 3-5 and grades 8-12.

National Museum of American History

History Explorer is a resource for teachers, students and their families that invites you to investigate the museum’s artifacts and the stories they have to tell. For teachers, there are lesson plans and activities, as well as interactive media, designed to enhance the learning experience. For grades K-12.

Our Story is a resource for parents who would like to expand their child’s classroom experiences at home. This website is chock-full of activities, recommended reading and field trip ideas. For grades K-4.

National Postal Museum

The museum’s Curriculum Guides site offers a host of educational opportunities for students in grades K-12. Not just a means of exploring postal history, these guides will expand your knowledge of history and the visual arts. For grades K-Adult.

Also, be sure to check out Arago, the Postal Museum’s free online guide to the study of philately. Not only for people who are interested in stamp collecting, a host of online exhibits are available that will enhance your understanding of art, science and history. To see how stamps have been used in educational activities—and perhaps to generate some ideas of your own—check out Heroes on Stamps. For grades K-Adult.

National Zoo

Especially for educators, the zoo’s Curriculum Guides site offers a wide range of interdisciplinary student activities. For grades K-12.

If you’re planning a trip to the zoo this school year, be sure to check out the Field Trip Resources site for pre- and post-visit lesson materials and resources, as well as ideas for activities to do during your visit. For grades K-12.

The Smithsonian Biodiversity in the Classroom page will encourage students to explore the natural world and hone their math and science skills with a series of classroom lessons and outdoor activities. For grades 3-6.

Conservation Central, sponsored by FujiFilm, is designed to help kids learn about the importance of conservation and the challenges faced in preserving temperate-forest habitats—home of the Giant Panda. For grades 6-8.

UPDATE: We were remiss to not include the clearinghouse for Smithsonian education materials:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Randa Jarrar on A Map of Home

Randa Jarrar on A Map of Home

Q. Where would you say is home for you?

A. Right now I’m at my desk. I’m surrounded by these little toys and photos and objects that I’ve collected over the years. I’m happy here. It doesn’t matter where I am. I don’t think I need to be at a certain place to feel at home.

Randa Jarrar’s first novel, A Map of Home, tells the story of a girl coming of age in the Middle East and in middle America — Texas, to be precise. Jarrar chatted with Swati Pandey of Zócalo about her inspiration, how closely her character’s story hews to her own, and the work of Arab American writers.

AMAZON.COM: From America to the Middle East and back again- the sparkling story of one girl's childhood, by an exciting new voice in literary fiction

In this fresh, funny, and fearless debut novel, Randa Jarrar chronicles the coming-of-age of Nidali, one of the most unique and irrepressible narrators in contemporary fiction. Born in 1970s Boston to an Egyptian-Greek mother and a Palestinian father, the rebellious Nidali-whose name is a feminization of the word "struggle"-soon moves to a very different life in Kuwait. There the family leads a mildly eccentric middle-class existence until the Iraqi invasion drives them first to Egypt and then to Texas. This critically acclaimed debut novel is set to capture the hearts of everyone who has ever wondered what their own map of home might look like.