men and logical fallacies

thinking about my overwhelming experience that ad hominem attacks are often made by men. in political arguments, especially over palestine and other decolonial questions, men will very quickly resort to personal attacks rather than offer cogent counter arguments. it’s no coincidence that women are perennially stereotyped as ‘emotional,’ by men, when the most common logical fallacies are what they reach for instinctively. perhaps that’s the nature of guilt – to project one’s shortcomings/offenses onto the other.

Palestine and Vietnam

Viet Thanh Nguyen: Even as one branch of Asian American culture goes corporate & representational, another branch follows Edward Said’s insights and connects East/Southeast Asian “Orientals” to Arab “Orientals.” Hence, to be Asian American is also to decolonize & align with the Palestinian cause.

Said himself, in ORIENTALISM’s conclusion, connects the Vietnam War to American Orientalism & dissects western media’s representations of Muslims in a way that shows a complete parallel to how the Vietnamese are represented. Gooks then, Muslims now, fulfilling the same function.

Impossible to watch the IDF bombing and shelling Gaza and not think about American war strategies in Viet Nam, carried out in utter disregard of Vietnamese life and not caring to distinguish between combatants and civilians.

And blaming the Vietnamese for the conditions that the Americans created, as Israel is blaming the Palestinians for making the IDF bomb and shell them, a ludicrous argument that a lot of western media is just repeating.

In sum, one cannot be anti-racist without being anti-colonial and decolonizing. For Asian Americans not to see our common cause with other oppressed peoples means that we are not genuinely anti-racist. We’re just self-interested.

Palestine reading list by Yara Asi

Activist friends often ask me for a Palestine reading list. Here is one from Yara Asi. It is public, pls feel free to share.
First, some foundational classics (a lot has changed since these came out, but still applicable and valuable):

  1. The Question of Palestine- Edward Said
  2. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine- Ilan Pappe
  3. The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-Development- Sara Roy
    Newer books, but will likely be classics:
  4. The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine- Rashid Khalidi
  5. Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine- @4noura
  6. Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement- Angela Davis
    Others with a unique viewpoint:
  7. The Only Language They Understand- @NathanThrall
  8. The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine- @BenEhrenreich
  9. Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance- @TareqBaconi
  10. Blind Spot: America & the Palestinians- @elgindy_
  11. Except for Palestine- @marclamonthill & @MJPlitnick
  12. Palestinian Village Histories: Geographies of the Displaced- Rochelle Davis
  13. Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Palestinian Exile- Diana Allan
    Some fiction:
  14. Speak, Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Folktales- Ibrahim Muhawi & Sharif Kanaana
  15. Salt Houses- @HalaNAlyan
  16. Palestine +100: Stories from a Century after the Nakba- @BasmaGhalayini
  17. Mornings in Jenin- @sjabulhawa
  18. The Book of Disappearance- Ibitisam Azem
    And I couldn’t let you go without some cookbooks:
  19. Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother’s Kitchen- @palestinesplate
  20. The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey- @gazamom
  21. Craving Palestine: A Cookbook (a fundraising compilation)

    More books recommended by others:

    The Palestine Question in International law by @VictorKattan
    @AliAbunimah’s “One Country: A Bold Proposal To End The Israeli-Palestinian Impasse” and also “The Battle For Justice In Palestine”
    Palestine – a graphic novel by Joe Sacco
    Memory for Forgetfulness – poetry by Mahmoud Darwish

Fuck Your Lecture on Craft, My People Are Dying by Noor Hindi

thank u Chen Chen for sharing this poem. i am writing a paper about language right now, esp the violence of having to use the colonizer’s language and thus inserting them between oneself and the world, erasing oneself by losing one’s mother tongue and one’s collective memory bank. but i am also writing about cesaire and achebe and how they took the colonizer’s language and exploded it — forced it to understand them, the people it had violated. i shall add this poem by noor hindi to the list.

[POEM] Fuck Your Lecture on Craft, My People Are Dying by Noor Hindi

Colonizers write about flowers.
I tell you about children throwing rocks at Israeli tanks
seconds before becoming daisies.
I want to be like those poets who care about the moon.
Palestinians don’t see the moon from jail cells and prisons.
It’s so beautiful, the moon.
They’re so beautiful, the flowers.
I pick flowers for my dead father when I’m sad.
He watches Al Jazeera all day.
I wish Jessica would stop texting me Happy Ramadan.
I know I’m American because when I walk into a room something dies.
Metaphors about death are for poets who think ghosts care about sound.
When I die, I promise to haunt you forever.
One day, I’ll write about the flowers like we own them.

End hate in Palestine

Respectfully, I would like to ask what workshops, guest lectures, actions or even op-eds have been forthcoming from the Levine Center to End Hate as a response to the spectacular hate and violence we are seeing from Israel, violence enacted on the bodies of Palestinians, including children (nine kids have been killed in Gaza). Pls call them and ask: (585) 461-0490. The Levine Center is part of the Jewish Federation, which supports the occupation of Palestine. Yet the Center has embedded itself in anti-racism work. We need to hold them accountable. One cannot fight racism in one context and buttress it in another.

Noura Erakat and Mariam Barghouti in the Washington Post: As May 15 marks the 73rd commemoration of the mass expulsion of Palestinians from cities such as Haifa, Tarshiha and Safad in 1948, let the world bear witness to Jerusalem today. This is how refugees are made, this is our ongoing Nakba. Our freedom struggle is not for a state but for belonging to the land, to remain on it, to keep our homes, to resist erasure. But somehow calling it by its name on social media, revealing to the world what has been happening for decades, seems more offensive than our ongoing displacement at gun point. There’s no denying the reality: This is Zionist settler colonialism, where if one settler does not take our homes, another settler will. When will the world open its eyes to this injustice and respond appropriately? We do not need more empty both sides-isms, we need solidarity to overcome apartheid.

George Jackson in the Sun of Palestine

The overlaps between Palestinian and Black liberation movements <3

How did a poem by Palestinian poet, Samih al-Qasim, come to be known and published under George Jackson’s name, in English translation? George Jackson, a Black revolutionary writer, was incarcerated in California for more than a decade, until he was killed in 1971 by prison guards. Among the ninety-nine books Jackson had in his cell at the time of his death, one was “Enemy of the Sun,” a collection of Palestinian resistance poetry. For four decades, the title poem of the collection has circulated in Black Panther newspapers and other venues under George Jackson’s name. In this episode, Professor Greg Thomas discusses his recovery of this shared history, and the traveling exhibition that emerged from his research. Listen here.

The Warp & Weft – Eleventh Set of Stories

Today on Mother’s Day, we release the last set of Warp & Weft stories brought to u via our collab with Rochester Contemporary Art Center! In this special set, we have a story about the reassessment of one’s life by Gulrukh Syed, another about the draw of the open road by Saira Murtza, a poetic story about introspection/extrospection by Rajesh Barnabas, and one about a life in theater by Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp. Finally, a weaving together of all the stories thru an art object created by Karen Faris. Read, listen, look at maraahmedstudio.com. This is an ongoing project – pls stay engaged and let us know if u want to share a story!

Repost from Rochester Contemporary Art Center:

What Makes Us Who We Are by Gulrukh Syed
Over the last few months, I have allowed myself to pause a little and introspect, to understand my own mind. I guess the pandemic and a few major changes in my relationships have forced me to do so. [Photo: Jahanzeb Sye

The Open Road – Discovery, Freedom and Healing by Saira Murtza
I have often wondered why traveling down an open road provides me with a certain freedom and healing seldom felt elsewhere. Though we may travel down the same highways, and drive past the same mile markers, the aging structures and familiar visited rest stops, each of us imprints our own impressions of a world based on our own experiences, leaving footprints of our own story in the landscape.

The End of Isolation/Introspection Extrospection by Rajesh Barnabas
So I must confess, I am everything. I am the galaxy of galaxies. Agreed that philosophers have wrongly pointed out the errors of my theorem, that testimony is unscientific, that knowledge only arrives when two or more people can experience it. But I tell you, I am the universe. [Photo: Megha Barnabas]

A Life in Theater by Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp
I was driving today listening to a random playlist when a song from ‘Les miserables’ began to play. I found myself overcome with emotion. While music often impacts me, it wasn’t that. [Photo: Cheryl Adams Johnson]

The Warp and Weft Of It All by Karen Faris: An artistic response to the archive

solidarity with sheikh jarrah

solidarity with sheikh jarrah and palestinian worshippers attacked by israeli police inside al aqsa mosque. there are no limits to israeli barbarity. boycott, divestment, sanctions.

Islam al Khatib: I am a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon. What I’m currently witnessing in Palestine in real time is what my grandparents survived. It is ethnic cleansing. It breaks my heart to be here, away from my people. But it also warms my heart to see waves of solidarity from across the globe.