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Fiction by Norwegian Women

Monday, July 28, 2014

Palestinian Artist Nabil Anani

This is the work of Palestinian artist Nabil Anani.  To learn more about him and his most current work in response to what is presently happening in Gaza, visit here:

By Nabil Anani
By Nabil Anani
By Nabil Anani
By Nabil Anani

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blood by Naomi Shihab Nye

Gaza by Everitte Barbee 

by Naomi Shihab Nye

“A true Arab knows how to catch a fly in his hands,"
my father would say. And he’d prove it,
cupping the buzzer instantly
while the host with the swatter stared.

In the spring our palms peeled like snakes.
True Arabs believed watermelon could heal fifty ways.
I changed these to fit the occasion.

Years before, a girl knocked,
wanted to see the Arab.
I said we didn’t have one.
After that, my father told me who he was,
“Shihab”—“shooting star”—
a good name, borrowed from the sky.
Once I said, “When we die, we give it back?”
He said that’s what a true Arab would say.

Today the headlines clot in my blood.
A little Palestinian dangles a toy truck on the front page.
Homeless fig, this tragedy with a terrible root
is too big for us. What flag can we wave?
I wave the flag of stone and seed,
table mat stitched in blue.

I call my father, we talk around the news.
It is too much for him,
neither of his two languages can reach it.
I drive into the country to find sheep, cows,
to plead with the air:
Who calls anyone civilized?
Where can the crying heart graze?
What does a true Arab do now?


*Artwork: by Everitte Barbee

The text for this piece is Surah 85: Al-Buruj written exactly once, starting in the darkest area read from top to bottom, and then continuing continuing in the lighter text, and finally finishing in the lightest areas, representing the post 1967 settled land.

The map of Palestine is depicted showing the different borders as they have changed over time. The darkest area represents land which was given to Israel by the United Nations in 1948, the slightly less dark areas represent land captured by Israel in the war immediately following its creation. The lightest grey areas represent land which Israel has illegally settled since the war of 1967 when it invaded neighboring countries, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. The white areas represent land which the remaining Palestinian Arab population is allowed work and live in.

To see more of this artist's work:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

“Running Orders” by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

As many of you know my daughter just recently graduated from high school and will be off to university by the end of the summer. Despite all of our excitement and joy for her future, we are so heavy with the events of our world, especially what is happening in Gaza.
Yesterday, some friends gathered to wish Sojourner well and during this gathering we decided to read a poem, in turn, entitled “Running Orders” by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, to consciously remind ourselves that all is not well with the world. This exercise, poetry, is our means of keeping the people of Palestine in our hearts.
Here is the link to our reading:

Running Orders
by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

"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

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.

We aren’t trying to kill you.
It doesn’t matter that
you can’t call us back to tell us
the people we claim to want aren’t in your house
that there’s no one here
except you and your children
who were cheering for Argentina
sharing the last loaf of bread for this week
counting candles left in case the power goes out.
It doesn’t matter that you have children.
You live in the wrong place
and now is your chance to run
to nowhere.

It doesn’t matter
that 58 seconds isn’t long enough
to find your wedding album
or your son’s favorite blanket
or your daughter’s almost completed college application
or your shoes
or to gather everyone in the house.
It doesn’t matter what you had planned.
It doesn’t matter who you are
Prove you’re human.
Prove you stand on two legs.
- Running Orders, by Lena Khalaf Tuffaha
via @Pacinthe

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition

Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition

A prize of $1,000 and publication for a chapbook-length poetry collection in print edition and eBook format. Open to ALL. International entries are welcome. Multiple submissions are accepted. The top-ten finalists will be offered publication. All entries will be considered for publication.
Submit up to 26 pages of poetry, PLUS bio, acknowledgments, SASE and cover letter with a $15 entry fee. To submit online please use its online submissions manager:

or mail entry and fee to
Open Chapbook Competition
Finishing Line Press
P O Box 1626
Georgetown, KY 40324 USA

NEW DEADLINE! Postmark Deadline: Sept. 15, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

Nadine Gordimer, Warrior of the Imagination, Dies At 90

Nadine Gordimer 

Nadine Gordimer wearing an Arab necklace, 1953.
Photo: Leon Levson. Nadine Gordimer's private archive
A gathering of laureates: from left, Nadine Gordimer (1991 winner), Derek Walcott (1992), Wole Soyinka( 1986)and Toni Morrison (1993).© nytimes (300405)
Nelson Mandela and Nadine Gordimer in 1993. Photograph: Louise Gubb/© Louise Gubb/CORBIS SABA

 Read more about Gordimer and her committed work:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

British-born Palestinian Rapper Shadia Mansour Sings the Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish

SInger/Rapper Shadia Mansour sings Darwish/ Photo retrieved from The Narcicyst featuring Shadia Mansour "Hamdulillah" Official Music Video

Photo by Eamoon McCabe/Guardian -2008: Palestinians hold a candle-light vigil in Ramallah, to mourn the death of Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish

On This Earth What Makes Life Worth Living
By Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Karim Abuawad

On this earth what makes life worth living:

the hesitance of April

the scent of bread at dawn

an amulet made by a woman for men

Aeschylus’s works

the beginnings of love

moss on a stone

the mothers standing on the thinness of a flute

and the fear of invaders of memories.

On this earth what makes life worth living:

September’s end

a lady moving beyond her fortieth year without losing any of her grace

a sun clock in a prison

clouds imitating a flock of creatures

chants of a crowd for those meeting their end smiling

and the fear of tyrants of the songs.

On this earth what makes life worth living:

on this earth stands the mistress of the earth

mother of beginnings

mother of endings

it used to be known as Palestine

it became known as Palestine

my mistress:

I deserve, because you’re my mistress

I deserve life.

* Here is a link to Shadia Mansour singing some of this poem with Darwish reading some of it in Arabic. Riveting !