Category Archives: Media

Mohammed Assaf THE Arab Idol

 

Assaf

 

Mohammed Assaf is not merely the Palestinian\Gazan who won Arab Idol. No my friends, he isn’t just that, he is now a symbol. He’s a symbol for everything that we Palestinians stand for. A symbol of hope, love, survival, steadfastness and a symbol of what an honest competition is or should be like. Through his voice, his strong confident voice he reached the hearts of all Palestinians all over the world, the hearts of all people all over the world even, if it’s safe to say! Through his voice he united us, he united Palestine and Palestinians together. We all voted for him, we all cheered for him and we all “ a’aleena al kufyya.”

Yesterday, June 22nd 2013 – yes I have marked the date on my calendar and so should you- yesterday was the happiest day Palestine ever witnessed in 66 years. Ever. As soon as Annabella Hilal the presenter of Arab Idol announced “Mohammed Assaf” the winner people cheered their lungs out, god knows I did! The streets were jammed with cars waving the Palestinian flag, car horns wouldn’t stop making noisy, random happy beeps you wouldn’t actually figure out whether a car was beeping at you to move your car away or if it was just beeping the happy beeps all cars were beeping, fireworks were all over the sky that I think we may have harmed the Ozone layer! Children were happy as they could even be, I saw children dancing in the streets, cheering Mohammed Assaf’s last name and even some were poking their heads out of the cars’ windows carrying pictures of Assaf. I mean it was 12:00am and the sky and the spirit and the ecstatic vibe which filled Gaza made it feel like it was noon. Gaza was genuinely happy, we really needed this. Gaza was the definition and incarnation of the word “Happiness.” We could have never been more proud. Ever since he auditioned for the show and we have been living the Palestinian dream, and yesterday it came true.

So congratulations a thousand times more to Mohammed Assaf  the face of Palestine.

 

assaf

 

FW  asaf  ppl

peeps  20130623_000428  strts  assaf  20130622_224256

 

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Gossip Drone

Spotted: supposedly “Grey’s Anatomy” on TV

    

Waky waky people of Gaza.. Drones here, your one and only source into the absolute and utter collective irritation!

Now I know this might come as a surprise but I want to actually “apologies” for a change! Leaving you for an hour this morning did not just feel right and I still feel guilty. I really want to make it up to you. I must clear my conscience, you understand right? So as they say “the sooner the better” how about tonight? Just us. It will be romantic. You know no electricity, no lights just us and candles. I promise I will do my best to drone your heads off and of course take some pictures in the process. BTW If you were lucky enough and there was electricity in your area you might want to cancel your TV plans.

Looking forward to your well-written angry tweets!
You know you don’t love me XOXO

Gossip Drone.

     

    

The idea of this blog is obviously from “Gossip Girl”


Let The Bad Times Roll

They say when it rains it pours. I guess that idiom sums up my article today, because in the past couple of weeks Gaza had the privilege of setting this idiom on motion.

It all began with a beautiful sunny Sunday morning May 6th the first day of the “Palestine Festival of  Literature 2012.” A group of remarkable Arab and Palestinian writers came to Gaza carrying nothing but sheer excitement of entering Gaza for the first time in their lives, books and a desire to symbolically break the siege. The PalFest events and workshops took place from May 6th up to May 9th. I attended most of the events, and I can now say that the 6th, 7th and 8th of May were the best days of my life, so far. Meeting all these writers and Egyptian activists was overwhelming. They felt very close. I felt like I’ve seen them before and that I knew them already.

    

Specially Dr. Ahdaf Soueif I don’t think I will ever meet a woman as beautiful, as calm, as wise, as sweet, as kind, as loving as her. There is something about her that makes you just love her. Selma Dabbagh who is a British Palestinian writer the one with the “meticulous” handwriting -as she described it when she wrote me an autograph- the minute I spoke with her I felt like she was a friend of mine, the way she talks is so casual that you can’t help but feel like she’s your friend. 

   

As for the wisely impulsive, dynamic, energetic and out-spoken-never-mind-the-consequences person of all -that would be Alaa Abd El Fattah, (an Egyptian blogger and activist) He always spoke with such passion that made you just want to get up shout out and go make a revolution (believe me I thought about it). His energy is infectious and he consumes your thoughts.

Another person that I will never forget is, Amr Ezzat who is also an Egyptian blogger and activist. He was the philosophical, candid and astute guy of the group. He’s the kind of guy that knows what to say and when, seriously, the guy knows when and how to hit!

  

And who can forget Eskenderella band! They gave us something different to the usual -Something we rarely experience here in Gaza. They gave us a true Egyptian “Tarab.” Their concert was the concert to remember. Perfect. 

    

PalFest would have been the best thing that ever happened to Gaza for years now if not for what happened in the last day. A misfortune I would call it. Regardless, I think I would be speaking for all when I say that their very existence in Gaza and the fact that they even thought of making the festival in Gaza this year meant a lot to us. It got us out of the solitary confinement that we were living in, the feeling that we are isolated and we never get to be mentioned but in bad-NEWS-channels. They left a mark on each and every one of us I will never forget them and I will never forget the beautiful days I spent with them. I was deeply sad the day they left and I just can’t wait for the day they decide to come back for a visit again. Now we are back on the island of isolation, again!

After the incident that happened in the last day of the festival, it was downhill from there on. Because then  the condition of 8 of the Palestinian prisoners who were on a hunger strike defying the inhumane treatment they are being treated within Israeli prisons intensified. Two of them were believed to be close to death, and the rest were in a critical condition. But now the situation is a little bit alleviated and they did get some of their rights, which is not even close to enough. Freedom is “the enough” we need. A hint of justice is never enough.

And then, the 15th of May the day that commemorates Nakba or  “Day of the Catastrophe.” The catastrophe that befell us Palestinians in 1948. On this day, thousands of Palestinians organized demonstrations in Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem and Jerusalem and they all resulted in clashes with Israeli troops and police who fired tear gas, metal pellets and rubber bullets at the protesters in an attempt to break up the demonstrations.

    

My “Translation 101” teacher once translated “when it rains it pours to us” as..

Lamma ttayyen bt.tayyen   “لما تطين بتطين”

Which basically means when things go wrong, a lot of things go wrong at the same time.  I could have never come up with a better translation or even a better description for all this.

ps. You can follow the hastags #PalHunger #PalFestGaza and  #Nakba for more information.


The Trending Topics of Gaza

Attention citizens of the world, I wish to get your attention.  Message from Anonymous person from Gaza. If you are planning on visiting Gaza there are a few things/facts that you must be aware of, I repeat MUST be aware of. 

First things first, Gaza is not a place to be feared and Gazans are probably the most hospitable people on earth. But, (and there is always a but) you need to know that Gaza is like “twitter” everyday there is something trending. So here are the most trending topics in Gaza that you need to know, Just in case you decided to come down here :

 #ElectricityCrisis
See, If you’re planning on spending a long time working on an assignment or a project on your computer, make sure to “save” every single thing you do every two seconds. You never know, the electricity might fail you and go off at any time. Happens a lot.

#Unemployment
In Gaza, it’s funny to say “I’m unemployed” because the answer that you will most likely get is “aren’t we all honey!”

#GazansHeartPDF
PDFs are a Gazans best friend. If you’re a bookworm, Well don’t be. Go and find another hobby, because there aren’t a lot of books around here. So once you decide to come to Gaza, bring your books with you.

#F16s
You have to keep the windows of your house a little open. Whether it’s winter, summer or even spring, just keep them open at all times. You never know when the F16s would feel like laying some rockets here or there.

#Drones
And the Oscar for the most annoying “unmanned aerial vehicle” whose buzzing keeps you up at night and in the morning distort the signal of your TV goes to -DRONES.

 #Vocabunoia
In gaza you have to prepare yourself for paranoia along with vocabulary change. I’ll give you a couple of examples:
As for the Paranoia:
A door slammed “oh god was that an explosion?”
Thunder “F16, not F16, F16, not F16”
And the Vocabulary Change:
A mother nagging “ok ok I’ll do it  just stop droning all over my head”
A student nailing a presentation “did you see, I practically bombed the class!”

#Classico
In Gaza, the most exciting days of the year are: Eid days, First and last days of Ramadan, all the holidays, any other day that causes a no-school-day and of course Classico day. You know in Gaza football is a big deal, just like anywhere else. 85% of people around here are FC Barcelona fans and the rest are Real Madrid fans. True story!

#Teachers
In Gaza my friend, the yellow-page celebrities who are always traced by paparazzi and autograph fans and the one’s whose news is always the major topic in gossip are teachers. No, I’m not kidding.

#Facebook
Believe it or not, in Gaza FB is the 99%

#GazaBeach
Come and see our beach yourself, it’s even more beautiful than the famous Miami beach It even takes it of the map ! “Ok, I may have got carried away a little with that.”

#BachelorParties
Weddings and engagement parties are increasing these days. You will enjoy the bachelor parties guys hold at the middle of the streets where everyone is invited to come and dance and probably sing! I am not going to describe what these kinds of parties are like for I am not a spoiler, come visit Gaza and see for yourself. 

#GroomlessWeddings
Now as for the weddings themselves, you will see that groomless weddings are a trend in Gaza. The groom would be a Gazan who works abroad escaping unemployment here, and could not come to his own wedding fearing any complication in the borders.

#GazaChildren
In Gaza the children’s wildest dream is to fly a kite, they don’t know any better. 

#GazaSky
I don’t know how to break this to you but, in Gaza the only natural scene that we enjoy is the sky, no mountains, no waterfalls, no colored trees, no hills, no rivers no nothing. Just a beautiful sky and a beautiful sea.

#GazaWar
ever since 2008 and all we talk about it the war. the war has left a mark or i’d rather say a scar on our lives. 

The reason why I wrote this is mainly because I read an article on the travel.nytimes.com yesterday, (no I do not visit that website normally, not even ever) it’s just that the title of the article kind of caught my attention “The 45 places to go in 2012” I thought it was interesting so I scanned it. I saw London, Cuba, Moscow, Antarctica, Jordan and even Space! and to my surprise I didn’t find Gaza! so I wrote this in order to enlighten you all about Gaza and show you how it is worth visiting. You know despite all the trends and all.


“Have a blast”

My Thrilling birthday..

  

So as you can see, it was all going nice and cool until this one girl wrote on my wall..


30 minutes later,




and of course the “thrilling” news just kept on coming..

 

then another friend said to me..

and finally..


the thing is Gazans please be careful what you wish for your friends on their birthday specially this “have a blast”!


Halo!

A mighty, majestical, chills provoking, wide halo is around Gaza’s moon right now.

Family reactions:

Mom: feels like a heaven’s door is open.

Dad: he was saying prayers “Dua”

Sister: I envy those scientists who study the moon.. telescopes and all lucky basterds!

Me: I gotta take a good picture of this! This is soooo blogged

My little brother: I’m calling my brother in Dubai.

Brother from Dubai: say whaaaat! How come we can’t see this?

Other brother: he’s the one who told me! i was watching “The Change-up”.

My old Niece: where?

Uncle: they say there’s a planet approaching the moon or something..

Niece:  I prayed! Maaan this is the end of the world. (I think you should know that she’s a drama queen)

Her little brother: Dad are we in 2012? (he’s a drama queen too)

Her older brother: I shouldn’t have watched 2012! That damn movie has been hunting my dreams ever since I watched it.. and now.. man this is a sign (they all are a bunch of drama queens)

Her little sister: a sleep

Her little, little sister: I’m cold, are you done taking pictures yet?

My old niece after seeing it now with us on the roof: why are you  all so obsessed with this movie? *now talking to me alone* between you and I, I didn’t like it at all! i mean look at this! spooky

Me: guys you’re picking the wrong movie, this is “Armageddon” i mean a nother planet approaching the moon! hello! Bruce Willis, Armageddon. End of discussion

The older brother: you have no idea what you’re saying this is 2012!

All: hell yeah, 2012!

My niece Yasmeen: God loves us, and we live in a beautiful city 

Her sister Asmaa from Egypt: Lucky! 

  


Drones are not an option

Gazangly speaking, I like the roaring of the F16s better than the buzzing of the drones. I mean the F16s just pass by they don’t stick around buzzing nonstop driving everybody crazy. And you know what, F16s sound like PHHHEEEWWwww… and that would be it, gone. Unlike drones. Drones my friend are different and not just any “different” they are “hostile different.” They go like DRRRRRrrrrrrrRRR!! Yes our drones don’t simply buzz “ZZZzz” they are more advanced. They DRR. I guess it’s because we are special people! ergo we get the special stuff. Drones don’t stop for gas, they don’t get rusty and the dude behind them doesn’t get a lunch break or break at all, so I think it’s safe to say that we are endowed with “full option” drones. We’re damn lucky! [sounds like an add.!]

Anyway, you know what I like most about drones? They deliver! They do their jobs hetero-perfectly, that no matter what you do: shut the windows, suffocate yourself with your billow, kill yourself, watch a movie (if you ever could! Because they distort the signal) or even drug yourself to sleep they would be there faithfully drring your head off! Actually if you did get lucky and slept at night, Guess what.. they pop in your dreams “Whoops where do you think you’re going? You can sleep but you can’t get deaf Drrrr!” and let’s face it we can’t just walk around all day with our headphones on! We gotta give our ears some rest! Hear that drones “A REST.”

Drones brought out all sorts of creativity in all people around Gaza. Some people discovered they can write, others found out that they can be real good photographers, others reviled their hidden poetry writing skills, others thought they should sign up for the next season of the X Factor because they figured out that they can actually holler! Sorry I mean sing and the others tweeted about it. You can check the hashtags #GazaMovies #DronesTaughMe #Drones  

So as long as “BIG BROTHER IS DRONING US”, drring all day long and night “especially night” we aint sleepin’ and we aint dreamin’ of sleepin’ and for that I would like to seize this opportunity and declare a sleeping strike! I will not sleep until those drones go away. Who’s with me? Gazans, puh-lease.. don’t kid yourselves, you all are in whether you like it or not! It’s not an option really.