Saturday, January 10, 2009
The ordeal of Gaza......
Peace be upon you...
My heart is sad about what is happening in Gaza and its people for two weeks now, and wondering about the lowliness of this world we are living in?
There are cruel people, and there are cowards; cruel people who bomb by warplanes and kill the unarmed civilians with all malice and a dead conscience… and cowards- the neighbors who watch, condemn, and criticize with meaningless, empty words…
And there are the millions of civilians around the world; rallying, marching, sitting-in in protest, burning flags and raising slogans, but who cares?
And- the decision makers are watching, their coldness cannot be interpreted as keeping their nerves under control, but cowardness, slackness, and a conspiracy against those poor people in Gaza, for they abandoned them, leaving them under the daily savage bombardment, the shortage of water and food supplies, besieged in their homes which they cannot leave…
All these sites reminded me of the Iraq war in 2003, what we suffered under the daily bombardment while we were besieged in our homes, waiting for the bombing to calm down so we can send our boys to the bakery to stand in the long line, to get a few loafs of bread; while the electricity went out, and we abandoned the notion of refrigerators in our houses, and had to buy the vegetables each day for immediate cooking only… we had to spend the night in the light of lanterns, and the suffocating smell of kerosene… we listened to the news by a small battery-operated radio, hearing the world’s reaction about what is happening to us, feeling angry and sad because the world abandoned us… living in daily terror, no longer feeling the taste of sleep or comfort, our faces pale, our minds tired, our children fearful, shivering. These were pitch black days…
And now, poor Gaza is going through the same thing… we pray for them in each prayer; that God would give them the victory against their enemy, that their dead would be in heaven, that the living among them should be patient until the catastrophe is ended, that their enemy is destroyed, along with everyone who loves to be arrogant and a tyrant on this earth, that everyone who let them down should be let-down, or whoever collaborated with their enemy to hurt them, even if he was a Muslim, for then his punishment from God would be bigger and more severe, for agreeing to betray his brothers, and shedding their innocent blood…........
Then we sent money donations through professional organizations authorized to gather donations. We know this is not enough, but we believe in God and his justice, He will award everyone with what they deserve- if good, then they will get goodness, if evil, they will get evil. With God, nothing shall go astray in heaven or in earth, not even a grain of mustard (= the smallest possible thing)…
My heart is heavy with pain, but what good will words do?
In spite of the material and human loss that has befallen poor, sad Gaza, some people believe that the leadership of Gaza is a bunch of absurd adventurers, that the wise leaderships are those who bow to America and Israel, the leaderships that agreed to play the role of the crippled onlooker everyday, watching the children’s blood and children’s corpses, the cries and tears of mothers, but did nothing to stop those hideous crimes. These leaderships proved that they do not represent their people; for the people are boiling in anger, crying blood for Gaza and its people, while the leaderships always think about how to keep their positions, their chairs. This dilemma revealed the truth about positions; whether they are defeated, cowardly, opportunist, or honest, true nationalist.
What a shameful matter it is that Chavez; the communist leader of Venezuela, decided to send the Israeli ambassador out of his country and to inform him the deep anger of the Venezuelan people about what is happening in Gaza, and the Arab and Muslim people marched to demand throwing the Israeli ambassador out as a demonstration for refusing the killing of the Gaza people, but no Arab leadership, alas, did throw out the ambassador or address him with an angry letter.
These little calamities reveal the true faces, and these actions accumulate to show our people the truth about their leaderships, unfortunately these leaderships do not represent their people, do not reflect the pulse of the people, or their wishes. It has proven that whatever they call- moderate leaderships are nothing but weak puppets in the hands of America. Also now, it became clear to the western people the false claim that Israel is a peace-seeking state, with the evil neighbors. But to the opposite; it is evident now how much of a cruel, evil state Israel is towards the neighbors, and how weak and helpless the neighbors are. It is time for the whole world to see, understand, and re-arrange the calculations about what is happening in what they call- the Middle East; in Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, Darfur, Somalia, Afghanistan, and other countries that suffer inner conflicts and wars. The stories circulated by the western media are something totally different from the actual reality. But these calamities and mishaps have a single positive face- they are the accumulation of truths until the positive change takes place in the future.
We all want peace in our countries, we all hate unjust people, and injustice, and we should all work to seize the hands of the unjust and tell them: enough!
Thursday, January 08, 2009
محنة غزة ....
2009 الخميس 8 كانون الثاني ....
السلام عليكم ...
قلبي حزين على غزة وأهلها وما يحدث لهم منذ حوالي اسبوعين ,
ومتعجبه من انحطاط هذا العالم الذي نعيش فيه ؟
هنالك قساة وهنالك جبناء ,
قساة يقصفون بالطائرات ويقتلون المدنيين العزل بكل حقد وضمير ميت ...
وجبناء من الجيران الذين يتفرجون وينددون ويستنكرون بكلام فارغ لا معنى له ...
وملايين من المدنيين حول العالم
يقومون بالمظاهرات والاعتصامات وحرق الاعلام ورفع الشعارات , لكن من يهتم؟
واصحاب القرار يتفرجون , وبرودهم لا يمكن تفسيره انه ضبط للاعصاب , لكنه جبن وتخاذل وتواطؤ ضد هؤلاء الفقراء في غزة , حيث تخلوا عنهم وتركوهم تحت القصف الوحشي اليومي , ونقص الماء والمواد الغذائيه وهم محاصرون في بيوتهم لا يقدرون على مغادرتها ...
ذكرتني كل هذه المشاهد بحرب العراق 2003
وما كنا نعانيه تحت القصف اليومي ونحن محاصرون ببيوتنا, وننتظر ان يهدأ القصف حتى نرسل اولادنا للمخبز حتى يقفوا في الطابور الطويل , ليحصلوا على عدد قليل من الخبز
وانطفات الكهرباء والغينا فكرة الثلاجات من بيوتنا وصرنا نشتري كل يوم خضار للطبخ المباشر فقط ..
والليل نقضيه تحت ضوء الفانوس ورائحة الكاز الخانقه ...
ونسمع الاخبار من راديو صغير يعمل على البطاريه , ونسمع ردود افعال العالم لما يحدث لنا
ونغضب ونحزن لان العالم تخلى عنا ..
ونعيش برعب يومي وماعدنا نعرف طعم النوم والراحه
وجوهنا شاحبه وعقولنا متعبه واطفالنا خائفون يرتعشون
كانت اياما حالكة السواد ..
والان , غزة المسكينه تعيش حالنا ...
ندعو لهم في كل صلاة ان ينصرهم الله على عدوهم , ان يتقبل شهداءهم في الجنه , ان يصبر الاحياء منهم حتى تنتهي المحنه , ان يدمر عدوهم وكل من يحب التكبر والتجبر على هذه الارض , ان يخذل كل من خذلهم او تعاون مع عدوهم على أذيتهم , حتى لو كان من المسلمين , فهذا عقابه من الله أشد وأكبر
حين رضي على نفسه أن يخذل اخوانه ويرضى بسفك دمائهم البريئه ,
ثم ارسلنا تبرعات ماليه عن طريق جمعيات مهنيه مصرح لها بجمع التبرعات
ونعلم ان هذا لا يكفي ,
ولكننا نؤمن بالله وعدالته , وهو سيجازي كل فرد بما يستحقه ,
إن عمل خيرا فله الخير,
وإن عمل شرا فله الشر,
ولا يضيع عنده مقدار حبة من خردل أو في السموات أو في الارض ...
قلبي مثقل بالحزن , وما يفيد الكلام ؟
رغم الخسائر الماديه والبشريه التي اصابت غزة الحزينه الفقيرة
والبعض يظن ان قيادة غزة كانت مجموعة من المغامرين العبثيين
وان القيادات العاقله هي القيادات التي تنحني لاميركا واسرائيل
هذه القيادات التي قبلت على نفسها ان تقوم بدور العاجز المتفرج يوميا
على دماء الاطفال وجثث الاطفال
وصراخ الامهات ودموعهن
ولم تفعل شيئا لتوقف هذه الجرائم البشعه
هذه القيادات التي اثبتت انها لا تمثل شعوبها
والشعوب تغلي من الغضب وتبكي دما على غزة واهلها
والقيادات دائما تفكر كيف تحافظ على الكراسي والمناصب
هذه المحنه كشفت حقيقة المواقف ان كانت انتهازيه مهزومه جبانه
او كانت وطنيه حقيقية صادقه
والمخجل ان شافيز زعيم فنزويلا الشيوعي
قرر طرد سفير اسرائيل من دولته وتبليغه غضب شعب فنزويلا
على ما يحدث في غزة
والعرب والمسلمون خرجت الشعوب تطالب بطرد السفير الاسرائيلي
كتعبير على رفض قتل اهل غزة
ولم تفعل اي قيادة عربيه للاسف على طرد السفير
او ارسال رسالة غضب له
هذه المحن الصغيرة تكشف حقيقة الوجوه
وتتراكم هذه المواقف لتري شعوبنا ما هي حقيقة قياداتها
للاسف هذه قيادات لا تمثل شعوبها
ولا تعبر عن نبض هذه الشعوب ورغبتها
واثبتت ان كل ما يسمونه قيادات معتدله
هي ليست سوى دمى ضعيفه بيد اميركا
وايضا توضح الان للشعوب الغربيه زيف الادعاء ان اسرائيل دولة تبحث عن السلام
وان جيرانها اشرار
بل على العكس
تبين كم هي دولة قاسية شريرة على جيرانها
وكم هم ضعفاء لا حول لهم ولا قوة
آن للعالم كله أن يرى ويفهم ويعيد حساباته
لما يحدث في ما يسمونه بالشرق الاوسط
في لبنان و العراق وفلسطين والسودان ودارفور والصومال وافغانستان
وغيرها من دول تعاني صراعات وحروب داخليه
والقصص يتم تسويقها في وسائل الاعلام الغربيه بطريقه مختلفه تماما
عن الواقع الحقيقي
هذه النكبات والمحن لها وجه ايجابي واحد
انها تراكم الحقائق
حتى يتم التغيير الايجابي في المستقبل
كلنا نريد السلام في اوطاننا
وكلنا يبغض الظلم والظالمين
وكلنا ينبغي ان نعمل من اجل ان نأخذ على يد الظالم
ونقول له :
Sunday, January 04, 2009
End of the year, End of the project.....
Peace be upon you….
The year is moving towards its end, and so is the project I am working on; this period is the most tiring, as the instructions to finish all the required activities accurately and efficiently increase, there is also the budget to follow up and watch, so that we do not cross the line in any item there… the supervision increases from every side… work looks like walking in a mine field, where caution is necessary in every step….
I cannot describe how exhausting this project was to me; as work comprises field, administrational, and financial follow- up in nine branches, a following up of implementation problems, the work- team problems, and the benefiting parties. It involves listening to everybody's complaints, and trying to find suitable solutions for all sides, including me- the project coordinator. Then there are the clashes and differences of opinions and visions between the local organization I work for, and the financer; an international organization who has strict rules and bases for supervision, or conditions to carry out any project they finance.
The first problem is that local organizations do not always have a deep vision to carry out the project, even though they have written the principle of the project, but the transparency and the honesty in implementing these ideas as they were written on paper aren't always available; they were there only to attract the financer's interest, and to draw his money, then comes the act of insurgency against the agreement, or the wriggling in implementing it…
In my opinion, the matter of transparency is a delicate and rare issue these days…everyone promises but do not keep the promise; this is the normal condition nowadays everywhere; whether in governments, Parties, or non-governmental organizations; as soon as anyone gains the position, the seat, or the grant, he turns into a stubborn rebel who thinks of himself as the ordering master- the owner of the first and last say in the matter, canceling anything called- partners, whether in decision-making or in implementation… or, he might pretend to accept participation, but he cheats under the table, showing himself in front of partners as an understanding nice person. Meaning- in most cases, eluding and lying are the methods of communications with other partners.
Unfortunately, these are the reasons for the disappointment in which all the world is living; the lack of credibility and good intensions, so; how can things like: justice, stability, progress and prosperity be achieved? I think these words will remain far away from reality, as long as there is lying and evasion within the people who own the money and are the decision makers in all world countries….. I always say that the problem of the world is not the lack of resources like money and natural wealth, but the shortage of honest people who reside over the distribution and division of these resources justfully among people, and Iraq is a miniature example of what is happening in the whole world…
There comes another problem that hiders the implementation of the project in a highly- accurate way; the problem of human resources, meaning- the working staff; usually– in the local governmental organizations- they are not qualified enough to understand the spirit of team work, or how to deal with the benefiting faction, they might be in disagreement with each other, or they might deal roughly and cruelly with the benefiting faction- because of the work pressures, or even because the benefiting faction are usually very sensitive; they are angered by any small behavior from the employees, so they would misjudge, be angry, and resent everything. Especially that the Iraqi people with whom we deal as a faction benefiting from the projects are people who used to live in good conditions compared with what they face now; the loss, the frustration because they left their country, living in neighboring countries under unknown classifications- some people call them refugees, others call them temporary guests- guests without a residency, or a right to work, or a clear future. This is the reason for their tension, anxiety, for their worries, and sometime clashes with the employees of the organizations that present them with educational, medical, financial services, and so on …
The other problem lies with the executives of the big international organizations that own the financing; these usually include in their branches in Jordan, for example, or in Syria and Egypt, foreign employees to be the leaders of the programs or the supervisors, while the local employees are a minority, and most of them are young in age and experience. And the foreigner remains- no matter how much experience he has- with a contradiction between his own vision and the true needs of people for programs he thinks are successful and good, while in reality they are inefficient programs that do not always fulfill the needed goal….
I mean, the work goes like this: there are some organizations that give house-reaching services to study the conditions of refugees. They call these (Outreach Services). This is conducted by a team of women and men volunteers, most of whom are Iraqis, working with sad, petty, small salaries, their energy is depleted by the daily search for Iraqi families living in scattered areas, then visiting them, and filling forms in which there are many questions to find out the conditions and needs of each family in detail…then they give their reports to the program officials; who are usually foreigners, non-Arabs, from Europe, Africa, and Asia (Ethiopia, Eritrea, India, Pakistan, Holland, Switzerland, Britain, France, Italy…..). These officials have an experience in designing or carrying out programs that have been implemented in other countries, and usually such programs are implemented here, regardless of other details that should be taken in consideration. But the foreigner doesn’t take notice because he doesn’t deal with the field, he doesn’t have the same language, and knows nothing of the culture, habits, and the history of the faction that these programs are designed for. So, there is always some failure in designing and implementing the program until its end…
I would like to give an example, so the picture would be clearer:
All international organizations implement programs to enhance and strengthen the women’s role, they are usually called “women empowerment” well then, this idea can be implemented within various programs, according to the woman’s conditions; meaning- if she was living in a rural area, in a secure, settled country but suffers from poverty and unemployment, we can then design a program to strengthen that woman’s role in her family so she can improve her family’s life, or if the woman was living and working in the city, but there were certain laws, for example, that do not ensure the justice in her salary compared to her men colleagues, or do not allow her children to have a nationality identity if she married a man from another nationality; these are civil rights worth fighting for to issue, but what usually happens is that most foreign organizations enter a coalition with local women organizations in the Arab world to fight religion and its laws, like the right to take many wives, or the man’s domain over woman, and of course this is foolish and a serious transgression that made most people move away from the Arabic local women organizations, thinking of them as working to carry out the agenda of enemy western countries. Also, the same stupidity happened in Iraq after the occupation, when American women organizations came to Iraq to provoke Iraqi women to demand equality with men (religiously and civilly), to Cast out religion, reject it and push out of public life, to apply an international treaty to protect women’s right scald- SEDAW, and make it referential to Iraqi women, to defend ideas like the right of lesbian women to have local communities, and so for gay men, that we oppress them, and that is a sign of backwardness in our societies, or to open the agenda of honor crimes that are committed sometimes in villages against illegally pregnant women. These are delicate matters related to the culture of each society, and the members of that society are supposed to take another look at all these matters, and decide to change what is not suitable for them or keep what they see fit to keep. These are customs expressing the collective conscience of people, not the individual, and they are usually changed by the consent and agreement of the majority, but for foreign women to come from abroad to train a faction of fools in their local societies to create a chorus of parrots that keep repeating what they heard from foreign organizations; that is a funny, sad comedy, the least to say about is the waste of monies that could have been more useful in building projects to improve the lives of poor, penniless women, like projects to teach tailoring, embroidery, cooking, and simple popular products like rugs, carpets, and baskets, or to teach them skills like computer training, a foreign language, fighting illiteracy, fighting legal illiteracy, and so on; and other activities that can open women’s eyes, strengthen their personalities and self-confidence, so they can raise children more concise, more clean, and smarter, for all things are connected, no doubt, to each other; the ignorant mother will not have, naturally, a clean, happy, healthy child like the more cultured and concise mother, if we assume she was loyal to her house, loving to her family and children, and that they are a priority in the scale of her personal happiness….
As for the Iraqi women living with their families in Syria and Jordan, for example; they live without a legal residency permit, without the right to work, filled with worries about the fate of their unemployed husbands, their threatened- future- children, for even if they had the opportunity to study the primary or secondary stages, who will see them to university? Who will pay the fees? And if they graduated from university, who will grant them the right to work? The right to work is a fundamental issue in the human rights, like the right of education, health, and other basic issues in the good life of humans. If anyone of us can imagine what it is like to be forbidden from working, even though he carries a university or training degree, and has a long experience in working as a doctor, engineer, teacher, collage professor, a carpenter, a painter, a blacksmith, or other professions. This is how it’s like for most Iraqis in Syria and Jordan, who do not have the legal residency permits, (obtaining a legal residency requires paying large sums of money, usually decided by the host country). Then, how big is the feeling of disappointment, defeat, and frustration that fills the souls of these Iraqis outside Iraq, who live in neighboring countries under the label of- refugees? And most of them are reluctant to go back to Iraq, for they feel the security conditions are not stable enough, perhaps some of them are involved in problems with their neighbors or relatives, and are afraid to go back, or have been attacked by a sectarian militia who is occupying his house until now, perhaps a member of his family has been killed in front of his eyes and he did not get out of that experience until now, perhaps he is a former military personality who is afraid of assassination, or a former publicity personality who is also afraid of assassination, or simply a tricky lazy person who wants someone to cover his expenses until the end of his days, while he enjoys the story of being a victim… I mean- there are endless stories… some true, some false. This is how people are, everywhere.
The year has ended, and it was time for the final meeting with the financers. The representative of each organization was supposed to give a speech about the results they got out of applying the project. I felt let down after attending the meeting; because most organizations were absent from the meeting, and so were most leading officials, no one discussed ideas to develop the programs implemented this year, these things were not discussed seriously enough. The atmosphere in the meeting hall was cold, uncaring, all officials faces saying: enough, finish, let us get out, because we are tired, it is the end of the year, we want to rest from all the boring talk…
Each of the organizations’ representatives gave a quick brief about what their projects achieved… I also spoke about the project and what was achieved, and a new employee from the financer’s side asked me a few questions to learn more about the nature of the work, but the chairman snubbed him, saying: there is no time, we will talk about these details later.
And I don’t know when will this “later” really be?
I grew more convinced with my wish not to renew my work here, for no one can feel the pain suffered by the Iraqi except an Iraqi, and there’s a proverb that says: the one suffering the beatings of a stick is not like the one who stands aside and count the number of beats…. I grew more convinced that Arab financers should take the responsibility to help the displaced, the refugees, and the weak factions in our societies, through programs designed by local experts, implemented by local organizations, and financed by local financers. These will solve a lot of the problems I talked about, and we are supposed to get more positive results by the end of these projects….
I had a wish to talk about the cases of women I found here, living through miserable conditions, in spite of the programs that give aid, but a petty, shallow aid that is not feasible enough. I mean; I always wonder to myself: we, as humans working in humanitarian organizations, do we have the serious intention to work and improve people’s conditions, or do we merely implement the project, and- finish, bye bye; we give reports at the end of the month and the end of the year; figures and a description of the program’s activities, but our souls are dead, our hearts empty…
For example; there is that poor, ignorant, illiterate woman who has six children, her husband had a legal problem with his passport so he was detained in prison her, she receives a salary of 190 J. Dinaars with her kids (less than $ 300), and when she visits husband in jail, he asks her in each visit to give him 20 Dinaars for personal expenses. She came to me once asking for help to improve her conditions, saying that the salary isn’t enough to cover the rent and the daily expenses.
How can her conditions be improved? I kept thinking for a long time; where are the programs that can improve the life of a crushed woman like that? Her condition is supposed to be followed up by a serious organization, to give her reading and writing lessons at first, then train her to cook, sew, or work as a hair dresser, finance a house project for her so she can remain at home with her kids, and work from the house in a job that can bring her a small extra income to improve her life conditions. Isn’t this better than waiting for someone to knock on her door to donate a kilo of rice or flour? That would be an insult to her human dignity. These organizations are supposed to be working to preserve the human dignity, especially for the weak women who have no supporter, with half a dozen children…
I also met several Iraqi women married to Jordanian men, living a life that is neither happy nor good, with kids. Some kept their Iraqi nationality, the Commissary gives them a salary of 50 J.D. a month (less than $100), and some obtained the Jordanian nationality, so they were deprived of that meager salary.
These women are in need of programs to improve their relations with their husbands, like joint lectures for married couples so that they can help and respect each other, in order to form a happy, united family…
There are also some Iraqi families suffering from domestic violence, clashes, and quarrels between husband and wife; those need educational programs and enlightening lectures about how to lower down the domestic violence.
I mean; women organizations are supposed to deal with the whole family as a target for improvement, not the women alone without her husband- that would be half a solution, a torn one…
Then there is the general view at the Iraqi families’ conditions and the type of aid presented to them; merely things that can keep them alive- a monthly aid like a few drops of water to a thirsty person, it wouldn’t quench his thirst, but can push death a little further away from him… I mean; I see them as Iraqis living here without dignity, without hope, without a future… even if they went on to get a re-settlement, they would be like a plant pulled out of the desert to be planted in the middle of snow- how would it live? What future awaits it?
And at the same time, in Iraq, there is a place called “The Green Zone”, in Baghdad, and there are American military bases in many Iraqi towns… there are people from all nationalities living in those places; from America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia…. There are soldiers, officers, serving teams, gardeners, cooks, doctors, nurses, and others- all of foreign nationalities taking astronomical monthly salaries, compared to the Iraqi citizen… how much is the salary of an Iraqi engineer, a doctor, or a University professor? $ 500 or $ 1000? But the soldiers and the servants there receive $ 4000 or $ 5000 a month, and God only knows what are the salaries of the others…
This is a very sad thing to the heart…
This is the true ugly face of the occupation; you live as a second degree citizen in your country, while the foreigner enjoys the luxury and welfare more than you…. The foreigners live in secure areas protected by private security companies, and their children play in beautiful gardens that has clean, nice toys… while the Iraqi lives under the daily threats and terror, whether he was a civilian or military person, a state employee or a private sector worker, the Iraqi’s children are deprived of the most simple child rights; a safe, clean garden to play in, or a green area to walk in and breath fresh air without pollution…
I don’t know… I see that everything here and there provokes defeat and a negative sense, but the motto of my life has always been- positive thinking, not to let the negative issues dishearten you or keep you from achieving your goal…
And my goal will always be to help Iraq and the Iraqis, I think I shall go back to Iraq in the coming year to work there, either in local organizations, or even in governmental establishments I can trust, if any, to give my experience there to the Iraqis in need of help. This is my only hope; to spend what is left of my life in my homeland, Iraq, working there, serving people there, giving my experience to the welfare of Iraq and the Iraqis there….
And I ask God for aid, endorsement, and success, always…