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"You can show your support for the poet by emailing the embassy in Washington D.C. as we did, however, I believe the emails go unread. You can also call the embassy and leave a message at (202) 274-1600 (press 1 four times to leave a message with the ambassador’s office)."

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We, the undersigned, including poets, men and women writing, performing and reciting poetry in all corners of the world, urge the Secretary of State or Foreign Minister of our respective countries to appeal to the Qatari Court for the immediate release of our colleague, Qatari poet Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami, who after spending a year in solitary confinement, on November 29, 2012 was sentenced to life in prison by the Qatari courts.

Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami’s crime consisted of reciting on November 16, 2011 a poem extolling the courage and values of the popular uprisings in Tunisia, /Oh revolutionary, sing the praises of the struggle with the blood of the people/ in the soul of the free carve the values of revolt/ and to those holding the shroud of the dead tell/ that every victory also bears its ordeals/.

According to the poet's lawyer, Najib al-Nuaimi, the judge made the whole trial secret [..]"Muhammad was not allowed to defend himself, and I was not allowed to plead or defend in court. I told the judge that I need to defend my client in front of an open court, and he stopped me."

Rather than making itself an instrument for cracking down on dissent, we believe that the Court should uphold Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami’s right to free speech.  In the tradition of speaking truth to power, following the footsteps of such great poets as Pablo Neruda, Majakovski, Nazim Hikmet, Mahmoud Darwish, Faraj Bayraqdar and innumerable others throughout the world today, such as Colombia’s poet Angye Gaona, Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami placed his poetic talent to the service of a movement for change. The poem he recited called for an end to intolerable conditions, a demand that for the past two years has been aired by millions throughout North Africa and the Arab world.

In this spirit, we poets and non-poets who perceive the need for worldwide change at the social, political and ecological level, call on the Court to review the appeal, stop siding with repression and lend its ear to the movements that have sprung up all over the world for dignity, social justice and freedom, virtues that poets all over the world are endeavoring to voice and deliver using the beauty and power of poetry.

Qatari Poet Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami has been sentenced to life in prison for the crime of reciting a poem. Help correct this injustice by signing the petition.

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The Hamas authorities once again forgot that the neighbor/occupier to its east is crazy. Fact: Over Shabbat, Hamas' military wing fired more than 50 mortar shells at Israel. Or perhaps it didn't forget: Perhaps it merely thought the Palestinian people in Gaza were ready for another high-tech Israeli onslaught, for another Israel Defense Forces video game in which children playing on a roof are identified as lookouts and sentenced to death. ...

Injured Palestinian in Gaza - Reuters - March 22, 2011

A Palestinian carries an injured boy into Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City, after Israeli tank fire struck a home on March 22, 2011

Photo by: Reuters

Though they didn't denounce those 50 mortars, Palestinians who are not Hamas supporters did give them a political interpretation. This wasn't "the attacked party's right to respond" (or, more accurately, the fly's right to play Ping-Pong with the elephant ), but a clear message to young Palestinians, reinforced by the brutal suppression of their demonstrations: You aren't in Cairo or Tunis, so stop pestering us with theories about a smart popular struggle in our emirate.

But the neighbor/occupier to the east is crazy. It's wrong to provide it with pretexts that would enable it to once again put Gaza's children and old people through an ordeal like Cast Lead, or even one half as bad.

So for all those who demonstrated in support of the Gazans when they were trapped under Israeli fire, all those planners of past and future flotillas, this is your moment to raise your voices and say clearly: The Qassams merely feed Israel's madness. It is not the Qassams that will ensure the Palestinians, both in and out of Gaza, a life of dignity. It is not the Qassams that will topple the Israeli walls around the world's largest prison camp.

Read the entire article on haaretz.com

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Check out this article I found at jpost.com

Palestinians have agreed to concessions which make the two-state solution possible and desirable. With leaders like Abbas on the Palestinian side, it is criminally irresponsible not to end the conflict.

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My cousin Sam Shube's analogy with Turkey may be Egypt's most realistic outcome and vision, one its people and neighbors should be able to live with. As in Turkey expect the Egyptian military to retain considerable influence behind the constitutional curtain.

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Despite pressure, Pete Seeger won’t cancel participation in Israeli-organized peace rally

By Sue Fishkoff · October 14, 2010

Despite his opposition to Israeli policies in the West Bank and Gaza, Seeger refuses to heed calls to boycott an upcoming peace event organized by an Israeli institution.

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Poet, novelist, essayist, translator, and scholar of Hebrew and Jewish literature of the Middle East Ammiel Alcalay will give a reading this Saturday afternoon October 16, 2010  from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at the Bowery Poetry Club located at 308 Bowery between Bleeker and Houston across the street from CBGBs.  


Read the entire article on examiner.com

 

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Forward writer Gal Beckerman will speak at several events this week and next to promote his new book  "When They Come for Us, We’ll be Gone -  The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry," as will Daniel Gordis, author of "Saving Israel - How the Jewish People Can Win a War that May Never End." 

Read the entire article on examiner.com

 

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By Junaid Ahmed
BBC News

 

Joumana Haddad, the editor of an erotic Arabic-language magazine and author of a new book that challenges sexual taboos in the Arab world, is drawing praise and death threats alike.

The Lebanese writer and poet publishes Jasad - Arabic for body - a glossy quarterly that deals with eroticism and body-culture.

Published since December 2008, Jasad's articles range from violence in relationships to voyeurism and masturbation.

Her works have been opposed by Muslims and Christian groups alike, but Ms Haddad says she will not be silenced.

 

Read the entire article on bbc.co.uk

 

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By Junaid Ahmed
BBC News

Joumana Haddad, the editor of an erotic Arabic-language magazine and author of a new book that challenges sexual taboos in the Arab world, is drawing praise and death threats alike.

The Lebanese writer and poet publishes Jasad - Arabic for body - a glossy quarterly that deals with eroticism and body-culture.

Published since December 2008, Jasad's articles range from violence in relationships to voyeurism and masturbation.

Her works have been opposed by Muslims and Christian groups alike, but Ms Haddad says she will not be silenced.

Read the entire article on bbc.co.uk

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Denied the right to drive a car or even ride a bicycle a Saudi woman resorts to riding a donkey.

To read the article click here

OPINION
Moudhi riding on a donkey
By Abdullah Nasser Al-Fouzan


8 Comments have been posted. Post Your Comments
» Can This Be True? Okay, Ladies, you know what to do. | Robyn Graves posted...
Can this story really be true? It's too wonderful to be true. If it's true than I sincerely recommend that the Ladies of Saudi Arabia seriously consider investing in a donkey, horse, or camel and start travelling this way. It won't be very long before driver's licenses will be given. This is a brilliant protest. Such ingenuity can only be a harbinger of real change.

» More Like Moudhi - Please | Johaar posted...

Dear Moudhi, I applaud you. The ridiculous and chauvanistic attitudes of the authorities need to be exposed for all to see. Clearly they do not see that they are the laughing stock of this entire region with their outmoded ideas.

Given the way the Saudi men drive, the roads might in any case be safer with women behind the wheel. So more ladies like brave Moudhi please.

» Excellent! | Lamees posted...

Saudi Arabia needs more women like her!

» Joha would be proud! | Robyn Graves posted...

During my years in Saudi Arabia I've heard again and again about Joha and his stories which teach a lesson...just as Aesop's fables that I grew up with. It's fantastic that this story was published on April 1st. For while the day may slip by to Gulf Arabs...for those of us from Western Culture... It's a day for pulling pranks on our friends...all connected to a "once upon a time" change to our calendar. This is absolutely the best argument for women's right to drive you'll ever see.Well Done

» | Mohammed Abdul Hadi Chowdhury posted...

Is it true? I really don't believe. "A change never comes without A bold step". Well done Moudhi!!

» Fake | Sultan posted...

what a made up story

» Men are afraid of the truth. | Andre posted...

Of course women should not drive, if a woman had a permit to drive, a bike, a car, a bus or truck, then the men would be force to realize women drive better, and men are bad driver.

» Date? | Anon. posted...

When was this article published,and is the author aware of the dates that the events took place? I'd like to know how recent this was.

Post your Comments

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Denied the right to drive a car or even ride a bicycle a Saudi woman resorts to riding a donkey.

To read the article click here

OPINION
Moudhi riding on a donkey
By Abdullah Nasser Al-Fouzan


8 Comments have been posted. Post Your Comments
» Can This Be True? Okay, Ladies, you know what to do. | Robyn Graves posted...
Can this story really be true? It's too wonderful to be true. If it's true than I sincerely recommend that the Ladies of Saudi Arabia seriously consider investing in a donkey, horse, or camel and start travelling this way. It won't be very long before driver's licenses will be given. This is a brilliant protest. Such ingenuity can only be a harbinger of real change.

» More Like Moudhi - Please | Johaar posted...

Dear Moudhi, I applaud you. The ridiculous and chauvanistic attitudes of the authorities need to be exposed for all to see. Clearly they do not see that they are the laughing stock of this entire region with their outmoded ideas.

Given the way the Saudi men drive, the roads might in any case be safer with women behind the wheel. So more ladies like brave Moudhi please.

» Excellent! | Lamees posted...

Saudi Arabia needs more women like her!

» Joha would be proud! | Robyn Graves posted...

During my years in Saudi Arabia I've heard again and again about Joha and his stories which teach a lesson...just as Aesop's fables that I grew up with. It's fantastic that this story was published on April 1st. For while the day may slip by to Gulf Arabs...for those of us from Western Culture... It's a day for pulling pranks on our friends...all connected to a "once upon a time" change to our calendar. This is absolutely the best argument for women's right to drive you'll ever see.Well Done

» | Mohammed Abdul Hadi Chowdhury posted...

Is it true? I really don't believe. "A change never comes without A bold step". Well done Moudhi!!

» Fake | Sultan posted...

what a made up story

» Men are afraid of the truth. | Andre posted...

Of course women should not drive, if a woman had a permit to drive, a bike, a car, a bus or truck, then the men would be force to realize women drive better, and men are bad driver.

» Date? | Anon. posted...

When was this article published,and is the author aware of the dates that the events took place? I'd like to know how recent this was.

Post your Comments

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