Wednesday, 9 November 2011

"sailing toward the goodness of humanity"

Source: Digital Journal

Of Violence and Poetry

Reviewed by Atef Laouyene in Canadian Literature: 

Combining emancipatory politics with the vulnerability of human sentiment is what constitutes the shared singularity of the three collections of poems here under review. While negotiating an ethical imperative that cannot be compromised and a political reality that cannot be ignored, each poet offers us a unique perspective on violence and its myriad manifestations.
EHAB LOTAYEF: I have always been working for many causes, and the cause of the people in Gaza, in particular, was always very close to my heart, because of my Egyptian background and the feeling that Egypt has participated in the siege of Gaza. I participated in two visits to Gaza since the Cast Lead invasion. I participated in organizing the Gaza Freedom March, where the Egyptian Mubarak authorities had not let us pass to Gaza. And it’s a very simple choice. The choice is to watch people suffering who cannot fend for themselves and live in the luxury of our Western cities, or to get implicated. And to me, that was a non-issue. The question answered itself very simply, that we all should be involved, in whatever way we can, to help those who cannot have a voice for themselves.
KAREN DEVITO: I’m Karen DeVito. I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I’m an ordinary person who’s on this boat, because I, at one point—I looked in the mirror, and I said, "I’m a person who supports human rights and social justice for the Palestinian people, and I’m not going to be shy about talking about it publicly anymore." And so, this is how I came to this project. I’m not a professional activist, just an ordinary person, an ordinary Canadian.
MAJD KAYAL: ... For me as a Palestinian, it’s very symbolic, and it’s very strong to say. And in the time that our leadership is trying to make the Palestinian cause as a—and the Palestinian conflict as a problem of borders and problem of 1967 lands, it’s important to us to say that the real problem is the problem of the colonialist and racist state of the apartheid state of Israel. And the real problem started in 1948. The dividing of the Palestinian people into West Bank and Gaza in '48 and the refugees camp is—it's the major and the main target for Israel. So, me being here on this boat, it say that we are all—the Palestinians are in the same boat, in the same struggle, in the same—and for the same target, ending the colonialization of Israel and the apartheid state of Israel, and free all Palestine, free all the historic Palestine from a Zionist and racist state.
KIT KITTREDGE: This is Kit Kittredge from Quilcene, Washington, U.S.A. I’m a massage therapist, volunteer firefighter, EMT, organic farmer, mother, grandmother, and a passionate peace activist. And I’m on the Tahrir Canadian boat to Gaza because the siege of Gaza has got to end, and the U.S. complicity with Israeli policy has to stop, and because our government is not stepping up to it. Democracy is not a spectator sport, and so I’m stepping up to it, so I can look my grandchildren in the eyes and say I did everything to end the siege and occupation of Palestine.
DAVID HEAP: ... I’m sailing, among many other reasons, because my colleague, Ziad Medoukh, a French professor at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza, who sent us a message of solidarity and hope last July, when he said, "Even though your boat didn’t reach the shores, your message of peace and solidarity reached us here in Gaza." So I think it’s very important that academic students, trade union—most of the trade unionists, people from [inaudible] realize that the most important thing for people of Palestine, for the Palestinians of Gaza, in particular, is people-to-people solidarity.
KAREN DEVITO: For the Canadian government, I read that our prime minister has made the decision to stop funding to UNESCO because of its recognition of the Palestinian membership. And I really wonder if Canadians have lost their sense of compassion for other human beings. And I don’t think so. I really don’t think so. I think ordinary Canadians would like to see the Palestinian people be able to live in peace, instead of fear, and with justice.
Source: Quotes drawn from Amy Goodman interview, Democracy Now 

Canada Boat to Gaza/Handout

After having been kidnapped last Friday in international waters by the Israeli Defence Force and after having been jailed without charge for 5 days, the Quebec delegate on board the Canadian boat to Gaza, Ehab Lotayef, will be back in Montreal late afternoon Thursday November 10th 2011. 

continue reading here: Canadian Boat to Gaza delegate back in Montreal...


sandra said...

Thanks, Jo

Joanne Arnott said...

Please let me know when Ehab is free, and returned safely to Montreal.