Friday, January 30, 2009

Turkish PM Calls Peres On His Nonsense

It's good to see someone like Tayyip Erdogan calling out Peres on the crimes of his nation. Now if there were another dozen leaders willing to do the same, the blank check to violate human rights wouldn't look so appealing.

Experimental Bboying Forum: Free and Paranoid Android

I stumbled upon this forum earlier today at work. PA had told me about this forum when he went to IBE last year but I never got to see it until now. Paranoid Android was a big name in Arizona bboying from about 2004-2006 and influenced a whole generation of bboys from AZ and California. In 2003 that PA was training Law and was the brains of Circus Runaways. I was working at a high school at the time and I had them all over for a late night practice.

PA always had a mixed reputation in Arizona but I've always respected him for his contributions to bboying and taking the time to actually articulate his ideas to people.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama Inauguration and Gaza Ceasefire

Tomorrow is the beginning of a "New Day" in America's history. One cannot help but observe the public hope of change, however, I hope this word is not only remembered as a catchy campaign slogan of another American president unwilling to reverse the tide of destruction that has plagued American policy for years.

On the rolling credits of the worst American presidency in history Obama's challenges ahead of him are countless. Nevertheless, the American public must stay vigilante in never allowing such a flagrant disregard for international law and human rights in addition to blatant war profiteering and corporate favoritism.

Obama is being inaugurated on the funeral pyre of Gaza and the broken pieces of hope for reconciliation of Palestinians and Israelis. This ceasefire may mark a temporary halt in bombings but the violence of a destroyed Gaza still yields the smell of charred victims trapped in the rubble. Israel's goals to defeat or weaken Hamas has been lost as millions of Arabs and Muslims around the wold have been further motivated to acts of irrationality against Israel and the West. Obama's silence during the mercilless asault on Gaza has hinted to confirm the fears of "Other people" who suspected Obama would be just another player in a game they are not invited to and are not included in the rule book.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Gaza Update

A teleconference/ podcast Sponsored by the Arab and Middle Eastern Journalist Association (AMEJA)

Israeli forces shell UN headquarters in Gaza

"GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip January 15, 2009, 04:20 pm ET · Israel shelled the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, engulfing the compound and a warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian refugees."

"U.N. officials said the shells that hit the compound contained white phosphorus, which is believed to have been responsible for burns suffered by some Palestinian civilians during the war."

Foreign Press Urges Israel Boycott
"JERUSALEM (AFP) — The Foreign Press Association on Thursday urged its members to boycott Israeli army photos and video footage to protest at the shelling of a media building in Gaza City that wounded two cameramen."

What Does Web 2.0 Have To Do With Gaza?
"And since Israel barred all journalists from entering Gaza, the media and public have largely relied on non-traditional sources for information about the growing crisis. Traffic to the online magazine Electronic Intifada (EI) - whose contributions come from journalists, academics, humanitarian workers and activists on a pro-bono basis - has more than doubled in two weeks."

Greeks Prevent Arms Shipment To Israel

"WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US military has to had to cancel a planned shipment of munitions from a Greek port to a US warehouse in Israel due to objections from Athens, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday."

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dr. Mossadegh Sits Down With Mashouf

Moharram in Downtown Los Angeles

The Moharram procession in downtown LA are an interesting cultural phenomenon. The mostly South Asian attended and organized event happens every year near Broadway and 6th and attracts Shias from around Southern California. In the two years I have attended there has been a large turnout of people from over a wide range of ethnicities including Indian, Pakistani, Iranian, Afghani, Iraqi, and Lebanese all reciting "noha" or lamentations in their own languages and traditions.

In comparison, the Los Angeles procession is much smaller to the New York City version, which has been going for over 20 years. This year in New York, a friend of mine let me know that there was the largest English component to the procession to date. This development of a unique movement of English "azadari" mourning traditions is a transition to an organic religious culture of the English speaking West. The shift is a much needed advance for second and third generation Shias who are shying away from the languages of their immigrant parents.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Commemoration Of A Timeless Battle

Latest images from the city of Karbala, Iraq for the commemoration (not celebration) of the events of Ashura.

This time of year has always been a time of self reflection and striving with great effort to contribute to the commemoration in my own way. Now living in California in addition to no longer being a student, I deeply appreciate those times I spent every night in a small crowded house of people to lament the events that took place in Karbala.

This Moharram has been a drought in comparison to previous years. Time has been short and programs have been far away. I feel like the expression of Moharram fulfills a thirst of the heart that cannot be quenched by anything else. My hope is that by this time next year I will be working on my Ashura project again since I started it 4 years ago.

Norwegian Doctor Reports From Gaza

When will this madness stop? When will the world be content with the amount of destruction inflicted?