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Being Palestinian
Makes Me Smile

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  • 20150621_zahr
    Dear America, this is our ISIS
    by Amer Zahr June 21st, 2015 (2 Comments)

    ISIS a fringe group that believes it is saving the soul of the Islamic world. It believes that its lands have been poisoned by outside, corrupt, polluted forces. It sees itself as the true representative of true Islam, however unhinged from reality that view may be. It carries out this worldview through domination and violence. It is driven by an ideology of Muslim supremacy.

    Dylann Roof, the young white man who murdered nine black worshipers on Wednesday night in Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church, told numerous friends that he believed in segregation. He told police he wanted to start a race war. He told his victims that they had to die because black people were raping white women and taking over the country. He believed, in short, that this country belongs to white people, and, further, he considered the presence of black people as a threat to that precious creed. It’s White Supremacy 101.

    So it’s time that we Americans realize something. Despite the efforts of …

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    20150618_zahr
    We have no right to be shocked
    By Amer Zahr
    June 18th, 2015 (3 Comments)

    What happened last night in Charleston triggered a range of emotions. President Obama said he felt “heartache,” “sadness,” and “anger.” We all feel those things and more. Fear. Anxiety. Concern. Dread. Violation. Loss. Despair. Panic. Abandonment. Terror.

    But none of us, not one of us, has the right to be shocked. That would mean that we were caught by surprise. It would mean that we had no idea something like this could happen. And we Americans can say no such thing.

    When we live in a culture where a father celebrates his son’s birthday by giving him a gun, and where buying a pack of bullets is easy as buying a pack of gum, and where large segments of our society celebrate those “freedoms,” we cannot say we are shocked by Charleston.

    When we live in a culture where a white cop shoots at an unarmed fleeing black suspect eight times in the back on camera, only to be supported by a group of concerned citizens who …

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    20150603_zahr
    A Palestinian’s guide to Palestine
    By Amer Zahr
    June 3rd, 2015 (5 Comments)

    I have just returned from a two-week trip to Palestine. I am quite sorry that I was not very active online during that time, but Palestine can really eat up one’s time. Family and friends took up about half of my trip. The other half was spent on hummus.

    Let me make a quick note here. Even though most Palestinians live outside of Palestine, when we do go there, we don’t “visit.” We “return.” Israel, as you might have read, was able to expel many of us. However, if you do pay attention to numbers, you might realize that she did a quite terrible job of it. We are still a sizable “demographic threat,” getting more “demographically threatening” with every wedding. In any case, one “visits” a place if he is not from that place. He “visits” a place if he has no connection to that place. He “visits” a place that is foreign to him, where he doesn’t speak the language, know the food, or understand the customs. We …

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    20150515_zahr
    After 67 Years, Palestinians are finally cool
    By Amer Zahr
    May 15th, 2015 (3 Comments)

    Today is Israeli Independence Day.  We Palestinians call it “Nakba Day.”  “Nakba” translates from Arabic into English as “catastrophe.”  Independence. Catastrophe.  You say Po-tay-to. I say Po-tah-to.

    Now this could easily be a sad day for us.  We Palestinians have every reason in the world to be depressed.  Our land was stolen.  The vast majority of our people live outside of their homeland.  Entire UN agencies are dedicated to us. Our land was stolen.  We live under a brutal military occupation.  Israel uses our residential areas to test military technology. Our land was stolen.  The media portrays us as subhuman.  Israeli politicians call for our extermination.  Oh, and our land was stolen.

    There’s more.  On days like today, we are reminded that we don’t have any real holidays.  We just have commemorations.  May 15 (the theft of our land in 1948).  June 5 (the theft of more of our land in 1967). March 30 (the theft of even more land in 1976).  Do you see a theme?  Just …

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    20150508_zahr
    Some advice for Pamela Geller
    By Amer Zahr
    May 8th, 2015 (11 Comments)

    Dear Pam,

    I’ve been watching you.  Now, I don’t mean that I’ve been “watching” you in the same way the FBI watches us Arabs and Muslims.  I just mean I’ve been following you.  Wait, I don’t mean I’ve been “following” you the same way those crazy guys followed you to Texas. I just mean I’ve been keeping my eye on you.  Observing you. Trailing you.  Okay, none of that sounds good.

    I see that you are spending a lot of time trying to offend Muslims.  In fact, you have made a bit of a career out of it.  And while you might think otherwise, you’re not doing a great job.  You’re going about it all wrong.  Sure, drawing cartoons of Muhammad might get a couple of crazies to crash one of your events.  But the vast majority of Muslims aren’t really going to do anything about it.  You’re just a small nuisance to most of us.

    I’m a half-Muslim Arab American, and most of my friends are Arabs and Muslims.  …

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    20150501_zahr
    Welcome to the Black Spring
    By Amer Zahr
    May 1st, 2015 (3 Comments)

    Sidi Bouzid is a modest city of about 120,000 in central Tunisia. Mohamed Bouazizi was a fruit vendor on its streets. He never graduated from high school, toiling every day, earning about $150 a month, supporting his mother, uncle, and younger siblings. He was even able to put one of his sisters through college through selling his produce.

    Mohamed’s life was not easy. Not only did he work a job where he was barely able to maintain his life of poverty, he also lived in an utterly corrupt town. The city officials of Sidi Bouzid constantly harassed Mohamed, threatened his livelihood, and demanded bribes. On one particular morning in December 2010, a municipal official approached him, confiscated his produce, and destroyed his cart. Mohamed had finally been pushed too far. He marched down to the governor’s offices and demanded answers from the government, the same government that was supposed to protect him. Witnesses say the governor refused to see or listen to him.

    Riddled with humiliation, neglect, shame, and abandonment, …

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    20150410_zahr
    Why do some people hate America so much?
    By Amer Zahr
    April 10th, 2015 (9 Comments)

    I’m noticing something going on in my country.  America is under attack.

    This week, at the University of Michigan (my alma mater), Arab and Muslim (American) students protested against the showing of “American Sniper” on their campus.  Now, they weren’t simply protesting the movie being screened on campus.  They were protesting against it specifically being shown by the Center for Campus Involvement, which describes itself as “a dynamic, student-focused department that serves undergraduate and graduate students campus wide through its programs and student organization support. Through meaningful involvement, the Center creates transformative experiences, a vibrant community, and lifelong memories for University of Michigan students.”

    Now, some might remember why these students would possibly be upset.  The film, while becoming the highest-grossing movie of 2014, prompted many moviegoers to tweet utterly hateful things about killing Arabs and Muslims right after seeing it.  Many in my community were quite shocked and scared by such outbursts.  The film dehumanized us in a quite cursory fashion, and it was celebrated for it.  “American …

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    20150401_zahr
    Aren’t “terrorists” depressed too? By Amer Zahr April 1st, 2015 (8)
    20150325_zahr
    A quick lesson on “allah” By Amer Zahr March 24th, 2015 (30)
    20150318_zahr
    When racism is a minor offense By Amer Zahr March 19th, 2015 (14)
    20150312_zahr
    She wished there were more Palestinians like me By Amer Zahr March 12th, 2015 (11)
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    We need to talk about white people By Amer Zahr February 28th, 2015 (15)
    20150214_zahr
    From ‘American Sniper’ to Chapel Hill By Amer Zahr February 14th, 2015 (10)
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    Murdered for being Muslim, and the news is unfazed By Amer Zahr February 11th, 2015 (11)
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    There are no excuses for ‘American Sniper’ By Amer Zahr January 31st, 2015 (4)
    20150123_zahr
    Why is Netanyahu crashing Congress? By Amer Zahr January 24th, 2015 (7)
    20150116_zahr
    Where do I apply for “terrorism expert”? By Amer Zahr January 16th, 2015 (12)
    20150109_zahr
    I refuse to condemn By Amer Zahr January 9th, 2015 (29)
    20141226_zahr
    Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, (Al-Quds) By Amer Zahr December 26th, 2014 (19)
    20141226_khalifeh
    Santa, All I want for Christmas is… By Hadeel Khalifeh December 26th, 2014 (0)
    20141102_oudeh
    Ten ways you might be an Arab By Sam Oudeh November 2nd, 2014 (3)
    20141009_zahr
    Headline: America still clueless about Islam By Amer Zahr October 9th, 2014 (5)
    20140926_jallad
    A Palestinian wish By Nadine Jallad September 26th, 2014 (3)
    20140917_oudeh
    Ten things you need to know about Arabs By Sam Oudeh September 17th, 2014 (124)
    20140902_zahr
    The occupier has no clothes! By Amer Zahr September 4th, 2014 (5)
    20140828_zahr
    Where is my black president? By Amer Zahr August 28th, 2014 (8)
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    The jobless activist? By Lexi Zeidan August 27th, 2014 (0)
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    Why my test score is different than yours By Lexi Zeidan August 20th, 2014 (2)
    20140815_zahr
    Being black, being Palestinian By Amer Zahr August 17th, 2014 (5)
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    Light at the end of the tunnel By Lexi Zeidan August 8th, 2014 (0)
    20140808_naji
    Tyrant on FX… Not so racist after all By Firas Naji August 8th, 2014 (2)
    20140808_oudeh
    Israel’s new plan of self-defense By Sam Oudeh August 8th, 2014 (5)
    20140805_zahr
    The accents of the Israeli team By Amer Zahr August 6th, 2014 (35)
    20140730_zahr
    What is Netanyahu up to? By Amer Zahr August 2nd, 2014 (7)
    20140728_elnajjar
    Losing my mind in Gaza! By Dalia Alnajjar July 28th, 2014 (1)
    20140723_zahr
    To Jon Stewart… thanks, and no thanks By Amer Zahr July 23rd, 2014 (36)
    20140720_zahr
    Israel, listen, I know what I’m talking about By Amer Zahr July 20th, 2014 (4)
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