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Being Palestinian
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  • 20141009_zahr
    Headline: America still clueless about Islam
    by Amer Zahr October 9th, 2014 (4 Comments)

    The events of the past couple weeks have confirmed something we Arabs and Muslims have known for some time:

    America is still clueless about Islam.

    Now, I’m a Palestinian Arab Christian Muslim American. My parents are both Palestinian Arabs.  My dad is a Christian, and my mom is a Muslim.  We affectionately call ourselves “Chrish-lims.”  Now, many people say, “Well, you can’t be half this and half that.”  Hey, take it up with my parents. But I should warn you.  Arguing with Palestinians is no fun.

    In any case, there is a bright side.  In a world where Muslims are required to condemn ISIS on a daily basis, I am in a pretty good spot.  As just a half-Muslim, I don’t need to waste as much time on this exercise. For those interested, condemnations are available 3.5 days a week, depending on my schedule, but never on Sundays. Since I’m related to Jesus, I rest on that day.

    Of the many professional activities I engage in, one of them is …


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    20140926_jallad
    A Palestinian wish
    By Nadine Jallad
    September 26th, 2014 (2 Comments)

    I wish I could talk about all of you. I wish I knew your names by heart. I wish your stories never ended this soon, and you never had to go this way. I wish you never heard the sound of their missiles. I wish the smell of your mother’s blood-stained gowns wasn’t the last thing you remember. I wish you never saw your brother’s grave.

    I wish your summer 2014 didn’t stop you from going to the beach. I wish you never had to fear your soccer matches on the streets. I wish you spent your summer nights in cafes and by the sea, instead of with the debris of your shattered homes, counting the dead, in grief. I wish you never had to look for shelters in your schools, I wish you didn’t have to pray for your friends in the ICU. I wish you never knew the sky could rain red on hot Summer mornings. I wish your bedrooms still smelled of you, that they didn’t take …


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    20140917_oudeh
    Ten things you need to know about Arabs
    By Sam Oudeh
    September 17th, 2014 (111 Comments)

    Whoever coined the term “Ignorance is bliss” is an absolute idiot. Ignorance is not bliss. In fact, ignorance leads to misunderstanding. Misunderstanding leads to fear. Fear leads to bias and hate. So I am here to present to the American public the top 10 things that Arabs want non-Arabs to know about them. If you remember these, then Arabs will not look at you as a “Dumb American.”

    1. Not all of us are Muslim

    As an Arab Christian myself, I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard, “When did you convert?” I would be a very rich man. About 10% of the Arab population is Christian. Yes, we are a minority, but we are still there and have been Christians for 2,000 years. I’m not sure how good the average American is at geography, but Jesus is from the Middle East!

    2. Falafel, Hummus, and Shawarma are Arabic foods, NOT Israeli foods.

    A couple of months ago, I was talking with an American girl about Middle …


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    20140902_zahr
    The occupier has no clothes!
    By Amer Zahr
    September 4th, 2014 (5 Comments)

    We all remember Hans Christian Andersen’s short tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” the story about two weavers who promise an emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible on those who are “hopelessly stupid.” At the end of the story, the vain emperor parades before his subjects in his new (invisible) clothes.  As the fearful, cheerful crowd keeps up the charade, a child, too innocent to lie, loudly announces, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”  The rest of the crowd, inspired by the child’s courage, begin to take on his cry as well.  The emperor, quivering at the notion that he is exposed, continues his procession nonetheless.

    This past Sunday on CNN, Brian Stelter, the host of “Reliable Sources,” interviewed Israeli analyst and former journalist Matti Friedman.  The topic was Friedman’s latest article on Tablet, “An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth,” where the writer, a former Jerusalem-based reporter for the Associated Press, attempted to explain how and why reporters are fixated …


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    20140828_zahr
    Where is my black president?
    By Amer Zahr
    August 28th, 2014 (8 Comments)

    In 2008, as an Arab American and person of color, I voted for Barack Obama. I didn’t vote for him because he was a Democrat. I didn’t vote for him because he was a community organizer. I didn’t vote for him because he was young, or educated, or magnetic. I voted for him for one reason and one reason only. I voted for Barack Obama because he’s black.

    According to the Pew Research Center, in the 2008 presidential elections, almost every black voter cast his or her ballot for Barack Obama. That statistic surprises no one, I presume. But more interesting than that number is the rate that other minorities and people of color voted for the first black president.

    Latinos voted for Obama at a clip of 67%.  62% of Asian voters supported him. That means that he registered 6.5 million out of 9.7 million Latino votes, while scoring 2.1 million out of 3.3 million Asian votes.

    At the same time, he received 15.1 million out of 15.9 …


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    20140827_zeidan
    The jobless activist?
    By Lexi Zeidan
    August 27th, 2014 (0 comments)

    I’d like to believe I’m your typical activist. I feel some type of way about a certain issue, and, of course, I voice my opinion about how I feel, take part in protests that fight to achieve a certain end, and constantly push for change in our system for the benefit of those people who are not treated equally here in America. But for some activists, depending on what cause you’re speaking out for, a certain dark cloud follows you everywhere you go. It’s a cloud that rains on our parade when we want to join in the fight of allowing our voices to be heard. A cloud that oddly forces us to be silent for the very reason we want to speak up.

    For those that don’t know me, I’m constantly speaking out for the injustices that plague the people of Palestine every single day. And in that same breath, I’m arguing against those ignorant individuals who tell my friends and I to go back to our “homeland,” while, …


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    20140820_zeidan
    Why my test score is different than yours
    By Lexi Zeidan
    August 20th, 2014 (2 Comments)

    Have you ever completed an exam, standardized test, or assignment and wondered whether the grade you received truly reflected the hard work you put in? Or did you wonder if it reflected the color of your skin? Have you ever battled an internal oppression that made your stomach uneasy, wondering if the reason you didn’t pass an exam was because of how you identified, regardless of whether that was or wasn’t the reason? If you never have thought or felt any of these things, then this post probably isn’t for you.

    I have recently accepted a position with an organization known as Teach For America (TFA). TFA is a nonprofit organization that works to close the achievement gap across the country. The group places graduating college seniors in low-income areas where they are contracted to teach, hopefully impacting students’ lives for two years. But this post isn’t about getting to know TFA, so I’ll move on.

    Part of our preparation process before going into the field for TFA is to …


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    20140815_zahr
    Being black, being Palestinian By Amer Zahr August 17th, 2014 (5)
    20140808_zeidan
    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 (4)
    20140805_zahr
    The accents of the Israeli team By Amer Zahr August 6th, 2014 (33)
    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)
    20140719_khatib
    From a mother In Gaza By Maysoon Khatib July 20th, 2014 (4)
    20140718_zahr
    Palestinians need to act appropriately By Amer Zahr July 19th, 2014 (11)
    20140718_muaddi
    Informed Compassion: Reflection on the events of July 16, 2014 By Susan Muaddi Darraj July 18th, 2014 (0)
    20140716_kemp
    Celebrating, Lebanese-style By Michelle Nasrine Kemp July 16th, 2014 (0)
    20140716_oudeh
    The Facebook Intifada By Sam Oudeh July 16th, 2014 (0)
    20140716_hassan
    Palestinian will cannot be broken By Zaha Hassan July 16th, 2014 (1)
    20140716_zahr
    Israel never surprises me By Amer Zahr July 15th, 2014 (8)
    20140709_kemp
    Fellaheen rule! By Michelle Nasrine Kemp July 10th, 2014 (1)
    20140709_damen
    Believed the hoax? Think again! By Ahmad Damen July 10th, 2014 (26)
    20140709_khalifeh
    Mother Palestine By Hadeel Khalifeh July 10th, 2014 (0)
    20140709_zahr
    Thank God Tariq is one of us By Amer Zahr July 9th, 2014 (2)
    20140702_kemp
    Arab American kids, then and now By Michelle Nasrine Kemp July 2nd, 2014 (0)
    20140702_damen
    Bill Hicks – My American Idol By Ahmad Damen July 2nd, 2014 (1)
    20140702_oudeh
    Soccer in America? I love it! By Sam Oudeh July 2nd, 2014 (1)
    20140625_zahr
    An Arab guy’s journey watching “Tyrant” By Amer Zahr June 27th, 2014 (18)
    20140625_damen
    Abbas & Mustafa By Ahmad Damen June 27th, 2014 (0)
    20140625_kemp
    Little sister’s big trip By Michelle Nasrine Kemp June 27th, 2014 (5)
    20140618_zahr
    Arabs “sheering” for the World Cup By Amer Zahr June 18th, 2014 (10)
    20140618_oudeh
    Why the Arab nations are not ready for democracy By Sam Oudeh June 18th, 2014 (2)
    20140618_kemp
    Why am I cooking grape leaves? By Michelle Nasrine Kemp June 18th, 2014 (4)
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