Well, it’s that time of year. It’s the day when we Palestinians commemorate the establishment of the state of Israel. They call it “independence,” and we call it “Nakba,” which basically means “catastrophe” or “calamity.”
There are still many people living today who suffered the catastrophe of 1948, being driven from their homes, destined to become lifelong refugees. They have suffered, and they still live to tell their stories.
I even know some of these … Continue Reading
A couple weeks ago, I performed at the invitation of the Arab Student Association at the University of Iowa. Yes, there is an Arab Student Association at the University of Iowa! I was just as surprised as you are.
I really thought I would never have a reason to go to Iowa. I mean, I never knew anything about Iowa except what I saw on TV. OK, I never saw anything on TV about Iowa. … Continue Reading
I was planning on having a lazy Friday watching funny YouTube videos, reading my Facebook News Feed, and catching up on my TV shows. No such luck.
This Saturday and Sunday, I was planning on relaxing in hotel rooms in Atlanta and Columbus after my shows. That’s not going to happen.
Instead, I’ve been transfixed to CNN all day. And now, all weekend I’ll be glued to my iPhone getting updates from Anderson Cooper.
This … Continue Reading
Have you lost your mind? Seriously, when we first met, I thought you were the one I had been waiting for my whole life. Now, I don’t know what I was thinking.
I let you into my life… I shared everything I had with you. You had nothing. Everything that was mine helped you make you who you are today. Oh, how we forget so easily. You’ve let others come between us. I know I … Continue Reading
Mr. President, I very closely followed your trip to Israel this week, and I have to say, you confused me.
You visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, the most famous Palestinian of all time. The church is a United Nations World Heritage Site, listed in the UN under the “State of Palestine,” a designation you loudly opposed in front of the world. It must have felt weird to see … Continue Reading
Mr. President, I hear you are traveling to Israel next week. As a concerned patriotic American citizen of Palestinian descent, I have some pointers for you.
Now, I assume you’ll be flying into Tel Aviv. Usually, when non-Jews arrive there, especially if they are a little darker-skinned, they are asked to wait in a… let’s call it a “VIP Room.” Incidentally, the room is quite nice. There’s a water cooler, comfortable chairs, and a soda … Continue Reading
Being a Palestinian is relentless. It’s action-packed, hectic, and lively. It’s frantic, frenzied, and chaotic. It’s frenetic, feverish, and downright wild. (Those are all the appropriate words I could find in the thesaurus on Microsoft Word.)
But don’t worry, I’m used to it.
The past couple weeks have been especially eventful. It started with the excitement we all felt knowing that a Palestinian-made film was nominated for an Oscar. “5 Broken Cameras” is about how … Continue Reading
On Friday night, live on national TV, Bill Maher said:
“Based on every statement I’ve heard from every Republican in the last two years, the Israelis are controlling our government.”
I though for a second I was in a dream. See, when we Arabs hear something like that said openly on American TV, we literally jump out of our seats.
“Based on every statement I’ve heard from every Republican in the last two years, the
Being an Arab means knowing certain things. We know we created algebra, we know we have to get to the airport an hour earlier than everyone else, and we know Um Kalthum.
Um Kalthum was born in Egypt around 1900, and her artistic career spanned over 50 years. She traveled the world, performing for huge crowds wherever she set foot. She died in February 1975, and her funeral was the largest ever seen in the … Continue Reading
This past Sunday, my post here on The Civil Arab discussed the ongoing property tax dispute between HYPE Athletics and the city of Dearborn Heights. Read that post here to get the full background.
In short, I strongly implied that Dearborn Height’s denial of HYPE’s request to be considered exempt from property taxes has a racial element to it. Many readers messaged me, questioning how I could make such an insinuation. Although I noted … Continue Reading
Everyone knows that Dearborn, Michigan is the center of Arab-America. It contains the largest concentration of Arabs anywhere in America. Its main drag, Warren Avenue, is lined with stores, shops, restaurants, and cafes run, owned, and frequented by Arab-Americans. Signs displayed in Arabic are the norm. It is home to the one and only Arab-American National Museum.
Dearborn is the Arab Disneyland. In the span of a few hours, you can enjoy a shawarma, a … Continue Reading
Seriously, what would Israel do without us?
Israelis are struggling with their identity, with their future. Mainly they’re asking themselves a core question: What are we finally going to do with all these Palestinians?
Israel is holding elections on Tuesday, and the debate seems to be between those on the right and those on the far right. In other words, the decision is between maintaining the status quo (the occupation of the West Bank and … Continue Reading
How do I explain who we are?
We wake up every morning with a hole in our hearts, for a homeland dispossessed, a history stolen, and a future trampled. We live knowing that something is missing, and fearing that it will never return.
I’m going to try to explain it you. I hope you understand.
We turn on the news just to see what they’re saying about us. We are never happy about it. Our … Continue Reading
Four years ago, I voted for Barack Obama. And I’m doing it again tomorrow. Why? Well, first of all, he’s black and Mitt Romney is white. You might ask, “What does that mean?” Good question. Well, black Americans know more about discrimination, struggle, and the nuances of living in this country. Really rich white guys like Mitt Romney, although they are usually very nice people, just don’t know what it’s like to be a victim … Continue Reading
Where is Bill O’Reilly when you need him?
This week, Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a survey that contained some shocking findings. According to journalist Gideon Levy, who penned the article for Haaretz, “The survey indicates that a third to half of Jewish Israelis want to live in a state that practices formal, open discrimination against its Arab citizens. An even larger majority wants to live in an apartheid state if Israel annexes the territories.”
Bill, … Continue Reading
Mitt Romney is clearly a very nice white male. But he made some big news this week. During the second presidential debate on October 16, Mitt took some major criticism for his answer to a question about gender equality in the workplace. In trying to extol his own record of enthusiastically hiring qualified female candidates during his tenure as governor of Massachusetts (and he did hire many), he blurted out his now infamous “binders full … Continue Reading
The life of a Palestinian can be pretty depressing. We have to deal with dispossession and the refugee life. Then there’s all the racism. And don’t forget the media misrepresentation, military occupation, checkpoints, and seizure of resources. Being Palestinian is relentless. There are no breaks. Just when it looks like everything’s OK, someone calls us “invented,” or “barbaric,” or “resentful,” or “hateful.” Those of us in Palestine have to deal with daily humiliation. Those of … Continue Reading
This week, Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a speech in front of the General Assembly of the United Nations. As a Palestinian, I tuned in. It’s my duty. Plus, I say the guy’s name at least 3-4 times a day (I won’t tell you how), so the least I could do was to listen to his speech.
He started innocently enough, referring to how Israel is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people, their deep history, and … Continue Reading
Well, America, welcome to democracy in the Arab World. This is what it looks like.
Breaking News: Arabs are not that crazy about America. Yes, you helped get rid of some of their dictators. But you still unconditionally support some of the worst. So this is the democracy you’re going to get.
Try to imagine how it feels for an Arab to see the American-backed king-dictators of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, & Jordan cry for democracy … Continue Reading
Some idiot made a film depicting an image of the prophet Muhammad.
He even called the Quran “a mix between some versions of the Torah and some versions of the New Testament” and a bunch of “false verses.”
The film depicts Muhammad pronouncing the first Muslim animal to be a donkey. And not just any donkey, a gay donkey!
The film calls Muhammad a “bastard” with an “unknown father.” … Continue Reading