the common

the common

Gaza is Not a Romantic Notion with Thoraya El-Rayyes

53m ago
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Description

Thoraya El-Rayyes is a writer and literary translator living in Amman, Jordan. She was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents and immigrated to Canada with her family at the age of six, although she has lived in Jordan for most of her life. Thoraya's English language translations of Arabic literature have appeared in various literary magazines, including World Literature Today, Cutbank, The Common, Banipal and Sukoon. This 1:38 minute clip with Thoraya is part of a series of 31 clips of interviews with people from Gaza that I'm releasing in the month before my birthday on May 5, 2014. You can read about the campaign at:http://www.noralestermurad.com/category/gaza/ Gaza? Birthday? What are you talking about? Well, time seems to accelerate as I approach my fiftieth birthday, intensifying my gratitude for a life with purpose but also highlighting all that is still undone in this sick, beautiful world. There is no shortage of causes to work for, but one that has stolen my heart is Gaza. Over one-and-one-half million human beings are locked in the Gaza Strip, a majority of whom are children and youth. Like many other Palestinians, they are denied the right to earn a living, denied the right to enjoy their own water and other natural resources, denied the right to move around for educational or recreational opportunities, and denied the right to compete fairly with others to achieve their dreams. For this reason, I've decided to celebrate my birthday on May 5, 2014 by asking friends, family, and folks of conscience "out there in the world" to help me make a small dent in the inhuman and wasteful siege on Gaza. More specifically, I am asking you to do three things: 1-Make a contribution of any size into a "Gaza Fund" that I am opening at Dalia Association (www.dalia.ps), Palestine's community foundation. (Even better if you make your contribution monthly, quarterly or annually.) But because we know that money alone doesn't solve anything, I ask that you ALSO... 2-Take at least one political action to help lift the siege on Gaza. I suggest a letter or email to a political representative asking him or her to bring the urgency of the siege into the governmental debate. And because we know that one-time political actions aren't enough and we really need a sustained effort, I ask that you ALSO... 3-Join an organization or sign up for a newsletter so that you will stay informed about developments relating to Gaza and Palestine in the long term, not just when there's bad news that reaches the front pages. I'm asking for a lot, but because I believe that birthdays (and everyday in between) are a time for giving, not just receiving, I want to give you a gift, too. I will release a short, video-taped interview with a person from Gaza every day in the weeks leading up to my birthday. You will enjoy hearing directly from Gazans about the issues they care about, about their daily lives, and about what they wish the world would understand. Please give your own suggestions about political actions to take and organizations to join in the comments section on my blog at www.noralestermurad.com. Please sign up for my newsletter at www.noralestermurad.com to be informed about new videos and other articles I write related to Gaza, Palestine, international aid, development, philanthropy, and occupation. Please spread the word about my birthday campaign to your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and other networks. Please check out Dalia Association at www.dalia.ps and sign up for their newsletter to be kept informed about Palestinian-led development and the opening of the new Gaza Fund. And please have a really happy 2014.