forwarded by G.S. <email@example.com>
September 12, 2005
Mazin Qumsiyeh is a biologist. He identifies himself as Christian, Arab, Palestinian. I'm forwarding an appeal I got from him on my eightieth birthday, but first a bit more than labels (and the inevitable false stereotypes they conjure up) about who this wonderful person is. He wrote,
==============================================It was a sweltering summer day in 1994 when I sat down with my maternal grandparents and videotaped them for the last time. We sat on a balcony facing a beautiful forested hill called Jabal Abu Ghneim in Palestine. Behind those beautiful hills, we could see Jerusalem.
My terminally ill grandmother was frail and able to get out of bed for only a few minutes at a time. After her treatment for cancer failed, it seemed her pain medicines had also become less effective. She died about a year later and shortly after, my grandfather followed.
I could tell that "Sitto," as I called my grandmother, tried so hard not to show her pain, especially in front of my grandfather, or "Sido." Perhaps she knew that his feeling at seeing her in this condition was equally painful. He tried mostly to comfort her by a reassuring glance, a touch of the hand, and repeated questions. (Can I get you a glass of water? Can I get you something?) In both Sido and Sitto's wrinkled, round and pained faces, you could read so much with so few words. Their thoughts and frequent silent glances at each other were transparent. I had to step outside on occasion to collect myself. I have yet to meet a husband and wife who were more in love than these two. My grandfather, 88 at the time, had lived all his life in the conflict zone in Palestine and was thus no stranger to pain. His life actually encapsulated the modern Palestinian narrative in its entirety and cast a shadow that went far beyond his direct descendants, eight children and more than 40 grandchildren. It certainly shaped my own life.
Like his ancestors and most of his descendants, my grandfather was born in our small village of Beit Sahour. Beit means house, and Sahour is an allusion to staying up by night. Located in the hills halfway between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, the name refers to the shepherds who some two thousand years ago saw a star and walked up the hill to Bethlehem where Jesus was born.
My grandparents' and my parents' homes are literally down the hill from the Church of the Nativity where tradition holds Jesus was born. On my way back from school in Bethlehem, I would often stop by and look at the candles in the grotto of the church. On tough days at work in the United States, I always yearn for those meditative moments.
==============================================To read more, go to http://www.qumsiyeh.org/thecucumberandthecactus/
Mazin forwarded the following appeal from the Wheels of Justice bus tour, a first-rate grassroots group.
Asunto: [HumanRights] Wheels of Justice bus tour seeks YOUR support
I urge you to respond to this Wheels of Justice call with generous donations, support, invitation etc. I do not exaggerate when I say that this is the most effective outreach effort I have seen within the United States. Its impact has been phenomenal. For me personally, volunteering for it with the hundreds of other people involved has been the most rewarding and humbling volunteer effort I ever engaged in.
The Fall 2005 Wheels of Justice bus tour needs your active participation and support.
The Wheels of Justice Bus Tour has already covered 40 states and we spoke and mobilized at hundreds of events but we must intensify our efforts at this crucial stage. The new fall season begin as we see significant changes in the political landscape regarding occupation in Iraq, colonization in Palestine, misplaced government priorities, and suppression of civil liberties here at home. The bus team is growing and adapting to changing circumstances but with your help will continue to offer the very best in compelling witness, testimony and expertise on our roles and responsibilities as taxpayers and world citizens. New speakers are added and other speakers traveled recently to update their knowledge in Iraq and Palestine. With your much-needed help, we will continue to speak and mobilize at more high schools, more colleges, more churches, and more community centers and to a wider audience. We lined up excellent speakers to accompany our mobile educational center in the form of the colorful bio-diesel operated bus.
Now what you should do:
- If you live in the areas along the route (see below) or know people there consider hosting the Wheels Tour and participating fully. Contact Ceylon Mooney: 917-567-5048, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Spread the word. Call and email people you know along the present rout or people you think might be interested in being added o the route. Also hold fundraising events and raise needed funds.
- DONATE. Everyone is a volunteer but it takes money to operate
educational platform. It takes money for speaker travel, biodiesel,
food, literature, mailing, and logistics. To donate send checks to
Wheels of Justice, 740 Roundlake Rd., Luck, WI 54853. On line
donations via paypal can be made at
The Fall '05 Wheels of Justice tour is shaping up great. We
Sept 9 - Nov 19 in the Midwest, the plains, and the Rockies. We start
out in Minnesota Sept 9 - 16, then head towards the Sioux Falls area
and a bit of Wyoming for a few days before spending the rest of
September and early October in Montana. We are still looking for venues
Oct 9-11 in Pocatello and Idaho Falls. We then have engagements in the
Salt Lake City area for three days. We'll enter Colorado from the west
around the 16th of October, and we hope to visit more of Wyoming and
Nebraska in November. We always welcome new ideas and invitations in
other areas. Contact us
Donations and support to this all-volunteer project are appreciated.
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