Gaza

by Sudeep Sen

Soaked in blood, children,

their heads blown out

even before they are formed.

Gauze, gauze, more gauze —

interminable lengths

not long enough to soak

all the blood in Gaza.

A river of blood flowing,

flooding the desert sands

with incarnadine hate.

An endless lava stream,

a wellspring red river

on an otherwise

parched-orphaned land,

bombed every five minutes

to strip Gaza of whatever

is left of the Gaza strip.

With sullied hands

of innocent children,

we strip ourselves

of all dignity and grace.

Look at the bodies

of the little ones killed —

their scarred faces smile,

their vacant eyes stare

with no malice

at the futility of all

the blood that is spilt.

And even as we refuse

to learn from the wasted

deaths of these children,

their parents, country,

world— weep blood. Stop

the blood-bath — heed, heal.

Sudeep Sen is widely recognised as a major new generation voice in world literature and ‘one of the finest younger English-language poets in the international literary scene’ (BBC Radio). 

Reflections on Bengali motherhood and storytelling

BISWAJIT’S PUBLIC MURDER
By rahnuma ahmed

Zohra Begum, mother of Emdadul Haque; the latter has been identified from photographs and video footage as being one of the Bangladesh Chatra League activists who beat and hacked Biswajit Das, a tailor, to death on December 9, 2012 during a hartal called by the BNP.? bdnews24
Zohra Begum, mother of Emdadul Haque; the latter has been identified from photographs and video footage as being one of the Bangladesh Chatra League activists who beat and hacked Biswajit Das, a tailor, to death on December 9, 2012 during a hartal called by the BNP.? bdnews24

I
ALTHOUGH Bengali culture would have us believe otherwise, motherhood is not something — regarded by some as an instinct, by others, as a virtue — that is timeless and unchanging. It is social and historical. Continue reading “Reflections on Bengali motherhood and storytelling”

An ode to Biswajit

Freedom fighter at Suhrwardy Uddyan. 26th March 2012. Dhaka. Bangladesh. Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

He stopped at every print. Getting close to scrutinise every character, pausing more at some that perhaps stirred a memory. He smiled broadly when I approached him. ?eto amar chobi tulsen? (it is me you?ve photographed) he said. This was his war. He remembered the pain the terror, the joy. He had never applied for registration. No card, no land, no perks. He had never been asked to speak at a dais extolling his glory. Victory being won, he had drifted out the way he had drifted in.

He was a Baul singer, living off the alms given by visitors to Suhrwardy Uddayan, where the deed of surrender had been signed on the 16th December 1971. He had no regrets for his lack of wealth, or for not having had his share of the spoils of war. It was our departure from the values that had driven him and his fellow muktijodhdhas (freedom fighters) that saddened him. He had a great love for Mujib, and felt we had let him down.

Continue reading “An ode to Biswajit”

Journalist?s 11-month-old son killed in Gaza strikes

The story behind the photo:
The Washington Post

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BBC journalist Jihad Masharawi carries his son?s body at a Gaza hospital. (Associated Press)

The?front page?photo on?Thursday?s Washington Post?tells, in a single frame, a very personal story from Wednesday?s Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.?Jihad Misharawi, a BBC Arabic journalist who lives in Gaza, carries the body of his 11-month old son, Omar, through al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

Omar Misharawi (Jihad Misharawi, via Paul Danahar)

An Israeli round hit?Misharawi?s four-room home in Gaza Wednesday, killing his son, according to BBC Middle East bureau chief Paul Danahar, who arrived in Gaza earlier Thursday. Misharawi?s?sister-in-law was also killed, and his brother wounded.?Misharawi told Danahar that, when the round landed, there was no fighting in his residential neighborhood.
?We?re all one team in Gaza,? Danahar told me, saying that Misharawi is a BBC video and photo editor. After spending a ?few hours? with his grieving colleague, he?wrote?on Twitter,??Questioned asked here is: if Israel can kill a man riding on a moving motorbike (as they did last month) how did Jihad?s son get killed.?
Danahar also shared the following photos of?Misharawi?s small Gaza home, which appears to have been heavily damaged. The place where the round punctured his ceiling is clearly visible.

Jihad Misharawi?s home. (Paul Danahar/BBC)
Jihad Misharawi?s home. (Paul Danahar/BBC)

BBC World editor Jon Williams?sent a memo?about the young child?s death to colleagues, according to The Telegraph:

Our thoughts are with Jihad and the rest of the team in Gaza.
This is a particularly difficult moment for the whole bureau in Gaza.
We?re fortunate to have such a committed and courageous team there. It?s a sobering reminder of the challenges facing many of our colleagues.

Reuters also had a photographer at the Gaza City hospital where Misharawi took his son. The story that these photos tell, of loss and confusion, may help inform the Palestinian reactions ? and, as the photos continue to spread widely on social media, perhaps the reactions from beyond the Palestinian territories ? to the violence between Israel and Gaza.

Jihad Masharawi mourns his son?s death in Gaza. (Mohammed Salem ? Reuters)
Related Post: Peace or pieces: Rotigraphy by Satish Sharma
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Crossfire ? Photographs by Shahidul Alam

Opening Reception & Forum:?Sunday, April 15, 6:00 pm ? 9:30 pm, 2012
Queens Museum of Art, NYC Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY 11368? DIRECTIONS

Forum & Opening Reception for Partnership Gallery Exhibition in Collaboration with Drik Picture Library, Dhaka.
Bangladeshi photographer and human rights activist Shahidul Alam?s Crossfire exhibition will open in the Partnership Gallery at the Queens Museum of Art on 15th April, 2012 and run until May 6th, 2012. The exhibition aims to gather international support for a campaign to end extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh by state forces, usually called ?crossfire.? Continue reading “Crossfire ? Photographs by Shahidul Alam”

I Don?t Want To See Their Faces; I Don?t Want To Hear Them Scream

Published on Monday, March 12, 2012 by?Common Dreams

The whole thing is regrettable, really. Shocking, truth to tell. And so sad, I?m sure, for those people, those blanket-wearing, beard-growing, false-god-worshiping, probably-related-to-terrorists, citizens of Afghanistan whose wives and children and babies were gunned down in their beds, shot, murdered, slaughtered, and then burned by one of America?s finest Sunday morning. But hey, what are ya gonna do? These things happen.
It seems the soldier in question was?not, in fact, representative of our brave fighting men and women. He was just another in the continuing series of?lone gunmen?who have been shooting up the world here and overseas for as long as any of us have been reading the newspapers. David Cortright, the director of policy studies at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, tells us “This may have been the act of a lone, deranged soldier.? I saw a headline that said he was a?rogue. OK; rogues do as often as not, ?go rogue? as no less an authority than Sarah Palin would have us know. So given time to reflect a bit, I guess I?m sorry I impugned our noble troops. Continue reading “I Don?t Want To See Their Faces; I Don?t Want To Hear Them Scream”

What does Afghanistan have to do with Vietnam?

Posted by  on March 11, 2012 ? Leave a Comment

SEATTLE ? Well, the latest news is that a lone U.S. serviceman has gone on a shooting rampage outside Kandahar and killed at least 16 people. The Los Angeles Times reports:

The shooting early Sunday took place in Panjwayi district outside Kandahar city, in a village called Alkozai. U.S. military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was believed that the assailant had suffered a mental breakdown.

Continue reading “What does Afghanistan have to do with Vietnam?”