An-Nawawi on the Virtue of Kindness to Women

 

Riyad us Saliheen 3

By Abu Amina Elias for FaithinAllah.org

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

An-Nawawi records in his book, Riyad us-Saliheen:

Allah said:

وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

Live with them in kindness.

Surah An-Nisa 4:19

And Allah said:

وَلَن تَسْتَطِيعُوا أَن تَعْدِلُوا بَيْنَ النِّسَاءِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَمِيلُوا كُلَّ الْمَيْلِ فَتَذَرُوهَا كَالْمُعَلَّقَةِ وَإِن تُصْلِحُوا وَتَتَّقُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

You will never be able to be equal between wives, even if you should strive to do so. So do not incline completely toward one and leave another hanging. If you amend your affairs and fear Allah, then verily, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Surah An-Nisa 4:129

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

اسْتَوْصُوا بِالنِّسَاءِ فَإِنَّ الْمَرْأَةَ خُلِقَتْ مِنْ ضِلَعٍ وَإِنَّ أَعْوَجَ شَىْءٍ فِي الضِّلَعِ أَعْلاَهُ فَإِنْ ذَهَبْتَ تُقِيمُهُ كَسَرْتَهُ وَإِنْ تَرَكْتَهُ لَمْ يَزَلْ أَعْوَجَ فَاسْتَوْصُوا بِالنِّسَاءِ

Treat women well, for woman is created from a rib and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion. If you try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain curved; so treat women with kindness.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 3153, Grade: Sahih

Abdullah bin Zam’ah reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

بِمَ يَضْرِبُ أَحَدُكُمْ امْرَأَتَهُ ضَرْبَ الْفَحْلِ أَوْ الْعَبْدِ ثُمَّ لَعَلَّهُ يُعَانِقُهَا

How does one of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then embrace her?

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5695, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 لَا يَفْرَكْ مُؤْمِنٌ مُؤْمِنَةً إِنْ كَرِهَ مِنْهَا خُلُقًا رَضِيَ مِنْهَا آخَرَ

A believer should not despise a believing woman. If he finds something in her character he dislikes, he will be pleased by something else.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1469, Grade: Sahih

Amr bin Al-Ahwas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَلَا وَاسْتَوْصُوا بِالنِّسَاءِ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّمَا هُنَّ عَوَانٌ عِنْدَكُمْ لَيْسَ تَمْلِكُونَ مِنْهُنَّ شَيْئًا غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُبَيِّنَةٍ فَإِنْ فَعَلْنَ فَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ضَرْبًا غَيْرَ مُبَرِّحٍ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلَا تَبْغُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلًا أَلَا إِنَّ لَكُمْ عَلَى نِسَائِكُمْ حَقًّا وَلِنِسَائِكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ حَقًّا فَأَمَّا حَقُّكُمْ عَلَى نِسَائِكُمْ فَلَا يُوطِئْنَ فُرُشَكُمْ مَنْ تَكْرَهُونَ وَلَا يَأْذَنَّ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ لِمَنْ تَكْرَهُونَ أَلَا وَحَقُّهُنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْ تُحْسِنُوا إِلَيْهِنَّ فِي كِسْوَتِهِنَّ وَطَعَامِهِنَّ

I enjoin you to treat women well, for they are like captives in your hand. Verily, you may not treat them otherwise unless they commit flagrant immorality. If they do so, then you may separate from their beds and strike them without causing pain but if they return to good conduct, then you may do nothing against them. You have rights over your wives and they have rights over you. Your right is that they will not allow anyone you dislike to enter your home, and their right is that you should treat them well regarding food and clothing.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1163, Grade: Sahih

Mu’awiyah ibn Al-Qushayri reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, what are the rights of women over us?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَنْ تُطْعِمَهَا إِذَا طَعِمْتَ وَتَكْسُوَهَا إِذَا اكْتَسَيْتَ أَوْ اكْتَسَبْتَ وَلَا تَضْرِبْ الْوَجْهَ وَلَا تُقَبِّحْ وَلَا تَهْجُرْ إِلَّا فِي الْبَيْتِ

You should feed her when you eat, clothe her when you clothe yourself, do not strike her on the face, and do not rebuke her or separate from her except inside the house.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 2142, Grade: Hasan

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

أَكْمَلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِيمَانًا أَحْسَنُهُمْ خُلُقًا وَخِيَارُكُمْ خِيَارُكُمْ لِنِسَائِهِمْ خُلُقًا

The most complete of the believers in faith are those with the best character, and the best of you are the best in behavior to their women.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 1162, Grade: Sahih

Iyas ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا تَضْرِبُوا إِمَاءَ اللَّهِ

Do not strike the maidens of Allah.

But Umar came to the Messenger of Allah and he said, “Women have become emboldened toward their husbands.” So the Prophet gave them permission to strike them. Then, many women came to the family of the Messenger of Allah and complained about their husbands. The Messenger of Allah said:

لَقَدْ طَافَ بِآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ نِسَاءٌ كَثِيرٌ يَشْكُونَ أَزْوَاجَهُنَّ لَيْسَ أُولَئِكَ بِخِيَارِكُمْ

Many women have come to the family of Muhammad complaining about their husbands. These men are not the best among you.

Source: Sunan Abu Dawud 2146, Grade: Sahih

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

(Source / 15.05.2013)

Een verhaal vertelt over twee vrienden die door de woestijn liepen.

By Marianna Laarif

Op een moment tijdens de reis kregen ze ruzie, en de ene vriend sloeg de ander in het gezicht. Degene die geslagen werd was gekwetst, maar zonder iets te zeggen schreef hij in het zand:

‘VANDAAG SLOEG MIJN BESTE VRIEND MIJ IN HET GEZICHT.’

Zij liepen verder totdat zij een oase vonden, waar zij besloten een bad te nemen. Degene die was geslagen, raakte vast in modder en dreigde te verdrinken, maar de vriend redde hem. Nadat hij was bijgekomen, schreef hij op een steen:

‘VANDAAG REDDE MIJN BESTE VRIEND MIJN LEVEN.’

De vriend die had geslagen en zijn beste vriend had gered vroeg hem: ‘Nadat ik je had geslagen, schreef je in het zand en nu schrijf je op een steen, waarom?’ De andere vriend antwoordde: ‘Als iemand ons pijn doet moeten we het in zand opschrijven waar de wind van vergeving het kan uitwissen. Maar als iemand iets goeds doet voor ons, moeten we het in steen graveren, waar geen wind het ooit kan uitwissen.’

LEER OM JE PIJN IN HET ZAND TE SCHRIJVEN EN OM JE GOEDE ERVARINGEN IN STEEN TE GRAVEREN.

Men zegt dat er een minuut nodig is om bijzondere mensen te vinden, een uur om hen te waarderen, een dag om van hen te houden, maar daarna een heel leven om hen te vergeten……..

On Nakba Anniversary, Refugees Make almost Half of Population

RAMALLAH, May 14, 2013 (WAFA) – On the eve of the Nakba (catastrophe) 65th anniversary, the refugees make almost half of the total Palestinian population, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said Tuesday.

Palestinian refugees separated from their home by the "green line". 1948 UNRWA photo
Palestinian refugees separated from their home by the “green line”. 1948 UNRWA photo

While statistical data show that refugees constitute 44.2% of the total Palestinian population in Palestine, records by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) showed that there were 5.3 million registered Palestinian refugees by mid-2013, constituting 45.7% of the total Palestinian population worldwide, said the PCBS.

It said 59% of the refugees live in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, 17% in the West Bank and 24% in Gaza Strip.

About 29% of registered refugees live in 58 refugee camps, of which 10 are in Jordan, nine in Syria, 12 in Lebanon, 19 in the West Bank, and eight in Gaza Strip.

The PCBS said, however, that these estimates represent the minimum number of Palestinian refugees, given the fact that there are many non-registered refugees.

These estimates also do not include Palestinians who were displaced between 1949 and the 1967 war and do not include the non-refugees who left or were forced to leave as a result of the war in 1967.

The number of Palestinians who remained in their towns and village in 1948 after the Nakba was estimated at 154,000. Their number is now estimated as 1.4 million on the 65rd anniversary of the Nakba.

In 1948, 1.4 million Palestinians lived in 1,300 Palestinian towns and villages in historic Palestine.

The Israelis controlled 774 towns and villages and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages during the Nakba.

More than 800,000 of the population were driven out of their homeland to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, neighboring Arab countries and other countries of the world.

The Palestinian population worldwide is estimated 11.6 million by the end of 2012, said the PCBS. This means that the number of Palestinians worldwide has multiplied eight-fold in the 65 years since the Nakba.

A total of 5.8 million live in historic Palestine and this number is expected to rise to 7.2 million by the end of 2020, based on current growth rates, said the PCBS.

(Source / 15.05.2013)

Number of detained cancer patients in Israeli jails rises to 26

 

Waed society for prisoners revealed on Tuesday that the number of cancer patients held in Israeli occupation prisons had risen to 26.

It said in a statement that prisoner Mahmoud Abu Saleh, from Doura village in Al-Khalil, was diagnosed with throat cancer.

The society said that Abu Saleh is serving a 25-year sentence and has served 11 years so far.

It charged the Israeli prison service with deliberately neglecting Abu Saleh’s treatment, warning that he might meet the same fate of prisoner Maysara Abu Hamdiya, who died of cancer while in Israeli captivity.

The society drew the attention to the rising number of prisoners suffering chronic and serious diseases in Israeli jails, and blamed the Red Cross and the World Health Organization for remaining silent vis-à-vis such phenomenon.

(Source / 15.05.2013)

Video: At least 16 Palestinians arrested after Nakba clashes

Israeli security forces arrest a Palestinian protestor as clashes broke out near Damascus gate in Jerusalem on May 15, 2013 during a rally to mark the 65th Nakba.

Protesters and Israel forces clashed in the West Bank on Wednesday as thousands of Palestinians commemorated the Nakba (catastrophe) of the Jewish state’s creation in 1948, during which 760,000 Palestinians fled their homes.

Soldiers fired rubber bullets at protesters gathered in front of Ofer military prison near Ramallah, wounding 15 of them, Palestinian medical officials said.

Demonstrators pelted soldiers with stones, the army said.

In east Jerusalem, police clashed with demonstrators outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate, police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP

Protesters threw stones at police, injuring three of them, she said. Security forces responded with stun grenades, water hoses and horses to disperse the demonstrators, she said.

A total of 16 Palestinians were arrested, Samri added.

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to demonstrate on Nakba Day and assert their “right to return” to where their ancestors fled after the Israeli victory over Arab armies.

Protesters held aloft Palestinian flags and replicas of the keys to the houses their families abandoned in 1948.

Some 1,000 people turned out in the northern West Bank town of Nablus, and another 300 in southern Hebron.

Palestinians threw a petrol bomb at an army jeep near Hebron burning it out entirely and wounding four soldiers inside it, an army spokeswoman told AFP.

In Hamas-ruled Gaza, thousands of people gathered in the center of Gaza City, holding placards that read “We will get back to Palestinian villages and towns, no matter how long it takes” and “The right of return is sacred and inalienable”.

Earlier in the day, Gaza-based militants fired a projectile that hit an open field in southern Israel that struck in an open field, causing no damage or casualties, police said.

A military spokeswoman could not say whether the projectile was a mortar shell or rocket. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the incident.

Over the past two months, there has been an uptick in rocket fire on southern Israel after more than three months of complete quiet that followed a deadly confrontation in November that ended with an Egyptian-brokered truce.

In Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority is based, sirens sounded for 65 seconds, representing the 65 years of the existence of the modern state of Israel.

In a televised speech on Tuesday evening, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said “there is no country in the world, including the United States of America, that denies our right to establish our independent state based on the 1967 borders” — a reference to land occupied by Israel since the Six Day War.

“We are today a number (of people) and a truth that cannot be overlooked,” he said.

In 1948, more than 760,000 Palestinians — estimated today to number more than five million with their descendants — fled or were driven out of their homes.

Around 160,000 Palestinians stayed behind and are now known as Arab Israelis. They and their descendants number about 1.3 million people, or some 20 percent of the population.

(Source / 15.05.2013)

Thousands mark Nakba Day in the West Bank and Gaza

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Thousands of people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Wednesday marked the 65th anniversary of the Nakba, an event which saw hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced from their homes in what is now Israel.

Sirens were sounded for 65 seconds in the West Bank to mark the start of celebrations, with thousands of people gathering in Ramallah, Nablus, Qalqiliya and other West Bank cities.

“The right to return does not become invalid or ineffective as time passes, because this right is the core of the Palestinian plight,” PLO official Wasil Abu Yousif said while addressing crowds at Yasser Arafat’s tomb.

In Nablus, a minute’s silence was held before demonstrators marched in the city waving black flags and Palestinian flags side by side.

“After all these years of the Nakba, the Palestinian people have not achieved their goals, but they have managed to accumulate major victories, such as establishing the PLO in order to tell the Palestinian narrative,” the governor of Nablus Jibril al-Bakri said.

In Gaza, faction leaders addressed thousands of people who had gathered in the streets, calling for unity in the Palestinian leadership as a number one priority.

“The Palestinian people have made hundreds of sacrifices during 65 years of Nakba in order to establish a Palestinian state and stick to the right of return,” Fatah leader Faysal Abu Shahla said.

Nasser Salih, a Gaza-based leader with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said the Palestinian people have stayed firm on their land and insist on the right of return “despite all attempts and efforts to erase Palestinian national identity.”

Senior PFLP leader Kayid al-Ghoul said national unity is vital in order to overcome pressure to accept an “alternative homeland,” while Islamic Jihad said that Israel’s occupation is void and must be resisted by all possible means.

More than 760,000 Palestinians — estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants — were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948.

Around 160,000 Palestinians, who remained in Israel after 1948, now number around 1.36 million people, or 20 percent of the country’s population.

(Source / 15.05.2013)

CANNIBALISTIC, ORGAN EATING OPPOSITION FIGHTER UNREPENTANT – FSA ISSUES POSTER FOR HIS ARREST “DEAD OR ALIVE”

 

 

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Both inside and outside Syria on the international front, there has been worldwide revulsion at a video which went viral at the weekend showing cannibalistic behavior by an Opposition Commander.

The video, now confirmed as genuine, apparently shows a well-known Opposition commander in the Qusair, Homs area, Khalid al-Hamad, cutting out the organs of a dead Syrian soldier and eating part of one organ, while saying, “We will cut out and eat the hearts and livers of Bashar’s dogs”.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

The organ was subsequently identified by a surgeon as the dead man’s lungs.

Al-Hamad says his actions were in revenge for pictures found on the dead man’s phone of a naked woman and her 2 daughters in which the soldier humiliates them.

He claims to have acted in a similar cannibalistic way before.

His actions have been condemned not only by the Assad Government, some of whose troops are almost certainly guilty of similar acts of barbarity, but by the FSA, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), Governments worldwide and Human Rights Watch.

The FSA’s Supreme Military Council, which claims to control “90% of the armed Opposition groups in Syria”, placed a poster on Facebook, calling for Al-Hamad’s arrest, “dead or alive”.

The SNC, which has been recently been running a series of workshops in northern Syria to teach Opposition fighters about Human Rights and the Geneva Convention on War protocols for the treatment of prisoners, also quickly distanced itself from the Opposition fighter’s actions.

In a Skype interview yesterday, Al-Hamad, who commands the Independent Omar al-Farouk Brigade, told Time magazine that, “Hopefully, we will slaughter all Alawites..”

You can read more of Al-Hamas’s interview with Time magazine, HERE:

DEATH TOLL FIGURES IN SYRIA, JUST 2 DAYS AFTER PREVIOUS ESTIMATES, REVISED UPWARDS BY 12,000 AFTER NEW INFORMATION ON ALAWITES KILLED:

Revised figures for those killed in Syria were released yesterday by the respected Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, just 2 days after it said total recorded deaths have reached 82,257.

The new figure has jumped 12,000 to a total of more than 94,000. The Observatory said that it had revised its figures after receiving new information from 8 sources in Government controlled areas around Latakia, Tartous and Homs, where the deaths of members of the Alawite community are much higher than previously recorded.

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Recorded deaths of members of the Alawite community are now put at 41,000, though as the Observatory calculates that both sides are “discrete on their casualties”, the real total on deaths on all sides is likely to be in excess of 120,000 or even more.

OPPOSITION FORCES BREAK THROUGH INTO ALEPPO CENTRAL PRISON AND FIERCE FIGHTING UNDERWAY:

In Aleppo the Free Syrian Army and its allies have broken into the new buildings inside Aleppo Central Prison early this morning and are engaged in heavy fighting with Government units defending the old prison buildings. The assault came after suicide car bomb attacks blew up parts of the prison perimeter wall.

Around 4,000 prisoners including Islamists and common law criminals are usually held in the prison on the outskirts of Aleppo adjacent to Opposition held areas.

Assad Air Force jets are reported to have attacked Opposition areas around the periphery of the prison in order to try and eliminate the attackers. This and heavy shelling is reported to killed a child and wounded 7 members of the same family living near the jail and started fires in some residential buildings.

Mennegh airbase, also in Aleppo province, is currently coming under Opposition tank fire, HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Opposition forces are also on the offensive in Idlib province where they have been targeting the main entrance to the Abu Aldhor Airport which has been under siege for some weeks now, HERE: 

2 days ago, Monday, they also shot down with a missile or anti-aircraft gun, or a combination of both, a helicopter over the airbase attempting to resupply the troops inside. It falls to earth in a ball of flames, HERE: 

In Deir Ez-Zour operations against the airport there are also continuing with this strike on a nearby artillery unit, HERE:The defection of 200 military personnel in the province is also reported, the FSA encouraging them to “go home to their families”.

In Hama province video emerged of this destruction of a T-72 tank, HERE: 

And while there has been concern about the Government retaking the key strategic town on the main highway from Damascus to Deraa, Kherbit Ghazalah (scroll down -see report below), in the country’s southern Deraa province, latest reports suggest that Opposition forces still hold southern parts of the key town.

This recent map (May 12th) shows Opposition controlled areas (in Green – Government Red) in central and southern Syria. There is a larger version of the map, HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline/syria-news

In the central Homs province, things for the Opposition look far less certain, particularly around the strategic city of Qusair (see earlier reports below). Government sources say they took the villages of Western Dumayna, Haidariyeh and Esh al-Warwar on Monday in an attempt to cut off supplies to the Opposition fighters in Qusair itself.

In the abandoned village of Western Dumayna, which lies between Qusair and Homs, Government troops found abandoned machineguns and tunnels filled with mattresses and food.

The Opposition Syrian National Coalition has expressed fears about another massacre if Government forces break into Qusair where there are still thought to be as many as 25,000 civilian residents.

From Damascus this morning, Wednesday, there are reports of 2 explosions, 1 in Umayyad Square near the Opera House and another near the Imam-Al-Shaafi mosque in the Mezzeh district. Two women are reported seriously injured. The target in Umayyad Square was thought to be a military checkpoint.

23 Opposition Brigades, including the Al Nusra Front, are reported to have come together in a strategic alliance to try and retake the town of Otaiba from Government troops. The town lies just 3 kilometres (2 miles) northeast of Damascus international airport.

Otaiba was previously important to the Opposition side as it acted as a conduit for smuggling weapons from Jordan into the suburbs of Damascus itself.

After a 2 day black-out on May 7th and 8th, the Internet service in Damascus (including Government websites) went out again this morning, Wednesday, at 10.00 am local time.

This map, compiled to show Internet connectivity across Syria, shows that it is really ever only functional in Government controlled areas (shown in Green). The map does not take into account those with satellite access or to networks in other surrounding contries.

You can see a bigger version of the map, HERE:

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news

Lastly, numerous meetings are being held around the world to try and facilitate a Russian and US sponsored “peace conference” on Syria, now scheduled for Geneva, Switzerland, in early June.

The Syrian National Coalition is meeting in Istanbul to decide on its own position, which until now has been that Assad must step down before any talks take place.

At the same time the Syrian Government has made it clear that they will not be dictated to and Syrian sovereignty is “not negotiable”, their choice of Government and President only being decided “by the ballot box”.

(EDITOR: Though they have done a very “good job” of ignoring the tens of thousands who have consistently democratically demonstrated to say they no longer want Assad.)

(Source / 15.05.2013)

Zionists plan to colonize Palestine in 1899 NY Times

Zionists plan to colonize Palestine in 1899 NY Times
Zionists plan to colonize Palestine in 1899 NY Times
An article about a Conference of Zionists published on July 20, 1899 in the New York Times depicts how the Conference sought to “colonize Palestine” and discussed the purchasing of land with English Zionists.
An article about a Conference of Zionists published on July 20, 1899 in the New York Times expresses that the Zionists “will colonize Palestine.”
The article explains that the conference discussed a paper from the English Zionist Federation “proposing the re-establishment of Judea as an independent State, suggesting the purchase of the Maccabean sites in Palestine, and the beginning of the work by the establishment of a Jewish colony and a Jewish Agricultural College there.”

It further clarifies that “The site to be purchased comprises about fifty acres, six miles from a station on the railroad between Jappa and Jerusalem, and within sight of the sea and a large stretch of the Palestinian coast.”

It notes that English Zionists have gathered 2,500 dollars in the currency of the period and request that quantity from the American Zionists.

The article also explains that “On motion of Dr. Wise, the Federation voted $100 as the nucleus of the required fund of $2,500, the remainder to be raised by subscriptions from the 125 societies and individuals, both Jews and Gentiles. A general appeal to the public will be made.”

It also conveys that delegates will be elected at the Zionist meeting in Baltimore.

The straightforward and comfortable manner with which the colonization is pursued is indicative how, before having to be concerned with the image of Zionism and public relations, Zionist leaders depicted their movement as a colonial mission during a time in which European nations were colonial powers.

(Source /15.05.2013)

Forgotten Palestinian refugee community survives in Egypt

Palestinians who fled Palestine after war broke out in 1948 have been unable to return even after sixty-five years, and survive in a village with limited health, employment and educational opportunities.

Sixty-five years on from the Nakba, the Nile Delta’s Fadel Island, housing the largest community of 1948 refugees, struggles to survive and keep Palestine alive in Egypt
Palestinians who had fled Palestine after war broke out in 1948 had thought they would be in Egypt’s Nile Delta for just a few months, but have not been able to return even after sixty-five years, an Ahram Online report explains.

What began as a temporary asylum in an uninhabited piece of desert in Sharqiya is now known as “Gezira Fadel” or Fadel Island: a forgotten village housing the largest community of 1948 Palestinian refugees in Egypt.

Bedouin farmer Salman Salem, one of the oldest members of the community, describes how Fadel Island began as a couple of makeshift shelters “made from straw” after which people built small homes from mud. Now Fadel Island houses nearly 3,500 people.

Unlike Salem, village Mayor Mohamed El-Nahamawly was born in Fadel Island. His family was forced to abandon over 400 acres of land in Beersheba (which is now part of southern Israel) when they fled to Egypt during the Nakba (Palestinian exodus).

“People here do not call us Palestinians but rather Arabs,” El-Salmi Abu-Olan explains, estimating that there are 40,000 Palestinians in the Nile Delta governorate alone.

It takes three hours from Cairo to reach the small village, which is not written on any Egyptian map.

The rural Egyptian village lacks key facilities, the houses have straw roofs, the streets are narrow and unpaved.

“We do not have a sewage system yet,” the mayor bemoans, adding that the Fadel Island only got electricity in 1989.

Lack of access to education

Like many places in the region, reading and writing is a major issue in the village.

“The literacy rate increased from five years ago to reach 30 per cent, after the Palestinian Embassy in Egypt agreed to pay school fees as well the cost of school books for residents a couple of years ago,” says village resident Mohamed Nossair.

Unlike Egyptians, who have access to free public education, foreigners have to pay for their schooling.

However, according to the official Palestinian Embassy in Egypt website, the mission only covers school fees of 1,300 students across the whole of Sharqiya. Parents face difficulty in affording to spend all of their kids to school.

Responding to the growing problem, in 2010 the Palestinian Embassy funded a one-roomed school to fight illiteracy in the village.

The only teacher Mohamed Abdel-Hamid worries that the younger generations of refugees are becoming increasingly out of touch with their heritage.

He explains Palestinian students frequently miss out on textbooks because they have already been distributed among the Egyptian children.

“Of course university is an other issue because as a Palestinian you have to pay LE1500to popular faculties like medicine and agriculture,” continues Abu-Olan, who studied at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University. “The student may graduate from an Egyptian university but will not get a certificate until he pays the fees.”

Limited opportunity, difficult survival

Money is constant problem. Aside from farming, the village’s main source of revenue is recycling plastic.

Waste is brought to the village; the youth then remove the plastic casings in order to sell it. Many children work in this business: some of them manage to go school in the morning while others do not bother at all.

“We can’t find jobs anymore, this is why I want to travel and work in the Gulf,” says Walid Nossair, a 26-year-old resident who tried his luck as a carpenter and builder in order to support his wife and two children.

“However, although the Gulf States receive Palestinian migrant workers, it is now much harder for Palestinians to travel and work in the Gulf if they are coming from Egypt,” Nossair claims.

Palestinians disadvantaged

Rising youth unemployment is compounded by the inequality between Egyptians and Palestinians when it comes to the price of food, in particular bread, residents explain.

Starting this July, subsidised food will only be supplied to those who have Egyptian identification cards: something Palestinian refugees do not have.

“The Ministry of Health allocated nearly LE1 million to build a clinic here but they needed a plot to build the clinic on and we do not have the right to own the land,” Mayor El-Nahamawly explains, adding that the funds were then spent on another area.

“There is even a lot of red tape surrounding marriage. We have to travel to Cairo to get permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then the Ministry of Justice after which we have to document the marriage at the capital’s notary office. The whole process costs a lot of money, why can’t we have a notary office for foreigners in Zagazig?” the mayor adds.

“We did not suffer from those problems in the past as we used to be treated the same as Egyptians,” Abu-Olan says making reference to life under former president Gamel Abdel-Nasser, when Palestinians were granted equal rights as Egyptians.

This changed in 1977 following political differences between the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the then-president Anwar Sadat.  Sadat cancelled Nasser’s decrees and so Palestinians were consequently treated as foreigners.

The eternal problem separating Palestinian communities from other migrants in Egypt is lack of identification and proper travel papers.

The Palestinian-Egyptians have struggled to gain Egyptian citizenship for those with Egyptian mothers, until a protest finally resulted in a decree whereby Palestinian children of the Egyptian mothers were granted the Egyptian nationality.

Awareness

The problems Fadel Island faces drew the attention of Egyptian and Palestinian activists who sought to make public the plight of the forgotten village.

Consequently on Friday 17 May, three days after the international commemoration of Nakba Day, activists are organising a convoy of medical aid and supplies for the children from Cairo.

Sixty-five years on, village residents say they are fighting to preserve their traditions.

The older members of the community still dream of one day returning to their homeland. However the villagers are in limbo and that dream is fading.

The younger generation, who speak in perfect Egyptian accents, know little about where their great-grandfathers came from.

“As long as there is life there is hope,” concludes Mayor El-Nahamawly as he walks around his village, “Right now we are living our lives normally like Egyptians, pushing for key changes, but we still have hope.”

(Source / 15.05.2013)

Right Of Return Coalition calls For Unity, Rejects Arab Initiative

The International Palestinian Right of Return Coalition issued a press release marking the 65th anniversary of the Nakba of 1948, and called on all Palestinian factions to achieve unity and to remain steadfast without abandoning the legitimate Palestinian rights, topped by the Right of Return of the refugees to their homeland, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

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The coalition, that includes twenty institutions and rights groups, said “as the Palestinians mark the Nakba day, when Israeli armed forces displaced hundreds of villages and towns displacing an attire population before Israeli was established in the historic land of Palestine in 1948, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank must denounce any attempt to void the Right of Return.”

It added that the leadership must denounce the Arab League for suggesting land swap with Israel, and for sending a delegation to Washington to discuss the issue, and stated that the internationally guaranteed Palestinian rights of Return and independence are nonnegotiable.

The coalition stated that the Arab League and its Arab Peace Initiative must quit granting Israel free concessions, must withdraw their initiative, and focus their efforts on supporting the resistance and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people facing the ongoing Israeli occupation and aggression.

It further called on all Palestinian factions to reject all attempts that aim at forcing the Palestinians to abandon their rights, especially their rights in the historic land of Palestine, and their rights to return to their homeland, to their cities, villages and towns that were destroyed and depopulated by the Israeli forces.

“Arab leaders must understand that without the Right of Return, without justice, there will never be peace in the region”, the Coalition said, “The refugees cause is an essential cause that cannot be compromised or abandoned”.

The coalition further called for the protection of the Palestinian refugees wherever they are, especially in Syria amidst the ongoing clashes in the country, and to refrain from using the refugees in Syria as a tool in the ongoing war in the country.

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“Palestinian refugees are the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, the majority of whom were dispossessed, were forced to run away or were expelled when the state of Israel was created in 1948.

This dispossession and expulsion has continued since with the second largest such event in Palestine taking place during the 1967 war, which Israel launched on its Arab neighbors and which resulted in the occupation of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.”

“Palestinian refugees generally fall into three main groups: Palestinian refugees displaced in 1948, internally displaced Palestinians who remained within the areas that became the state of Israel, and Palestinian refugees displaced in 1967 from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. For the past 58 years, Israel has continued to deny Palestinian refugees their right to return to their ancestral towns, villages and homes.”

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(Source / 15.05.2013)