A message from the Intifada Youth Coalition to the United Nations

A message from the Intifada Youth Coalition

Dear United Nations,

We, the Intifada Youth Coalition, are gathered here today to emphasize our refusal of the constant violations of the International law carried out by Israeli extremist religious groups under the full protection of the Israeli occupation’s government against Al Aqsa.

We demand the international community to take on the responsibility of holding Israel accountable for their deliberate vandalism of our holy sites of Jerusalem, which do not only have religious significance but also constitute the core of our identity as Palestinians.

Israel should not be exempted from its duty to implement all international laws if it is a real democracy as it claims to be. We refuse selective democracy and we believe that all people were born free and equal. All people should have a free access to their religious places and Al Aqsa mosque is widely recognized to be a major Islamic destination.

We strongly condemn and thoroughly reject the subversive acts carried out by the orthodox Israeli Jews against Al Aqsa which will give a devastating blow to any peace efforts. This leaves us with one option: that is defending our holy sites with whatever available until the International community dares to step in and take a more affective role in this never ending conflict.

We do urge the United Nations to move towards a fast resolution that will commit Israel to respect our rights and dignity. Any attack which targets Al Aqsa is targeted to a whole nation’s identity.  Any peace to be achieved should be attained on the basis of mutual respect and a joint effort to maintain human dignity and basic rights.

Israel, by insisting to violate all possible basic human regulations, is kicking behind all the world’s efforts to create a more democratic environment in the Middle East.

We are here today to invite you to work with us, hand in hand, to end injustice and implement international law. Now is the time to turn words into acts. This is a real test of how serious the United Nations and the International community is about their determination to enforce the basic human values they call for.

On the other hand, we promise our Palestinian people that we will stand fiercely against any attack that aims at burying our identity and destroying  our national and religious affiliations. If Israel chose violence then it’s only triggering rage.

Jerusalem is and shall always be the capital of the Palestinian State. A city that embraced all three major religions equally and we will make sure to retain this status no matter how aggressive Israel gets.

 

#IntifadaYouthCoalition is protesting in front of the UN

#IntifadaYouthCoalition is protesting in front of the UN
(Source / 02.10.2013)

Remembering Fouzi El-Asmar, poet of the Palestinian liberation struggle

Fouzi El-Asmar

Renowned Palestinian poet, author, journalist and activist Fouzi El-Asmar died near his home in Bethesda, Maryland on 19 September, three weeks after the death of his wife, Maria T. El-Asmar. Both had been suffering from failing health in recent years. Fouzi was buried in Palestine, upon his request, today.

For more than fifty years, Fouzi El-Asmar was one of the most important public intellectuals of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Born in Haifa in 1937, he grew up in a Palestinian area of present-day Israel. In 1958, he became a member of the editorial board of the literary monthly Al-Fajr and in 1966 he became editor of the Arabic magazine Hadha Al-Alam. In 1979, after attending university in the US and graduate school in the UK, he became the managing editor of the London-based international newspaper, Asharq Al-Awsat.

Fouzi’s work centered around Israel and the Palestinians, with particular focus on thePalestinian citizens of Israel. Following in the footsteps of his mother, Najla El-Asmar, who was an activist long before Israel’s establishment in 1948, Fouzi helped found al-Ard, an anti-Zionist political organization committed to the defense of the civil and political rights of “Israeli Arabs.”

Al-Ard predated the Palestine Liberation Organization and eschewed the sorts of compromises for which the PLO would eventually be criticized. Hence, al-Ard was banned in 1964 by the Israeli authorities, who found it threatening. The organization’s office was ransacked, and its property was confiscated.

Its prominent members, including Fouzi, were later imprisoned without charge. Fouzi was detained for well over a year in 1969-1970, then subject to a year of house arrest in 1971.

Groundbreaking

Fouzi El-Asmar was one of the first post-Nakba intellectuals to break into the Anglophone public sphere, with groundbreaking analyses of the everyday life and struggles of the Palestinian with Israeli citizenship. To Be an Arab in Israel (1975) was an autobiographical account published in several languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, English and Danish.

He also wrote of the ideological underpinnings of popular Hebrew children’s books inThrough the Hebrew Looking Glass: Arab Stereotypes in Children’s Literature (1986), originally his dissertation completed under the advisement of Jewish anti-Zionist Uri Davis at the University of Exeter, where Fouzi earned a doctorate in Arabic and Islamic studies.

Fouzi, who considered himself first and foremost a poet, also wrote several collections of poetry, including Poems from an Israeli Prison (1973) and The Wind-Driven Reed and Other Poems (1979). In addition, he published creative collective works theorizing a resolution to the Palestinian–Israeli conflict, such as Towards a Socialist Republic of Palestine (1978, with Uri Davis) and Debate on Palestine (1981, with Davis and Na’im Khader).

Despite his faltering health, Fouzi remained tirelessly committed to the Palestinian struggle. In addition to writing regular columns for international Arabic newspapers such as al-Quds al-Arabi and Amgad al-Arab, he lectured in the Washington area and frequently gave media interviews, usually in Arabic but occasionally in English.

Fouzi prioritized the Arabic language because he wanted to explain the intricacies and machinations of US public policy and foreign affairs to the Arab world. He believed doing so would enable informed political organizing and decision-making in the Middle East.

A friendship to cherish

I knew and worked with Fouzi for several years at the International Council for Middle East Studies, a Washington-based think tank. We served together on its board of directors, developing a friendship I will always cherish.

Although our time together was all too short-lived, Fouzi and I hit it off splendidly upon our first meeting, when I experienced an immediate, uncanny feeling that I had already known him for many years.

To Be an Arab in Israel, which I had encountered in graduate school while writing a dissertation on the Zionist overdetermination of Holocaust film, was for me no mere exercise in conveying basic information about the conflict. This deeply personal and critically incisive book was instrumental in spurring me irrevocably in the direction of Palestine solidarity.

Influential

Particularly influential to me was the book’s critique of the Israeli–Palestinian “dialogue” groups in which Fouzi had participated optimistically, although not without reservation, during the 1960s.

These groups would eventually dissolve after hundreds of thousands more Palestinians were brought under Israeli rule following the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israelis in these groups came to fear for the “Jewish demographic” of their exclusivist state, and in turn began to foresake their newfound Palestinian friends.

Accordingly, following the Yom Kippur/Ramadan War of 1973, “progressive” or “left” Israelis suddenly reversed their previous inclination toward Palestinian equality and integration, and adopted a heightened siege mentality, encouraged by official Israeli propaganda. That propaganda misrecognized Palestinians as European-style anti-Semites, deserving little more than the ethnic cleansing which settler-colonial Zionism, steeped in European racialism, had introduced to the region — and which continues to this day.

Fouzi was astutely aware of Zionist intransigence in relation to Palestinians’ unfailing insistence — expressed at least as far back as 1897 — on their rightful and sovereign presence in the region. He in turn argued that the critique of Zionism, the ideological myth of Jewish national identity, must therefore be central to any project or campaign aimed at resolving the Palestinian–Israeli conflict. For Fouzi, anything less would neglect the crux of the problem and thus enable the persistence of Israeli domination throughout the region.

Continuing the struggle

I was privileged to know the author of this book that says so much about the character and effects of Zionism, its profoundly unstable psychology and its very real cruelty, and who did so much for the advancement of the Palestinian struggle.

After I started working with Fouzi, I became increasingly convinced that his writing in Arabic, while crucial to the struggle, had had the unintended side-effect of rendering him barely known to younger generations of activists and intellectuals in the English-speaking world. This led to my decision to approach him about conducting a comprehensive interview that would, in effect, encapsulate the core of his thinking and the history of his major writings.

The result was a two-part series, the first appearing in Arabisto in February 2012, the second in ZNet in October 2012. Fouzi’s patient and detailed responses to my numerous, occasionally naive questions were humbling in their honesty and forthrightness.

On a more personal note, I shall miss Fouzi’s frequent telephone calls, his bouncing ideas off me as he prepared his weekly columns, gauging my knowledge — or lack thereof — in brilliant displays of dialectic which reflected a keen intellect, his ability to cut through and clarify the apparent “complexities” of the conflict, to see the forest for the trees. These educational conversations will be missed more than anything.

Rest in peace, Fouzi. We shall continue the struggle for you until genuine peace reigns, at long last, in your homeland Palestine.

Terri Ginsberg is a film scholar and Palestine solidarity activist based in New York City. Her publications include Historical Dictionary of Middle Eastern Cinema and special issues of the International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies and Arab Studies Quarterly. Her essay about the blacklisting of Vanessa Redgrave appears on the newly-remastered Blu-ray of Playing for Time.

The original version of this article stated that al-Ard was banned in 1984, rather than 1964. This error has now been corrected.

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Childhood Denied

Childhood is a beautiful and strange thing. Before we truly learn how precious it is, it is already over. For many Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation childhood ends even earlier than you’d think. The commonplace elements of a child’s life in Palestine, which under normal circumstances would be filled with school books, football and games with friends, is instead interrupted by the harsh realities of occupation that include soldiers, checkpoints, walls, discrimination and racism.

When childhood ends for a Palestinian under occupation is impossible to tell. Many who try to carry on with a normal life under the circumstances hope to enjoy the innocence of youth without having it shattered by the oppressive regime that surrounds them. Not all are so lucky. Atta Sabah is one of them.

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An Israeli soldier prevents a Palestinian boy from riding his bicycle in the streets that are blocked to Palestinian residents, in the West Bank city of Hebron on June 20, 2012. (Hazem Bader /AFP / GettyImages)

I spend more time than most focused on news from Palestine and the Middle East and every so often there is a story I learn about that I heard nothing of previously. In a situation where death and violence has become routine, not every bullet or victim registers a headline. So when I heard Atta’s story I decided it had to be highlighted, not because it is particularly unique but because it is commonplace and yet unheard of.

Atta is a Palestinian refugee residing in Jalazon refugee camp. He is 12 years old. The camp, whose residents mostly come from the villages surrounding Al-Lyd, is about 20 miles east of there today in the West Bank between Ramallah and Nablus.

Earlier this year, in May, Atta and his friends were doing what most kids at their age should be doing; playing around. Boys will be boys. But when boys are boys in under occupation, the mere act of playing around could lead to horrific outcomes. Atta and his friends were tossing around his school bag. When Atta went to retrieve it from where it had landed, he saw it was in the possession of an Israeli soldier.

What is an Israeli soldier doing in the path of school kids? Guarding the illegal Israeli colony of Beit El, which is home to thousands of illegal Israel settlers and adjacent to the Jalazon refugee camp. Atta wanted his school bag back. The soldiers told him to come back for it the next day.

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Detail of map showing Beit El and Jalazon.

The following day Atta returned in an effort to get his school bag back from the soldier who had it. As he approached the soldiers, one of whom held up his bag, he paused feeling nervous and uncomfortable with the situation, and then when he turned around…BANG.

Atta, an unarmed Palestinian refugee of 12 years who just wanted his school bag back was shot in the stomach. The bullet—a live fire bullet—exited through his back but not before severing his spinal cord. The shot damaged his liver, lungs, pancreas and spleen and has left him paralyzed from the waist down.

What possible explanation could there be for this barbaric act? Defense for Children International, an NGO that works to document and advocate on behalf of children’s rights, noted on this incident:

Eyewitness reports show that the situation was calm, that no clashes were taking place at the time and there was no “mortal danger” to Israeli forces that would allow the use of live ammunition.

Contradicting eyewitness reports, when asked about the use of live ammunition against an unarmed child, the Israeli army Spokesperson’s Unit stated that “on the afternoon of May 21, 2013 a violent and unlawful riot took place in the area, with the participation of dozens of Palestinians who threw rocks and Molotov cocktails towards the soldiers.”

The UNRWA operated boy’s school for the Jalazon refugee camp is very close to the ever expanding Israeli colony of Beit El. In this picture of the entrance to the school you can clearly see the red roof tops of the settlement on the hilltop in the background.  In fact, as the map below shows, the settlement’s proximity means the school is in Area C even though it is merely 1000 feet from the heart of the camp. This means soldiers are regularly around the school and childhoods end much quicker here than in many other places.

Atta must now adjust to a new life. Life in a refugee camp was difficult to begin with but now, unable to walk, things just got more complicated. The family is struggling to cope. There is no assistance geared toward supporting Atta’s dire needs now.

Atta is also under no illusions about justice. When asked what he thinks will happen to the Israeli soldier who shot him, clearly against even the Israeli military’s rules of engagement, he replied “I’m not expecting anything to happen to him.”

He’s right. Impunity for crimes is a cornerstone of Israel’s military occupation and in Jalazon, as settlements expand and the occupation further entrenches itself, more childhoods will likely be shattered before any fair or transparent investigations take place of any Israeli soldiers or their commanders face justice for these crimes.

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Norwegian union ends G4S contract as “act of solidarity” with Palestinians

Palestine solidarity activists protest outside G4S’s annual general meeting in London.

A major Norwegian trade union has terminated its contract with security company G4S in protest at the firm’s role in providing equipment and services to Israeli prisons and  settlements.

Industri Energi, a trade union for workers in the energy and heavy industry sectors, had been using the company to provide security at its offices in Stavanger in the south of Norway.

Announcing that the contract will now be terminated, union leader Leif Sande told Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen that the move was taken as “an act of solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people.”

G4S is contracted to provide and maintain security equipment at Israeli prisons. The equipment includes monitoring systems, cameras and control rooms in which Palestinians are detained without trial and subjected to torture. The company also provides equipment and services to Israeli checkpoints and settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The University of Oslo and both businesses and not-for-profit groups across Europe have also cut their ties to G4S as part of an international campaign that was launched by Palestinian prisoner organizations in April 2012.

“Profoundly unethical”

In the UK, the East London Teachers Association (ELTA) has just passed a motion condemning G4S’s complicity in Israel’s prison system and calling on a local authority to terminate its contracts with the company. G4S has a 22-year contract to provide “a comprehensive integrated facilities management solution” to 25 London schools.

statement on the website of London-based campaign group War on Want said:

The recent ELTA motion calls on the local authority to withdraw contracts with G4S for schools in the area: “This association feels that it is completely inappropriate for a company which is complicit in unlawful detention and torture to provide services in Tower Hamlets schools. It, therefore, agrees to approach the local authority to request that it withdraw from its contract with G4S due to that company’s profoundly unethical behavior or to get an assurance from the company that it will cease to sell its services to the Israeli Prison Service by the end of 2015.”

Speaking about the resolution, Alex Kenny, ELTA secretary, said, “I am pleased that East London NUT [National Union of Teachers] has joined the campaign to highlight the role played by G4S in the mistreatment of Palestinian children. Such treatment is incompatible with the aims and values of the National Union of Teachers. The NUT, locally and nationally, has a long record of supporting the rights of the Palestinian people to peace and justice. We are working closely with Action for Palestinian Children and other organizations to bring about change in this area and hope that we can work with the local authority to put pressure on G4S.”

The ELTA was formed in 1870 and is one of the oldest associations that make up the National Union of Teachers.

G4S has sought to deflect pressure from campaigners by announcing that it intends to pull out of a limited number of contracts relating to its operations in illegal Israeli settlements by 2015. However, G4S has not yet withdrawn from single contract and has not made any public commitments or statements about its extensive role in prisons inside Israel. The company remains deeply complicit in Israel’s abhorrent prison system.

In August, two campaigners who staged an eight-hour rooftop occupation at the corporate headquarters of G4S in Crawley, just outside London, were found not guilty of aggravated trespass. Significantly, a G4S representative told the court hearing the case that the Crawley head office of G4S had overall responsibility for the firm’s contracts with the Israeli government.

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Persbericht van de krakers: Vluchtelingen van Wij Zien Hier vinden noodopvang in bezet pand

Vandaag heeft een groep sympathisanten het pand Weteringschans 109 bezet. Zij hebben de vluchtelingen uitgenodigd om het pand te gebruiken als noodopvang zodat ze hun actie voort kunnen zetten.

Wij hebben dit gedaan omdat er geen oplossing voor deze mensen komt, niet van de gemeente, niet van de landelijke overheid.

Wij zien Weteringschans 109 niet als oplossing: deze actie moet vooral gezien worden als een broodnodig dak boven een moedige protestactie en niet als alternatief voor dit beleid.

Alhoewel zowel landelijke politici als lokale politiek het erover eens zijn dat deze groep een fundamenteel probleem in de omgang met vluchtelingen aankaart, zien wij de situatie van deze moedige groep alleen maar verslechteren.

Wij kunnen alleen maar een klein gedeelte van de leegstaande ruimte van Amsterdam aanbieden. Maar een dak is niet voldoende. Om hun actie voort te kunnen zetten is alle hulp welkom. Van eten tot financiele donaties, van advies tot simpelweg medemenselijkheid.

We hopen dat het nieuwe onderkomen gezien wordt als een uitnodiging aan iedereen die zich niet medeplichtig wil laten maken aan dit vreemdelingenbeleid.

Voor verdere inlichtingen verwijzen wij jullie graag naar:

www.wijzijnhier.org

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Egypt cabinet criminalises insulting the flag

Egypt cabinet approves interim-President Adli Mansour’s draft law criminalising ridiculing the national flag and anthem
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An Egyptian protester waves a flag in Tahrir square
The Egyptian cabinet approved interim-President Adli Mansour’s draft law Wednesday regarding the national flag and anthem, Ahram’s Arabic website reports.The draft law states that “ridiculing the Egyptian flag and not standing in respect when the national anthem is played in public is a crime punishable by a maximum of six months imprisonment and/or five thousand pounds fine.”

Muslim Brotherhood supporters in schools have clashed with opponents in the last few days over which songs to start the academic day with.

Supporters of the Egyptian military have played pro-army tunes in a number of schools prompting Brotherhood teachers and students to cry foul.

Earlier this week, the Minister of Education issued a decree banning all songs but the national anthem from public schools.

Meanwhile, pro-army forces charge that Brotherhood administrators in some schools often skip playing the national anthem in favour of Brotherhood tunes.

Salafist MPs in the 2011 parliament refused to stand during the national anthem, which they said contradicts the teachings of Islam.

Tensions between pro and anti-army forces since the ouster of the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July have spread to schools and universities.

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Hundreds of Palestinian troops to restore order in West Bank former militant stronghold

JENIN, WEST BANK –  Officials say hundreds of Palestinian troops have deployed in the West Bank’s Jenin district, reinforcing the security presence in the increasingly restive former militant stronghold.

The troops, wearing helmets and riot gear, rode in a convoy of cars into the main Jenin security compound Wednesday. They assembled in formation in a parking lot.

The town of Jenin and its adjacent refugee camp were controlled by vigilante gunmen several years ago, but were then targeted in a law-and-order campaign by the Palestinian self-rule government.

The level of unrest has risen in recent months, in part after Israelis raided the area to arrest suspected militants. Three Palestinians died in raids that turned violent in the past two months. After the last killing, stone-throwing camp residents attacked Palestinian government offices in the area.

(Source / 02.10.2013)

De beste 10 dagen van het jaar staan voor de deur!

By Marianna Laarif

Bismillâhi Rahmâni Rahîm, Alhamdulillâhi Rabbil ‘Âlamîn was-salâtu was-salâmu ‘alâ nabiyyinâ Muhammadin wa ‘alâ ahlihi wa ashâbihi aj’ma’în amma’ ba’d.

In de Naam van Allâh, de Erbarmer, de Meest Barmhartige.
As-salâm ‘alaykum warahmatullâhi wa barakâtuh beste broeder of zuster,Alle lof is aan Allâh Die de Tijd heeft gecreëerd en sommige tijden beter heeft gemaakt dan andere, sommige maanden, dagen en nachten beter heeft gemaakt dan andere, wanneer beloningen vele malen worden vermenigvuldigd als Genade voor Zijn dienaren. Dit moedigt hen aan om meer goede daden te verrichten en maakt hen enthousiaster om Hem te aanbidden, zodat de moslim zijn pogingen hernieuwt om een grotere beloning te behalen, zichzelf voor te bereiden op de dood en zich klaar te maken voor de Dag des Oordeels.

De beste tien dagen van het jaar zullen aanstaande zaterdag 05 oktober of zondag 06 oktober aanbreken, inshâ’Allâh. Dit is afhankelijk van het waarnemen van de nieuwe maan.

Dit zijn de eerste tien dagen van de maand Dhû-l-Hijjah die Allâh verkiest boven alle andere dagen van het jaar. Deze periode van aanbidding brengt vele voordelen met zich mee, zoals de mogelijkheid om je fouten te verbeteren en eventuele tekortkomingen of gemiste zaken te herstellen.

De deugdzaamheid van deze tien dagen is op vele zaken gebaseerd:

Ibn ‘Abbâs (moge Allâh tevreden met hem zijn) heeft overgeleverd dat de Profeet (vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) heeft gezegd (interpretatie van de betekenis):

“Er zijn geen dagen waarop de goede daden meer geliefd zijn door Allâh dan deze tien dagen.”De mensen vroegen, “Niet eens jihâd voor de zaak van Allâh?” Hij zei, “Niet eens jihâd voor de zaak van Allâh, behalve in het geval van een man die ging vechten en zichzelf en zijn rijkdom opgaf voor de zaak, en met niks terugkwam.”(Bukhâri)

‘Abdullâh ibn ‘Umar (moge Allâh tevreden met hem zijn) heeft overgeleverd dat de Profeet (vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) heeft gezegd:

“Er zijn geen dagen groter in het zicht van Allâh en waarin goede daden meer geliefd zijn voor Hem dan deze tien dagen, dus reciteer gedurende deze tijd veel Tahlîl, Takbîr en Tahmîd.”(Ahmad)

De Profeet (vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) heeft ons opgedragen veel Tasbîh (“Subhâna’Allâh”), Tahlîl (“Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh”), Tahmîd (“Al-Hamdulillâh”) en Takbîr (“Allâhu Akbar”) op te zeggen gedurende de eerste tien dagen van Dhû-l-Hijjah, en het hardop te zeggen in de moskee, thuis, op straat en elke plaats waar het toegestaan is Allâh te gedenken en Zijn Naam hardop te noemen, als een handeling van aanbidding en als een proclamatie van de grootheid van Allâh de Verhevene. Mannen zouden deze termen hardop moeten reciteren en vrouwen zacht op.

Eén van de beste daden die men gedurende deze dagen kan verrichten, is het verrichten van de Hajj naar het Huis van Allâh. De Profeet (vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) heeft gezegd:

“Een geaccepteerde Hajj brengt geen kleinere beloning dan het Paradijs.” (Bukhâri & Muslim)

Voor degenen die helaas niet op Hajj kunnen gaan, wees niet bedroefd! Je kunt deze gezegende periode benutten met het aanbidden van Allâh, gebed, Qur’ân lezen, Allâh gedenken, smeekbeden verrichten, vasten, liefdadigheid geven, de ouders eren, familiebanden versterken, aansporen wat goed is en verbieden wat slecht is, en andere goede daden en handelingen van aanbidding. Daarnaast is het zeer aangeraden om te vasten op de 9e dag van Dhû-l-Hijjah, ook wel de Dag van ‘Arafât genoemd.

En ten slot: Eén van de meest belangrijke zaken om gedurende deze tien dagen te doen is oprecht berouw tonen aan Allâh en alle vormen van ongehoorzaamheid en zonde op te geven. Berouw betekent terugkomen tot Allâh en zich onthouden van alle daden, openlijk en geheim, waar Hij niet van houdt, uit spijt voor wat er gebeurd is, het onmiddellijk opgeven en vastberaden zijn er nooit in terug te vallen, stevig vasthouden aan de Waarheid door te doen waar Allâh de Barmhartige van houdt.

Als een moslim een zonde pleegt moet hij zich haasten om berouw te tonen, zonder uitstel. Ten eerste omdat hij niet weet wanneer hij zal sterven en ten tweede omdat de ene slechte daad tot een andere leidt.

Berouw op speciale momenten is erg belangrijk, want in de meeste gevallen richten mensen hun gedachtes gedurende deze tijden op aanbidding en willen graag het goede doen wat er toe leidt dat ze hun zonden inzien en spijt hebben van het verleden. Berouw is te allen tijde een plicht, maar wanneer de moslim oprecht berouw combineert met goede daden gedurende deze dagen, is dit een teken van succes inshâ’Allâh. Allâh zegt namelijk in de Edele Qur’ân (interpretatie van de betekenis):

“Maar hij, die berouw heeft, gelooft en goed doet, zal waarschijnlijk tot de geslaagden behoren.” {Qs 28:67}

Laat dus deze onschatbare en onvervangbare tien dagen niet onbenut. Haast je om goede werken te verrichten voordat je sterft, voordat jij je eigen nalatigheid en je falen om te handelen, betreurt. Want de tijd van vertrek is nabij, de reis is angstaanjagend, misvattingen zijn wijdverspreid en de weg is lang. Stel daarom jezelf open voor de zachte wind Barmhartigheid van jouw Heer gedurende deze tien dagen. Want Allâh zal, wie Hij wil, aanraken met deze zachte wind, en wie er door aangeraakt is, zal gelukkig zijn op de Dag des Oordeels en tot Allâh zullen wij terugkeren en aan Hem zullen wij rekenschap afleggen.

Moge Allâh onze geliefde profeet Muhammad en zijn familie en metgezellen zegenen, Allâhumma âmîn!

Subhânaka Allâhumma wa bih’amdik, ash-hadu allâ illâha illâ anta, astaghfiruka wa atûba ilayk.

Wa ‘alaykum as-salâm warahmatullâh,

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Official: Israeli forces hang flags on Ibrahimi mosque

HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday placed Israeli flags on the walls of the Ibrahimi mosque and set up tents in the eastern courtyards, mosque officials told Ma’an.

Mosque custodian Hijazi Abu Isneineh said Israeli forces used the eastern enclave to celebrate the appointment of a new Israeli police commander, without providing further details.

(Source / 02.10.2013)

Palestinian society is considered ‘young’

Elderly people represent 4.4% of the total Palestinian population in mid 2013

Ramallah: Alarming statistics released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics show that elderly people represented only 4.4 per cent of the total population of the Palestinian territories in mid 2013.

Generally, the Palestinian territories have witnessed an improvement in life expectancy of about five to seven years during the last two decades. During this time, the life expectancy of both males and females rose — from 67 years in 1992 to 71.5 years in 2013 for males and to 74.4 years for females.

This pattern is expected to continue with male life expectancy tipped to reach 72 years and that for females to reach 75 years in the year 2015.

The data about numbers of elderly people (those 60 and over) was presented by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on the occasion of the International Day of the Elderly on October 1.

Palestinian society is considered a young society as youth make up about half of the society while the percentage of the population that is elderly is relatively small. In mid 2013, the percentage of the population classed as elderly reached 4.8 per cent in the West Bank and 3.7 per cent in the Gaza Strip.

Even though these percentages will increase in the coming years, the percentage of the Palestinian population made up by the elderly will remain relatively low and not exceed 4.5 per cent during the upcoming 10 years. The percentage of the population made up of the elderly may start increasing more significantly after 2020.

In gender terms, the percentage of males (aged 60 and over) in the Palestinian territories reached about 3.9 per cent in 2013 against 4.9 per cent for females.

The percentage of households headed by an elderly person in the 2nd quarter of 2013 reached 15.7 per cent in the Palestinian territories (17.1 per cent in West Bank and 13.2 per cent in Gaza Strip). The data indicates that the average size of a household headed by an elderly person is relatively small with 3.5 individuals involved compared with 5.9 individuals in a household not presided over by an elderly person.

About 91.6 per cent of elderly males in the Palestinian territories are married against 44.4 per cent of elderly females. The percentage of elderly widowed males reached 8.3 per cent against 48.1 per cent for females in the 2nd quarter of the year 2013.

Data indicated that there was a high percentage of illiterate elderly in 2012. The percentage of the elderly who had not completed any educational stage was 54.8 per cent (34.6 per cent males and 71.1 per cent females), while the illiteracy rate for the elderly was 37.7 per cent of the total elderly persons.

Therefore the illiterate elderly represent about 68.1 percent of the illiterate persons in Palestine.

Data on illiteracy in 2012 indicated that there is an obvious difference between males and females in terms of education received as the percentage of elderly males who had obtained a diploma or higher was 17.7 percent against 5.1 per cent for elderly females.

As a comparison, the illiteracy percentage of individuals aged 15 and over in Palestine does not exceed 4.1 per cent (1.8 per cent males against 6.4 per cent females). The percentage of individuals (aged 15 and over) who has obtained diploma and higher reached 16.9 per cent of total population aged 15 and over in Palestine (17.4 per cent males and 16.4 per cent females).

(Source / 02.10.2013)