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The Gaza Syndrome

October! The usual change of seasons and its darting dizzy spells. A few days and they will dissipate, I said to myself. But they stayed for weeks, then months.

The doctor said it could be the crystals in my left ear. My sister’s problem since her teens, would you believe? What would make them misbehave with me now, I wondered?

Can This Israel Survive In the Glare of The Day?

Hagar Brodutch and her three children were among the Israelis who were taken hostage by Hamas on October 7, and later released in the exchange of captives in November. She and her kids were held in an apartment somewhere in the North of Gaza. As Israel pounded away all around her, she started to grapple with the twin-truths of the October attack:

In Lebanon, We Wait As We Watch

We hear it in whispers and see it everywhere in screaming headlines. In major crises, public news and the very quiet chatter in the corridors of power rarely agree. But this time, between them, there is hardly any daylight.

Dare We Look Forward?

As an excruciatingly painful 2023 folds, the unavoidable question: dare we look forward?

How can we not? And inevitably, for many of us, hand in hand with every private fear and aspiration comes the collective one. The private and public realms are just that intertwined in this Arab life.

Every time I see her, I am stricken by an all-engulfing sadness made even more unbearable by her helplessness and ours, her family, before afflictions that won’t abate. When we are together, most times there is hardly any emotion on display beside outward love–no tears and scenes, no curses and furies, no visible laments. But always, there’s the ever-present whisper: ya haram. Mercy! I know that my three siblings feel and whisper the same.

Why This Time It’s Different

I have a little sister, whose myriad medical conditions from birth have demanded of her and us extraordinary faith, as it happens her name. Faith that perhaps the heavens might somehow relent and offer her a more merciful journey on this earth.

Every time I see her, I am stricken by an all-engulfing sadness made even more unbearable by her helplessness and ours, her family, before afflictions that won’t abate. When we are together, most times there is hardly any emotion on display beside outward love–no tears and scenes, no curses and furies, no visible laments. But always, there’s the ever-present whisper: ya haram. Mercy! I know that my three siblings feel and whisper the same.

The Tragedy of the Israeli People

We Levantines are forever lost in our stories. Stories that ruin our evenings and scold our mornings, stories that puncture the hours with pain and tears, that tear at the heart and arrest emotion. Stories that plead with the imagination to locate exits and coax the future into a rewrite.

Is The Era Of Let Bygones Be Bygones Gone?

On April 26, 1988, throngs of us Arabs sat in our living rooms mesmerized as we watched Ted Koppel’s Nightline. That evening, the ABC news show held a town hall meeting in Jerusalem that brought together a panel of three Palestinians and three Israelis. Moderated by Koppel, the two teams laid out their clashing narratives.

Breaches

Hamas attacks southern Israel on October 7, and the world as we knew it cracked.
So, now we spend our time counting breaches. Which ones will prove durable, which ones seismic?

Hard chore. Hard lessons learned from the 2011 revolts.

There is one breach that I find myself constantly perusing. I have the sense that it will very likely deepen and rip through the toughest presumptions that have long frozen the Israeli-Palestinian mythos.

The War That Has Yet to Rage Inside Israel

It’s probably 1997, and I am sitting with a friend in a café in Beirut, not too far from Palestine; Palestine as a yearning, a dream, an idea, because that was all there was of it for him and me.

The encounter taught me the wonders of boundless passion and commitment–and the utter folly of them if left to run unschooled and wild.

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