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Rajab 29,1429/ August 1, 2008, 2008, #42
International Islamic Conference Promoting Peace
Days Hotel Timonium
9615 Deereco Rd
Phone: (410) 560-1000 or 1-800-325-2525
Direction: Get directions [go to
Date and Time: Juma on August 15th, 2008 at 1:30-2:00 pm
All are welcome.
Light rail from the city stops near the hotel.
khutba by Imam Warith Deen Umar [Albany, New York]
Topic: "The Failure of Imams in America and its
Impact on International Peace"
After Juma at 2:30 pm Maulana Qari Ehsanullah from
Conference on August 16th, 2008 from 10.00 am to 7:00 pm
Latest Endorsements of the International Conference for Peace
and Awareness: August 16, 2008. JAM4PEACE.org
From Nigeria: Islamic Youth Movement Leader Endorses
The international Islamic Conference is an opportunity for
the Ummah to reassess its potentials in bringing peace for
the whole of humanity. Islam as a way of life has mandated
the Muslims to unite and build bridges across divides for the
benefit of the human race. The oppression and exploitation of
innocent members of the society in whatever guise should be
resisted by all if we lasting peace is to be achieved.
Alhaji Dr. Asheikh Ahmed: National Vice President
(International) of the Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria
For Peace in the City: From Baltimore's Leading and Unique
Organization for Homeless Women
As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu.
As director of Women Affairs of Al-Mumtahinah home, we strive
to create peace in the Muslim Ummah by providing
education, shelter, food, clothing and resources for the
under privileged women and children that are homeless.
We follow the Prophet Sallahu Alaihi wa Salaam's
sunnah by wanting for our brothers and sisters what we want
for ourselves. This is the way of our organization.
Insha'Allah we will bring peace in our community which will
grow nationally and internationally by promoting and
educating our community to attend conferences such as the
Peace and Awareness conference.
Looking forward to attending and to be informed.
Nadia Auxila [Director]
Description of program and activities:
Women Affairs of Al-Mumtahinah Home Inc. is a nonprofit
corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable
purposes. Specifically, this organization has been formed to
provide relief to homeless distressed, poor and under
privileged women and their children in our community at
large. Our organization has designed and developed one
program in furtherance of our purposes. We further our
purposes under this program by operating a bi-weekly Halal
emergency food pantry. Please visit our website at
Our mailing address is:
Women Affairs of Al-Mumtahinah Home Inc.
Baltimore, Md 21203
Phone numbers: 443-798-1323 / 443-869-3403
At this time we are in dire need of financial support for
rent and utilities expenses
Please give us a call should you like to make a monetary
donation or clothing, household items, and toiletries etc. to
benefit the home insha'Allah.
The Mysterious "Islam" of ICNA, Siraj Wahhaj and Gamal
Badawi: Re: ICNA's "Why Islam" Campaign
by Kaukab Siddique, Ph.D
July 28: ICNA has a clean slate as far as the anti-Islam
groups are concerned. For nearly 7 years after 9:11, ICNA has
remained silent about the suffering of Muslims around the
world. Look at the latest issue of The Message, ICNA's glossy
publication: There is not the slightest indication that ICNA
has any idea of the role of Israel or of the genocide of
Muslims in Somalia, Kashmir, Chechnya, Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is a lily white group which loves the American power
structure's view of the world.
During the recent past, ICNA started putting up sign boards
in major cities titled WHY ISLAM. It's an expensive operation
but a sheer waste of effort because its version of Islam is
so pathetic: that of a slave who wants his master to
Basically what WHY ISLAM says is that:
1. We are not terrorists.
2. We pray and fast.
3. We don't beat our women.
4. We do charitable work and other goody-goody stuff along
the same line.
5. Muslim women wear hijab and are not terrorists
The WHY ISLAM sign board ICNA has put up in the Baltimore
area has Gamal Badawi, the old Muslim Brotherhood
turncoat, on it. He talks a lot of lies, claiming that Jihad
or armed struggle is not central to Islam. He even claims
that he will give a million dollars [even 2 million] to
anyone who can prove that Islam teaches any fighting other
than in self-defense!
Where did he get so much money from? And now he owes it to
us! Why? Here is the answer:
Anyone who has studied the Qur'an would know that Allah
Almighty has ordained Jihad with weapons against those who
try to molest Muslim women. It also commands Jihad against
those who create a system based on interest [riba]. And many
others. [I wrote a whole article on Badawi's distortions of
the Qur'an earlier.]
ICNA is so much on the defensive, it forgot that America and
Americans are not trying to stop Muslims from praying and
fasting and building mosques. No one has said that Muslim
women in America should not wear hijab. This is not France or
Turkey. One can worship anyway in America.
So all that "WHY ISLAM" publicity is sheer waste of money and
effort. [ICNA seems to be very rich and wasteful.]
Now we come to the bizarre SIRAJ WAHHAJ story in
ICNA decided to put WHY ISLAM publicity in the New York
subway system. That would have been a smart move except that
owing to al-Hajj Malik Shabazz [Malcolm X], Americans already
know that Muslims pray and fast and especially that they GO
FOR HAJJ. [Remember Malcolm in Makka?]
The 9.11 attacks brought discussion and study of Islam into
millions of American homes. So why ICNA's WHY ISLAM?
To top it all, ICNA brought in SIRAJ WAHHAJ, its
biggest groupie from the governmental organization known
A crazy fringe New York paper claimed that Wahhaj has
terrorist links because he was called as a witness by the
DEFENSE in the case of the Blind Shaikh [Dr. Omar 'Abdel
Rahman]. The story was picked up by Fox TV which loves this
kind of scare tactic against Muslims. Fox refused to mention
what Siraj said in court after he was called by the defense.
That would have trashed FOX's implication that Siraj is some
kind of a radical. The man actually went to the Zionist
congress and prayed for the killers there and was proud of
ICNA was really stuck and did not have the courage or the
honesty to speak the truth.
For those who don't know the role of Siraj Wahhaj in the case
of the Blind Shaikh, let me summarize it here so they can
understand ICNA's role.
The court records show that Siraj Wahhaj was called as
a CHARACTER WITNESS by the defense for Shaikh Omar Abdel
Rahman. [On this point, FOX TV is correct.] And Siraj
Wahhaj did say something like that Dr. Omar is a great
shaikh, but then he contradicted himself by saying that he
really knows little about the shaikh. Then he claimed that
the Shaikh says that it's OKAY TO ROB BANKS. In other words,
Wahhaj cleverly helped the government prosecute the Shaikh.
The defense attorney was so shocked that his witness [Siraj]
had turned against him that he quickly changed the line of
questioning and then let Siraj go.
Of course ICNA did not have the honesty to say: Don't blame
Siraj: He actually helped put the Blind Shaikh in prison
And of course, FOX TV was so dishonest that it did not give
the whole story. Who expects Fox to tell the truth? But ICNA
is supposed to be a bunch of Muslims.
Readers might not know that when the Zionist judge. Michael
Mukasey, sentenced Shaikh Omar Abdel Rahman to life in
prison, he quoted Siraj Wahhaj, pointing out that the
Muslims' own Imam is saying that the Shaikh taught Muslims to
rob banks! [Michael Mukasey is now the attorney general of
the U.S. appointed by Bush at a time when no one else wants
Later, much later, when Siraj Wahhaj was interviewed,
very favorably, by the Wall Street Journal, the
flagship of right wing Zionism, Siraj boasted about the story
he had told about the Blind Shaikh: that robbing banks
Readers should know tha Siraj does not know Arabic, and the
Shaikh does not know English. So Siraj could not have
known what the Shaikh said. If there was a translator,
Siraj should have said that the translator said this.
Readers should know that Dr. Omar Abdel Rahman is so strict
about Halal and Haram that during his trip
through America [before his arrest at the behest of the
Egyptian regime], he told American Muslims to eat Zabiha
Halal meat only, and did not endorse the eating of
ahlul kitab's meat as many Arab Muslims in America do.
There can be no doubt that Siraj Wahhaj played an
important role in the imprisonment of one of the greatest
scholars of Islam in modern times. Siraj refuses to
repent. for his great crime against Islam.
ICNA has not tried, ever, in the slightest, to defend the
Blind Shaikh or even to protest his mistreatment in U.S.
prisons. Now ICNA wants to teach Islam!
These people have no fear of Allah and no sense that
Akhira is coming and they will be held accountable.
Not a word about 7 YEARS of Muslim suffering and they want to
teach Islam! This is Munafiqat in the highest degree.
The Qur'an has an entire chapter on munafiqs.
Our America: by New Trend's Media Monitor
"President" [already !] Barack Obama Plans new Crusade
against the World of Islam
From his deep prostration at the AIPAC Convention to the
Jewish elites, Obama has moved predictably to show support
for the agents America has installed in the countries under
occupation.. He held secret talks with Karzai in Kabul, then
moved to Iraq and met American generals under an opaque
security bubble which cut him off from any contact with even
those Iraqis who are working under the U.S. ambit.
Then we had the sickening scenes of Obama wearing a yarmulke
genuflecting at the Jewish Holocaust temple [whose contents
cannot be discussed critically] in occupied Palestine.
CIA agent King Abdullah of Jordan was in COLORADO when Obama
visited Jordan. The King rushed overnight all the way back to
Amman to pay homage to the new American idol.
Obama refused to acknowledge Hamas although it is the only
existing democratically elected organization in Gaza. Here
democracy did not matter to Obama. He made a fuss about a
young Palestinian who used a tractor to attack Israeli
vehicles and lost his life in the process. Obama condemned
the young man for his act of resistance. What future is there
for peace in the Middle East when the putative next president
of the U.S. is so uncaring for oppressed people.
In Germany, on July 24, Obama was enthralled by the big
welcome given him by the enslaved German people. Here Obama
lost all sense of perspective and urged the German people,
and Europeans in general, to fight in Afghanistan against the
forces of Islam.
Obama seemed to have taken on the idea that he is a Zionist
and a European. He lost all sense of his African and [though
very diffuse] Muslim background. Note his words. Remember
that words like "terror" and "extremism" are labels for
Islamic resistance. "The well of extremism" is the Muslim
ummah which supports resistance. Here is what he said::
"This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the
well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real and
we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it. If we
could create NATO to face down the Soviet Union, we can join
in a new and global partnership to dismantle the networks
that have struck in Madrid and Amman; in London and Bali; in
Washington and New York. If we could win a battle of ideas
against the communists, we can stand with the vast majority
of Muslims who reject the extremism that leads to hate
instead of hope.
This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the
terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the
traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes
war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan.
But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO's
first mission beyond Europe's borders is a success. For the
people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work
must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people
need our troops and your troops; our support and your support
to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy,
and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at
stake to turn back now."
Does Obama know that the Afghan people detest NATO and have
never asked for intervention by the new crusaders?
It appears that a renegade group in Karachi, Pakistan is
feeding the U.S. stories about the imminent takeover of
Pakistan's biggest city by the Taliban. Hence "Karachi" has
started turning up regularly in Obama's speeches as a threat.
This is the connection he made in his speech in Germany
between 9.11 and Karachi:
"The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and
trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from
all over the globe on American soil."
What about Africa? His only interest is in ONE province of
Sudan which is being targeted by the Israelis for worldwide
propaganda against Sudan:
"Will we give meaning to the words "never again" in Darfur?"
[In other words, Darfur is another "holocaust."]
Arrest of Serb Thug Karadjic, Ignores Role of Dutch Troops
who Facilitated Slaughter of Muslim Prisoners
Here is a look back into the tragedy of Bosnia: Hypocrisy of
one Man's Arrest is obvious
Bosnia calls in ambassador to protest at medals award
· Troops were part of UN force meant to protect city
Ian Traynor in Zagreb
Wednesday December 6, 2006
The leadership of Bosnia protested bitterly to the
Netherlands yesterday over the awards of medals to Dutch
peacekeepers who stood by and did nothing at the infamous
1995 massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims
Haris Silajdzic, a former prime minister and a member of the
three-man Bosnian presidency, said he had called in the Dutch
ambassador in Sarajevo to demand an explanation for the
military ceremony that was conducted at a barracks in eastern
Holland on Monday.
Henk Kamp, the Dutch defence minister, unveiled a
plaque at the barracks praising the troops who failed to act
to prevent the atrocity at Srebrenica when the Bosnian Serb
commander, General Ratko Mladic, seized the enclave in
eastern Bosnia, separated the males from the women and
children, and then organised the mass murder of almost 8,000
men over 10 days in July 1995.
The shocking episode constituted the worst single atrocity of
the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and the only event in the 42-month
war that the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague
has categorised as genocide.
Gen Mladic has been charged with genocide but has been a
fugitive for 11 years.
The Dutch were shamed and traumatised by their role in the
massacre. An official inquiry in 2002 cleared the troops of
complicity but criticised the Dutch authorities, triggering a
symbolic resignation of the Dutch government.
Families of the victims have been trying to sue the Dutch
state in the courts in the Netherlands because of alleged
co-responsibility for the massacre. Mass graves containing
the remains of victims are still being discovered and
But on Monday in Assen Mr Kamp handed out medals to 500
members of the Dutch battalion stationed at Srebrenica, which
was a so-called UN safe haven, ostensibly under UN protection
when it was overrun by the Serbs.
"We are doing this to support our people," said Mr Kamp.
"These people are in the military ... It is difficult for
them and we want to support them," he added.
The medals were to acknowledge that the Dutch troops had "for
years wrongly been held responsible for what happened in the
enclave," said Mr Kamp.
Tom Karremans, the Dutch commander at Srebrenica present at
Monday's ceremony, was photographed socialising and drinking
with Gen Mladic. The Dutch were said to have obtained the
release of 14 kidnapped peacekeepers in return for not
obstructing the Serbian operation.
Protests were staged in Sarajevo and other Bosnian towns
denouncing the military decorations as "scandalous". There
were also protests in the Netherlands, but Bosnians who
sought to travel there to demonstrate were denied visas.
LETTER: Why is Asma Hanif [Muslimat Al-Nisa] cooperating with
munafiqeen and blatant friends of Zionism?
Here is Muslimat Al-Nisaa's response published complete and
uncut, though it went way above our 300 word right
See below Dr. Siddique's comment.
A Response to Br. Kaukab Siddique of
New Trend Magazine:
Note- Muslimat Al-Nisaa is a social services organization
and we try our best to not engage in disparaging
conversations or communications about fellow Muslims. The
intention of our reply is to respond to the statements made
in reference to Muslimat Al-Nisaa by Br. Kaukab Siddique in
his article 'Good Lesson in how Dunya can Make
Muslims forget the Akhira. Hobnobbing with Zaid
Shakir, Native Deen, "Imam" Magid.'
Firstly, the title of Brother Siddique's article is offensive
in nature and it implies that he adequately establishes in
the article that Sr. Asma Hanif has "forgot the Akhira
because of the Dunya". In his article, Br. Siddique uses a
collection of unrelated events to conclude that Muslimat
Al-Nisaa has slipped into Dunya because we have utilized the
help of people whom he categorizes as "government agents".
Furthermore, he has misrepresented the nature of our
organization and continues to make insinuations that are
largely speculative in nature. He states"
"Why would a woman who appears to be pious and sedate be
working with these government-agent types? Is it the lure of
the dunya which is attracting her? That is possible because
ADAMS center has one of the richest Muslim constituencies on
the east coast. Or is it that she is naive and does not
Br. Siddique's comments are ambiguous. What does he mean by
Dunya? Is he trying to equate seeking financial
support to establish a homeless shelter with seeking the
Dunya? What personal gain is he suggesting that Sr.
Asma Hanif has received? Sister Asma Hanif, Executive
Director & Founder, is trained in OB-GYN, as a Certified
Nurse-Midwife and is fully capable and licensed to provide
prenatal care and labor & delivery services. She has been
providing services to the Muslim community and others since
1978, having delivered over 500 babies all for the pleasure
In fact, she has repeatedly turned away offers to make
significantly more money in order to maintain Muslimat
Al-Nisaa. According to Muslimat Al-Nisaa's 2007 IRS Form-990,
which details the finances of non-profit organizations and is
also a matter of public record, Sr. Asma Hanif's salary
totaled $0.00. Additionally, the total salaries for ALL
Executive Members of Muslimat Al-Nisaa totaled $0.00. We
wonder how much Dunya a person could buy with a salary
Br. Siddique, in response to his own question about the
motives of Sr. Asma Hanif, presents his personal opinions,
which don't establish a factual basis for anything.
Furthermore, he only states two options, both of which are
largely negative and pejorative. Either, Sr. Asma Hanif is
"lured by the Dunya" or "she is naïve and
doesn't know Islam". Additionally, he proceeds to
erroneously "inform" the community about the nature of our
organization and the circumstances surrounding its existence.
"Asma Hanif says she is collecting funds for a homeless
women's center. The problem with that assumption is that she
is from Baltimore and a hard working Muslim woman, Sis. Nadia
has already set up a shelter for homeless Muslim women in
Baltimore . The shelter is called al-Mumtahinah and it's the
one place in Baltimore where one can see homeless Muslim
women being helped. Why is Asma Hanif not supporting the
center which already exists?"
These comments from Br. Siddique are misleading and show his
lack of knowledge about our organization. Sr. Asma Hanif has
been an advocate for the establishment of a Muslim women's
shelter in Baltimore for years. For accuracy, Muslimat
Al-Nisaa was the first organization to propose (July 2006)
and pursue a shelter in Baltimore, Maryland . (referencing a
Muslim Link article dated February 2007). While we sought
grant monies for a comprehensive shelter and educational
program, which would not just provide housing, but also
provide a return to self-sufficiency program, in March of
2007, Sister Nadia sought a more immediate response to the
issue of homelessness in the local community and opened a
Br. Siddique, however, would lead others to believe from his
statement "Sis. Nadia has already set up a shelter for
homeless Muslim women in Baltimore" that we were
being unsupportive of Sr. Nadia and decided to open a shelter
in spite of Al- Mumtahinah being in existence. At the time,
there was no shelter "already set up", and this
can be confirmed from Sr. Nadia herself.
Our organization was originally organized in 1987 in Atlanta,
Georgia . In 2005, co-founders Asma Hanif and the late Dr.
Maryam Funches, recognized the need to add a shelter program
to the original organizational objectives. Moreover, Muslimat
Al-Nisaa has cooperative relationships with other health &
social services across DC, Maryland and Virginia area.
However, Br. Siddique continues to give the wrong impression
about our organization stating:
"Some people get the misinformation that Asma Hanif has a
shelter for women on Liberty road and is collecting funds to
keep it going. Not correct! That place is Asma Hanif's clinic
and not a shelter for women."
Virtually the only correct statement he has made about our
organization is that our program does include a health care
facility, which has been operating at our Liberty Heights
address. At this location, Muslimat Al-Nisaa has provided
health services to the uninsured, the homeless and sheltered
Muslim women and children - including residents of the
Al-Mumtahinah Home, for over three years.
These services were recently written about in a May 08
article in the Muslim Link titled, Uninsured Muslim Woman
Gives Birth at Home. The article details how Muslimat
Al-Nisaa provided healthcare and childbirth services for a
Muslim couple that lacked insurance. Khalid, the Husband, is
quoted as saying "Hanif went out of her way to help his
family. She provided counseling, natural herbs and
supplements, regular weekly pre-natal visits, and the
delivery services without asking for any
compensation." Muslimat Al-Nisaa encourages anyone to
research what the cost for childbirth services is.
Furthermore, our Liberty Heights address is used as the
drop-off location for individuals wanting to donate goods. It
is also where we receive phone calls from those in need, and
perform the administrative functions of our organization.
Muslimat Al-Nisaa has not been organized or established as a
"fly-by-night" operation. We have put much thought and energy
into establishing a program that will be able to provide help
to those in need for the long term. In addition to the IRS
granting our organization 501(c)(3) status, we are a
registered charity in Maryland and are in good standing with
the Maryland Department of Assesments and Taxation. In
reality, we only collected approximately $17,000 in cash
during our 2007 Fundraiser and are still in need of resources
to establish a permanent shelter facility. But yet again, Br.
Siddique continues with his largely speculative
"Perhaps as a reward for her cooperation with ISNA, Zaid
Shakir, "Imam" Magid etc, she has been made the director of a
"Coordinating Council" [known as CCMO]..."
If Br. Siddique is stating that he has documents detailing a
cooperation- reward system involving Sr. Asma Hanif,
then we implore him to bring forth his evidence. If he
cannot, then perhaps it is best that he refrain from making
accusations that he cannot provide evidence for.
In conclusion, Muslimat Al-Nisaa is committed to its mission
to provide health, education, shelter and other social
services to the underserved population in general, and to
Muslim women and children in particular. We neither have the
time nor the resources to engage and defend every accusation
made by others. Even now, as this response is written, the
numbers of homeless Muslim women and children, and Muslim
women victims of domestic violence continues to
increase. May Allah Have Mercy on Us.
Muslimat Al Nisaa, INC
Dr. Siddique's response: Cooperation with Agents of
Oppressors is the issue. Muslimat al Nisaa [sis. Asma Hanif]
simply ignored the issue.
It's a shame that Sis. Asma Hanif has not even put her name
on her organization's official response. Is this Islamic, to
beat around the bush and ignore the real issues? Did the
Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, teach us to behave in this clever way?
Readers should look at my article.
I specifically pointed out the people Sis. Asma Hanif is
working with: "Imam" Majid is a door sniffer at synagogues,
and ADAMS Center is the most prominent supporter of Bush's
"War on Terror." If Muslimat Al Nisa [or Sis. Hanif] is so
popular with this corrupt munafiq, how and why did that
happen? It is up to Sis. Hanif to explain [or will she now
claim that she is not Muslimat Al Nisa inc?]
I noted that Native Dean's Joshua Salaam was sent overseas
and hosted by the State Department of Bush. How come this
State Department character is going to provide entertainment
for her fundaraiser? She sees nothing unIslamic there?
I wrote about the opportunism and lies of Zaid Shakir. Here
is a man [source of income unknown] who rejoiced when the
occupiers of Iraq executed the leader of the resistance. She
brings Shakir as the central clown in her show.
Sis. Asma Hanif claims she wants proof why she was appointed
CCMO head. As I pointed out, she was brought into the ISNA
conference as CCMO head. I gave the page number from ISNA's
publicity magazine. Are we supposed to think that the sister
does not know that ISNA works with the FBI and that the State
Department sponsored a major ISNA conference.
Does she not know that ADAMS Center sent Muslim girls in
hijab to admire the power of the Pentagon.
If all this is allowed in Islam and in a supposedly Islamic
center, then what is kufr, nifaq and tughyan? Does the sister
believe that Islam has no standards and that means
should not match ends?
Of course Sis. Hanif is a social worker and has done many
good things. That's why I took the trouble to try and stop
her falling victim to the guiles of agent groups and
featherheads like Zaid Shakir. Does she not know that
Zaytuna, his institute, claims that the Jewish holocaust
story and the Qur'an have equal credibility?
Surely the sister must be living in a world of her own!
As for Sis. Nadia in Baltimore, here is a sister who
has ACTUALLY set up a shelter for homeless women. She was
herself homeless once. Sis. Hanif [Muslimat al-Nisa] started
thinking of all this long ago but has NOT been able to do it.
Dates of plans pre-dating Sis. Nadia's work do not prove that
Muslimat an Nisa has a shelter. It does not. Instead of
working with and under the supervision of Sis. Nadia, M.
al-Nisa goes to collect funds from agent groups. Sister, this
won't do. Islam has standards and this kind of wishy washy
thinking is not Islamic.
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
The following moving article will appear in the upcoming issue of Al-Awda's
newsletter Until Return. It was written by Khairya Zubaidi of Al-Hawiya,
Yarmouk camp, Syria, and translated by Sama Abdulhalim in San Diego
The article is about Um Amer (mother of Amer) who passed away on July 2 from
complications from cancer. Um Amer, may she rest in peace, was one of 750
Palestinians stranded in al-Tanaf refugee detention camp located in no man's
land in the desert between Iraq and Syria. Um Amer appeared in the
documentary "25 Thousand Tents . . . Maybe More" demanding her right and
hoping to return to her village near Haifa. The documentary was screened
recently at the Sixth Annual International Al-Awda Convention. Copies of
this documentary will soon be available via Al-Awda's Media Center.
Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk camp including Khairya Zubaidi of Al-Hawiya
have been assisting our people at Al-Tanaf over the last two years with
whatever they can. Through these efforts they have developed personal
relationships and knowledge of the people stranded at Al-Tanaf.
by Khairya Zubaidi
Her passing was as difficult as her eventful and harsh childhood. As a
child, she began to awaken and discover the beauty of the world and to make
connections with the land and trees, home and hearth, and bread kiln in her
home. She had an invisible connection with everything she saw and all
things surrounding her; who said that the land and trees are not sentient
beings and that the air travels and is not connected to a specific land?
She was connected to all these things and the occupation of 1948 severed
this connection and cruelly uprooted her. She rushed off with her family
without even taking the necessities. She took refuge in the mountains by
using the land as her bedroll and the sky as her blanket. She drank the
rainwater and foraged the land. She found herself traveling through many
different lands ... traveling still after 60 years. Even 60 years didn't
diminish her love and desire to reclaim her roots. Longing for her
childhood home still burns in her heart. I asked her about her desire to
return home and her face lit up with a hope that she refused to lose, and
she answered "I will go back." She said "I wish this will come true. I
want to go back even if I have to go back to foraging the land and drinking
rainwater. Just return me to my land. I wish this would come true. Will
it come true before I leave this earth?"
Um Amer's dream did not come true. Illness got the best of her. Illness
was the only reason she was allowed to leave Al-Tanaf refugee camp - to
receive medical treatment. Test results showed that her illness was in an
advanced stage and hope for a cure was slim. Um Amer did not know how
severe her situation was. She had hoped she would get better and be able to
stand on her own two feet. Being in a public hospital that treats refugees
made it easier for her to deal with her situation for her fellow refugees
would visit with her. As a result of the illness, Um Amer was moved to
another hospital that specializes in cancer treatment.
Um Amer moved from the confinement of Al-Tanaf refugee camp to a
harsher and cruel confinement - death. She is confined by death. The dire
situation of the other patients surrounding her forced her to acknowledge
and wait for death. When she first found out she had cancer, she tried to
go back to the refugee camp. She felt it would be easier to be surrounded
by family and friends. All parties responsible, from the hospital to the
team responsible for Al-Tanaf, used her illness as an excuse to refuse her
request to return to the refugee camp. That is when Um Amer gave up and not
only did she refuse the cancer treatment but also treatment of any kind.
Her refusal to fight the cancer and seeing her forcefully subdued with
painkillers caused me great sorrow and sadness. I hoped she would keep
resisting and fighting the people in control because I felt that as long as
she was trying to get back to Al-Tanaf she would be fighting death as well.
I spoke with her about life and told her that she would get well and go back
to Al-Tanaf. I told her that she had to fulfill her promise to me to cook
biryani. I told her that she was stronger than Zahra, another Al-Tanaf
refugee who was currently fighting and winning the battle against a cancer
of the blood. After our conversation, Um Amer decided to resume the cancer
treatment. But it was already too late.
At one point, I spoke with Um Amer's doctor about her situation. He told me
that Um Amer was negligent in her treatment of herself. He said that she
should have gone to the hospital before the situation had gotten this bad.
I felt that his words were part of a dark comedy. All I could think to
myself was "doesn't this man know how often sick people try to go to the
hospital or see a doctor and are refused exit from the refugee camp until
they are at the point of death?" To all parties responsible for the refugee
camp, the people living there are just numbers not human beings. They don't
have names or feelings or needs, they are just a serial number. A year ago
things were even more difficult for people who were sick. Back then,
someone who was ill could not even be accompanied by a family member. They
had to leave the refugee camp and go to the hospital alone. Now they are
allowed one person to accompany them.
Um Amer's son, Amer, had a very difficult time getting permission to leave
Al-Tanaf refugee camp to visit his mother. After he finally received
permission to leave the camp and visit her at the hospital, he was only
allowed to stay with her a week. Um Amer was not expected to live long, she
was given hours at worst and a couple of days at most. The people
responsible for Al-Tanaf tried to make Amer go back to Al-Tanaf before Um
Amer passed away. Amer was in a difficult situation because his father was
also ill back at the Al-Tanaf camp. He wanted to stay with his mother but
he wanted to go back and take care of his father. In the end, logistics
forced his hand. There was no transportation available for him to go back
to Al-Tanaf. So he ended up staying with his mother until she passed away.
Um Amer's life was a chain of hardships. At age seven she was a suffering
immigrant, then sanctions and war for 10 years, then another unbalanced war,
then civil war which is, maybe, even more cruel created by countries who
claim they are democratic. She was forced to leave Baghdad to save her
children. The family was separated. One of her daughters left with her
husband. Her son, Omar, immigrated to Chile. The family was separated but
they are not the only ones. A similar story exists in every tent in the
camp and some stories are even worse. The hardships brought the refugee
community together. Their only crime is being Palestinians even though they
weren't involved in the Palestinian cause. All of this didn't convince the
executioner - if you're a Palestinian you're a fugitive not deserving of mercy.
This is the logic of current civilization. She left this life alone. Her
daughter, Nida, was her companion in suffering through the night. It was
very difficult for Nida to see the suffering her mother went through and her
I will never forget you Um Amer . . . . how can I visit the camp without
seeing you? Without your exuberant welcome. I will miss hearing the
strength and pride you display when you speak. Your hardships didn't make
you weak and didn't cause you to beg for mercy or feel self-pity. I will
never forget your tears the last time I saw you. After I saw the movie, I
felt you were the hero of the film. You watched the movie in silence and
your tears ran down your wrinkled cheeks. You didn't speak but the
expression on your face said it all. While saying goodbye to you I wondered
if I would ever see you again. And it turned out to be the last time I saw
Please Note: If you wish to direct a donation to help alleviate the suffering of
Palestinians currently stranded on the border with Iraq, please go to
and follow the instructions. Please
indicate "Iraq Relief" with your submission.
Al-Awda Media Center
The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
2734 Loker Avenue West Suite K
Carlsbad, CA 92010, USA
July 29, 2008: Senator Obama had no comment on this.
Israeli forces shot and killed a 10-year-old Palestinian boy
yesterday evening in the West Bank village of Nilin. Ahmed
Mousa was shot in the head by live ammunition, according to
eyewitnesses, as he was leaving an area that was being
targeted with rubber-coated steel bullets by the Israeli
military during a demonstration against the annexation wall
built on the village land.
2008-08-02 Sat 19:45:16 cdt