Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Say no to war and occupation

Monday, November 20, 2006

What the press will never tell you about Gaza

GAZA ON THE GROUND: WORDS & PICTURES FROM OCCUPIED PALESTINE WITH MOHAMMED OMER

Saturday, December 2

1:30-3:30 PM

In These Times Building

2040 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

Free Admission

Sponsored by: In These Times, American Friends Service Committee and the Chicago chapter of the International Solidarity Movement.

For more details contact ISM-Chicago: ISMinChicago@aol.com or 773-489-3505

MOHAMMED OMER

Gaza Correspondent, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Mohammed Omer, 22, was born and raised in the Rafah refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip near the Egyptian border. The oldest of eight children, Mohammed began working to support his family at age six when his father was in an Israeli prison,. He hustled odd jobs and sold things like beans and popcorn in the street. In time, Mohammed landed a job in a backpack factory. Since then, Mohammed has built an impressive resume as a translator, journalist and program coordinator.

At 17, he began translating for Global Exchange delegations to Gaza, traveling dignitaries and foreign reporters. At 18, he began writing regularly for international media, first with the now defunct Social Nerve. Mohammed has since published in dozens of newspapers and magazines worldwide, including the Vermont Guardian, ArtVoice Weekly, the Swedish dailies Dagen Nyheter and Aftonbladet, the Norwegian daily Dagbladet, the Basque daily Berria, the Swedish magazine Arbetaren, and the online magazine Electronic Intifada. At age 19, he regularly appeared as an on-the-ground radio correspondent for Free Speech Radio News.

Mohammed now makes frequent appearances on BBC and BBC Scotland radio, BBC News 24 TV, the Norwegian national NRK TV, and stations in Australia, South Africa, Ireland, and New Zealand. Currently he writes regularly on life in Gaza for the Norwegian weekly Morgenbladet, the German daily junge Welt, and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. An excellent photographer, Mohammed’s images are regularly featured in various international news agencies, including the Agence France-Presse (AFP) wire service.

Mohammed also is known for the influential blog RafahToday.org, which grew out of his e-news letter We Are Getting Killed. For his articles in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, he has been honored by New American Media as the “Best Youth Voice” for 2006.

Mohammed also serves his fellow Gazans as project officer for international aid

agencies and previously served as Gaza Coordinator for the Palestinian Children’s Welfare Fund.

On Oct. 18, 2003, an Israeli sniper killed Mohammed’s 17-year-old brother, Hussam as he was on his way to school. Nine days later, an Israeli D-9 bulldozer crushed Mohammed’s family home without warning while his family was inside. As the walls buckled and the roof collapsed, the family was able to climb through a window. His mother was severely wounded during the escape, an injury from which she still suffers today. Over the years, almost all of Mohammed’s siblings have been seriously maimed or injured by Israeli military forces.

In June 2006, Mohammed graduated with dual Bachelor degrees, English and Literature, from the Islamic University, Gaza’s premier institution for higher education. His speaking tour of the United States, sponsored by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs will be his first. From Nov. 26 – Dec. 12, the tour will take him to more than fifteen U.S. cities.

Mohammed has experienced more pain, death, fear, destruction, hatred and despair in his 22 years than most people experience in a lifetime. He rises each day and, in spite of the pain, grabs his camera, pen and paper, and heads out into the war zone he calls home. “Words are my weapon against injustice, hate, starvation and oppression,” he explains. With his bulletproof vest and Cannon D20 in hand, Mohammed is on the front lines.

Related web sites:

http://www.wrmea.org/

http://www.rafahtoday.org/

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Click to support free speech on the internet

Join Reporters Without Borders in their campaign to maintain free speech on the internet. Vote with a click if you support free speech. There are 61 cyber dissidents and bloggers imprisoned worlwide. 13 countries actively censor the internet. Yahoo is helping them by agreeing to their policies in order to be able to operate in their countries.

There is a bill in Congress that would make US subject to the laws in OTHER countries where the internet is concerned. Make your voice heard.
Click on the link and keep clicking - this is open for 24 hours. Over 5000 citizens around the world have made their voices heard - make yours one of them. Stand up for freedom.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

CNN twists facts -again

Though a Reuters video clearly showed only women involved in a protest against the Israeli incursion into Gaza, CNN reported the discredited Israeli statement that the women fired on and killed by soldiers were mingling with male militants.

Here is a portion of CNN's story and a link to the Reuters video and the full story. Judge for yourself.
Palestinian militants who had been in a firefight with Israeli soldiers escaped Friday, many of them slipping away in a crowd of women who had come to join what had begun as a standoff.

Israeli troops fired into the crowd, and there were reports of civilian casualties.

The gunmen had sought cover at a northern Gaza mosque for hours, mingling with a crowd of Palestinian women who had formed a human shield outside, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Palestinian sources said some of the militants had put on women's clothes.

The number and identities of those killed and wounded remained unclear Friday amid conflicting reports. (Watch women flee the gunfire and one fall dead -- 1:54 Video)

An IDF spokesman said the troops fired on the women because two of the militants were hiding among the group. He said both men were killed.

U.N. officials, including Secretary-General Kofi Annan, called the "already-grave situation" a result of "the continuing escalation of violence and rising death toll caused by the Israeli military operation in northern Gaza."

"Military operations in populated areas inevitably cause civilian casualties, and in this operation several civilians have already been killed and wounded, including women and at least one Palestinian child," Annan said in a prepared statement.

Annan urged Israel "to exercise maximum restraint" and do its "utmost to protect civilians."

CNN
Reuters