Building Back the Empire

Raheem Foster. University of Toronto. Canada

"In prison, and through a long and arduous struggle, the prisoners’ movement has been able to win and maintain the right to a library. Members of the prisoners’ movement came up with ingenious ways of smuggling books into Israeli prisons, methods that Israeli prison guards were never able to discover. The movement systematically organized workshops, seminars, and courses held inside the prison to educate prisoners’ on every relevant topic one can imagine. Every day, the prisoner holding the position of “librarian” would pass through the different cells and sections, and prisoners would exchange the book they had just finished for the one they were about to begin. The librarian carried the “library book,” a record of the books available in the library, and a list of the books each prisoner had requested.

Talking about this reminds me of one of the most memorable prison library moments. We had found out that the movement had managed to smuggle Ghassan Kanafani’s Men in the Sun into the old Nablus prison. We all raced to get our names on the list of people wanting to read the book, and the wait lasted weeks! Several times, we resorted to making copies of sought-after books like this. Of course, copies were done with pen and paper, and I remember copying Naji Aloush’s The Palestinian National Movement of which we made five hand-written copies. I remember how we all raced for the writings of Gabriel García Márquez and Jorge Amado, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, Hanna Mina, Nazim Hikmet, and many, many others.

Through the will and perseverance of the prisoners, prison was transformed into a school, a veritable university offering education in literature, languages, politics, philosophy, history and more. The graduates of this university excelled in various fields. I still remember the words of Bader al-Qawasmah, one of my compatriots who I met in the old Nablus prison in 1984, who said to me, “before prison I was a porter who could neither read nor write. Now, after 14 years in prison, I write in Arabic, I teach Hebrew, and I translate from English.” I remember the words of Saleh Abu Tayi’ [Palestinian refugee in Syria who was a political prisoner in Israeli jails for seventeen years before being released in the prisoner exchange of 1985] who told me vivid stories of prisoners’ adventures smuggling books, pieces of paper, and even the ink-housing tubes of pens."


Stop calling ISIS the Islamic State.

You guys will go upon lengths and jump hoops to deny that the KKK are a Christian influenced group but won’t blink to say Muslim and terrorist in the same sentence.

The language you use matters. 

(via mi-escape-delmundo)


It is a shame that Muslim men seem to think they are the enforcers of female modesty, and excused from modesty of their own.

(via sogandzakerhaghighi)


Canadian fighter jets intercept Russian bombers in Arctic

Fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers flying on the perimeter of Canada’s Arctic airspace in the early morning hours Thursday, NORAD revealed to CBC News.
Two CF-18s met the Tupolev Tu-95 long-range bombers, commonly referred to as “Russian Bears,” at around 1:30 a.m. PT as they flew a course in “the western reaches” of Canada’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the Beaufort Sea, said Maj. Beth Smith, spokeswoman for North American Aerospace Defence Command.
The ADIZ extends approximately 320 kilometres from Canada’s coastlines, a distance far beyond the 22 kilometres, or 12 nautical miles, from the coast that define a nation’s sovereign airspace. Smith made it clear that the Russian bombers never entered Canada’s sovereign airspace.
The encounter comes one day after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivered a speech in Parliament thanking Canada for its ongoing support as his country’s forces battle with pro-Russian separatist rebels.
“This is disturbing. We’ve heard stories like in the past, of Russian bombers challenging Canadian airspace,” said James Bezan, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of National Defence and a Conservative MP from Manitoba.
“This plays into the narrative of a Putin regime that’s more aggressive not just in Crimea, not just in Ukraine, but indeed testing their neighbour in their entire region,” he said. 
About six hours before the CF-18s intercepted the Russian bombers, American F-22 fighter jets were scrambled from a base in Alaska to meet a group of Russian aircraft, including two refuelling tankers, two MiG-31 fighters and two long-range bombers.
After the U.S. jets made contact, the group headed west back towards Russian airspace.
“We’re seeing increased aggressive actions being taken by the Russian Federation,” Bezan said during an interview on CBC’s Power & Politics.
Despite the ongoing tensions between Western allies and Russia, it is not the first time Canadian and U.S. aircraft have intercepted Russian bombers seemingly flying towards toward sovereign airspace.
According to Smith, NORAD has dispatched fighter jets to make contact with Russian long-range bombers “in excess of 50 times” in the last five years.
Canadian jets intercepted the same type of long-range bombers off the coast of Newfoundland in 2010. After that incident, Peter MacKay, then minister of defence, told CBC News that Canadian military aircraft intercept between 12 and 18 Russian bombers annually.




everyone needs to watch this video before they log off tonight

well, now I know what I’m doing every time a car alarm goes off

this looks like so much fun

(Source: merakiandmelaninblooms, via officialfrenchtoast)


One of my favorite things about Islam is that it asks women to keep their last names after marriage. It’s beautiful to think that whether or not your husband changes, your identity remains the same from birth to death. You’re not someone’s property, you are who you were before you had given your husband the honor of marrying him and completing half his deen. Female rights in Islam are immense, you just need to go out & explore them. 

(via ilmannour)