Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Make some noise: Malcolm X in Gaza -Islamic University English teacher spreads the word

At the end of the United States’ Black History Month, one week after the 47th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination in New York’s Audubon Ballroom, and another week shy of my first year in Gaza, I attended a talk on X at Gaza’s Centre for Political and Development Studies (CPDS) Tuesday.

My friend Yousef Aljamal, a translator at CPDS, coordinated the event. “We are being subjugated to occupation and racism,” he told me when I asked him why. “I see Malcolm X as a role model. He fought against racism, just as Palestinians are doing today.”

CPDS’s lecture hall held a larger crowd than it has during any other event I have attended there. The speaker, Refaat R. Alareer, is a popular teacher of English at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG). Joining CPDS regulars, dozens of his students had turned out for another opportunity to hear him.

“I don’t claim to be a Malcolm X specialist,” Alareer said. “I’m only a fan.” His interest in X, he said, began twelve years ago. “I was teaching a course, and there was an amazing passage about this man, of whom I had never heard before. The passage was so eloquent, so articulate, so amazing that it pulled me into this personality, this area of knowledge that I, again, never knew before.”

Alareer quickly ordered and read The Autobiography of Malcolm X. “Malcolm X has had, since then, an amazing influence on my life, to the extent that I now name him as my number one role model,” he said.

Alareer’s talk covered the phases and transitions of X’s varied life, with a focus on two main themes: the influence of his childhood, and misconceptions that often cloud modern understandings of him. “If you ask anyone about Malcolm X, he will quote him about violence, and how violence is the most important means to regain and restore rights, dignity, freedom, equality – so many things.”

“By doing this, we are actually not doing justice to this great, amazing man,” Alareer added. “We are zooming in on only one part of his life.” more

Israeli military invade Ramallah and shutdown a local TV station

The Israeli military targeted on Wednesday Watan TV, a local Palestinian television station broadcasting from the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

“Around 2 am a large military force surrounded the station building and stormed our offices; at first we thought they are coming to conduct arrests at the nearby Al Amariy refugee camp.” Hamza al Salaymah, Watan TV reporter, told IMEMC.

The army detained al Salaymah along with Production manager, Abed Al Rahman Al Daher, Graphics designer Ibrajem Milhim, Cameraman Ahamd Zaki and the night gourd Saleh Baker. The four men were detained until the army left the area.

“They took our broadcast equipment, computers, and financial statements and documents; they forced us to go off-air” al Salaymah added.

Watan TV is a local media company that has an online news service and offer press conferences services in Ramallah a city that is under total Palestinian Authority control. The station went on-air 15 years ago.This is the second time the TV is attacked by the military. The first time was back in 2002. more

French court orders retrial into Mohammed al-Dura killing in Gaza captured by TV crew

Controversial footage which purports to show the death of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy in Gaza 11 years ago is to be examined again by the French courts.

The highest French appeal court yesterday ordered a retrial of allegations that a French television crew staged the apparent shooting by Israeli troops of Mohammed al-Dura as he sheltered in his father's arms in September 2000.

Philippe Kersanty, founder of media watchdog Media Ratings, was convicted of libel by a French court in 2006 after he accused France 2 of faking footage which had shocked television audiences all over the world. An appeal court overturned this verdict in 2008, arguing that Mr Kersanty had a right to express his opinion. The Cour de Cassation, the highest French court, rejected this ruling yesterday and ordered the lower court to hear the case again. The ruling was hailed as a victory by France 2 and its veteran correspondent in Israel, Charles Enderlin, who insist the report was accurate. more