Saturday, 25 April 2009

Under a frog's arse.. but still kicking

I’ve had a couple of minor setbacks this week. Nothing serious – just the usual petty stuff you get by upsetting Manx folk with the strange notion they’re competent, dedicated professionals.
So, I took a look at the latest on the ICAHK website (see sidebar) – best way I know to put your tiny troubles and attempts at speaking out against ruritanian twaddle into a world perspective.
There I found an open letter to Mahmoud Abbas from Nahid Abu T’eima, who is apparently Head of Production at the Bethlehem studio of something called the Ma’an Network; originally from Gaza she now lives and works in the West Bank with her children.
The Hungarians have an expression 'Under a frog's arse down a coal mine', as a way of signifying the world is so loaded against you things just couldn't get any worse. That's got to be close to where a Palestinian woman is any day of the week.
Amongst other things, Nahid says:

‘I am writing to you President Abbas because you are in charge, and you will be asked for an explanation as to why tens of women are being killed by their family members every year. You can stop these “honor” killings with a stroke of your pen and tell our families that there is no honor in killing. Our noble Prophet Muhammad was quoted as saying, “Every individual is responsible for his subjects,” so you too must take responsibility. No more soft law for killers.’

‘….Palestinians write about the steadfastness and courage of our women, they call them the guardian of Palestinian culture; it is nice talk. While writers write Palestinian courts have passed 70 laws related to the printing of currency; they have not passed a single one on family law or the personal status of women. Mr President, we are fed up with being fuel. We are fed up with people killing our women and boasting that they put an end to the shame of a family. We are fed up with no one questioning the hollowness of these boasts. We are fed up with explanations of honor.’

’….I - we - are infidels, non believers, in our own feeble society. We are fed up with having a Women’s Affairs Ministry which does not demand each time a woman is killed by her kin a halt to the pagan slaughter of females. We are fed up with our weakness and defeat by a heritage that legalizes our killing.’

Spike Milligan, during one depressive mood, memorably complained the BBC were treating him ‘like an outcast in a leper colony’. Compared to the alienation of any half-bright Palestinian woman (and mixing my comedic references to pull in the Monty Python ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ sketch here), he had it easy.
I’m not sure how any of us would cope with being dismissed as unimportant by not just militaristic neighbours with US backing who can bulldoze your home at will but even the official ‘opposition’ in your home country – unless, of course, you’re willing to either strap on a bomb belt or breed kids who will.
Some people, it seems, do. Not only that, they have the courage to buttonhole one of the sods responsible in public and say, in effect, ‘Oy, muppet, stop fannying about and get this sorted!’
Read the whole thing at and get inspired.

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