Thursday, December 13

Mazin Qumsiyeh on 12-12-12

Todays date is 12/12/12. One of my graduate students posted on the biotechnology facebook page that we are the only generation to see 01-01-01, 02-02-02, 03-03-03, 04-04-04, 05-05-05, 06-06-06, 07-07-07, 08-08-08, 09-09-09, 10-10-10, 11-11-11, 12-12-12. But I think it remains to be seen whether we are unique in other ways: for example will we be the generation that misses the opportunity to save our species and planet earth from the looming environmental catastrophe of global warming.  Some places on earth (like most of the Arab world) will see over the next 20 years an increase in average annual temperature of 3-5 C and a decline in annual rainfall by 20-30%. You add to that the explosion in population, the dwindling existing resources, decline in culture and education, and you get a major problem. Gaza's underground water aquifer for example is projected to be unusable by 2016 while its impoverished population will grow to over 2 million in a few years. My visit to India also showed me the poverty in the streets of Mumbai.  Lack of education and opportunities also means that the cycle of povery will only spiral out of control.  This man-made Nakba (catstrophe) might be the last and most significant of our Nakbas.  I will be speaking about these issues at the Third Palestinian Environmental Awareness & Education Conference Monday

I believe it is necessary for all of us to work on all fronts against oppression, whether of fellow human beings or of the environment.  I think the issues are related: the same multi-millionaires and billionairs (most of them happen to be Zionist) work to keep people fighting each other, push them towards servitude, poverty, and ignorance while getting rich themselves.  Religion is used to keep people from real progress.  For many decades, they declared war on environmental rights, human rights, rights to natural resources, rights to clean air, rights to sustainable environment etc.  Those who champion rights of common people are by definition enemies of those elites and man pay a heavy price for our resistance. On the global human rights' day, Israeli occupation forces raided human rights organization offices in Ramallah including women's organization offices and the offices of the Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer. Hundreds of such violations of basic rights occur daily here.  Here is just one story from my friend AbdelFattah AbuSrour: The Knock at the Door by Abdel Fattah AbuSrour

But life and struggle goes on. And life goes on too. A meeting in Bethlehem last week on the third anniversary of teh Kairos document emphasized the need to work together to achieve justice (a prerequisite for peace).  And here are some videos from the conference in India that I also had the honor of attending:

My son, Palestinian American software engineer invented a cheap and fast book scanner (story and video):

There are thousands of expatriate Palestinians who achieve a lot.  This year, Prof. Sami Sameer Amr (originally from Hebron) was elected as President of the 25,000 member strong International Academy of Pathology. There are also hundreds of thousands of decent common Palestinians and millions other human beings who dedicate their lives to justice, human rights, and to peace.

'You have to demolish them while they're small' : So Supreme Court President Asher Grunis said shortly before a partially built mosque in the West Bank was pulled down.

Resuscitating the Palestinian economy: A Christmas wish!

To act in support of Palestinian human rights
Sign petition
and then do other actions here:

University of Toronto graduate students endorse BDS, call on administration to divest

Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD
Professor, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities

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