A very large part of Jordanian culture today is interwoven with the effects of thePalestinian-Israeli conflict. Jordan is a nation of about 10 million people, and almost 2 million are here as refugees from Palestine or descendants of these refugees. It is not abnormal to see thePalestinian flag flying alongside the Jordanian flag, and Palestinian food and dress are common. Many generations of families who live in Jordan identify as being Palestinian and speak of their roots. Tragically, it is rare for those living in Jordan to be able to return to their homeland or even visit relatives in Palestine as Israel controls the visa process. Part of a recent art exhibit atDarat Al-Funun named “Do It in Arabic” I attended helped to include visitors in the art as a way of conveying the realities of the Palestinian struggle.
Migration is never an isolated phenomenon; it is always situated within a larger macro political-economic framework. Migration rates from Mexico to the US within the last 20 years must be examined within the context of the political-economic relationship between Mexico and the US from the late 1980s to the present. Although there has been a high demand for low wage migrant labor within the US, especially in the dairy industry, migration cannot solely be explained by the demand for labor in the destination country. Migratory trends are equally propelled by the political, social, and economic situation in the emitter country.
On October 21-22 I had the pleasure of attending the Media Freedom Summit held at Sonoma State University in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Project Censored. In addition to co-leading a workshop on "People's Videography and Citizen Journalism," at which I spoke on behalf of Weave News about our Big Questions and Holot: Crossroads of Global Violence projects, I was fortunate to be able to conduct Big Questions interviews with three inspiring activists: Deseriee McSwain, Ana Rivera, and Nadya Tannous.
In the latest installments of the Silent Voice from Holot video series, Ali describes the process through which asylum seekers are summoned to and eventually released from the Holot detention facility. In Episode 17 he narrates his own final day in Holot and explains the cyclical process through which released detainees are replaced with others.
In the latest installment of the Silent Voice From Holot video series, our host Ali gives us an inside look at how the more than 3,000 asylum-seekers being held in the Holot detention facility keep their spirits up through athletic, educational, and other everyday activities. Enjoy!
In her latest post for our Weaving the Streets project, Raina Puels explores how some religious congregations in Boston are using public space to express support for Black Lives Matter.
My first week in Boston, I went to Newbury Street in Back Bay. I’d heard from friends it was a destination for those seeking high-end eateries and shopping, or those (like me) who wanted to people watch and laugh at dogs in strollers. It looked the part of a bougie, trendy place to shop: streets lined with big trees, brownstones, and men in suits opening and closing the doors for retail establishments with huge windows displaying slender mannequins clad in the latest fashions. In this commercial center, I didn’t expect to find support for Black Lives Matter. After all, when most people go shopping they’re concerned with finding a new pair of shoes or a suit that fits, not working to end violence against Black people.
This article is the first contribution to Beyond Broken Windows, a new Weave News project that explores the impacts of the “broken windows” style of policing, which encourages police officers to use arrests and citations to regulate outward signs of disorder (like broken windows). The project will also examine reform initiatives and issue campaigns nationwide that seek to implement alternative styles of policing.
In her first contribution to our Weaving the Streets project, Savannah Crowley narrates the experience of participating in a public demonstration following the killing of Alfred Olango by police in El Cajon, CA. "We're tired, we're sick, we've seen tragedy, we're dealing with trauma. Sometimes it's hard to get up and get going," she writes. "I want to remind us to help each other along. We need to encourage each other."
In the latest installments of the Silent Voice From Holot video series, Ali provides more highlights from recent musical performances in Holot and also introduces us to more human rights activists who have been visiting the facility in recent days.
Weave News contributor Julianne DeGuardi is investigating the conditions facing migrant workers who help keep the dairy industry running smoothly in the North Country (northern New York state). In this introductory post, she describes how she has approached the process of digging into this often invisible topic.
Created by Wael Morcos of Lebanon, the poster to the left highlights an important characteristic of Jordanian culture in stunning simplicity. Surprisingly to many Westerners, English is very prevalent in a Jordanian’s everyday life. When I arrived in Amman, I was caught off guard by the amount of English present. Street signs, restaurant advertisements and storefronts almost always display both the Arabic and English names. Looking into the history, I have learned that the use of both languages is is in part due to the historical occupation by Great Britain until 1946. However, English is also becoming more popular in media, music and of course, art (check out Majed Mohamed Hasan Drbseh’s comments in this article from the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications for more information on both languages in Jordan) for the general population. My initial impression of this poster was that the bold English text was targeting the Western world and urging English speakers to be aware of civil liberties. However the subtle and more graceful Arabic script suggests that it is a better representation of the blending of both languages in political life. This poster is a very accurate representation of life in Jordan, where a globalizing world has led to a need to advertise messages and communicate in both English and Arabic.
In the 10th and 11th installments of the Silent Voice From Holot series, Ali introduces us to some of the people who come to visit the Holot detention facility to express their solidarity with the asylum-seekers being held there. Episode 10 features human rights workers, while Episode 11 features a special performance by Dream Boys, a musical group that was created in Holot.
I am one of the victims and survivors of the Darfur genocide in Sudan.
I was born in a small village around Zalingei in Western Darfur. Growing up in Sudan, education has always been something that helped me to overcome obstacles in my life, but obstacles have now arisen that stop me from even obtaining an education. My primary school was far from my village, and it took me more than two hours to get to school on foot every day. Despite all the difficulties and instances of interruption, I have never lost faith in the power of education.