And in my words, may you find yours.

You break with an inconsistency known only to mankind.

How fragile you become

I hope you find serenity

You hope too.

--Hiba Ali

Other blog: Daily Dua’a.

In politics, the people I most despise are those who have no values.
— Diane Abbott (via kushandwizdom)
I will do what I can, until I can, and then I will do what I must.
— Hiba Ali



cultural appropriation is putting fireflies in a jar

and letting them light up your bedroom

as you drift off to sleep.

and when you wake up all the lights have flickered out

but only when you’re older do you realize

you slowly suffocated them so

that you could enjoy their glow.

that just knocked the breath from me

1. The casualty toll is the best indicator of the misery inflicted
Palestinian casualties always far outnumber Israeli casualties. While all deaths in such conflicts are tragic, the Palestinian casualties are always tens or hundreds of times greater than the Israeli toll. In the 2008/2009 conflict, 1387 Palestinians died, vs. nine Israelis. In the current conflict, an estimated 213 Palestinians have died, vs. one Israeli.

2. Militarily speaking, the conflict is grossly asymmetrical
The media coverage rarely reflects the military reality of the conflict. Israel is a military superpower, with F-15 fighter jets, AH-64 Apache helicopters, sophisticated missiles, an anti-rocket defence system (and nuclear arms.) Hamas and other militant groups have primitive and ineffective — often “home made” — rockets. Not a single Israeli fatality has resulted so far from the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza since the recent spate of violence began.

3. All violence directed against civilians violates international law
Firing rockets from Gaza violates international law, as they may well hit civilians rather than military targets. But the repeated Israeli strikes on Palestinian homes, apartments, cafés and other civilian targets violate international law too. This, regardless of whether Israel fired “warning” shots, or phoned warnings to the inhabitants. While all such reckless acts should be equally condemned, the Canadian government has only seen fit to speak against the rockets from Gaza.

4. Israel unlawfully ignores the concept of proportionality as it responds to Gaza rockets
International law permits countries to respond militarily to threats, but such responses must be proportional to the threat faced. If none of the rockets shot from Gaza have hit their targets, or caused fatalities, the legality of Israel’s brutal response is highly questionable.

5. The Israeli assault on Gaza only deepens the “collective punishment” imposed by Israel since 2007
Under international law, it is unlawful to punish an entire community for the crimes of a few. Nevertheless, Israel has imposed a blockade on Gaza since 2007, effectively punishing 1.5 million civilians in Gaza simply because Israel rejects the Hamas administration in Gaza. The latest Israeli military strikes only deepen this punishment.

6. The rocket attacks from Gaza are a desperate act by a people without hope
Unfortunately, the rockets shot from Gaza simply give Israel a questionable excuse to pound Gaza yet again. According to polls, most people in Gaza do not believe rockets are effective against Israel. Nevertheless, there is no broad outcry against them, as many view them as a symbol of resistance, albeit futile. The best way to minimize the influence of extremist Palestinian groups would be to give Palestinians real hope for their future.

7. Under the UN, warring parties are not supposed to “fight it out”
The UN Charter reserves the use of force to Security Council members. When local conflicts arise, UN leaders — including Canada — are supposed to immediately intervene to stop the conflict, and prevent loss of life. Canada has not yet called for any cessation of hostilities. In fact, the Harper government abandons all principles as it declares blind support for Israel.

8. Israel’s extreme belligerency towards Gaza may be linked to other factors
The current surge in violence is occurring in a broader political context. Some believe that Israel is pursuing violence to derail the Fatah-Hamas Palestinian unity government. Others believe it is a continuation of the assault on Hamas institutions which began in recent weeks in the West Bank. Still others believe that Israel’s actions may be related to a wish to control of natural gas supplies in Gaza.

It’s been strange hearing what’s going on in Pakistan as something of concern, because we’ve become accustomed to the life where nothing can be provided, and life there is defined by living equating to fighting for everything. Where you aren’t really sure anymore. Where there is a false sense of security based on location when the bombs are routed from half way across the world to a pinpoint location, but apparently some places are “safe”.

It’s also strange to see the population come together on something. To see the pain in the world. To protest. And not just in Pakistan, but everywhere across the world. It’s empowering to know the world still feels.

No nation is okay. Pray for them all. It is a struggle for each and each is different. Some wars are between countries and some wars are within countries and some wars are on the countries. Some wars run on the surface and some go quiet in the night. Both result in suffering, but only one is recognized as war. Both result in bloodshed, loss of safety, a sense of hopelessness and both bring out the survivors. But surviving isn’t all we were meant for.

— Hiba Ali

It’s horrifying when you can see oppression and cruelty, not at the grand scale of a country, but at the basic level of a household. You heart breaks for the bruised mothers, the broken children, the abused fathers, the loss each one has felt. For the sacrifices they have made, only to be met by cruelty at the very hands of the people they have cut out portions of themselves and served up on platters for. Your heart breaks when a country cannot protect its people, when a government doesn’t care for it’s people. Your heart breaks at the unjust actions that the world sees daily, that one pair of eyes bear daily. That there are children who lost their innocence to war in the past and that this has still not changed.

These are all wretched and miserable states of life. And bystanders, whether they be neighbors or the countries of the world, play a big part in the solution and the instigation of the issue. Doing something may be hard, but doing nothing is basically stating that the oppressor can do as they please and you will stay silent against it. It is allowing the brutality to continue and to escalate. You have single-handedly allowed this to happen. To continue. You’ve given permission, and at the same time, become devoid of any power you had over the issue. Do something. Do anything.

The one thing I heard at the Masjid today concerning all conflicts:
“It is not our task to point fingers based on creed, religion, race, etc. but to point fingers at unfairness. We should do what we can and if we can’t do anything we should at least pray. The people of Gaza deserve our prayers.”

Yesterday, the ground raids in Gaza started. Two days ago the Malaysian Airline was shot down. Today, we can only hope things don’t get worst for the world as a whole, and for all the individuals suffering with their own battles.

— Hiba Ali
© veils and visions