From the ashes of Afghanistan Where you bombed my home and trapped me in a tomb of dust I am the woman who has risen up like the phoenix Protected by my burqa - which you see as a symbol of oppression This tattered cloak - is my only protection from the mortar and shells that you gift to my land – as you turn it into a living hell I shatter the bonds, reach out my hand and gather the wounded and weeping women of my nation, Stepping over the blood of our children as I teach them to say “no more” No more - will we be pawns in the games of political power No more will we cower We’ll find ways to alleviate our ignorance I AM WOMAN – EDUCATE ME
I am the woman from a village in Pakistan where they threw acid in my face because their honour was at stake Battered, bullied and bruised – I suffered great pain But the damage they have done has only fired my resolve to never let them make MY honour, THEIR gain; I forced the courts to hear my case and took others like me Caught in the vicious circle of male violence and frenzy in trying to dehumanize us My disfigured face has empowered me; the cries of my sisters have given me strength in my own strength I won’t be cowed down by cowardly acts I have found my path and will never return to the fetters of slavery I ask for no accolades for my bravery I AM WOMAN – CELEBRATE ME
I am a mother from the Middle East Step-by-step trying to build bridges of peace Surrounded by bloody hell where every shell has the name of an innocent bystander; I am Christian, Muslim and Jew I bleed the same as you I am wife, sister, friend and daughter But our lives are devoid of any laughter When our children leave home, we are uncertain if they will ever return I AM WOMAN – VALIDATE ME
I am a woman of the street where I’m forced to sell my body part by part to the highest bidder – like a commodity to those masters of the flesh trade who don’t know that we are women – we have a heart and a soul that is torn apart when we are used and abused like pieces of flotsam set afloat on the sea of time with no end in sight We’re just a statistic on the pages of her-story Not for the unequal wages we were paid Or fighting the laws that are man-made But - for being the principal victims of AIDS I AM WOMAN – DON’T HUMILIATE ME
I am the Muslim woman who came to this land many moons ago I couldn’t speak the language, I’d never seen snow I was alone and afraid with no where to go for help, for advice about my woes they scoffed at my head-scarf, my faith my accent and the colour of my skin – I felt forsaken Yet I weathered all this on my own I cried but I survived – thankful to be alive In this land of the free But are we ever truly free? Today I am a victim again –after the terror of 9/11 My windows shattered, my mosque desecrated It’s ironical - but I am told this turmoil is created by the very people who wish to liberate me I AM WOMAN – LIBERATE ME
Most of all I am a woman like the rest of you Privileged for the chance to share in solidarity As I build the courage to stand up and speak out against atrocities heaped upon us Breaking the bonds of cultural and social fanaticism to forge a special bond with my sisters In breaking the silence, I reach out across barriers of Race and religion – in the one cause that binds us together Our feminine souls intertwined with the souls of many others They were women - therefore they died WE ARE WOMEN – COMMEMORATE US
This past Monday, Elizabeth Edwards had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer from her breast at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston . She is resting comfortably and her doctors believe that the surgery was a success.
This message from John Edwards came in an e-mail today:
Since the day we learned about the cancer, we have felt your prayers and good wishes. Every note, every email, every kind word we have received has held us up and given us strength. And we are blessed to be surrounded by a loving family, supportive friends, and the best health care in the world. I want to especially thank all of you who actively participate in the One America Blog. Your kind posts and concerns have truly helped us through these trying times.
Elizabeth, the kids and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your well wishes and prayers.
So many people have asked us, "What can we do to help?" And today, I am asking you to join the fight against cancer by visiting the sites listed below, getting involved, making your friends aware by forwarding this email to them and asking them to get involved , or by supporting any of the many wonderful groups dedicated to fighting this terrible disease.
Over 1.2 million cases of cancer are diagnosed every year. These organizations need our help. Their work gives hope to the men and women and children who are battling this terrible disease. And I know that they would embrace all of your support.
For anyone who is battling cancer or has a loved one or a friend with the disease , I saw this and thought I'd share it with you:
What Cancer Can't Do - Author unknown
Cancer is so limited. It cannot cripple love. It cannot shatter hope. It cannot corrode faith. It cannot eat away peace. It cannot destroy confidence. It cannot shut out memories. It cannot silence courage. It cannot quench the spirit
I'm glad to hear Mrs. Edwards is on the road to recovery and wish her and the Edwards family the best.
Where have they been? Thomas Friedman is finally talking about someone I wrote about almost a year ago. I guess he figures now is the time to spread the word. Why was no one in the MSM talking about this while we were dropping bombs over Baghdad neighborhoods? (NPR and WSJ excepted). I guess it's because we were looking so hard for those imminently-threatening mushroom-cloud-producing WMD, Nigerian-bought yellow-cake, and aluminum tubes that it took a while for us to realize we were really there to spread freedom. (After every other manufactured reason failed the test of truth).
To establish a balance to Tom Friedman's enthusiatic cheerleading ( Sorry, Tom lost me with his public display of being embarrassingly hoodwinked into supporting the Iraq war ), Z-Mag reviewed Irshad's work in 2003 and commented:
"...citing the reports of mainstream human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International on Muslim countries but not on Israel or the United States, this is to be understood as the focus of a moral agent on her own community...Manji's own words suggest otherwise. Late in her book, she talks about reasoning being "entirely compatible with the ideals I hold as a Westerner." (pg. 229) Describing her visit to Israel, she describes the moment of her visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem: "As I spend time in search of an unused crack that will clasp my prayer, I realize I'm holding up the Jews behind me. Still, I don't feel like an interloper. I feel at home. More viscerally than ever, I know who my family is." (pg. 93). Reading her book, it becomes clear that it is not the work of a self-critical individual trying to hold the Muslim community accountable, but a self-congratulatory Westerner, cheering for powerful states and whitewashing the crimes of her "family".
It's unfortunate that Manji has been made the darling of the Likudnik-likes of Daniel Pipes because of her positions on Israel. While Israel is a Western-style democracy, we understand that it is their religious-based tribal nature, similar to the tribal nature of the radical segments of the Arab world, that causes division. If I were writing a book to bring my religion and my people out of their tribal mindset and to convince them of the benefits of belonging to Western society, the Wailing Wall would be the last frame of reference I would use to convince them.