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Palestinians Dream of Return (June 2014)

A lifetime has passed since hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out their homes in the Mideast war over Israel’s 1948 creation.

Today, those who were uprooted and their descendants number more than 5 million people, scattered across the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. About one-third of the refugees still live in camps, or tent cities that have been transformed into crowded urban slums. Some families live in the camps for the fourth generation.

The plight of millions of refugees everywhere is marked June 20, 2014 on World Refugee Day. The United Nations Refugee Agency says that at the end of 2013, more than 50 million people have been forced to flee their homes worldwide, the highest figure of displacement since World War II.

More than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven out in the 1948 Mideast war, according to U.N. figures. The war began after Israel declared its independence and surrounding Arab nations invaded. Tens of thousands more Palestinians were displaced in the 1967 war in which Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.

In the Jenin camp in the northern West Bank, murals express the hardships of life in exile and the yearning to return to what is now Israel. 

Fatimah Jalamneh, 85, spends her day sitting by the doorway of her house in an alley in the camp. She was in her late teens when her family fled from the village of Noures near what is now the Israeli town of Afula. ”Until death takes me away, my only dream is to go back to my village and sit under a tree in my home which was taken away from me and my children,” said Jalamneh, a great-grandmother.

Abduljalil Al-Noursi, 70, sat in front of a large mural showing a ship and the words “We will return” written on the sail. Al-Nursi was 4 years old when he and 19 relatives fled with just the clothes on their backs. “I won’t let go of my right of return,” he said.

The fate of the Palestinian refugees is one of the most explosive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Israel saying it cannot accept a mass return because that would dilute the state’s Jewish majority. Palestinian negotiators say each refugee has the right to choose between return and resettling, whether in a future state of Palestine or a third country.

Photos by Muhammed Muheisen/AP

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Anaïs Nin on love, hand-lettered by Debbie Millman – hardly gets better than this. Available as a limited-edition print benefiting A Room of Her Own, a foundation supporting women artists and writers. 

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Malaysian team wearing black armbands to show their respect and sympathy for flight #MH17 at Commonwealth Games 2014 Opening Ceremony.

Grew up around these uniforms. The people in these uniforms, they were my heroes. 
"Selamat Pulang ke Tanah Air", always. 
Al-Fatihah to all the souls. 

clenched fists
tired eyes
palms rubbing each other 
into warmth. 

just another day at the holding room. 
waiting space 
rest area
how else can they dress up the term
without telling us the truth? 

holding room, 
just in case your clenched fists 
need to ball into 
a bowl of anxiety 

waiting space 
where packed foods 
make good of the empty tables 
you eat and eat and eat 
until the doctor waltzes in 

rest area 
where you can, like the term 
(hope to mean)
rest from fear, 
from uncertainty 
from maybes 
from i-wish-i-said-enoughs 
from fatigue 
from overthinking 
from confusion 
all to culminate in the single prize 
the end of wait. 

this open space 
with chairs, tables and dust bins 
where i wait

for my mother. 

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every time someone asks me,
who is your hero? 
i remember my grandmother’s hands 
and how she used to drag me out of bed 
"girl, all you have is studying" 
she spoke to me in a language my heart understood 
my teenage self was too proud to acknowledge.

every time someone waits for my answer, 
who is your hero?
i remember my grandmother’s face 
and i die inside, slowly every day 
i’m beginning to forget her voice 
i’m beginning to replace her 
with memories unworthy of her rightful place.

every time i have a reply, 
who is my hero?
i say the one who birthed me. 
that’s nice, girl, how so
oh you know, the one who’d 
silence her daughter for the sake of 

this is where they shift their feet 
they don’t want to hear this either. 
it’s lonely in this space, 
of always having to defend 
to believe 
to deserve 
being a ‘woman’
the kind i want my self to be. 

who is your hero, girl?
she’s dead. 

there are no words. you type you write but nothing you put down seems to make sense.

for a minute, the possibility of the notion f a t h e r ceasing to exist? 

my heart, thoughts, limbs and prayers are with all on MH370. for a minute, i felt an iota of the anguish, the distress and the uncertainty of what the families and loved ones are currently going through. 

there are no words. 


Pharrell Williams | Gush

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Periods in a Nutshell
Period:Your stomach hurts.
Period:No it doesn't, eat everything.
Period:Why did you eat all the things, your stomach hurts!
Period:No it doesn't, there's a plate of brownies. Eat them.
Period:Your uterus is pulsing. Change position twenty times to see if that helps.
Period:You want to fuck him.
Period:No you don't, kill him.
Period:You're bored. Let's literally cry about that, shall we?
Period:Never mind, just find people and kill them.



Rijksmuseum Research Library, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Rijksmuseum has the largest art history library in the Netherlands. It has maintained a constant, high-standard acquisition policy since 1885 and contains approximately 250,000 volumes. The collection attains an average yearly growth of 3,000 books and approximately 1,500 auction catalogues, periodicals and annual reports.

The Rijksmuseum Research Library also plays an important international role in making Dutch art history available and disseminating it. An example of this is the library’s participation in the Virtual Catalogue for Art History, a gateway tool providing access to the most important art history libraries across Europe and North America.

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Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook, Reading for Three Female Corpses, 1997

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