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Tag: poet
Now my play yard to fight by words (September 27 2012) Now my play yard to fight by words (September 27 2012)

Yehia Jaber the Lebanese poet celebrated for the bitter comedic work he often performs like stand-up comedy has been profiled by filmmaker Roxana Vilk on Aljazeera. In the profile titled ‘Yehia Jaber: Laughter is My Exit’, takes us on a journey across Lebanon, and into his past, to explain why this former fighter of Lebanon’s long civil war now battles for change with nothing but words. Vilk states “There is something very enticing about filming poets. Here are these characters, reflective and questioning by nature, living through a truly historic time of change in the Middle East. …when I first met him, it was his laughter that immediately drew me in: it is warm, infectious, and cannot help but gather you up in its path. …he is everything you imagine a poet to be, questioning society and politics around him, and spot on with his sharp, funny observations of life. …Lebanon’s history is complicated. The country has been ravaged by so many wars, and Yehia with his own complex past seemed like the perfect quirky character to guide us. “In this comedy that is Lebanon,” as he sees it, “we are always re-building and re-war-ing.” …[he] become a communist fighter during the civil war and the consequent invasion by Israel. It was the horror and disillusionment of his fighting years that finally led him to pick up his pen. “Now this violence inside me, it will be by words, because there is no blood. Perhaps this is now my play yard to fight by words,” he says.”


Inspired by Roxana Vilk image source Twitter

Cartels have a lot of bosses (June 26th 2012) Cartels have a lot of bosses (June 26th 2012)

Javier Sicilia the 56 year old Mexican poet, journalist and activist who launched a grassroots movement with aims to end the ‘War on Drugs’ after his 24 year old son was murdered by a drug cartel, has been interviewed by Connor Guy and Umar Farooq for The Nation magazine. Sicilia states “Cartels have a lot of bosses. We are talking now about fifteen cartels [in Mexico].  And they have multiplied since President Calderón’s [2006 military] strategy to make war on them. …A path to peace is to change the national security law to a human law for peace. And the allowance of regulated drug use, because its not a national security issue, it’s a public health issue, and attacking drug abuse is causing a tremendous harm to the country. …The US has forbidden drug use, which should be a public health issue. And then they set up for us this war. Over $2 billion have been invested in this war [on drugs]—mostly for guns, for weapons and military intelligence. …if we can get support from the media, we would be able to put this on the politicians’ agendas, because it’s a problem in the US and Mexico. It’s a bi-national problem. Not only that, it is a continental problem, and if we are really serious, it is a world problem.”


Inspired by The Nation image source Twitter

Rowan Douglas Williams the 61 year old UK Anglican bishop, poet and theologian and current Archbishop of Canterbury has announced he will be stepping down at the end of 2012 to take up a senior position as master of Magdalene College at Cambridge University. Williams as the senior bishop of the Church of England is the symbolic head of the international network of Anglican and Episcopal churches, representing nearly 80 million people in the Anglican Communion. Williams renown for being outspoken on social issues stated, “It is a job of immense demands and I would hope that my successor has the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros… he will, I think, have to look with positive, hopeful eyes on a church, which for all its problems is still, for so many people, a place to which they resort in times of need and crisis, a place to which they look for inspiration… I think the Church of England is a great treasure.” Williams’ departure leaves a church deeply split and on the verge of a fundamental schism, with little indications its divisions over opening the Anglican priesthood to women and gays can be reconciled by any potential successor.


Inspired by Andrew Brown image source Brian

Václav Havel the 75 year old Czech playwright, poet, dissident and former President of the Czech Republic who recently died, has been honored in an article published by Mark LeVine. Levine recalls Havel’s role in the Velvet Revolution and connection to the Arab Spring, “as a model for understanding, or engaging in, the present revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa … While it looks increasingly dark in Egypt, Syria and other Arab countries today, if the protesters in the streets can solidify their co-ordination with civil society and, as was so crucial in Poland, involve religious leaders in fighting truly to take down the system rather than merely get a large piece of it for themselves, there is little doubt that in a very short period of time the world’s newest generation of revolutionaries will manage to secure the freedom for which they are fighting…”


Inspired by Mark LeVine image source Ondřej Sláma

Maung Thura the 50 year old Myanmar comedian poet and performer known as Zarganar “tweezers”, goaled and tortured by the Myanmar military authorities has been released and allowed to leave the country. Speaking from Bangkok on his arrival, Zarganar renowned for his humour stated “When I saw the airplane I got a shock, when I saw the airport I got a shock, when I saw the big building and big bridge and good road I got a shock … Our young people in my country, daily they worry… Their faces are full of anxieties.” Zarganar was released by the junta as part of prisoner amnesty in the lead up to formation of civilian government. Zarganar had organized aid-related activities and been sentenced to 59 years imprisonment as a result, although not his first time, having been arrested for joining the 1988 student-led uprising against the military dictatorship, imprisoned tortured and released the following year.


Inspired by France24 image source

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