I often go to Museum websites in search of relaxation and inspiration. I've also bookmarked some of my favorite artists such as Ismail and Tamam two Palestinian artists....
While some people think the word stereotype automatically means negative stereotype, I believe it is a more neutral word and concept - a reality- a natural human inclination to more easily organize our world with shorthand images symbolizing any of many multidimensional groups to help make sense of what is what. Thus, in my opinion, the best way to fight a negative stereotype is by making sure positive stereotypes are available. Focus on the positive.
There are many efforts to do this, efforts that should be appreciated and enjoyed, for I think such efforts are the only way to stop the hate that negative stereotypes inspire.
Added: September 28, 2008
طبيعة حياتنا اليوم تجعلنا نتواصل مع العديد من الثقافات المختلفة ... من الشرق والغرب. هل تساءلت يوما من اين تأتي الاشياء التي نستخدمها يوميا
Not everyone in America is lucky enough to really know, love and cherish an Arab- or an Arab American.... Arab Americans are a wonderfully dynamic mix of East meets West, and some are actually clever enough to know more than one language- and more than one country. Many have fascinating family stories of the old world and old ways, and some have fascinating new family stories of a very modern Middle East.
The Internet enables us to reach out and get to know the Arab world- and Palestine- in positive ways: In addition to Museums and more formal organizations and projects that help fight negative stereotypes there is Facebook.... My own current 'face' there is:
A Visual Poem
copyright 2008 Anne Selden Annab
One thing that is fun about Facebook is being about to get away from all the words... and all the many many negative stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims in general- and Palestinians in particular- to simply enjoy images.... inspiring images... one of my favorites:
The miracle of the Internet amazes me, as does the ingenuity of nameless computer geniuses who keep things running- constantly enhancing humankind's ability to connect, creating a union one by one with a depth and reach that is far beyond even my own wild imagination.
Yes, one can choose to dwell in the negative and the nasty and believe the worst- but I'd rather not.
We can wallow in misery- or we can reach out and find a better way forward.
We can't really chose our lot in life, but we can choose to always try to live by The Golden Rule as in Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You... in order to help create a more civilized and decent world where every parent might have the time, energy and resources to do well by their children- and all our children might have a chance to grow up discovering their own innate gifts. Discovering how they might be able to use their own various gifts and talents- and connections and compassion and empathy to help make a better world... one day- one child at a time.
When I was a little girl I did not realize how much the memory of my own grandmother would be a guiding light as I grew up. I think of her every day.
My grandmother had long silver white hair, which she wore up in a bun. At night, right before bed, I loved watching and listening as my Granny carefully took out her hair pins, revealing and unraveling her hair. Her long silver white hair would cascade down her back and she'd brush it out- 100 strokes.
And she'd talk to me- telling me stories. Little stories about her own life and beliefs... and habits... and all about my grandfather. Granny was widowed the year before I was born.
It was my grandmother's love and constant kindness to me and all her many family stories that made me think that silver white hair was the most beautiful hair color on earth... I still do.
The house where my grandmother lived was once owned by Peter & Catherine Marshall.
Catherine Marshall, born Catherine Wood, (September 27, 1914 — March 18, 1983) was an author of nonfiction, inspirational, and fiction works. She was the wife of well-known minister Peter Marshall. The Reverend Dr. Peter Marshall (27 May 1902 – January 26, 1949) was a Scottish-American preacher, and twice served as Chaplain of the United States Senate. He is remembered most popularly from the biography A Man Called Peter, and the film made from it.
Catherine Marshall ... authored over 20 books which have sold over 16 million copies. Her books include edited collections of sermons and prayers of her late husband, as well as her own nonfiction inspirational writings. Her most successful books were A Man Called Peter  (1951), the inspirational biography of her late husband, Peter Marshall; and her novel, Christy (1967), which was inspired by the story of her own mother's journey to the mountains to teach the impoverished children of Appalachia. A Man Called Peter was made into a film in 1955, and Christy was made into a CBS television series, starring Kellie Martin, in 1994. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Marshall
As I got older my grandmother (as well as my mother) encouraged me to read Catherine Marshall's books. My grandmother also gave me all her own old books from her own childhood, books that both entertain and help shape character in positive ways. Hopelessly old fashioned, I still treasure them... and I am glad I had such positive role models.
My grandmother's world was a very different world from the world today. Her father was a doctor and she used to accompany him sometimes as he visited patients. He had a horse and buggy, and often his patients paid him with chickens or apples or whatever else they had to trade for his services.
When my grandmother was born women did not have the right to vote in America.
One way that the world has not changed is that having a voice and a vote helps shape a more real democracy with full and equal rights for all.
It isn't only the vote itself, or even who gets elected but rather the entire process and the conversation all around the election that help shape polices to come.
This morning I got an email asking everyone to "Do us all a favor and help get out the Arab American vote this year"
James Zogby wrote:
SUBJECT: Please do me a favor between now and November 4th
This is the most important election of my lifetime - and of yours, too. Arab Americans can make a significant difference in this year's elections, but only if we vote. Do us all a favor and help get out the Arab American vote this year.
We've set up the Yalla Vote Virtual Phone Bank to reach registered Arab American voters in battleground states. Sign up to help. Make some calls. Remind your community to vote.
Do me the favor of signing up today at www.aaiusa.org/volunteer . Give an hour of your time, each day between now and November 4th, and you can reach hundreds of Arab Americans with this important message. And if you know people who would like to help, forward this message to them.
Also, feel free to e-mail me directly at email@example.com and let me know what you are doing to encourage others in our community to get out and vote this year. I'd like to hear from you.
Please click here to volunteer now.
President, Arab American Institute
We live in a modern time and place that is the antithesis of segregation as images and pictures and stories and voices from around the globe reach right into our family rooms in less time than a blink.
Sometimes when our telephone rings its one of those awful robo-calls, or a telemarketer... but sometimes it is a warm voice- a treasured friend- or family that lives halfway across the world.
Arabic coffee, called sada, is not a mere drink for bedouins. In badia traditions, also followed in urban centres in the Kingdom, the head of delegation of notables who have a request from the host, like conciliation effort or asking for a woman’s hand for marriage, will not drink the first cup of coffee he is offered until his request is granted http://www.jordantimes.com/?news=11522
My son's college campus has a wireless internet and he can work on his laptop most anywhere! I like to imagine him sitting outside the library under the autumn trees- learning....
Every day human ingenuity makes this world of ours both larger and smaller all in one tightly interconnected leap ... or stroll... or whatever.
In growing a Garden for Palestine today, I hope everyone gets out to do two things.
1. Counter Negative Stereotypes with Positive Stereotypes
2. YALLA VOTE!!!!
- Growing Gardens for Palestine
- Planning a garden is one step towards planting it ...
- "Come, I'll tell you about Palestine"
- Honoring Arabic & Arabic Calligraphy
- Poem in Your Pocket Day is April 17th
- Poetry continued-
- Lavender ...
- Bulbs & Birdhouses
- Getting distracted by snow geese
- Embroidered keepsakes
- Going Green for St. Patrick's Day
- Seeds of hope and connection
- A good priority
- Poppies & Palestine: 60 years of forced exile-Time for Return
- The Garden Center
- Mid East Market
- In all Connection (Key shaped poem by Anne Selden Annab)
- PERSISTENCE : "And my heart flies..." Mahmoud Darwish 1941-2008
- The Day The Palestinian Poet Darwish Died
- Ibdaa 'to create something out of nothing'
- September flavors - books & films proving that Palestine is real- and Palestine is right!
- A poem on Al-Awda
- ...Universal Echo
- Autumn leaves
- It's October- a good time to start thinking about hats
- Discovering our Shared Heritage... & please get out and VOTE!