Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Christmas poem... Star Street Bethlehem Palestine 2014

          Star Street Bethlehem Palestine 2014

Half a world away
light flickers...

Stars strung house
to house, home to home
a narrow alley
in an ancient place
and a modern car
gliding... guiding
good thoughts...

Strand after strand
string after string
row by row over head
line by line
electric stars shine
a golden glow
a golden path
a golden trance
as we go...

Wordless wonder
here and there
sharing a ride,
a marveling minute
(& twenty three seconds)
of real life and light
in Bethlehem
today... tonight...

think what you want
and I will too

as half a world away
Christmas returns renewed
in open hearts and curious,
creative minds

Monday, October 13, 2014

Translating the Obvious ... A poem for peace by Anne Selden Annab

Translating the Obvious

"... a renewed commitment from everybody to work for peace that meets the aspirations of all, for Israelis, for Palestinians for all people of this region" John Kerry's call for a lasting Mideast peace

(singular- a united push
in and for peace)

(start now convinced peace
is decidedly better than war)

(no matter who you are weigh in
for a just and lasting peace)

(resist distractions- focus,
put in all your best efforts)

(for a better future
for all our children)

(freedom, freedom from fear & freedom
from want & freedom from bigotry &

freedom from one-state cynics and thieves
who thrive on the continuation of the conflict)

(a fully secular Israel
fully respecting universal human rights
& the rule of fair and just laws)

(a fully secular Palestine
fully respecting universal human rights
& the rule of fair and just laws)

(human beings- all equally part
of the human family,
and all equally responsible
for what is said, what is heard,
what will be... Invest all the goodness
and decency, all the honor and dignity,
all the compassion and hope and clarity
you can muster into conscientiously
ending the Israel-Palestine conflict)

(and beyond)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Trust... A poem for peace in Growing Gardens for Palestine by Anne Selden Annab

Palestine photo credit ATFP news roundup

  A poem for peace
in Growing Gardens for Palestine

You are part
of continuum
and into

Good is in our
collective quest
to live enlightened

To be measured
by our best and reminded
by our worst to be better.

To be the gold
of Golden Rule.

To spark joy
or comfort
or calm
or thought,
each in turn
as we turn
to others

bringing out



Sunday, August 10, 2014

a poem Dedicated to Abu Yusuf

"A sea of Palestinians and their sympathizers lined Manhattan streets Saturday, marching to the United Nations and shouting that Israel's response to missile attacks was genocide that took children's lives. " Photo Credit: America's free press & NBC News

         Dedicated to Abu Yusuf

While some do serious work, crafting
reality based astute responses
to what is and might be,
there is also a world of people
being taught to ignore
 the full and total truth,
being taught to have tunnel vision,
being taught to reject diplomacy,
being taught to voluntarily disenfranchise
as if that will help bring peace and jobs, food
and water- and security to those in dire need.

A sea of people protest
with a storm of slogans
and symbols, all focused
on Palestinian suffering...

What of all the other children
the other families
the other flesh torn...

What of all the nameless
Arabs and Muslims
murdered by Islamists?

What of the communities ruined?

What of the girls enslaved?

What of the historic treasures,
and modern work places
decimated by Islamists
day after day after day...

What of tyrants and terror
and the ISIL evil - what of
the malicious Islamists
who consider anyone, everyone
who refuses to lionize Islamists
as infidels to be killed.

A sea of people protest "for Palestine"
many with very good intentions,
but few with good research skills
and the courage to question
what is heard...

A sea of people protest
worldwide with orchestrated
anti-Israel/anti-America ire
aimed to grow a crowd
aimed to escalate rage,
with anti-Israel scorn...
inadvertently informing
Islamist monsters
that their way wins

because a sea of people protest
wearing Palestinian flags
but not demanding Palestinian statehood
based on full respect for international law
to once and for ALL end
the injustice and violence
of Israel/Palestine unresolved.

A sea of people protest
oblivious to the rising tide
of Islamist crimes
and Islamist insults
to Islam.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Click by Click Culpability ... a Growing Gardens for Palestine poem by Anne Selden Annab

One Day Lily of many brightened by sun beams in our garden June 2014 ASA

        Click by Click Culpability

You and I ... and everyone
have an interconnected choice.
One by one word by word,
take a crime, talk it up and
do a Washington Post Jennifer Rubin,
spinning it/anything
to inflame rage, bigotry
misinformation and more war... and/or

Equally obtuse ignore the Islamists,
ignore the escalating pain, poverty,
destruction, and despair wrought
by religious tyrants armed with excuses
and guns. Some funded by governments.
Some funded by charity and fraud.
All funneling money away
from the people's needs.

Post by post and click by click,
argument by argument
be the bridge. Be the bridge
into extremism, escalating strife and insults
exasperating the Israel-Palestine conflict.
.... Or be the bridge into inclusiveness,
and the rule of fair and just laws.

Comment by comment and
fact by fact, forward by forward
be the bridge into distortion and despair
or be the bridge building community
with Golden Rule enlightenment
and a lasting peace.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Religious Fact ... a poem

            Religious Fact

Jewish- Christian- Muslim ALL
of the book ALL Abraham's
heirs... ALL of faith
somewhere on our
family tree.

A branch with branches
and twigs and seasons
bringing forth new leaves.

One branch on one tree
in a large orchard of life.

Some where some one
long long ago choose
to believe, to have faith
and to name that faith.

That human being
told true stories to
others. And others
helped spread the word.

Minds and hearts opened
communities grew
and yet
so did divisiveness as we are all
                            only human,

with many loving children
teaching each in turn
phrases to say
and habits to have
shaping human history.

Jewish- Christian- Muslim ALL
of an elaborate world where one by one,
each in our own exclusive way,
we are empowered to decide
who and what to notice
& who and what
to forget.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) congratulates Arab America for the outstanding accomplishment in organizing a highly successful event that featured “Arab Idol” Mohammed Assaf and Lebanese vocalist Ziad Khoury on May 11 2014

Virginia concert حفلة فيرجينيا (42 photos)


ATFP Congratulates Arab America
for the Success of Mohammed Assaf Concert

American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) congratulates Arab America for the outstanding accomplishment in organizing a highly successful event that featured “Arab Idol” Mohammed Assaf and Lebanese vocalist Ziad Khoury on May 11 in Washington, D.C. area. 

ATFP co-sponsored the event in support of the concert’s message of solidarity with the Palestinian people and their steadfastness and perseverance. 

Watch a video of the sponsorship acknowledgment read by Warren David, Arab America President, here.

The 800 attendees of the concert responded enthusiastically to the talents and message of Assaf and Khoury.

Dr. Ziad Asali, ATFP President, and "Arab Idol" Mohammed Assaf meeting after the concert
Over 850 Guests Attend Arab America "Ya Hal Arab" Event with Mohammed Assaf and Ziad Khoury

"Ya Hal Arab: A Call for Unity," took place on Sunday, May 11, 2014 at the Waterford-Springfield Banquet Facility in Springfield, Virginia.

Over 850 guests attended the sold out event which featured the Arab Idol and Palestinian Super Star, Mohammed Assaf and the incomparable Lebanese vocalist and Arab Idol finalist, Ziad Khoury.

In addition to Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland, attendees from as far away as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina were present.

The evening began with introductions from Emcee Darik Kristofer, On-Air Host at CBS 94.7 Fresh FM. Kristofer who is originally of Palestinian heritage, spoke about his passion to connect with his heritage and there was no better place than the evening’s event. He also spoke of the importance of Arab America and its mission to portray an accurate image of Arab Americans in wake of the negative Arab images portrayed in the media.

He then introduced Arab America President Warren David who spoke of his vision to see Arab America as a place where all Arab Americans regardless of their ethnicity or religion could come together united under one identity. He added that Arab America not only serves Arab Americans but all peoples of diverse backgrounds in America.

David then went on to say, "Tonight we celebrate the unwavering Palestinian unity and determination to see a Palestinian homeland after more than 66 years of occupation!" he concluded, "We hope tonight’s event symbolized through our spirit of unity will bring peace and justice and human dignity to our Palestinian brothers and sisters.

Finally, he thanked the many sponsors and advertisers who helped to make this event possible.

Emcee Kristofer then introduced Dr. Amal David, director of community relations at Arab America. With the event falling on Mother's Day, Dr. David read a poem dedicated to mothers by the late renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Each Mother was presented a flower as a symbol of love and respect. She also thanked the 21 volunteers which comprised the host committee for the event.

Lebanese vocalist Ziad Khoury opened the program with renditions of popular music from Lebanon and the Levant.. His repertoire included several selections of Lebanese folkloric music featuring unparalleled "attabas" which were easily identifiable by the audience and reminiscent of music affecting the richness of Arab music.

Prior to his performance, the Arab Idol, Mohammed Assaf was escorted by a group of community members who jubilantly chanted "zeffi" (a celebration chant) accompanied by Arab drummers.

Assaf's program included a resounding selection of Arab and Palestinian musical selections. Known for his "mawals," the audience witnessed breath taking melismas for which he is famous.

The highlight of his performance was the vocalization of the newly released hit "Ya Halali Ya Mali," The song recently released as a video was filmed at the Bourj el-Barajneh refugee camp in Lebanon; it reflects Assaf's commitment to the Palestinian diaspora and his passion to salute Palestinian determination and unity through his music. His performance of the song was accompanied by the "Faris El Layl" dabke troupe coordinated by Mohammad Abou-Elhawa.

Prior to and after the concert, there were numerous exhibits of literature and cultural artifacts from many of the Arab American organizations in the Washington DC area--reaffirming a call for unity and cohesiveness in the Arab American community.

Arab America (www.arabamerica.com) is a national (for-profit) organization founded with the purpose of promoting an accurate image about the Arab American community and the Arab world through digital media, cultural and educational events.

View photos from the event.

Watch video from the event.


As a "child of UNRWA," Mohammed Assaf is the ideal individual to be the first goodwill ambassador in the more than six decades of our history. A Palestine refugee himself, he grew up in the Khan Younis camp in Gaza. Not long ago, he was one of the over 220,000 students attending the Agency's 245 schools in Gaza. For him, the connection continued at home: His mother, too, was an UNRWA teacher. Throughout his childhood – at school, at the doctor's, at community centres – he saw firsthand the work that UNRWA does for Palestine refugees.

Since his appointment in June 2013, by Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi, as the Agency's Regional Youth Ambassador for Palestine Refugees, the 23-year-old Arab Idol winner has used his voice and his talent to help UNRWA give other young people the same support it gave him. With the universal language of his music, he carries the message of UNRWA and young Palestine refugees to new audiences, including in the region – to Dubai and Kuwait – and even further. In November 2013, he took that message to the United States, bringing the voice of Palestine refugee youth to the United Nations in New York City.

UNRWA is unique among UN agencies, both for its long-standing commitment to one group of refugees – the Palestine refugees - and for its direct provision of services including education, health care and relief to those refugees. But being unique doesn't mean that UNRWA can act alone: We have always depended on our partners, including our hosts and donors, to help us best serve Palestine refugees. Now, we are proud also to work with individuals who can add their voice to ours, spreading the word about Palestine refugees and reminding people who may be far away that they are not just a regional concern or a relic of the past.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"And it's up to all of us together."... a Spring poem for Palestine & peace

    "And it's up to all of us together."
                 A Spring poem
                                  for Palestine & peace 
Young bright things are coming-
stirring the ground, stretching,
reaching into the light and air
youth blossoming
for Palestine

Young bright things
being gardens
of and for peace,
of and for decency, dignity and dialogue.

Young bright things
perfecting diplomacy
and Golden Rule thinking
in a modern age
where a whisper here
is heard there and echoed.

Young bright things
mentored by quiet heroes
and the kindness of strangers
through the years
finding the right words
to convey what is and shape
what will be...

Young bright things
infusing beauty with their being
character with their contributions
passion with their energy
and empathy
for Palestine
and peace.

 poem by Anne Selden Annab

inspiration by ATFP 
& accountability

 "There are innumerable ways we can mobilize for peace.... The most important thing is that these ideas are just the beginning of what is possible. What's really needed is for each and every one of us that prefers a future of peace over conflict to contribute our own individual or collective initiatives to help that make happen. It's up to me. It's up to you. And it's up to all of us together." Tala Haikal

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Free to Fund Palestine ... a Growing Gardens for Palestine poem by Anne Selden Annab

'I can see Palestine"
    Free to Fund Palestine

Zionism is not my business
and Israel
is not ours to take...
there are citizens there
not all are bigots
not all are cruel.

Zionism belongs to Israelis
whatever Zionism becomes is theirs
to translate or abandon,
to redeem or reject
argue for against about... obsess

Let me be free please
to fund Palestine
and peace...

Free and able to understand
& respect international law
universal human rights

Free from religious tyranny
of every type... free from harassment
free from hate campaigns

free from home demolitions
free from forced exile...

Free to influence negotiations
in positive pro-Palestine ways,

free to expect firm borders
where Zionism must stop.

Two sovereign
separate states:

Let refugees return or relocate
with dual citizenship a bridge
between narratives

let Palestine
be Palestine

let Israel
be Israel

and let every citizen
old and new
rise to the challenge

of building community
and a just and lasting
inclusive, fully secular
fully sovereign
fully real
two state peace.