Category Archives: Published Articles

A list of some my published articles over the past two years.

The Unabridged Encyclopedia of Atrocities

The Unabridged Encyclopedia of Atrocities

Both hidden and exposed, the whole world is closely observing an unpleasant combination of abuses and killings which dictators  are  perpetrating against their own peoples. It is almost as if they themselves have actually believed  with all their heart that they are immovable objects to whom the rest of the nation must succumb.

The tyrannical Pharaoh of Egypt in Prophet Moses’ time subdued his own people for decades and declared proudly that he was their God. Anyone found to worship anything else was killed. Believing he held divine and mighty powers, his haughtiness led him to order his assistant to build a stairway leading to the heavens so he may see Moses’ God with his naked eye.  A lifetime of carnages, injustice and cruelty lasted for the Pharaoh until that black moment came. So how did the Pharaoh meet his end? By a miracle and through a revelation from Allah, Moses struck the waters with his stick by which sea was divided into two separate masses. A path was made for Moses and the Believers to pass through and the Pharaoh and his men drowned. As the Pharaoh was drowning he cried in desperation: ” I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam).” Verse 90,Chapter 10 of Holy Quran. But alas, your acknowledgement of the truth was long overdue. You spent your whole life flagrantly rejecting the truth because your pride and feeling of superiority made you perceive yourself as someone who is out of the ordinary. You falsely conceived that you were endowed with mighty powers which placed you in a higher and more lofty rank than that of the common people. You turned your people into peasants who labored to fulfill your  desires. Did the word mortality ever cross your mind or ring in your head? Did you not learn when you saw people bury or make mummies of their dead that soon you would be buried or mummied yourself? Or was that thought too unpleasant for your mind to ponder.

The Late Pharaoh of 21st Century (Mubarak)

Retrospection of the past obviously helps in understanding the present. Thus, it is clear that you drew inspiration from that Pharaoh. You might have even paid him visits at the museum and meditated by his side. Have you ever pondered the words plight, disease, illness, poverty and unemployment or were they dropped from or rendered archaic in your mental dictionary. When your grandson became seriously ill, the private plane was ready to take him to France in no time because he deserved to receive treatment. Even your own enemies would have been willing to ensure proper treatment simply because it is a right every human being is granted under international humanitarian law. Unquestionably, any honorable, conscientious ordinary person would rush to put a smile on a child’s face again, let alone save his/her life. What about the hundreds of Palestinian children and infants who died in hospital beds or at the Rafah border because they were denied treatment. Did their impoverished and miserable circumstances deem them undeserving of getting a chance to live? Just as we grieved the children of Gaza who became victims of the siege you were accomplice in, we were saddened to hear that your grandson passed away. Yet, and through that clear message from Allah, we hoped it might soften your heart and remind you of other ill children that do actually exist inside the Gaza enclave. Children who were robbed the chance to live their playful childhood because, according to you, they were born in the wrong place.

What about the friends you flock with? Did they ever gave you any piece of good advice as true friends do, or have they boasted to you about and outdone you with their own series of atrocities committed against their own peoples? You have ardently and devotedly competed with your gruesome friends of Arab leaders who have pigeonholed their own people as the underdogs so they may never rise up or live in honor. By positioning yourself in such a patronizing place, you looked down to them and  ruled that they must never learn what freedom tastes, feels or smells like. If they wished  to live a good life that fed their bellies, they had to learn the art of obsequiousness to members of the Ruling Party which entails working as informers against their own people. Police officers were given the authority to grab any person off the street and torture him to death or throw him in a dungeon in which he was sure to be transformed into one of your men. Dozens  of such frightening  incidents passed so easily since no one dared to question or criticize the hideous actions of the police. Your devilish wits never stopped improvising methods to outrage your people. So, your circle of demon consultants enlightened you with the stupendous idea to stir chaos and disorder among the people. And as a sign of loyalty and confidence in their advice, you promptly gave orders to your Minister of Interior to bomb up a church on New year’s Eve when families were together celebrating this happy occasion.

All these horrendous deeds fill my mind with such enigmatic thoughts: What kind of heart is it that is buried in your chest? Surely, it must have demons  guarding it to prevent any atom of light or goodness to penetrate through. I can see it just  by closing my eyes; black and dreary, haunted by devils. How is it do you and your Arab leader friends undergo this evil transformation of the heart and mind so they become immune to feeling or understanding human emotions and the universal morals and principles innate in every normal human being.  Do you chose to be that way, or are you controlled from within by a dark power to which you are completely subdued? How is  it that you and your fellows mastered the art of producing such monsters? Did your witches’ brew consist of dirt and rocks to make your hearts hard …but rocks are not as hard as people accuse them of being: “Thenceforth were your hearts hardened: They became like a rock and even worse in hardness. For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth; others there are which when split asunder send forth water; and others which sink for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do”.  Verse 74, Chapter 2 of Holy Quran.

Egypt is free now; Tunisia is free; Libya and Yemen following suit with heavy prices paid for the precious gift of freedom. But there remains another puzzling fact which suppresses any feeling of hope in those leaders; which is none seems to have a touch of wisdom that urges him to contemplate and learn from his predecessor. Despite the evil bond that ties them, each one thinks that he is somehow different than his counterpart.

Rana Shubair

Written on April 5th, 2011



Remembering Sonic Bombs

Sonic Bombs

The three A.M sonic bomb was the worst of them all, as my memory vividly recollects. With the daily four to six sonic bomb rate, we scheduled the timing of those bombs as we do today in the electricity outages program. I’d just delivered my babies that summer of 2005 when the new means of collective horror was enforced over the sky of Gaza. It was heartbreaking that the most atrocious and destructive methods always came  and continue to fall from above; from the same place on other parts of the world which people enjoy the serenity of the spectacular display of moon and stars.  So the midnight horror began with one sonic bomb which rocked the house and hearts of people underneath the darkness. In a blink of an eye, everything shook and was either blasted and shattered, or if it was a human being heart  was ripped out of the its place and returned in a split of a second. But the three A.M was the nastiest of them all; especially for the newborn babies who spent their full nights wide awake and only started to dose just a while before dawn. I couldn’t stand idly so I tried with my limited supplies and primitive methods to develop ways to protect my babies from the blasts. The best method I could improvise was the cotton ball stuffing method to alleviate the penetration of the bombing into their ears.

At many times, I felt Allah’s Mercy protecting and surrounding us when the babies slept through some of those evil sonic bombs. I wondered how the person flying above lavished in taking pleasure in spreading the thundering blasts over all the people of Gaza alike. But with the daily recurrence of those bombs, the people of Gaza eventually attuned ourselves to those bombs and grew more fierce announcing that they have become immune and shall no longer be intimidated.

That phase of intensive blasting is behind us now, but has of course been replaced with even more devastating methods of collective punishment; the last of which was the Israeli Offensive over Gaza Strip. Dark nights engulfed by bombing and shelling from all directions. Lying in bed shivering underneath a load of blankets, I tried to visualize, as  the massive nonstop of bombing persisted, the bloody battlefield all over Gaza, especially in bordering areas and neighborhoods. The radio was on the headboard over my head during the nights as news aired over the local radio stations. It was amazing how they survived and managed to remain put to keep us updated throughout the whole breadth of actions. One night a radio station aired that two women near Almaqusi buildings in Naser Street were out calling for help as one of them needed to get to the hospital to deliver a baby. Then the next piece aired: a woman trying to reach hospital to deliver her baby is killed. My mind tried to visualize such images which took place in seconds. One second the woman is there, the next one she’s gone. That’s how fast murders took place during those eighteen bloody days in Gaza.

The aftermath of the war was no less painful than the war itself as rescue workers discovered decayed corpses underneath the annihilated neighborhoods and stories began to surface on how one survivor witnessed the perishing of his family members along with other dark  tales of untold cold-blooded  murders so reminiscent of Sabra and Shatilla (Sept. 1982). In defiance, and from under the rubble, and blood scented atmosphere, the Palestinian people  chose to come out stronger than before. Life had to go one despite the devastation and ruins, despite  the heartbreaking and soul crushing pains. People buried  their loved ones, recited a solemn prayer over their graves and went back  to restart their lives. Fathers carried their dead child or children in their arms, kissed them dearly and bid them farewell underneath the earth. The Abu Aisha family lost three  daughters and  Balusha lost five in one midnight  strike. A bereaved mother could only weep silently, but if  she could bury her head in her husband’s shoulder for relief she was lucky for others grieved their children and husbands. The pain was unfathomable, but we grew with each day that passed. My people were never accustomed  to  losing control or giving up. A new generation of fierce and obstinate youngsters  was born and every one was ready to rebuild their lives. Students portrayed unmatched resilience with their determination to proceed with their studies after losing their homes. I guess  beyond every calamity lies a blessing although one may not realize that when the catastrophe befalls. So  I was lucky to have been a student at that time and made every possible attempt to succeed with my solid faith in Allah, my passion to learn and challenge the tough circumstances. Post- war rumors about the fear of another invasion spread like venom which we  tried to shun and replace with positive thought. This one tiny dot  on the map called Gaza was cast by the whole world,  but we had Allah on our side. My university received its share  of shelling, but we continued to attend classes as an obligation not an option.

I keep hearing that creativity best nurtures in an atmosphere of freedom, yet I think I’ve begun to question this opinion. My heart and soul tell me that darkest moments of plight have succeeded in bringing out the best in us.  To be besieged, attacked and threatened in every aspect of your life has truly brought forth the most  noble qualities of humanity in us and shall continue to inspire our enthusiasm and passion for living in justice and freedom.

Written by:

Rana Shubair

Palestinian Heroes Behind Bars

Palestinian Prisoners: Heroes Behind Bars

Gaza, (Pal Telegraph) – If you have a window that you can open and look out of to at least get some fresh air, or please your eyes with the blue sky or glimmering stars,  then you are definitely a wealthy person here in Gaza for the obvious reason of enjoying the freedom to do so. Ponder this: Over eight thousand Palestinian prisoners are being held by the Zionists in harsh and inhumane circumstances, many in isolation deprived of even communicating with other prisoners.

It is only if one has suffered the reality of confinement that one would understand the true plight and misery of the Palestinian prisoners. Not a day goes by without the Israeli Occupation Forces captivating Palestinians easily off the streets or from  their homes. No one is immune to these attacks whether young or old, male or female. Operating in broad day light , or under the cover of darkness, the predators barge into neighborhoods or send in undercover soldiers to catch their prey.  Consequently,  prisons are packed with people who have no clear guilt but one: being  Palestinian! Since  literally anyone  can suddenly be easily and falsely charged of posing a threat to the so-called security of Israeli, captivation of innocent Palestinians is always excusable to the Israelis.

The Palestinian prisoners constitute a key issue in the Palestinian Cause. The invisible heroes confined behind bars and isolated in cells under brutal conditions. Many have died in vague circumstances while many more  suffer from various types of  chronic diseases, and are left to endure the pain till they meet their death. Even in prison, detainees from Gaza are given the Israeli style of exceptional treatment whereby they are deprived from seeing family members in regular visits. To the international community, they are no more than increasing figures whom they have lost count of. Their names are anonymous, their families  are forgotten despite their weekly demonstrations at the Red Cross Society. Ask anyone off the street in any Western country to name a prisoner in the Israeli prisons and don’t be too surprised see that the brainwashing of mainstream media has left the people with only one name associated with the middle east in their minds: Gilad Shalit.

My brothers and sisters lying there in dark cells, if the world has chosen to remain blindfolded to your tragedy , we will  not turn our backs on you. You have sacrificed  your youth and the most precious gift humans possess- freedom so that we can live. We want you to know that as we put our heads  down to rest on our cushioned pillows, our hearts  throb as we picture you in your isolation.  We may live and go about our lives and may be pursue our studies, but our own lives have not erased your beautiful pictures  from our minds. Your valor and steadfastness feed us the power to continue in our struggle to regain our rights. At times, I pacify myself that indeed you are the strong and formidable ones, despite your confinement. Prison has  taught you to stand high with pride because you have a noble cause which you cherish more than your own souls. You may be thousands, but each one holds an honorable place in our hearts. When heavy rain falls, my heart beats with excitement as I know that it is a moment of mercy when prayers are answered, so I make a special prayer to Allah to relieve your pains and put an end to your suffering. When we get bored of our daily routine, and when there’s no place to go for amusement, I remember your four-walled bloodstained cells and my lips utter a silent prayer for you.

Tomorrow, Palestine shall commemorate the Palestinian Prisoner’s Day April 17th to educate  every child, man and woman in Palestine on your stories of unmatchable heroism; and to tell the whole world that your issue is uncompromisable. Rest assured that the people of Palestine are unanimous on your issue because it is the issue of the whole nation. Nothing can compensate for your absence, and we shall not rest until you are all united with your loved ones.

Rana Shubair
Palestinian writer and blogger from Gaza


The Unabridged Encycolopedia of Atrocities

In Gaza, Is Home different?

Yes, I Can Dare to Dream in My Gaza

Women Choosing to be