Our worst fears have come true: Six Jewish extremists are suspected of kidnapping and murdering Palestinian teen Muhammed Abu Khdeir as a revenge killing for the kidnap and murder of Israeli teens Gilad, Eyal, and Naftali.
This disturbing turn of events makes me remember a powerful quote from the Laramie Project, a play about Matthew Shepard – who was killed for being gay – and his town’s response. “Someone got up there [at Matthew’s vigil] and said, ‘C’mon, guys, let’s show the world that Laramie is not this kind of a town.’ But it is that kind of a town. If it wasn’t this kind of a town, why did this happen here?… And we have to mourn this and we have to be sad that we live in a town, a state, a country where shit like this happens. .. I mean, these are people trying to distance themselves from this crime. And we need to own this crime. I feel. Everyone needs to own it. We are like this. We ARE like this. WE are LIKE this.”
Yes, Jews are like this too. So what are we going to do about it?
Poster depicting 16-year-old Muhammed Abu Khdeir during his funeral in Shuafat. Courtesy of CBC.
I was super flattered to see that Chris Schroeder, who wrote the groundbreaking book Startup Rising, compliment my most recent PolicyMic piece about women entrepreneurs in the Middle East. His book, which came out in August 2013, describes the tech revolution bubbling all over the MENA region.
It’s the featured story on PolicyMic‘s entrepreneurship page. I must say, it was fascinating to learn how much more Arab women are involved in tech entrepreneurship in the Middle East than women are in the Western world. Check it out!
I don’t know about your feeds, but partners, marriages, and children were by the far the most popular subjects from the Facebook 10th anniversary look back videos on my news feed. Although animals, trips, job announcements, and partying also featured prominently, it almost felt like your video didn’t have a narrative without the family-making progression. A friend of mine, who recently got divorced, commented “Facebook should automate a ‘look forward’ video for anyone who has changed their marital status.”
Also, all those political statuses people write are not that popular. The only political statuses I saw in the look back videos came from professional activists or warm statuses about gay marriage becoming legal.
Facebook, hats off to you. The mirror is striking.
And for transparency’s sake, here’s my video. I must say, it’s basically an account of my life before and after I met my boyfriend:
My best friend’s mother, Darcy Blake, made an inspiring video about her battle with Parkinson’s. After five years of medications, her symptoms were progressing, including a heavy tremor on her left-hand side. She decided to pursue a surgery called Deep Brain Stimulation. The procedure implants a neurostimulator to target parts of the brain that control movement, such as tremors.
It’s amazing to see how effective the procedure was. On a personal note, I’m so grateful this surgery has given Darcy a new lease on life.
Recently, Darcy submitted this video The Neuro Film Festival, a contest by the American Brain Foundation to raise awareness through video about brain diseases. So please, watch this video and share it with your friends. Who knows-you may help someone with Parkinson’s in the process.
This is a very sweet video of Israeli celebs, including Bar Refaeli, supporting a civil union bill. To give some background, Yesh Atid, a large centrist party in Israel, introduced the legislation in late October. It would not only give same-sex couples access to marriage benefits, it would also free heterosexual couples that can’t (or don’t want to) get married through Israel’s Orthodox Rabbinate. Right now, Arab-Israelis can get married through Islamic or Christian authorities, and Jewish-Israelis can only get married through the Orthodox Rabbinical Court. If either group wants to get married to a same-sex partner, intermarry, or get married outside of religious strictures, they must get married abroad.
The video, which was released on Sunday, asks the question “Why do I support the civil marriage bill?” At the end, the video asks people to share the video and raise awareness about the new bill. Hopefully the bill will be voted on in December. I don’t normally ask people to share stuff on my blog, but I feel this is important. So if this moves you (even though you can’t understand all the Hebrew…thankfully the visuals tell most of the story), please share this with your friends!