a quick comic on accountability. sometimes it is important to disassociate yourself from patriotism and realise when you are contributing to the suffering of others. 

the names of the martyrs listed in panels 23, 24 and 25 are as follows:

[panel 24]
1. Mohammed Shaaban, 24
2. Ahmed Shaaban, 30
[panel 23]
24. Abdel Hadi Jamaat al-Sufi, 24
25. Naifeh Farjallah, 80.
26. Abdel Nasser Abu Kweek, 60
27. Khaled Abu Kweek, 31
28. Mohammed Areef, 13
28. Amir Areef, 10
30. Mohammed Malakiyeh, 18 months old
31. Hana Malakiyeh, 27
32. Hatem Abu Salem, 28
33. Mohammed Khaled al-Nimri, 22
34. Sahar Hamdan, 40
35. Ibrahim Masri, 14
36. Mahmoud Nahid al-Nawasra
37. Mohammed Khalaf al-Nawasra, 4
38. Nidal Khalaf al-Nawasra al-Meghazi, 5
39. Salah Awwad al-Nawasra al-Meghazi, 6
40. Aisha Nijm al-Meghazi, 20
41. Amal Youssef Abdel Ghafour, 27
42. Ranim Jawde Abdel Ghafour, an 18-month-old girl
43. Rashid al-Kafarneh, 30
44. Ibrahim Daoud al-Balawi, 24
45. Abdel Rahman Jamal al-Zamli, 22
46. Ibrahim Ahmad Abideen, 42
47. Mustafa Abu Mar, 20
48. Khalid Abu Mar, 23
49. Mazen Farj al-Jarbah, 30
50. Marwan Slim, 27
51. Hani Saleh Hamad, 57
76. Omar al-Fyumi, 30
77. Abdullah Ramadan Abu Ghazzal, 5
78. Ismail Hassan Abu Jamah, 19
79. Hassan Awda Abu Jamah, 75
80. Mohammed Ahsan Ferwanah, 27
81. Yasmin Mohammed Mutawwaq, 4 
82. Mahmoud Wulud, 26
83. Hazem Balousha, 30
84. Nour Rafik Adi al-Sultan, 27
85. Ahmad Zaher Hamdan, 24
86. Mohammed Kamal al-Kahlout, 25
87. Sami Adnan Shaldan, 25.
88. Jamah Atieh Shalouf, 25
89. Bassem Abdel Rahman Khattab, 6
90. Abdullah Mustafa Abu Mahrouk, 22
91. Anas Rizk Abu al-Kas, 33
92. Nour Marwan al-Najdi, 10
93. Mohammed Mounir Ashour, 25
94. Ghalia Deeb Jabr al-Ghanam, 7
95. Wasim Abd al-Rizk Hassan al-Ghanam, 23
96. Ra’ed Hani Abu Hani, 31
97. Shahraman Ismail Abu al-Kas, 42
98. Mazen Mustafa Aslan, 63

[panel 25]

998. unknown
999. unknown 
1000. unknown

(at the time of writing this comic, the list of victims was at 1000. it has now surpassed that number. the full list is here).

no politics, just regular human stuff. 

…the use of the term Mary-Sue comes with an obvious assumption attached: if characters like this are simply unacceptable by definition, then there must be other types of characters out there that are OK. After all, not every single female character ever written can possibly be a Mary-Sue. Even the people who cling to the term Mary-Sue as if it was their long-lost twin would not dispute that.

The Mary-Sue is a ‘fake girl’. A plastic girl, an unrealistic girl, a perfect girl. Her opposite number in that case must be a real girl. A human girl. A realistic girl. An imperfect girl. Fictional ladies whose failures and flaws are right there on the page. Ladies who cannot be dismissed as ‘too perfect’ or ‘wish fulfilment’. Let’s call this type of character a Sarah-Jane.

Now, because Sarah-Janes are in total contrast to the Mary-Sue, defying all the traits that are supposed to make a Mary-Sue unacceptable, then the Sarah-Jane, by definition, must be acceptable. I mean, obviously they’re not as tightly defined as the Mary-Sue type, and because their major trait is that they’re realistic, they’re going to vary a lot. But they must be the kind of character that readers want to see. The kind that readers will embrace. The kind that they will at least give a chance.


Yeah. No. It turns out the vast majority of talk about Sarah-Janes - realistic, flawed, prominent female characters in fiction - still centres on what is wrong with them, and all the reasons they are SO ANNOYING for… not being perfect?

Zoë Marriott, Real Girls, Fake Girls, Everybody Hates Girls

This is just a sample of a long and thoughtful essay — check out the rest!

(via rj-anderson)


Hindu Muslim Unity: Muslim housewife cares for Hindu widow

Thirteen years ago, a Muslim housewife in Kerala had stopped an old and destitute Brahman widow from jumping in front of a train and ending a life for which she saw no hope. The Muslim woman, then 34, took the 76-year-old Brahmin Namboothiri woman home, gave her shelter and sowed the seeds for an unusual relationship that bloomed despite their religious and cultural differences.

Beevi said she took the Brahman woman home and got her to stay with her family comprising her husband and three children. Beevi bought a traditional Hindu lamp used in Kerala and other items Antharjanam needed to do pooja and allowed her to recite Hindu prayers in her Muslim home. In 2004, Beevi managed to get Rs 55,000 from a housing scheme for the homeless from her panchayat, chipped in with some of her savings and built a two-room house for Antharjanam.

Ibn Abbas narrated: A beautiful woman, from among the most beautiful of women, used to pray behind the Prophet. Some of the people used to go to pray in the first row to ensure they would not be able to see her. Others would pray in the last row of the men, and they would look from underneath their armpits [in rukoo’ and sujood] to see her. Because of this act, in regard to her, Allah revealed, “Verily We know the eager among you to be first, and verily We know the eager among you to be behind.” (Surah al-Hijr ayah 24)

(Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud Tayalisi, Baihaqi, Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Nasai and it is judged sahih by Albani. He includes it as #2472 in his Silsilat al-Ahadith as-Sahih)

Why is this narration so fascinating? Because it reveals how even in the time of RasulAllah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), the Sahabah had differing levels of emaan and even in salah - a time when all worldly desires are meant to be put aside - they still acted upon their desires.

Yet to me, the most interesting part of this narration is that when Allah sent down a revelation concerning this situation, He did not rebuke the woman - He rebuked the men who forgot their khushoo’, the men who forgot that Allah is Ever-Watching, the men who forgot that Allah can easily expose those who claim piety yet act in a contrary manner. Allah is the One Who reminded these men that their intentions are fully known to Him.

When Beauty is Not To Blame || The Salafi Feminist

via Side Entrance’s Facebook Page

(via muslimwomeninhistory)

This is fascinating.




Meanwhile in Mosul.

It should be noted that while the term نصارى ‹naṣārā› does technically translate to “Nazarene,” it’s actually derogatory. Arabic-speaking Christians never use it and have a completely different word مسيحي ‹masīḥī›. The word رافصي ‹rāfiḍī› used for Shi’a is also derogatory.

i have only ever heard ‘nasara’ being used in a derogatory manner but this is the first time i’ve seen anyone acknowledging that and i hope this knowledge becomes more mainstream

From princess to empress to a royal forgotten amid Egypt’s transformations.


In 1939, when Princess Fawzia of Egypt married the crown prince of Iran, Mohammed Reza, the teenagers united two great Muslim lands. Each side had political and personal motives for welcoming the union: for the Egyptian King Farouk, the princess’s brother, the marriage asserted a constitutional monarch’s power in a region lorded over by the British. For the shah of Iran, formerly an ordinary soldier, the century-old Egyptian royal family conferred aristocratic legitimacy on his own. At the wedding in Cairo, guests received bonbon boxes made of gold and precious stones; flower-filled floats paraded down the wide avenues; fireworks were set off over the Nile.

The 17-year-old princess grew up in sophisticated, exclusive Cairo speaking French, English and Arabic. She was a knockout: a more luscious version of Hedy Lamarr, a softer Vivien Leigh. Cecil Beaton photographed her for the cover of Life magazine. Her life was chronicled in newspapers worldwide, which referred to her as “one of the world’s most beautiful women.”

When the crown prince became shah, Fawzia became the empress of Iran; their daughter was Princess Shahnaz. Yet rumors of Fawzia’s marital unhappiness reached Cairo. A member of the Egyptian court was sent to Tehran, where he discovered Fawzia to be neglected and gravely ill: Her shoulder blades, he reported, “jutted out like the fins of some undernourished fish.” King Farouk demanded that the two divorce. Princess Shahnaz stayed in Iran.

In time, Fawzia married again, in 1949, to a royalist officer named Ismail Cherine, and had two more children. The Egyptians, most of whom were poor and disenfranchised, had by then turned against the royal family. King Farouk was viewed as a corrupt and incompetent playboy, a monarch beholden to an occupying foreign power. In 1952, a military coup led by Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser was widely heralded among Egyptians (and much of the world) as an act of emancipation. Farouk boarded the royal yacht and sailed to Italy, never to return to the throne. Fawzia, unlike most of her relatives, stayed in Egypt with her family. They settled in a villa in Alexandria, where she lived a quiet, almost anonymous life in reduced circumstances, melting into the background of a rapidly growing city.

In 1976, President Anwar Sadat, in an act of conciliation, invited Princess Shahnaz, her family and their friend, an Iranian architect named Keyvan Khosrovani, to be his guests at a royal palace in Alexandria. One day they visited Fawzia in her villa and had tea in her sitting room, looking through giant photo albums and gazing out on a garden of date trees. As they were leaving, Khosrovani recalls, Queen Fawzia remarked, “Of course because you have called on me, I should call on you in return.” Princess Shahnaz and Khosrovani were surprised: the palace they were staying in had once been Fawzia’s own home. She had not been there in 24 years.

When some of her former servants heard about her visit and showed up to see her, according to Khosrovani, many of them had tears as they embraced their princess. “Come now let me show you the palace,” Fawzia said, and led the way up the stairs to the coronation hall. She pointed to the verses of the Quran written in the walls above. “I am afraid I think my brother did not read carefully all the verses,” she said. “If he had, we would still be here as the ruling royal family.” Later she added: “Twice in my life, I lost the crown. Once I was the queen of Iran, and once I was the princess here.” She smiled. “It’s all gone now. It doesn’t matter.”

In a century, Egypt went from monarch to military coup, then from socialism to oligarchy, then from dictatorship to revolution again. Amid these waves of transformation, a queen became a mere shadow. In the violent, uncertain days of early July, when the Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi was being deposed by the Egyptian Army, Princess Fawzia of Egypt, the onetime empress of Iran, died in Alexandria and was buried in Cairo. “When you visit the tombs of kings and queens, you see they leave everything behind,” she said the day she led her visitors through her old palace, “even the crowns.”





This body is an ocean with violent currents.

I am a split sea fighting to break the surface. My breath once traveled steady—my heart is now skipping rocks across the Atlantic. Trained in the art of blood letting, my veins are laced with the cracks of a pink sun and red waters.

I stand tangled in the seaweed stretchmarks patched across my skin. My hair is clinging to the bruises across my neck and the pale sand of my skin. Off shore, I see three women in a boat rocking gently in what is the calm before the storm.


Their eyes are roaming again.

Arab women, the lively ones at least, are seasoned chefs in the practice of courtesy. They are known for their biting wit and curt tongue. Their words are chaste and paralyzing, a grand variance to the melodious slip of the tongue that is Arabi. They roam their teeth on the cutting edge of an insult. A message to all who dare approach: take caution and be wary. They will eat you with a bowl of shame and pita bread. I am well versed in their culinary precision: I have attended every tasting, witnessed every spoon fed compliment and suffered in the wake of a first degree burn.

My aunts are these women.

They evaluate from the distance and this is what they see. They take me in—wide bust and staggering hips, a waist serving more as a column on a daunting and nervous foundation.

I am an ocean, large and imprecise. They say there are depths to me no man, or woman or relative will ever dare to approach.


The ocean is no longer in my name.

There is a warship occupying in the distance. My shores have been infiltrated and singed, this spirit uprooted. I am sitting on the clearing and I watch the waters become shallow. The ocean is now a fishbowl, and I sink like a pebble who mistook herself for a pearl.

Salt water is burning in my lungs. I am no longer pure with fresh water clarity. The war is salinizing my chest, spilling into my ribs.

A storm is approaching, big black clouds, coiling like my hair, against a muddy sky. Tears are trickling down my eyes and the boat is growing closer. The women’s voices rise above the crash of the waves that grow below my eyelids.


In Sudan, a woman’s body is her temple.

I have watched the women in my family groom for days on ends. Tricks to lighten skin and soften hair are exchanged in the glow of a setting African sun. Like their body fat percentage, their tolerance or respect for those who do not look like them are low.

I stand in front of a mirror with my hair curling in all directions. My arms are like seaweed tangled up in murky waters as I sift through the strands with a comb, trying to make sense of the situation at hand. My aunt walks past and allows her eyes to glance at my waist before stopping.

“You know,” she says in her soft, raspy Arabic, “you aren’t all that fat, really. If you hadn’t inherited your breasts and that butt of yours from your father’s side of the family, your body would be quite beautiful.”

I smiled thinly. She smiled one last time before walking off to attend to her own children and left me for the ocean, allowing it to suck me in and observe my surroundings from below the surface.


The storm is raging.

The ocean swirls violently and the clouds are trembling. I sit quietly in the eye of the hurricane, watching the three women fall under. They are bobbing like random buoys and the boat is upturned, breaking under pressure. Lightning cracks above their heads and their screams are drowned out by the sound of thunder.

I see silent prayers pass from between their lips and contemplate whether silencing them is truly worth it. The storm is full of conflict and I do not see a solution in the clearing or beyond the horizon. I close my eyes and find only darkness and more tears to fuel the storm clouds.

But then there is light. I see rays break across the waters and fragment the waves. The sun peeks behind my back and I welcome it’s warmth.

The women are lying on the shore fighting to catch their breath. The waters are growing calm and the clouds are clearing. I sit in the palm of the beach and breathe in the sea air.

Their eyes are roaming. I blink once at their confused expressions and stand.
The ocean calls my name and with one step into the shallow waters, I answer.



A Palestinian medic is overwhelmed by emotion as he takes a break treating wounded people by Israeli strikes, at the emergency room of the Kamal Adwan hospital in Beit Lahiya on July 19, 2014. According to the hospital, there were more than 35 wounded Palestinians from different Israeli strikes that arrived at the hospital Saturday — five with serious wounds, and three were dead on arrival. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)