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Like twenty impossibles, travels and more, by Mazin Qumsiyeh

We continued to have positive repercussions from the opening of ourPalestine Museum of Natural History and botanical garden to the public. Theweek after the opening there was much media coverage and our hits on theweb and our facebook page (Palestine Museum of Natural History) hadsignificant acceleration. Visitors were impressed to see how the remarkableachievements done in such a short period of time: over two dozen researchpublications, growth in collections and exhibited material (some very rareitems both in our living collection of plants and animals free in theGarden and some collected items like rare insects, reptiles, amphibiansetc), the growth of our educational programs especially focusing onchildren, and our conservation efforts. We got many school inquiries andsome have already come and visited after the opening (but we look for more)and got impressed by the contents. We got some additional donations (but welook for more). We signed some memorandums of understanding with some NGOs,academics, and others (but we look for more).We are also now invited to speak to various forums and venues (but we lookfor more also :-). The first trip I took outside of Palestine after theopening was to Jordan where I was invited by the Cultural CoordinatingCommittee of Jerusalemite Institutions in Jordan (representing severalinstitutions). The event was held in the Jerusalem house and attended by 80leaders/activists. I was truly honored to be there and to explain how theycan help grow this national institution of biodiversity and sustainabilityand the Palestine Museum of Natural History (as a form also of sumud andsustainability).I have travel plans or the coming months to promote Palestine and themuseum and please contact me if you are in these areas and want details(especially if you can help):May 13-17 BelgiumJune 17-27 USAOctober 27-November 4th UKAnd of course we welcome your visit (for more join us on face book(Palestine Museum of Natural History) and on the web ( continue to be attacked as expected by enemies of human rights, enemiesof transparency, enemies of volunteerism spirit. This only adds to ourdetermination to work harder. The prisoners’ hunger strike is ongoing anpeople outside are getting awakened to the plight of our politicalprisoners. This may also prove to be the beginning of a new uprising (theprisoner uprising) and hopefully a new political restructuring that couldshake-up the existing failed political systems. We stand in owe of thesacrifices of the families of martyrs and political prisoners. Let me justtell you of one: The teenager AbdelHamid Abusrour was murdered by theIsraeli occupation forces one year ago. The same occupation forces arestill holding the body in a freezer and will not turn his body to thefamily. I know his family very well. His highly educated mother serves withme on the board of Al-Rowwad Cultural and Arts youth center in Aida Refugeecamp. We also visited the new gravestone installed on our friend’s tomb:Basil Al-Araj continues to give us inspiration and his memory will liveforever in his village of new Al-Walaja and all of Palestine (they are alsorefugees). This only serves to remind us that the refugees must be allowedto return to their homes and lands. No peace can be built on injustice.Only pacification which has been tried for decades. Justice will prevail.Our collective dream of freedom will never be extinguished.We will not forget and we will move forward positively and withdetermination. Let the oppressors and the oppressed both contemplate thispoem by the previous mayor of Nazareth (still under Zionist occupation):“WE  SHALL  REMAIN,”  BY  TAWFIQ  ZAYYAD  – 1970It is a thousand times easier For youTo pass an elephant through the needle’s eyeTo catch fried fish in the Milky WayTo plow the seaTo teach the alligator speech, a thousand times easierThan smothering with your oppressionThe spark of an ideaOf forcing us to deviateA single stepFrom our chosen march.Like twenty impossiblesWe shall remain in Lydda, Ramlah, and Galilee.Here upon your chestsWe shall remainLike the glass and the cactusIn your throatsA fiery whirlwindIn your eyes.Here we shall remainA wall on your chests.We wash dishes in the hotelsAnd serve drinks to the masters.We mop the floors in the dark kitchensTo extract a piece of breadFrom your blue teethFor the little ones.Here, we shall remainA wall on your chests.We starve,Go naked,Sing songsAnd fill the streetsWith demonstrationsAnd the jails with pride.We breed rebellionsOne after another.Like twenty impossibles we remainIn Lydda, Ramlah, Galilee.Here, we shall remain.You may drink the sea;We shall guard the shadeOf the olive tree and the fig,Planting ideasLike the yeast in the dough.The coldness of ice is in our nervesAnd a burning hell in our hearts.We squeeze the rockTo quench our thirstAnd if we starveWe eat the dirtAnd never departOr grudge our blood.Here―we have a past―a present―and a future.Our roots are entrenchedDeep in the earth.Like twenty impossiblesWe shall remain.Let the oppressor review his accountBefore the turn of the wheel.For every action there is a reaction:Read what is written in the Book.Like twenty impossiblesWe shall remain―in Lydda, in RamlahAnd Galilee.--------Donate to Legal defense for Palestine (LDP) to help Palestinian prisoners humanMazin QumsiyehA bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at homeProfessor and (volunteer) DirectorPalestine Museum of Natural HistoryPalestine Institute of Biodiversity and SustainabilityBethlehem UniversityOccupied Palestinehttp://qumsiyeh.orghttp://palestinenature.orgJoin me on facebook