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Rejoice, by Mazin Qumsiyeh

Thank you to all who wished me happy birthday (and yes I am "older andwiser" and not "old" :-). Thanks especially to those who donated or agreedto support us by volunteering ( For those whoasked me for reflections: before I came back to Palestine in 2008, Ipublished a story in 2002 in Northeast magazine in Connecticut called theCucumber and the Cactus which received much attention as a personal storyof hope and sumud. It is posted here:

 Since 2002, the wall has cut off Bethlehem from Jerusalem, the US andIsrael have both been drifting further towards fascism. But many morepeople are aware of reality and are working hard to help. I am certainlygrateful to be surrounded always be very good dedicated people (most youngvolunteers). And here is a reflection I wrote last year on having been backto Palestine for eight years: rejoice at our students learning in university and flourishing (I willlead the graduation march in two weeks). We rejoice as people eek out aiving despite incredible odds. We rejoice at the solidarity shown toprisoners (even as we cry at the suffering of hunger strikers). We rejoicewhether it is celebrating publishing a scientific paper (like we do often,this week a research paper on grasshoppers and locusts), or receiving agift (today donations of money and valuable books), or other achievement(today celebrating with the representative of Canada project that put solarpanels and other sustainability aspects at the museum/BethlehemUniversity). Tomorrow visits by school children and internationaldelegations. Then I speak in Belgium and Luxembourg while the staff andvolunteers continue building locally (physical, mental, spiritual). Werejoice in friendship, loyalty, love, and kindness even in the face ofincredible odds. We rejoice at the common decency of people improvingthemselves and improving their surrounding everywhere around us. Millionsof people, thousands of commendable actions daily!Article on our museum (note error University contribution 45,000 not450,000) article from a museum visitor almost a year ago. Now it’s a much largermuseum and collection and exhibits (especially after our opening) but it isworth reading this for the great sentiments expressed by this visitorSophie Schor more recent photos, see't go to Palestine a medical explanation: Study Finds Link Between Brain Damage andReligious Fundamentalism human and come visit usMazin 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