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7th-Nov-2015 05:18 pm - An alternative history of the Easter Rising
Patrick Murphy
Irish News
07 November 2015

The solution is simple. If there are going to be several competing centenary commemorations of the 1916 Rising next year, we can solve the problem of how to accommodate them all by doing what we now do best in Ireland - re-writing history.

We can create a revised version of the Rising, so that each group can justify its claim to be the true inheritors of the 1916 ideals. Welcome to Ireland, the land of instant history, where facts are flexible and the truth is a far-off planet.

So here is the (not very) authorised history of the 1916 Rising.

It all began when Pearse was walking down O'Connell Street one day, which was very hard to do at that time, because there was no O'Connell Street.

So he texted James Connolly to ask: "Where am I?" ("That's ridiculous", I hear you shout. You have a point, but is it any more ridiculous than claiming that the IRA's thirty-year war was for "equality" and not for a united Ireland? If we are going to re-write history, we may as well do it properly.)

Connolly replied by writing a pamphlet (Marxists love writing pamphlets) saying that he was busy preparing to serve King (meaning England) and Kaiser (Germany).

(We have reversed Connolly's views to accommodate almost every commemoration next year. Nearly everyone in Ireland now accepts the legitimacy of London rule in the north and Berlin rule, through the EU, across the whole island. So with a swift battering of the keyboard, all groups can now celebrate Irish "independence".)

While passing the GPO, Pearse noticed that it would be a wonderful setting for a rising. But while he was marvelling at the decor, he heard that Roger Casement had been arrested in Kerry.

Casement was later marched through the streets of Tralee to the Dublin train and not a single soul tried to rescue him. "Don't worry, Roger," the townsfolk would have shouted had they bothered to come out. "One day there will be a stadium named after you and your name will be on the lips of every planning official and health and safety officer in the north."

(I'm not sure which group we have re-written that bit for, but it might come in useful.)

So Pearse said: "Let us organise a rising, but it shall be a peaceful rising, because violence is wrong." (That covers the contradiction of preaching peace, while celebrating violence.) So they began their peaceful rising by entering into dialogue with a post office clerk and then engaging in bi-lateral talks, followed by a plenary session - just like they do at Stormont.

They later published the GPO House Agreement whereby the IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood) would join with all rebel groups to form the IRA, which would later revert to the IRB (Irish Republican Butterfly).They agreed that there should be an IRA for everyone in Ireland.

These IRAs would include the Real, the Surreal, the Continuity, the Intermittent, the Very Disruptive but Really Rather Nice and the Low-calorie, Sugar-free IRA. (I made most of those up, but that does not mean they do not exist. So all dissident groups are historically covered for their ceremonies. All we need now is justification for the individual party political commemorations.)

As the rising began Michael Collins said he would die for Fine Gael, so that it could invent austerity. Connolly said his death would be for the Labour Party, which would help to implement that austerity and de Valera said he would die, but not just yet, so that he could found Fianna Fáil to bankrupt the country.

All the other leaders decided to die for Stormont, so that people could become ministers without standing for election.

So there you have it. Our revised history of 1916 will now allow the various commemorative groups to march, make speeches, pontificate and scorn all rival commemorations.

However, the one thing which none of them will do is to solve the unemployment crisis in Ballymena. Commemorating the rising is seen as an acceptable substitute for failing to implement what it was intended to achieve, including for example, the Proclamation's objective of "the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation".

So the real inheritors of 1916 are neither politicians nor paramilitaries. They are those who, by their actions and principles, commemorate the rising in their daily work. These include for example, the community and voluntary sector, charities, credit unions, GAA clubs, Conradh na Gaeilge and the thousands of ordinary people who make Ireland a better place to live in.

Their history does not need re-writing.

6th-Jul-2013 03:16 am - Ridgeway: An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada by Scian Dubh - Free Ebook

Ridgeway: An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada by Scian Dubh - Free Ebook from Gutenberg.org



"In the dark, English crucible of seven hundred years of famine, fire and sword, the children of Ireland have been tested to an intensity unknown to the annals of any other people. From the days of the second Henry down to those of the last of the Georges, every device that human ingenuity could encompass or the most diabolical spirit entertain, was brought to bear upon them, not only with a view to insuring their speedy degradation, but with the further design of accomplishing ultimately the utter extinction of their race. Yet notwithstanding that confiscation, exile and death, have been their bitter portion for ages—notwithstanding that their altars, their literature and their flag have been trampled in the dust, beneath the iron heel of the invader, the pure, crimson ore of their nationality and patriotism still flashes and scintillates before the world; while the fierce heart of "Brien of the Cow Tax," bounding in each and every of them as of yore, yearns for yet another Clontarf, when hoarse with the pent-up vengeance of centuries, they shall burst like unlaired tigers upon their ancient, and implacable enemy, and, with one, long, wild cry, hurl her bloody and broken from their shores forever..."
17th-Jun-2010 06:24 pm - Families call for inquiry into 1971 Ballymurphy deaths
BBC



Image from Wikipedia

The families of 11 people killed by the Army in 1971 have said they want an independent international investigation into the deaths.

They were killed by the Parachute Regiment in west Belfast in August 1971.

The call followed the Saville report into the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry.

They appeared at a news conference on Thursday alongside Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams.

At the conference was Carmel Quinn, whose brother John Laverty, 20, was one of those who died.

She said that following the Saville report, they wanted what she called a "statement of innocence from the British Government for those who died".

Mr Adams said: "In Ballymurphy six months before Bloody Sunday, we have another striking example of the brutality with which the Paras acted and how the British system then connived in a cover-up.

"In the 36 hours after the introduction of internment in August 1971 11 people - ten men, including a local priest and a mother of eight children - were killed by the British Army's Parachute Regiment in the Ballymurphy area.

"The accounts of how their loved ones died the bear a striking similarity to the stories told by the Derry families and now vindicated by the Saville report," he said.
16th-Jun-2010 08:33 pm - Governments cannot be held directly responsible
DEAGLÁN de BRÉADÚN, Political Correspondent
Irish Times
16 June 2010

BRITISH AND NI GOVERNMENT ROLE: NEITHER THE British nor Northern Ireland governments at the time, led by Edward Heath and Brian Faulkner respectively, can be held directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths and injuries on Bloody Sunday, the Saville inquiry has found.

The inquiry was responding to allegations that political leaders at Westminster and Stormont, as well as the British army, had planned to use the parachute regiment “for the purpose of carrying out some action which they knew would involve the deliberate use of unwarranted lethal force”.

The inquiry team said they carried out a detailed examination of the plans and preparations by the civil and military authorities in the weeks and months before Bloody Sunday as well as on the day itself.

“We found no evidence to substantiate these allegations. So far as the United Kingdom government was concerned, what the evidence did establish was that in the months before Bloody Sunday, genuine and serious attempts were being made at the highest level to work towards a peaceful political settlement in Northern Ireland,” the report states.

“So far as the Northern Ireland government was concerned, although it had been pressing the United Kingdom government and the army to step up their efforts to counter republican paramilitaries and to deal with banned marches, we found no evidence that suggested to us that it advocated the use of unwarranted lethal force or was indifferent to its use on the occasion of the march.”

The report also rejects a further submission that the British army had illegally taken control over the policing of security situations from the police. “The army and the police worked together in deciding how to deal with matters of security.”
16th-Jun-2010 07:54 pm - Bloody Sunday commander 'wanted to go after rioters aggressively'
By David Williams
Daily Mail
16th June 2010

The commanding officer of the Paratroopers responsible for the Bloody Sunday deaths disobeyed an order not to enter the Bogside estate where 13 civilians were killed, Lord Saville revealed.

The report gave a damning indictment of the actions of Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford and many of his men from Support Company.

Criticised: Lieutenant Colonel Derek Wilford disobeyed an order not to enter the Bogside estate where 13 civilians were killed

Many 'knowingly' put forward 'false accounts in order to justify their firing', it said.

One soldier, Lance Corporal F, who in evidence was said to be responsible for four deaths, received devastating criticism for opening fire on civilians, while others are singled out for shooting people in the back or on the ground.

Northern Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions, must now decide whether any could face charges. None are serving soldiers so are not subject to military law.

The report says Colonel Wilford, commander of 1 Para, had sent his men on to the Bogside because he wanted to show the way to deal with rioters was not for soldiers to 'shelter behind barricades like Aunt Sallies' while being stoned.

Instead, he believed they should 'go aggressively after rioters as he and his soldiers did in Belfast' where they were stationed.

The report details how the soldiers lost all self-control and says none of the casualties was armed with a firearm or, with one probable exception, a bomb of any description.

There was a 'serious and widespread loss of fire discipline', the report said.
16th-Jun-2010 07:16 pm - Daly welcomes Saville report
PAMELA NEWENHAM
Irish Times
16 June 2010



Kay Duddy, sister of Bloody Sunday victim Jackie Duddy, stands in front of a mural depicting the moment her brother was led away from danger by Bishop Daly as she holds the white handkerchief waved by Bishop Daly on the day. (Photo: Paul Faith/PA)

A former Bishop of Derry has spoken of the relief and joy felt by the vindication offered to the Bloody Sunday victims and witnesses by the Saville report.

Bishop Edward Daly, who was a curate at the time of Bloody Sunday in January 1972, said: “There was no vindictiveness or no ugliness or no triumphalism, there was just relief, elation and sheer happiness."

A photo of him waving a bloodied white handkerchief while helping a wounded man down the street in the Bogside became an enduring image of the day.

Speaking of the famous handkerchief today, he said: “There were five of us living in the parochial house at the cathedral. We all had our own things and they all went into the same wash so we had to have our name on it."

Bishop Daly had joined the ill-fated civil rights march on Bloody Sunday as it passed the city cathedral. The then 39-year-old was standing next to John ‘Jackie’ Duddy when the teenager was shot in the back.

Remembering the incident this morning, Bishop Daly told RTÉ radio’s Today with Pat Kenny show that he said on the day mass murder had taken place as Jackie Duddy "was shot right beside me and I knew that he didn’t pose any threat to anyone".

"I just heard his gasp when he felt to the ground, I was incredulous.

“I was a witness, I was with Jackie in the last few moments of his life and I always felt it was incumbent on me to give witness to that fact and give witness to his innocence."

Bishop Daly said that since the report by Lord Widgery into the events "cast a cloud over all the victims and sullied their characters" he believed it was important that the situation be rectified and that the victims be vindicated.

He said the publication of the inquiry was a “wonderful moment” as it proved all of the victims were innocent.

“I was sitting in the Guildhall [in Derry] with the families of the victims; we were very tense waiting on the report…there was a hall full of people from republican backgrounds, nationalist backgrounds the Bogside and Creggan…their applause and cheering for a British prime minister was something quite remarkable."
31st-Jan-2009 08:49 am - Farewell to arms: Hemingway legacy helps heal 50 years of hate between US and Cuba
By Tim Cornwell
The Scotsman
31 January 2009

IT WAS a second home for one of the greats of 20th-century literature but, due to its frosty diplomatic relations with the United States, Ernest Hemingway's time in Cuba has remained something of a mystery.

But now, in a rare break in the long-standing international feud, copies of a mostly unseen archive of Hemingway's years in Cuba, including thousands of letters, notes and other documents, have been sent to the US.

The documents, which have been delivered to the John F Kennedy Library in Massachusetts, include a tantalising, abandoned epilogue to For Whom the Bell Tolls, revealing whether Robert Jordan's warning message to a Spanish general ever got through.

Ernest Hemingway (Photo)

There are several pages discarded from the final manuscript, and a letter Hemingway wrote to the Casablanca actress Ingrid Bergman, telling her how he hoped she would get the part of Maria (she did).

The papers provide extraordinary insight into Hemingway's years in Cuba. They run from notes to his Spanish cook and instructions on how he liked his carrots boiled to intimate letters to his fourth wife, Mary.

The papers were long hidden away in the basement of Hemingway's estate at Finca Vigia, Cuba.

"It's a wonderful treasure trove and it's wonderful it will be available," said Professor Sandra Spanier, editor of the Hemingway Letters Project at Pennsylvania State University. "There has never really been a biographer who had access to the materials of Hemingway's life in Cuba.

"That was a third of his life, a half of his writing life, and this is tremendously important."

The materials include corrected proofs of The Old Man and the Sea, a film script based on the novel and correspondence from fellow authors Sinclair Lewis and John Dos Passos.

"There are letters among these documents that have been in Cuba since 1961," Prof Spanier added. "It is tremendously intriguing and exciting. This will enable us to fill in the picture of his correspondence."


Hemingway's Cuban estate, Finca Vigia

The Kennedy library deal was agreed between the Cuban government and US Congressman James McGovern, who is respected in the island for his prolonged campaign to lift American sanctions and ease relations.

The papers will begin to be available to researchers in the spring.

"It's a turning point toward a more rational, mature relationship between our two countries," Mr McGovern said. "I think Hemingway can be the bridge to help move both sides to a point where we can have a good, solid relationship."

The papers include a letter to Hemingway's third wife, the legendary war correspondent Martha Gellhorn, which he wrote and never sent.

There are pieces of letters that he cut out with scissors and curiosities such as a letter he wrote in Spanish to the family cook, ostensibly from fourth wife Mary – who spoke no Spanish – saying: "If you have any questions, ask me and don't bother my husband."

Others specify what salads would be served on which day of the week to the Nobel Prize winner. There are also love letters written to Mary, also a reporter, in 1944, while Hemingway was still married to Gellhorn.

However, the archive also features documents which make it clear Hemingway's Cuba was not all mojitos and marlin fishing.

"A letter to Mary in 1953 outlines all the troubles of their marriage, lamenting how she has become so scalding," said Prof Spanier. "It is a document of a marriage in disintegration.

"He wrote on it, 'Please read this and return to me'. There are these very intimate glimpses."

The JFK Library already has an extensive collection of Hemingway material – 100,000 pages of writings and 10,000 photographs, paintings and personal objects such as his passports, flasks and wallet – thanks to a connection between the writer's wife Mary and the Kennedys.

Where more than the writer's soul was left behind

ERNEST Hemingway lived in Cuba for 21 years, half his writing life, at the famous Finca Vigia outside Havana from 1939 until 1960, where For Whom The Bell Tolls was partly written.

He left the island in the summer of 1960 to follow bull-fights in Spain. When his health failed, he moved to the US for treatment at the Mayo Clinic.

After the Bay of Pigs incident, in which the CIA tried to launch a counter-revolution in Cuba, it became clear Hemingway could not return.

In July 1961, he shot himself at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.

Mary Hemingway, his fourth wife and widow, then returned to the island. She was allowed to collect much of his archive, putting 200lb of papers on board a shrimp boat bound for Tampa, Florida. They included the posthumously published manuscript of A Moveable Feast.

From the mid-1990s, American scholars became concerned over what remained in Cuba, and the effect the humid climate could have on it, without knowing exactly what remained there.

The turning point came in 2001 when Jenny Phillips, granddaughter of Max Perkins, Hemingway's editor, visited the Finca. She learned there were letters in the basement from her grandfather, and negotiations to conserve and copy them began.
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18th-Jan-2009 04:04 pm - How Mary Queen of Scots wrote of her fears for strife-torn nation
By BRIAN FERGUSON
The Scotsman
17 January 2009

DEEP in an archive, more than two dozen letters written by Mary, Queen of Scots, lie largely unseen for centuries.

Many are written in a secret code as Mary fought to preserve and protect the Catholic faith in Scotland after the 1560 Reformation which saw the country break with Rome.

But soon the letters, which in recent years have only been seen by a select group of historians, will be available to view on-line.

Visitors to the Scottish Catholic Archives website will be able to examine the letters, which also contain details of Mary's power struggle with her Protestant cousin, Queen Elizabeth, who was on the throne in England. The struggle eventually led to Mary's execution in 1587.

Most of the documents are diplomatic letters exchanged between Mary and Archbishop Beaton, who became her ambassador to France.

He was her "eyes and ears" in Paris after her return to Scotland on the death of her first husband, Francis.

The letters, written in French and often penned by her staff but signed by Mary, also express her concerns over the growing political turmoil in Scotland in the wake of the Reformation, which led to the celebration of Mass being declared illegal.

The letters are part of a treasure trove of 250,000 items on the origins and history of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

Andrew Nicoll, keeper of the huge collection of the Scottish Catholic Archives, has spent the past six years transferring handwritten records from 180 binders into a vast electronic library which should be ready by mid-summer.

The archive, based in Edinburgh since 1958, contains the largest body of material relating to the Catholic Church anywhere in the UK and one of the most comprehensive outside the Vatican.

Viewers will be able to browse through records of everything from the historic archives of individual churches around Scotland to collections devoted to landmark occasions such as Pope John Paul II's visit in the early 1980s.

The archive includes detailed accounts of how the Catholic cause in Scotland was kept alive in the wake of the Reformation and how the modern church was shaped in the 19th century after full civil rights for Catholics were restored in 1829.

The records also contain accounts of how young Scots travelled across Europe in the 19th century to train for the priesthood; some of the earliest written records of Australia; and insights into the lives of 18th-century Scots who had migrated to Nova Scotia in Canada.

Extensive files are also held on the writer Oscar Wilde; the many mysterious sightings of the Loch Ness Monster; how anti-Catholic riots flared in Edinburgh's normally peaceful Morningside suburb less than 80 years ago; and the story of how a priest helped get Hibernian Football Club off the ground.

Mr Nicoll said: "Much of the current collection was brought here by Father William James Anderson, the first keeper of the collection, down from Blairs Seminary, in Aberdeenshire.

"The idea at the time was to make it easier for researchers and historians and bring the collection close to others held by the National Archives and National Library in Edinburgh.

"By the summer, there should be details online of everything that's held in the collection – from the 12th century right up to the start of the 20th century."

Hidden gems to be unveiled from ancient collection

HIGHLIGHTS from the Scottish Catholic Archives:

• Official documents relating to the origins of Hibernian Football Club. It was formed in 1875 by the Catholic Young Men's Society attached to St Patrick's Church in the Cowgate. Some of the club's members had approached the priest Father Edward Hannan with the idea of setting up a team, initially based at the YMCA hall in nearby St Mary's Street.

• An official archive devoted to Pope John Paul's celebrated visit to Scotland in 1982. It lasted barely 36 hours, but included a Mass in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park attended by some 300,000 people, a youth festival at Murrayfield Stadium, in Edinburgh, and an historic meeting with the moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

• Records dating back to 1742 of Fort Augustus, the famous abbey on the banks of Loch Ness, showing how the monks were gripped by the early days of "Nessie Fever". They were so intrigued by the riddle of the Loch Ness Monster in the 1920s that they kept their own archive of newspaper cuttings charting sightings of the "creature".

• The story of John Ogilvie, the 16th-century martyr who was tortured and hanged in Glasgow, but became Scotland's only saint in 1976 after a long campaign to have him canonised.

In 1967, John Fagan, a Glasgow docker, was dying from terminal cancer and his family and parish priest prayed to Ogilvie. The cancer later disappeared in a manner that could not be explained by the medical establishment.

• Documents detailing the notorious anti-Catholic riots in Edinburgh's Morningside area in June 1935. Buses carrying Catholics were stoned and jeered by a crowd of up to 10,000 during a demonstration against a Roman Catholic Religious Congress. It had been organised by the Protestant Action Society and led by John Cormack, a city councillor.

• More than two dozen letters written by Mary Queen of Scots, Scotland's last Catholic Queen, some in her own hand and some in a secret cipher.

Originally held by the Scots College, in Paris, until the French Revolution in 1790 when the college and other institutions associated with the papacy were suppressed and threatened with destruction.
13th-Oct-2008 01:56 am - Mary Queen of Scots should be repatriated from England, campaigners say
A campaign has been launched to repatriate the body of Mary Queen of Scots from Westminster Abbey.

By Auslan Cramb
Telegraph.co.uk
12 Oct 2008

The Nationalist MSP Christine Grahame has lodged a motion in parliament calling for the monarch's remains to be buried in Scotland.

The move to repatriate the Catholic monarch has the backing of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, historians and the composer James MacMillan.

Mary, who was born at Linlithgow Palace, fled to England after she was forced to abdicate in 1567. She was held prisoner by her cousin Elizabeth I, found guilty of treason and executed at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire 20 years later.

Although initially buried at Peterborough Cathedral, her body was exhumed in 1612 when her son, King James I of England and VI of Scotland, ordered that she be re-interred at Westminster Abbey. >>Read on )
7th-Sep-2008 04:24 pm - Dublin's oldest clock to get face-lift
Breaking News.ie
7 September 2008


St. Patrick’s Cathedral pierces the fog of the ages. For one thing, Jonathan Swift—author of Gulliver’s Travels—was dean here in the 1700s; his grave sits near the entrance - Photo from Best of Dublin.


Dublin’s oldest public clock – on St Patrick’s Cathedral – is getting a face-lift to restore it to tick-tock order.

The timepiece, which has four faces, is almost 450 years old.

UK-based experts have been hired to recondition the clock’s delicate inner workings and re-gild the face and Roman numerals.

The project is part of a €1.2m revamp of the Church of Ireland building’s tower which is due to be completed by the end of next month.

St Patrick’s, which is Ireland’s largest church, draws up to 300,000 visitors a year.

It can seat more than 1,000 people and has been used in the past for the state funerals of former presidents Douglas Hyde and Erskine Childers.

“The clock is the oldest public clock in Dublin, would have originally dated back to 1560,” said assistant administrator Mark Bowyer.

He added: “It has a lot of character and is fondly regarded by the congregation and the public in general.

“But it had become difficult to read the time in recent months.”

Mr Bowyer said the clock has undergone restoration work before and was completely rebuilt around the 1860s.

“Ongoing restoration work continues on the clock as and when required.

“How much of the original clock which remains is not clear,” he added.

The restoration of the tower, currently obscured by builders’ scaffolding, received a €200,000 grant from the Heritage Council.

Experts will also clean the tower’s surface exterior and octagonal spire as well as re-pointing the stone work.

The bell tower, where the ceiling had become unstable, will also be overhauled.

Most of the funding for the project will come from St Patrick’s Cathedral’s own coffers, which are boosted by admission charges revenue and its gift shop.

Work on the clock is being carried out by UK-based expert Julian Cosby while cathedral architect John Beauchamp is supervising the overall project.
14th-Aug-2008 08:02 am - Palestinian poet Darwish dies
Al Jazeera
10 August 2008

**See also Darwish laid to rest in Ramallah

Mahmoud Darwish, the renowned Palestinian poet, has died after open heart surgery at the Memorial Hermann medical centre in Texas (Saturday, 9 August 2008).

Ann Brimberry, Memorial Hermann's spokeswoman, confirmed to Al Jazeera that Darwish died at 1.35pm (18:35 GMT).

Siham Daoud, a fellow poet and friend of the 67-year-old, had asked not to be resuscitated if the surgery did not succeed.

She said Darwish departed for the US ten days ago for the surgery, and he had undergone two operations for heart problems before Saturday's surgery.

Best known for his work describing the Palestinian struggle for independence, the experience of exile and factional infighting, Darwish was a vocal critic of Israeli policy and the occupation of Palestinian lands.

Many of his poems have also been put into music - most notably Rita, Birds of Galilee and I yearn for my mother's bread, becoming anthems for at least two generations of Arabs.

"He felt the pulse of Palestinians in beautiful poetry. He was a mirror of the Palestinian society," Ali Qleibo, a Palestinian anthropologist and lecturer in cultural studies at Al Quds University in Jerusalem said.

Last year, Darwish recited a poem damning the deadly infighting between rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah, describing it as "a public attempt at suicide in the streets".

Early life

He was born in the village of Barweh in Galilee, a village that was razed during the establishment of Israel in 1948.

He joined the Israeli Communist Party after high school and began writing poems for leftist newspapers.

He was put under house arrest and imprisoned for his political activities, after which he worked as editor of Ittihad newspaper before leaving to study in the USSR in 1971.

Originally a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Darwish resigned in 1993 in protest over the interim peace accords that Yasser Arafat, the late Palestinian leader, signed with Israel.

As a journalist, he worked for al-Ahram newspaper in Cairo and later became director of the Palestinian Research Centre.

In 2000, Yossi Sarid, Israel's education minister, suggested including some of Darwish's poems in the Israeli high school curriculum.

But Ehud Barak, the Israeli prime minister overruled him, saying Israel was not ready yet for his ideas in the school system.

In 2001, he won the Lannan prize for cultural freedom.

Leaves of Olives was published in 1964 when Darwish was 22-years old. Since then more than 20 volumes of his works of poetry have been published in many languages.


I Come From There

--Mahmoud Darwish

I come from there and I have memories
Born as mortals are, I have a mother
And a house with many windows,
I have brothers, friends,
And a prison cell with a cold window.
Mine is the wave, snatched by sea-gulls,
I have my own view,
And an extra blade of grass.
Mine is the moon at the far edge of the words,
And the bounty of birds,
And the immortal olive tree.
I walked this land before the swords
Turned its living body into a laden table.

I come from there. I render the sky unto her mother,
When the sky weeps for her mother.
And I weep to make myself known
To a returning cloud.
I learnt all the words worthy of the court of blood,
So that I could break the rule.
I learnt all the words and broke them up,
To make a single word: Homeland....

mahmouddarwish.com
9th-Aug-2008 11:13 am - Russia and Georgia on brink of war
Belfast Telegraph
Saturday, 9 August 2008

Georgian forces have shot down two Russian planes as the two sides look close to all-out war.

A fighter jet and bomber have been attacked in the fight for South Ossetia.

Georgia is trying to take back the province which broke away during the 1990s.

Russian tanks and troops want to stop the operation - Russian jets have carried out a series of strikes on military targets in the central Georgian city of Gori, close to the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Most of the targets seem to have been military bases, but Georgian officials said a number of civilians had been killed in residential buildings.

Georgian president Mikhail Saakshavili insists Moscow is the aggressor: 'It's about Russia trying to intrude and basically undermine Georgia. But basically, yes, we would like to have a ceasefire, separation of forces, and direct dialogue with the Russians.'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said about 1,500 people had so far been killed.
9th-Jul-2008 07:35 am - Nazi hunters in Chile seeking "Dr Death"
news.uk.msn.com
7 July 2008

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Nazi hunters arrived in Chile on Monday on the trail of Aribert Heim, nicknamed Dr. Death for killing hundreds of inmates at an Austrian concentration camp during World War Two, who they believe may be lurking in picturesque Patagonia.

Heim, who kept the skull of a man he decapitated as a paperweight, is the most wanted Nazi war criminal still thought to be alive. He would be 94 and his family says he died in 1993.

"We are not here thinking that his capture is imminent, but we have to bolster a campaign that we launched a few months ago," Sergio Widder, of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Buenos Aires, told Reuters on his arrival in Santiago.

Widder was accompanying Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff, who head's the Wiesenthal Centre's Jerusalem office. The centre is offering a bounty of around $450,000 (228,000 pounds) for Heim as part of a new drive to catch aged Nazi fugitives before they die unpunished.

Heim, an Austrian who killed hundreds of inmates at the Mauthausen concentration camp by injecting gasoline or poison in their hearts, has been on the run for 46 years since evading police in Germany in 1962 prior to a planned prosecution.

A doctor with Adolf Hitler's SS, Heim removed organs from victims without anaesthetic.

Holocaust survivors remember him relishing the fear of death in his victims' eyes. After administering lethal injections, he timed death with a stopwatch.

The centre believes Heim is likely in Chilean or Argentine Patagonia, the region between the Andes and south Atlantic. Heim's daughter lives in the scenic southern Chilean town of Puerto Montt 657 miles (1,058 km) south of the capital Santiago.

Hundreds of Nazis sought refuge in Latin America after World War Two, many lured to Argentina thanks to the open-door policies of Gen. Juan Domingo Peron, as well as to Chile and Brazil.

Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death" at Auschwitz, escaped to Argentina and also lived in Paraguay before he died in Brazil in 1979.

(Reporting by Simon Gardner; Editing by Patricia Zengerle)
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