Vegan Fast Food in the Middle East
Givatayim’s legendary eggplant-maker, Oved Daniel, recently opened up a new restaurant in Tel Aviv. Sabich has its roots in Israel’s Iraqi community. It is a traditional Baghdadi breakfast dish, consisting of fried eggplant, Arabic salad, parsley, fresh onion and a baked or boiled egg. Sabich emerged as a national sensation in the 1960’s… Read more at the Green Prophet
Great Women Poets That Rock My World
Syrian poet Maram al-Massri [from her book of poetry: “Red Cherry on a White Tile Floor”] How foolish Whenever my heart hears a knocking it opens its doors. Russian poet Vera Pavlova [from her book of poetry: “If There is Something to Desire: One Hundred Poems”] I broke your heart. Now barefoot I tread On shards. Emily Dickinson’s poem “I’m Nobody,” set to music by...
Great Women Storytellers Around The World
Aunty Tek Phillip (Caribbean folklorist, one of the first women in Grenada to have a career in education. She was a renowned storyteller, teacher and principal.) Murasaki Shikibu (The world’s first modern novelist.) Ani Idrus (Journalist from West Sumatra, founder of numerous educational institutions for children, and co-founder of Waspada daily newspaper in 1947.) Grace Mera...
Favorite Quotes From Palestinian Poet, Mahmoud...
“Things acquire new meanings at sunset. Memories wake and call, like a signal of death at sunset, like the beat of a song not sung to anyone…March is a month of storms and lust. Spring looks on, like a thought between two people, between a long winter and a long summer. I remember nothing but allegory.” – Ode by an Ancient Arab Poet “I am the Adam of two Edens, I lost them twice. So expel me...
On the Road: Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
My article for Bthere Magazine includes a quest into the forest, hunting for fresh goat cheese. Images of the food and forests outside Ein Karem by Leigh
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Shuns Female Brokers
A U.N. resolution passed over 10 years ago requires women’s involvement in conflict resolutions. But that has little bearing on the Israel-Palestine conflict, where women are far from the power roles on either side… Read more at Women’s eNews (also in Arabic) Images of the separation barrier in Israel-Palestine by Leigh
Israel & Africa : A New Era
Israel now has relations with 44 African nations, more than at any time in the Jewish nation’s history. Read more about fledging environmental connections between Israel and African states in my two-part series (part 1, part 2) published by the Green Prophet. Image of imported teas on sale in Jerusalem by Leigh
Banaz: A Love Story
A version of this story, edited by Lys Anzia of the Women News Network, was published on their website: In south London, 2006, 20-year old Banaz Mahmod’s uncles and cousins burst into her house early in the morning. They woke her by raping and beating by her for several hours, with the consent and approval of her immediate family. Then they murdered her in a slow and gruesome manner. Her...
World Literature Today : I Review Neuman’s Newest...
Andrés Neuman’s Traveler of the Century reflects Latin America’s “total novel,” brutally examining all aspects of society through diverse yet overlapping themes. It contemplates a myriad of subjects: investigating contemporary politics through the lens of history, the nature of belonging, memory, citizenship, aesthetics, language, love, dreams, time, and the performance of propriety, to name a...
Fawzia Koofi shares dreams for new nation
Fawzia Koofi, Afghanistan’s first female parliamentary speaker, is currently a leading candidate for the country’s 2014 presidential elections. Her recently published memoir “The Favored Daughter,” is reaching a global audience. It has now been sold in 20 different countries and published in English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, and Polish. As...
Edible Adventures in San Francisco, from The Bold...
My father used to tell me stories about nights he spent in the mountains, living off the land and eating insects. As a child, I would reply to those tales by wrinkling my nose and exclaiming, “Ewww!” The desire to eat wild things seemed so distant from my urban California life. Little did I know that when I moved to nearby San Francisco, I’d be seeking out exotic proteins from innovative...
THE PRISONER OF HEAVEN
The latest novel by Spanish writer Carloz Ruiz Zafón opens on a cold winter’s day in Barcelona. Business is abysmal at Sempre & Sons bookshop. The Sempre family’s loquacious friend, Fermín Romero de Torres, offers to parade in his underwear by the bookstore window to incite “strong literary emotions” from females passing by. Thus begins Zafón’s venture into The Prisoner of Heaven, the third...
Acid Violence in Bangladesh, Author Tracks Acid...
“I held on to the skin and flesh thinking the doctors would be able to reattach it,” Bina Akhter described how a group of men attacked Akhter with acid when she was fourteen years old. The typical image of acid attack victims in Bangladesh is the common description of a women victim who is someone who has denied a man by rejecting his advances. But in reality acid attacks effect both...
Green Prophet: Egypt's Beautiful Library
This fall Egypt’s grandiose Bibliotheca Alexandria will celebrate its tenth birthday… Read more at the Green Prophet
Rumpus Review: The Loss Library and Other...
In his recent blend of fiction, essays, and literary genealogy,The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories, South African writer Ivan Vladislavic delves into the dazzling enigmas of unwritten work. He draws from his personal notebooks over the past two decades and uses writer’s block, the writer’s ultimate pestilence, as a source for inspiration. This book is short, sweet and thought...
Migrant Rape Furor in Israel & Women Helping Women
Photo by Alex Levac The Hagar and Miriam Project has helped over 400 African migrant women in Israel since 2007. It has always operated on a shoe string, but the aftermath of an anti-immigrant backlash to cases of rape in Tel Aviv has brought fundraising to a standstill…read more from my article published by Women’s eNews.
Poem From Someone That I Used To Know
When I lived in East Jerusalem, so many moons ago, I had a flatmate named Iftach. He was a philosopher, a poet, a pianist, a composer and lyricist, an impish Casanova and a janitor. He showed me his first English experiment, writing in a foreign tongue. It rocked my world. The crisp, bare elegance of his words astounded me. This encounter inspired me to play in the language of Luis Cernuda and...
Environment & Art in Israel
Israeli Opera Festival 2012 : Carmen Israeli Opera Festival 2012 featured five performances of the classic opera, Carmen, June 7 to 11 at Masada. “We wanted to perform opera in the desert, not just to have an opera performance at a desert location,” said the Israeli Opera’s Artistic Director, Michael Ajzenstadt. “There is no stage. There is sand and rock beneath the mountain. The set is...
Environmental News from the Middle East
I’ve been blogging for the Green Prophet while settling in and apartment hunting. Here’s some of the highlights: Corporate Organic Food Struggles to Compete in Israeli Markets Is Urbanizing the Solution to Israel’s Housing Crisis? Investing in Ramallah’s Children Key to Sustainability Israel Invests in Domestic Solar Power NaanDanJain’s Irrigation Technology Strengthens Ties...
Murals in San Francisco
(Murals by Laura Campos: Father Richard’s mural, above; “No one is illegal,” below. All images courtesy of the artists.) San Francisco’s murals are what first endeared me to this city. wandered its alleys for five years and still only seen a fraction of the street’s evolving colors. The city is home to three Diego Riviera murals. Despite urban myth, none of them are in...
The Art of Family
I am blessed to come from a lineage of artists. As far as I know I’m the only writer. But I’m sure if I asked around at the next family gathering I’d find out that one of my innumerable cousins enjoys the same vice, seduced by words. My grandfather passed away before I was born. I have come to know him through his paintings. [[MORE]]He was quiet and gentle. His peaceful exterior veiled...
Nothing is fair in Love & War
Last week I had the pleasure of swapping war stories with a grandmother in the Old North. She is a sabra, the 5th generation of her family to live in the Holy Land. I asked her what it was like when the Jews were expelled from Jerusalem, the city of her youth, and her husband waged war to defend the newborn state. I used the Hebrew words from her tale to build a poem in English. בתיאבון The...
Water Wars: Indigenous Ecuadorians vs....
On March 22, World Water Day, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) arrived in the city of Quito, concluding their 14-day national protest march. Hundreds of indigenous Ecuadorians from the Amazonian and Andean regions came wearing traditional regalia to protest the same government they once helped bring to office. CONAIE hopes their protest will mobilize indigenous...
Bayview community garden program in peril
This story appears in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press. Photo by Leigh. The Quesada Gardens Initiative, which has helped green and revitalize one of San Francisco’s most economically neglected neighborhoods, is struggling to survive as funding is running dry. Formed in 2002 as a community-building effort by Bayview residents, it has gone on to transform portions...
A Delicious Revolution
Hardwick, Vermont was down on its luck. Once known as the “Building Granite Center of the World,” the hamlet of 3,000 people in Northern Vermont had been battered by the decline of the quarry industry. Per capita income in the area is less than $15,000. In 2005, a fire devastated one of the finest buildings on Main Street, the historic Bemis Block, leaving a burned-out shell. Then a kind of...
California voter initiative would strengthen...
(San Francisco City Hall. Photo by Omri Dotan & Leigh) This appeared in the Spring 2012 print edition of the San Francisco Public Press as part of a larger investigative report with numerous journalists and artists. A California group dedicated to stopping human trafficking is hoping to take its fight directly to voters this fall. In January, the nonprofit advocacy group California Against...
Great Food All Day Long
Maya Angelou taught me how to be a woman. I had just reached the final cusp of my teens when I picked up my first fix from the library. Then I couldn’t stop. I was ripping through volumes of poetry and groundbreaking memoirs known for having expanded the genre itself. Angelou wrote with irreproachable dignity about society’s underbelly—rape, drugs, prostitution, discrimination, poverty,...
bold stories of hummus
I wrote confessions of a hummus addict for The Bold Italic. I roamed the markets and Arab-owned liquor stores, but nothing satisfied my garbanzo-lust. So I embarked on an exodus. From greasy shawarma joints to swanky Turkish wine bars, I infiltrated kitchens and went behind counters to taste test some of the best hummus the city has to offer. Turns out, there is many a place in San...
S.F. Project unites Latina artists
(Photo by Kenny Sheftl/ El Tecolote newspaper) The Consulate General of Mexico is hosting the Numina Femenina project, which brings 35 artists and 4 curators from 10 countries, including local artists like musician Diana Gameros and painter Ana Teresa Fernández, together in one exhibit. Working in a wide range of mediums, the artists represent Latinas from the United States and all across...
Jewish, Mexican-American leaders find...
In a room abuzz with sounds of Spanish and English, filled with Mexican-American professionals in crisp dress suits, Nate Levine shared a childhood story of collecting coins for the poor. His aim: To illustrate the concept of a tzedakah box and the Jewish tradition of charitable giving. The event at the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco was officially a Jewish leadership training conference,...
Idan Raichel & India.Arie get down in O-town
On Saturday Oct. 15 Idan Raichel and India Arie came to Oakland as part of the annual SF Jazz festival. They performed songs from their collaborative album “Open Door,” to be released in the spring of 2012. Arie twisted and swiveled around the stage in a flouncy dress. Idan fed off of her hippie-dippy energy, even abandoning his piano bench for an electric bass during one song. (Photo by Ronald...
SF Garden Project Addresses Dual Problem of Crime...
Could we repair America’s broken criminal justice system and quit our addiction to industrial farming at the same time? Catherine Sneed thinks so. Since 1992 the Garden Project have helped hundreds of ex-offenders and at-risk youth develop job skills, advance their education, and rise out of poverty. Through the project’s Earth Stewards program participants study basic horticulture, landscaping,...