Scrolling news:

Iraq: US seeks verification of ‘Islamic State’ beheading of journalist James Foley

Japan: Torrential rains unleash deadly landslide killing a dozen people in Hiroshima

Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

Poetry: Born to Dream

28th Feb 2014

Born to Dream

I gaze above, afar
Searching for my North Star
Seeking beyond desire’s reach,
I was born to dream

Gawking at the gutters and greed around me
Binds me to the grim and grimy
Raising my sights to divinity, beauty, flight
Sets my true aspirations alight

I work, I eat, I sleep
I function on a daily routine
Yet in heart and mind, I can transcend
Traverse a higher realm

A realm of purpose, discovery
Of who I am and who I choose to be
Where love, grace, purity
Surpass abstract theory
To be the essence of my being

Society, of course, is not conducive to dreaming
Idealising is idling
Time is money, money success
Spirituality, selflessness
Rarely accrue in pounds and pence

And yet, don’t social revolutions, world peace,
Depend on dreamers with lofty ideals?
The vision, courage, tenacity
To see a better world and make it a reality?

Without idealists, dreamers
Who would be the Mandelas, Mother Theresas?
Who would fight American hegemony,
Israeli apartheid, Saudi bigotry
Or even the vice within oneself or community?

Who would champion the plight
Of those stripped of their basic rights?
Would anyone really care
To save the victims of poverty, ignorance, despair?

I return to myself; I ask candidly
Dreamer, scrooge, cynic – who will I be?
Will I look beyond self-interest
To realise a more compassionate self,

Or will I eventually die
With shrivelled heart and cold eyes
Complicit in perpetuating
The pain of the wretched and deprived?

Fatema Valji

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