"Remember El Alma" First On-site Performance Challenging the Alamo, March 2010

"Remember El Alma," First on-site performance
challenging the Alamo
original poem written by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez

Adapted by Virginia Grise; Produced by Bihl Haus Arts, Kellen McIntyre, Ph.D; Performed at Luminaria!
San Antonio, Hemisfair Plaza, San Antonio, Texas, March 13, 2010; 5 Actresses, 1 Musician
A cast of beautiful women, all ages and colors, from
all over San Antonio
; Foto Credit: Joan Frederick @2010

Friday, July 28, 2006

I am Lebanese-American/The Story of Nadine Saliba

I am Lebanese-American. I am part of what is known in Lebanon a the war generation - because we were born with the outbreak of the war and we came of age during its fifteen long years. Growing up, we did not know our country except at war. We did not get to enjoy its beauty and prosperity during its more peaceful days. Needless to say, this experience shaped me in many ways. I was politicized from an early age and so were most people around me. War and politics served as the ever-present background to our lives, its imprint on our consciousness undeniable.

We talked politics, we thought politics. Our childhood and innocence were stolen from us. War and the news of war haunted our daily existence.

To Be Continued

Nadine Saliba, born and raised in Lebanon, attended the University of Beirut. She immigrated to San Antonio, Texas in 1993, receiving a B.A. in Political Science from UTSA (University of Texas at San Antonio), and an MA from the University of Massacusetts at Amherst in Political Science.

Nadine's story was first published as Dardasha in La Voz de Esperanza, July/August 2006.

Photo Credit: by Mia Kang. Arab-Americans Protest the Invastion of Lebanon at the Federal Bldg in San Antonio, today, July 28, 2006 in 101 degree-calor

On the hottest day in San Antonio, the Arab community protests U.S. /Israel Oppression

As a Chicana who's family lost their land in Texas after the U.S./Mexican War, I've always sympathized with the Palestinians whose land was taken from them in order to create the nation of Israel, as refugees of the holocaust after World War II. But I'd never understood how the Israeli government, with billions of dollars in U.S. funding and support, is at the "center" of the middle east crisis, the tragedy of the Palestinian people, and ultimately, the unraveling of anger, protest and resistance that is the prelude to terrorism.

The story of the middle east deserves to be understood if we are to understand why the U.S. government invaded Iraq, after embarking on its empire-loaded revenge against Afghanistan for 9/11.

In San Antonio, Texas, the media is not telling the true story of the middle east. Today, in the afternoon of the hottest day of the summer, 101 degrees, about 200 people, representing the diversity of the Arab-American community, protested the invasion of Lebanon by Israel at the city's Federal Building in the middle of the afternoon. Many of the Lebanese people are in fact originally from Palestine, having lost their homes after the 1948 creation of the state of Israel.

Photo Credit: Mia Kang, 15 years old, courtesy of the Esperanza Center

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mijito: You are not a Hero if you go to War

While the news media in San Antonio, Texas - surrounded by four military bases and a complacent, right-wing Catholic Church - continues to dance to the drums of war - it is time for us who lived through Vietnam to tell our mijitas and mijitas that heroism isn't the ability to follow orders and kill people. A hero is someone who has the courage to stand up and confront the monstrous culture of war in this country.

I should have written this story a long time ago, and I'm sorry I didn't. I thought my friends in the media would surely report the protests against the war, interview those of us who question it loudly, survey the leaders who hypocritically support the war while their own children are safely going to college here, report on the way that the military is invading the public schools and last year's national LULAC conference - looking for fresh meat. And I've been searching for the personal, intimate, stories of suffering, whether it's in Iraq, Afghanistan, the occupied territories of Palestine or Lebanon. If the media did this, we would have the freedom, the democracy, those innocent soldiers in Iraq are supposedly dying for.

And you know what? It's not gonna happen. The media in San Antonio is owned by mega-corporations with a big stake in this war, and trust me - their own children are not over there, so the complexity of stories we deserve aren't getting told. The stories we are seeing and reading are to manipulate and silence us so we will continue to deliver our poor and young to this war. The reporters and columnists get to keep their jobs if they remain silent. The businessmen get new federal contracts and the conservative politicians get the most funding to run for office. And the Church? They get crisp soldier's dollars in return for invoking God's blessings to war.

So let me say this loud, proud and brown: We are no better than the terrorists of 9/11 in our fever for war, by causing the sufrimiento, the deaths, and needless trauma of thousands and thousands of innocent people in the middle east. If you want a democracy like I do, tell mijito and mijita that NO, you're not going to war in the name of this empire that devours its jovenes.

Photo Credit: Semblances, by Mark Martinez, Say Si Students, San Antonio, Texas