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Bed·ou·in (noun or adj.) ˈbe-də-wən, ˈbed-wən 1. Desert dweller, nomadic Arab of the desert. 2. A wanderer or rover.

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Last night, at 2 am as I was returning home from an engagement party, the streets were still filled with honking cars and waving keffiyehs. For a little more context, read Julie’s post below and also this great piece about Mohammed Assaf’s significance here

Julie in Jordan!

I can’t claim to have ever seen a full episode of Arab Idol… Yet, I have in the past days gained a new interested due to one of the three finalists: Mohammed Assaf.

This week as I travelled Palestine, visiting my friend Marah’s family in Nablus and a nearby village, Jen Safout, I kept hearing about Mohammed Assaf. He has an amazing story. Assaf, a young 23 year old Palestinian refugee from Khan Younis Camp in Gaza, has risen to stardom and is now the favorite to win Arab Idol.

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Gaza has been under blockade by Israel since 2007. The land and naval blockade means that 1.7 million people are locked into the 62 square km Gaza Strip — one of the most densely populated areas on earth. In contravention of international law, Israel restricts Gazan’s imports and exports, access to the water, and freedom of movement. The blockade…

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“It’s a funny thing, Markos, but most people have it backward. They think they live by what they want. But really what guides them is what they’re afraid of. What they don’t want.”

Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed

She keeps walking, the darkness around her like a mother’s womb, and when it lifts, when she looks up in the dawn haze and catches a band of pale light from the east striking the side of a boulder, it feels like being born.

Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed