where the writers are

Elmaz Abinader's Blog

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Jan.13.2012
My friend Tory is mobilizing people to support a friend in need. She emails, phones, rephones, has conversations in the hallways. Followers will sign things: petitions, checks, commitments. Her voice is soothing, insistent, and unrelenting. She is unapologetic because she is right. A few days ago,...
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Dec.22.2011
The man never saw me before, as far and I know and I didn’t recognize him. In fact, now his face is a mystery to me. Because I didn’t look at it. My eyes were focused on the table in front of him where a copy of Michael Ondaatje’s Cat’s Table lay with a bookmark about a third of the way in. I left...
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Dec.14.2011
I learned thievery as a young girl. Being the fifth of six, I grabbed whatever my older brothers or sister put down. A novel of eighteeth century romance read by my sister, a 45 of Smokey Robinson my brothers spinned at the high school parties, a jazz strain by John Coltrane picked up in a shabby...
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Dec.12.2011
A friend wrote to me this week with an enormous question. Everything she's been working on and for hit an obstacle of enormous proportions. Violence in Egypt has derailed her project, a play about redemption and understanding. The concept, the substance, and the form came to her like a apparition,...
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Oct.11.2011
I glance up from the driver’s seat of the rental car. My niece is beside me, my sister in the back. Dad is standing at the window. His body is slightly caved and he is holding up one hand. His eyes are misty. We are all silent as we give him our final greeting and pull out of the parking lot. He...
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Sep.30.2011
Jury of My Peers The Assistant District Attorney clasped his hands in front, tightened his lips, and addressed the prospective juror holding the mic. The man said he didn’t trust insurance companies. The prosecutor questioned his prejudice, asked him if he couldn't put it aside and judge fairly....
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Sep.27.2011
4:30 am, The Closer I get to you resist the reach, collapse inward hand first reaches, lands on coat, little head rises screendoor squeak makes him stir orions's belt over deck, dog tags jingle, click down steps kitchen in darkness, move with wisdom whistle, kettle birdsound 1/2 uziri, 1/2 french...
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Aug.18.2011
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It’s More Than Time—time zone mathematics I am a person who goes away.  I inherited the impulse from my father who always said that travel makes you truly cultured, being at home anywhere you go. Or maybe I have restless feet, need an injection of a new place to bring light to the old. In any...
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Jul.28.2011
At the READING
For the last fourteen years, I and others have spent a chunk of our year preparing the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop. As one of the co-founders, I execute every job I am even remotely qualified for from creating the website to doing PR.  The executive director pulls his life apart to handle the...
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Jul.24.2011
at night sky lit
I  Slideshow In Palestine the day the scores are announced for Al-Tawjihi, the  final exams, fireworks explode all day long, car horns blare and the traffic going down our little hill is more raucous than usual. It’s a community victory although only fifty percent of the students pass. A roar of...
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Jul.21.2011
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What I do in other countries that I don’t do at home:   Drink something every time someone offers it, even though their hands are dirty Wear a seat belt on the bus especially right before the checkpoints Check Facebook more than one time a day to see if my post was removed Carry groceries in...
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Jul.19.2011
two styles and a puff
“What else can they do, yanni?” Maya puts her hands up. I had pointed out the irony I see in the local styles among the girls with hijab. The scarves are beautiful and ornate, the make-up full on, including often false eyelashes. The shirt, sometimes well below the crouch, but not always and then...
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Jul.19.2011
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2 Walks 10 July 2011 We live on a side street and the café is the only business here. If a taxi is coming down the street in the evening, they are probably dropping the passengers off at the café. The road is narrow, it’s a hill and the traffic is one way down the hill.  Unlike Beirut and Cairo,...
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Jul.12.2011
3 teachers: Maya, Mustafa, Raja'a
Tomorrow the writers in my class start teaching in the refugee camps. The participants are teenaged girls between 14-16. The hope is that a creative writing workshop will contribute to their sense of self and give them power and some inspiration. The writer/teachers are prepared with writing...
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Jul.07.2011
Walid Abu Bakr
The Literary Circuit, Part I I. All of the students in my class are published writers. They have novels or short story collections or poetry, film scripts, plays. None of them have an MFA from anywhere; in fact, their degrees are in Physics, Civil Engineering, Sociology.  The writers know each...
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