If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

I would make my home bigger, brighter and in the middle of nowhere. I’d turn it into a farm/sanctuary with lots and lots of animals and I’d have a massive garden.

Lots of white furniture and bright colors. Go for a minimalist and chic decor. Everything would be organized and I’d have lots of cool kitchen appliances. Oh and a massive fish tank. And a playroom for my animals.

Ooooooh and maybe get a sauna, jacuzzi and indoor pool. Ugh, an indoor, heated pool would be a dream.

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Human Rights Newsletter

mazin@qumsiyeh.org

Gratitude blog available here where you can leave comments

http://popular-resistance.blogspot.com/2016/02/grateful.html

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming

gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

I am so grateful for all that is happening in resistance to the incredible

odds and repression practiced by the elites in power. While some may get

activism or compassion “fatigue” , there are literally millions of people

deciding to leave their apathy behind and put their hands with other people

to work.  Our tiny little small part of the world (Palestine now an

apartheid sate called a “Jewish state”) has become a major center of global

activism. This centrality can be due to many factors:

1.Religious centrality to three main religions, one of which was hijacked

for political purposes locally in the past (Christianity –> Crusaderism),

the other hijacked in the past 150 years and is still strongly hijacked

(Judaism –>Zionism) and the other more recently and in nearby areas

beginning to be hijacked (Islam –> Isis and Wahhabism).

2. Nowhere else on earth is Western government hypocrisy more evident than

in Palestine. While the western leaders speak of democracy and human

rights, they support an apartheid racist “Jewish state” that engaged and

engages in racism, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing

(so far 7 million of us Palestinians are refugees or displaced people).

Thus, this is the Achilles heel of Western propaganda.

3. The 12 million Palestinians in the world, most refugees and others

squeezed into bantustans have been remarkably peaceful and tolerant and had

a long history of popular resistance for the past 130 years that provided a

stellar example to the world (see my 2012 book “Popular Resistance in

Palestine: A history of hope and empowerment”).

4. Israeli citizens and the global community are increasingly joining hands

with us to demand justice as the only road to peace.

5. More and more people realize that peace in the “Middle East” (Western

Asia) and around the world is dependent on peace for Palestine. Zionism

with its (sometimes dominant, sometimes subservient) twin US imperialism

are and have been most destructive forces in causing global conflict.

But what really gives us optimism daily are the people we interact with.

Students at the universities who see the importance of knowledge (power)

and come to school with enthusiasm even in the face of suppression of their

movement. Farmers that work hard in their fields even as land and water are

being taken from them by the occupiers. Unarmed young demonstrators showing

bravery in challenging the heavily armed Israeli forces (who occasionally

murder them). Thousands of political prisoners and “administrative

detainees” who resist the prisoners (one on hunger strike is close to

death). Activists who sometimes sacrifice comforts to be with us.

Organizers of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activities around the

world who refuse to be silenced by illegal measures their governments try

to impose on them to suppress free speech. Volunteers at our activities

from refugee camp youth centers like Al-Rowwad to our Institute of

Biodiversity and Sustainability (http://www.palestinenature.org/about-us/ ).

Sometimes small actions make us retain our sanity and gives joy and meaning

to our lives. Just this past week:

– A small village of Izbet al-Tabib managed to gather 300 demonstrators

protesting the illegal confiscation of land and resources to serve settlers.

-We saved a cattle egret (bird with long legs and beak from the heron

group) which had been shot and with a macerated wing. We did an operation

that saved its life (unfortunately the wing had to be amputated).

-We released a fox that was drowning in a water treatment pool in the

Bethlehem garbage dump site.

– My tourism class did an exercise to help in a local tourism promotion

project.

-We noted several species of butterflies in our botanic garden already and

the flowers of rare orchids and even the Star of Bethlehem

-We had our first class in biodiversity for the new master program in

environmental biology at Birzeit University.

-We received dozens of visitors to our facilities and added to our very

large network of friends (now tens of thousands)

-We submitted two small grant proposals (we hope to start to do major

fundraising soon for our museum, botanical garden, and institute of

biodiversity and sustainability)

-Our aquaponic system is doing great and we expect our first harvest next

week (lettuce)

– We said goodbye to some volunteers and we welcomed others who helped us

build this institution.

We expect to receive more volunteers next week including a professor from

Jordan and an aquaponics researcher from Switzerland and at least 10

students from Bethlehem University doing their community service. We are so

grateful for all the above and we welcome volunteers and supporters with

all backgrounds and skills. We are guided by love and respect (to

ourselves, to others, then to nature). We are strengthened amid all the

suffering (here in Gaza, in Syria, in Yemen etc) by human connections and

by caring for each other.

Israeli soldiers beat detained Palestinian teenaged boys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mzw2D5iL0bg

Palestinian Teacher Among World’s Top 10

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/palestinian-teacher-among-worlds-top-10/

Reconstruction Of Gaza: Zero Buildings, Massive Profit

http://www.whoprofits.org/content/reconstruction-gaza-zero-buildings-massive-profit

Should Jews Have To Pay Reparations for Slavery? Richard Kreitner

http://forward.com/culture/213776/should-jews-have-to-pay-reparations-for-slavery/

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have

roses.” Alphonse Karr

Stay human

Mazin Qumsiyeh

Professor and (Volunteer) Director

Palestine Museum of Natural History

Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability

Bethlehem University

Occupied Palestine

http://qumsiyeh.org

http://palestinenature.org

A Home Fit For A Queen

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

 

I’m not sure where I want to live exactly. I know that in an ideal world in the most idealist of situations, I would be able to afford a nice sized, self-sustainable, secluded farm that is far enough from society to make me feel like I’m in my world, but close enough to society so that I can still have quick internet and trips to bakeries or ice cream shops. I want to live in a place that has a temperate climate. Not too hot, not too cold and a nice enjoyment of all four seasons. Plus I want animals. Lots and lots of animals. Dogs, cats, sheep, cows, chickens, donkeys, horses and whatever else I can. Also, I want a tiered garden with almond, fig, grapefruit, pomegranate and banana trees. And lots of flowers.

 

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces New Efforts to Promote Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2015

 

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Announces New Efforts to Promote Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture

 

Agricultural producers and their communities across the country are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Increasingly severe floods, drought, wildfire and other factors pose an immediate threat to the lives and livelihoods of our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and land managers. President Obama is committed to working across all sectors to take strong action on climate and ensure food security both domestically and abroad. As we look to Paris, today’s actions demonstrate America’s continued leadership in land management strategies that mitigate emissions and adapt to climate change.

 

Today, the Administration is announcing new efforts to promote climate-smart agricultural practices across the country and is recognizing leaders who are taking action to make our agricultural supply chain more sustainable. The White House will honor 12 Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture that are implementing practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve environmental conditions and grow local economies. Such actions include promoting soil health, improving nutrient and manure management, protecting sensitive lands, and encouraging renewable energy. In recognition of the importance of sustainable practice, the White House is announcing that it will plant cover crops in the White House Kitchen Garden this week to improve soil quality, reduce erosion and increase soil carbon.

 

These announcements made today underscore the crucial role that farmers and ranchers play in mitigating the impacts of climate change. The Obama Administration recognizes the track record of leadership and stewardship the agricultural sector has already demonstrated through innovations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon storage, and generate clean renewable energy. The Administration remains committed to encouraging new voluntary actions to foster resilient economies and food systems alike. 

 

Federal Efforts to Promote Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture

 

·         USDA Provides Funding for More Than 1,100 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Projects. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced funding for more than 1,100 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to help rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations nationwide. USDA is providing more than $102 million in loan guarantees and $71 million in grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Among the projects, nearly $6 million is being awarded for 17 anaerobic digesters in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington. In total, the projects are expected to generate enough energy to power more than 83,000 homes for a year and reduce emissions equivalent of eliminating a year’s worth of pollution for more than 131,500 cars.

 

·         Regional Climate Vulnerability Assessments. USDA formally announced the availability of eight regional climate vulnerability assessments, providing regionally specific information on the effects of climate change for America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. The assessments provide land managers and agency partners with an introduction to the regional sensitivities and climate adaptation strategies, include a greenhouse gas emissions profile with mitigation opportunities, and offer an overview of how partner USDA agencies are being affected by a changing climate.

 

Leading By Example

 

·         White House Champions of Change. The White House will recognize 12 individuals from across the country today as White House Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture. These individuals were recognized by the White House for their exemplary leadership in supporting change in their communities through innovation in agricultural production and education. The Champions being honored include: Anita Adalja – Washington, D.C.; William “Buddy” Allen – Tunica, Mississippi; Keith Berns – Bladen, Nebraska; Larry Cundall – Glendo, Wyoming; Herman “Trey” Hill – Rock Hall, Maryland; Loretta Jaus – Gibbon, Minnesota; Martin Kleinschmit – Hartington, Nebraska; Jennifer “Jiff” Martin – Storrs, Connecticut; Jesus Sanchez – Fresno, California; Erin Fitzgerald Sexson – Rosemont, Illinois; Timothy Smith – Eagle Grove, Iowa; and Donald Tyler – Beech Bluff, Tennessee.

 

·         Planting Cover Crops in the White House Kitchen Garden. First Lady Michelle Obama planted a vegetable garden on the South Lawn in 2009 to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation—a conversation that evolved into her Let’s Move! initiative. Each year, a variety of fruits and vegetables are planted in the garden, and the White House kitchen uses the produce in meals for the First Family and guests at the White House. In addition, winter cover crops have been planted every year, and they will soon be planted for this year. Cultivating cover crops leads to healthy soil and healthy crops through protecting the soil, improving soil quality, reducing erosion and runoff, and building up soil carbon. Field studies indicate that increased biomass inputs to the soil can increase soil carbon up to 11% over 20 years.

 

·         National Farmers Union. In a statement signed by the National Farmers Union Board of Directors, NFU made an independent commitment to promote efforts to address the threat of climate change and encouraged the conclusion of a climate change agreement in Paris that takes a strong step forward toward a low-carbon, sustainable future, saying: “climate change jeopardizes food security domestically and abroad, as well as the economic viability of family producers and rural communities…International cooperation is essential to navigating climate change-related threats to food security and rural communities.” In the statement, NFU also lays out its support for practices that avoid greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon by managing land for enhanced soil health, applying fertilizer for maximum utilization and minimal sublimation or runoff, reducing and utilizing methane emissions from livestock operations, exercising additional precaution with sensitive lands, employing climate-smart grazing and pasture practices, retaining woodlands, and utilizing renewable energy on farms and ranches.

 

 

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The First Lady will join local students and school nutrition directors from across the country to harvest the summer crop from the White House Kitchen Garden

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the First Lady
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2014

UPCOMING GUIDANCE FOR FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Washington, DC * 3:30 PM – The First Lady will join local students and school nutrition directors from across the country to harvest the summer crop from the White House Kitchen Garden. In 2009, Mrs. Obama planted a vegetable garden on the South Lawn to initiate a national conversation around the health and wellbeing of our nation—a conversation that evolved into her Let’s Move! initiative. Since Mrs. Obama launched Let’s Move! in 2010, parents, business leaders, educators, elected officials, military leaders, chefs, physicians, athletes, childcare providers, community and faith leaders, and kids themselves have stepped up to improve the health of our nation’s children. And thanks to these efforts, we are moving toward a healthier new norm all across the country.

To help with this summer’s harvest, the First Lady invited local school children whose schools are successfully implementing national school lunch standards. Children from these Washington, D.C. schools joined Mrs. Obama in April for the spring garden planting and will now have the opportunity to harvest the produce they recently planted:

· Cleveland Elementary School
· Friendship Public Charter School
· Kimball Elementary School
· Bancroft Elementary School
· Harriet Tubman Elementary School

Mrs. Obama is also inviting school nutrition directors from Orlando, FL, Dallas, TX, and West Virginia to participate in the harvest. These school nutrition directors have seen success in their new school lunch programs thanks to the standards put in place by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Today, thanks to the hard work of school chefs, food service providers, and school nutrition directors across the country, 90 percent of schools are now meeting modern nutrition standards, including the schools in attendance at the harvest. Because of these improvements, consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains has significantly increased, and over 600,000 kids are now getting a nutritious breakfast. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided greater flexibility and is working to give more assistance to help the remaining schools meet these standards.

The following school nutrition directors will participate in this summer’s garden harvest:

· Lora Gilbert, MS, RD, FADA, SNS, Senior Director, Food and Nutrition Services, Orange County Public Schools, Orlando, FL
· Richard Goff, MBA, Executive Director, Office of Child Nutrition, West Virginia Department of Education
· Dora Rivas, MS, RDN, SNS, Executive Director, Food and Child Nutrition Services Department, Dallas Independent School

This event will be livestreamed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live.

MEDIA RSVP: This event is open press. Members of the media who wish to cover this event must RSVP to firstladypress@who.eop.gov by Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 12:00 PM ET. Press who do not have a White House hard pass must include their social security number, date of birth, country of citizenship, current city/state of residence and gender.

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