I have been away for a long while. In 15 days I visited more than 15 cities in 3 continents….It was exhausting. But the most exciting part of it was to be in China just before the Chinese New Year. It is the Year of the Boar/Pig, and guess what my Chinese name could mean? Mr. Zhu, i.e. Mr. Pig. While in China I had some of the most tasty food – for all those who may travel there, I highly recommend asking your hosts to take you to Szechuan or Hunan food places. And if you can, try the hot pot. yum!!! Along the way I was also some crazy food, like Yak’s Penis Soup, Bee Larvae, and Boiled Chicken Feet. Let’s just say I quickly used my “I am a Muslim and cannot eat” card to get out of it.
Now on to something a bit more serious. L forwarded me a link to this Def Poetry by Suheir Hammad. It is fascinating. All power to her! If you haven’t been to such recitals below, all I can say is that the emotions embedded in the words and the delivery are infectious and totally overwhelming.
Suheir Hammad’s bio: Suheir Hammad was born in Amman, Jordan to Palestinian refugee parents on October 25, 1973. Suheir’s family immigrated to Brooklyn NY when Suheir was five years old, and she was raised there until the age of sixteen. Her parents moved to Staten Island while Suheir was in high school. Enough of that personal history, thanks.
Suheir has been able to travel throughout the world via her poetry. She has read her poems in Ivy League Universities and on Brooklyn’s street corners. Her work has appeared in award winning anthologies, and in zines stapled together by queer youth collectives. As far as we know, Suheir was the first Palestinian starring in a Broadway show, and she continues to be the first Palestinian in many artistic spaces throughout the States.