April 22, 2009 - 6 Responses

What is poetry? For ages it has been defined differently however in essence, it is the longing of the soul for freedom – through words! At times, the break through to freedom comes at the voice of one individual and other times, it is earned through the work of two! History recalls the events of poets who gathered near the sea banks of a far away land and while in their gatherings, such poets exchanged memories of extreme joy and heart breaks. And once there was a poet amongst them who created a poem, placed the foundation of his words into a bottle, placed the bottle into the sea, released the bottle – asking the sea to deliver his words to the individual whom his Lord had decreed for him. The sea, angry often a times, obeyed the orders of such a poet. After months of travel, the poem reached a woman on the other side of the water and when she opened the bottle, she found the words of her poet. Below are the very words he sent her on that day…

Powered by a force unseen,
moving souls – separated towards the Lord’s decree,
Once individuals alone, perhaps together they’ll be set free,
to pursue Allah’s great pleasure and enter into His mercy!

In the midst of silence,
and the darkness of night,
two souls far apart speak..!
In a foreign language that flows towards a fading light!
And time freezes,
suddenly everything feels just right.
Hearts beat,
at a on and off beat,
while the trees submit their sights to watch the decree,
and the angels stand to record
the actions of two individuals who’ve placed their case before their Lord!


My Top Quranic Reciters

April 7, 2009 - 6 Responses

10 things that need to change for the Ummah (Part 1)

April 6, 2009 - 3 Responses

     Lets be real, things aren’t going all that well for the Muslim Ummah and although some of the trails are but tests, others have reached us because of our collective lack of contribution towards the religion of Allah. That said..I was thinking, in fact I was debating with some friends regarding what are the top ten issues that need to change in order to return respect back to the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him). In other words, what do we, as Muslims, need to do in order to return to our good old days (you know..those days when Umar would walk around with his stick in his hands but find no use for it because everyone was living in fear of Allah who can see all and knows what the hearts conceal – yeah those good old days).

     And during the exchanging of ideas between my group of friends, some of them started sharing ideas that seemed very realistic and thoughtful while another group of my friends, God knows how they came to their far-from-reality conclusions but nevertheless, important aspects of the Ummah need to change for the better. And down below are some of the ten things that I would love to see changed overnight if possible (which is highly unlikely but khyre insha’Allah…)

1) Parents need to take more responsibilities towards raising the next generation of Muslim leaders and it starts with an increased amount of  teachings of  Allah and His religion. I see too many parents sending their children off to ‘Islamic’ classes only for those kids to return to their homes and not see what their Quran teacher was preaching being practised at home. Also parents need to engage and become more aware of their children’s mindsets and needs. Being a parent doesn’t mean be a dictator, it just means be a good example and become that bridge that takes your child from a potentially ignorant lifestyle to the healthy world of obedience and eemaan. And yes I know being a parent isn’t the easiest thing in the world but that’s why there are two individuals working together in order to grant that child the best opportunity at success. And for all those single Muslim parents, may Allah reward you twice for all their struggles.

2) Muslims need to stop living like their neighbors when their neighbors are the leaders of corruption. As a Muslim we have our own values and morals, and we do not need to exchange our value system for any other man made system. Allah has said, “it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you, Allah knows but you do not know” and yes, Allah knows best, so lets take what He has given us and leave the remaining for all those who seek nothing from the hereafter.

3) Being Muslim doesn’t mean you should always be serious and not smile. In fact there are many complaints within the Muslim circles that “so and so” doesn’t look happy although he is a practising brother, and when I go and visit so and so, I find that those who’ve complained are being honest about their observations. Although in reality its a big misunderstanding because “so and so” is in fact happy but since he doesn’t smile much or engage with the people around him, he not only comes off differently but he also, indirectly that is, presents an attitude of unhappiness for many practising individuals. For example, a Muslim who is not really practising might start to believe the misconception that ‘practising’ doesn’t lead to a life of happiness because of the examples they’ve seen of other practising people. And as Muslims we need to realize that we are the representers for the religion of Allah and although it is true, the worship of Allah is by far the most important part of our lives, just don’t forget to smile and enjoy the presence of your family and friends. In other words, don’t be a robot, be happy.

4) We need to start thinking outside the box. We need to stop living our lives for ourselves and realize that we are a community connected through the religion of Allah so that means, we will forever be connected. So lets feel the pain in our hearts for those Muslims who are suffering day in and day out, and lets not submit to the ignorant “I got one life to live so I will do me” mentality that has been promoted by the West. 

5) Worship of Allah. We need to increase in it and make it sincere for Him. And by increasing the worship of Allah I don’t mean to increase the worship of Allah during times of adversity but to have that constant connection with Him who created you. The Ummah is experiencing the problems of today mainly for two reasons 1) It is a test and we just need to be patient or 2) Our sins are many. The reasons can fall under two categories but the answer is simple and only one – worship Allah more and be sincere.

6) Dignity. The Ummah needs its dignity back and we shouldn’t become content with living under any other circumstance. I heard someone say, “I would rather die with dignity then live under oppression” and I think that should become the slogan of our lives. We are Muslims and Islam is not a religion that is disgraced so why then do we agree to live in humiliation?

To be continued (insha’Allah)

Hooyo and Papa!

April 4, 2009 - 9 Responses

     If you could see my mother when she notices me walk into the room, you would quickly notice her eyes light up. Her face shines with happiness and I swear by Allah, I’ve never, not yesterday nor today, seen anyone look at me with such merciful eyes. And because of her mercy for me, I hate to disappoint her in any way. I love her so much and none of the words in the English language can illustrate the depth of my love for her. She is an amazing woman who often reminds me of Allah. I remember when I use to live at home and during some dark parts of the night when my siblings and I would be engaged in conversations, and while the rest of society were in the comfort of their beds, I would see my mother engaged in some act of worship. And once, during the later parts of re-memorable night, as I laid paranoid in my bed, I heard some noise coming from a different section of the house. And being the curious soul I am, I rose out of my bed and started my investigation of who and what was the causing that particular noise. And as I slowly made my way towards the source of noise, I heard some light crying coming from the dinning room. That night, I saw my mother standing in front of Allah, humble and aware of her Creator, pouring to Him her heart’s pain. I watched her stand and as I listened to her recite the ayaats of the Quran to Him who revealed them, and when she had completed her prayer I came from behind her and wrapped her with my arms, holding her tight, granting her a safety zone to cry in. I’ve never seen my mother cry to the extent she did on that night and although I would never want to see her cry again because I attribute tears to pain; I understood such tears were for Allah and I would pleased if she cried often to her Lord. That was several years ago and since that emotional night, my mother and I have grown so much closer. We share a very down to earth relationship and on many occasions I fire left and right, releasing my share of jokes hoping to make her smile. Sometimes I challenge her to a game of basketball knowing the fact that she’s never played a single match in her entire life, and in return she counters that challenge with one of her own – facts based upon the history of Somali poetry which I know very little about.

     Naturally I’m a happy person and now that I’m away from home, whenever my mother feels down and needs a lift, or if she’s just low on jokes, she picks up the phone and gives me a call. And just the other day she called me and in the midst of our conversation she asked, “what did you eat all day..?” and I was like nothing much although I’m craving for secret dish and right then and there, we spent close to two hours on the phone as she walked me through the steps needed in preparing her secret dish. May Allah be pleased with our parents.

     As for my father, what can I say about him? He is the foundation of my love, the vain that pumps blood into my heart and the center of my soul. And although he is located on the other side of the water, his remembrance serves as fuel for my cold lonely days. And when I think of the Jannah Allah has promised the believers, and if I should enter it, I always envision walking through the gates of paradise holding my wife with my right hand and my father with my left hand as I watch my mother walk in front of me. Perhaps one day my envision may become reality.

The Fall of America

March 26, 2009 - 6 Responses

    Never in history has a Nation who submitted to the notion that victory was their ‘right’, ever victorious. And it seems as I flick the channels on my television, the more I flick, the more I realize the Americans believe they can win the war in Afghanistan without paying much attention to, nor investing the proper means needed, in order to have a lagitimate shot at victory. As President Obama’sadministration focuses on tackling the economic issues at home, more and more US and NATO military service men and women return to their Motherlands in coffins draped with the flags of their country. Shameful, you would think. What surprises me more is the fact that no one from the media nor the public is asking serious questions. As US soldiers fight on the well experienced lands of Afghanistan against men who would rather die for their cause then to turn their backs; the Americans are more concerned about job growth and AIG, and all of this seems bazaar, taking into consideration the American Military is marching towards defeat. The public shouts at the top of their lungs, screaming and demanding answers as to why AIG executives received millions in bonuses, and all of this in the midst of soldiers dying at the hands of insurgents? No. Rather their deaths, for the most part, are a result of IEDs. So why are so many Americans more concerned about job growth and the situation pertaining to their banks, when in fact their Nations’ secuirty is at risk? It would seem to an individual, who has been given the gift of common sense that security outweighs prosperity. But after witnessing eight years and counting of US failed policies, a little common sense is probably too much to ask. Now it makes some sense: what do you call a group of leaders who are corrupt and on the brink of stupidity? I replied, Saudis? But apparently the correct answer was Americans.

     Just the other day, as I was minding my own business at a local coffee shop, taking time out of my day in completing a book called  “Marching Toward Hell: American and Islam after Iraq” by Micheal Scheuer, an individual approached and inquired about the contents within the book. Thereafter, the innocent conversation turned into a debate regarding America and Nato’s involvement in Afghanistan. And in the midst of our conversation, as we exchanged ‘intellectual slap in the face’ comments, I asked him for his opinion regarding the comments by a Fox employee who blasted Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan and at that, the gentleman said, “what do Americans know! They’ll loose in Afghanistan like the Russians lost!” Will they really be defeated? In my opinion, and after reading Micheal Scheuer’s book, surely they will. And the defeat of the Americans, the only superpower remaining in the world, will come at the hands of the “rag and tag” Mujahideen in Afghanistan. A defeat that will surprise the world save a few. And their defeat will be a direct result of an arrogant military force, despite the soldiers who fight on the battlefields in Afghanistan having learned the hard way- in order to survive one must abandon the mentality of the wild-hot shooting- cowboy from western films, the American Generals stationed in Washingston and their governing elites have yet to abandon the Cold War mentality that Mr. Scheuer continues to speak out against. Nevertheless, when a nation is marching towards defeat, sooner rather than later, the two must meet. 

     The biggest losers in this conflict, when the matter is said and done, will be the weak tyrants that rule the Muslim World. If God had granted those leaders some common sense, the Saudi ruling family would realize, after the Americans withdraw from Afghanistan as the Soviets withdrew, the Mujahideen will redirect their focus on their government. The Mujahideen, at that point, would be filled with confidence, after having defeated the only superpower left in the world and moreover, the Mujahideen would be motivated to overturn the governments that rule the Muslim Lands, starting in Saudi Arabia. And how do these tyrants expect to survive such a war with the Mujahideen after having witnessed the collapse of America, their former protectors? On the contrary, not only would they have little to no chance in standing up to fight, and to make matters worse, many more individuals from their countries would line themselves behind the “freedom fighter” in taking down their respected governments. And in the midst of all of this, after the Americans are defeated and the Saudis can no longer stand to fight the Mujahideen, the world will begin to look a lot different. The Mujahideen, with the help of the Saudi people, would overtake the Saudi governing body and in turn, after becoming the newest rulers of the Muslim World, they would halt all oil exported to America. In effect, leading to a further collapse of an America that we once knew. The only question remaining…can all of this be avoided? I don’t know…you tell me?

They Will Never Understand!

March 24, 2009 - 6 Responses

They asked me to describe myself and I for my part remained silent. They asked what my goals were based upon and again, no response for my end. They insisted I speak to them, but as I looked in their direction, I found little benefit in communicating my struggles. They asked, “do you fear us?” and at that, although I wanted to remain silent, I couldn’t! “If I can see it, chances are I probably don’t fear it!”, I informed them. Surprised and eager to get more out of me, they continued to fire similar questions in my direction and as their questions grew in complexion, I summed up all their inquires with one statement.

“If you must know”, I began, “and surely I find your questions to be many, I’ll do you one favor but dont ask me for another after this day!” Hanging to my everyword, these Chrisitian preachers watched the words flow out of my mouth and into their ears. “I am, through poetic verses the following but I worry even if I recite verses to you, you may not understand the meaning behind my words!” I stated. 

“I am…

Trapped in an inescapable dimension,

between thoughts that overpower the soul in succession!

During a period of global recession,

I yield to the Lord of the worlds seeking intercession!

Will I succeed or will I fail,

Only God knows…”

Crossing Paths with a Jewish Man

March 10, 2009 - 5 Responses

Dear Poetic Justice,

     In many pages, I’ve discussed with you the lessons pertaining to Bani Israel and often times, after reading their actions in the Quran, I would often ponder to myself, can they have done anything worse? But a few verses or surahs later, Allah would educate the reader through another action of theirs and again, I would be overtaken by confusion as to why they chose to do what they had done? Until Allah completed their story by mentioning what Musa asked his people when he said, “why do you harm me?”. Musa, may Allah be pleased with him, was the greatest Prophet from Bani Israel and yet his people continuously hurt him through their words and actions. Can you imagine, being sent to a people in which you love for them peace and security but who remain consistent in their refusal to obey you, although they know you are the best from amongst them?  

     Just the other day, I came to the actual realization of what I’ve been reading in the books of history pertaining to arrogance. Allah, with His Wisdom, caused my path to cross paths with a Jewish learned man. Below I narrate to you the story of the Jewish man, I met a few days ago.

     As I entered the train, I sat across a Jewish man, who from the naked eye seemed to be very devote to his religion. He appeared, to want to be identified by society as a Jew living amongst a mixed breed. I recognized him for who we was, and as he occupied himself with his religious text, I focused my attention on the Quranic memorization application that I had installed into my phone. I glanced up, took a swift look around the train, and then returned my focus to the words of Allah. Shortly afterwards, I noticed the Jewish man who was previously dedicated to his updated version of the Torah, stand up, and for some odd reason, I expected him to exit the train but as I kept my view locked onto his every movement, rather then following through on what I had expected from him, he relocated himself to the seat next to myself. Upon sitting himself down, he starred into the screen on my phone and I, not being shy to conceal my focus of attention, tilted the screen to grant him a better view. He found, I was reading the words of my Lord, the beautiful Quran. Anticipating a conversation based around religious text, I removed the ear piece from my left ear in order to draw him closer to the debate but surprisingly, he didn’t take the bait. I remained patient until I could no longer let the opportunity to ask the Jew about his text escape me. “Excuse me”, I introduced myself. “Is that a religious text you are holding”, I asked. “Yes”, he replied with a shy tone. “And is that text the Torah, or a different version of the original Torah?”. Confused and caught off guard by my follow up question, he starred away, as his face revealed his new found worry. Unsure of how I, a young man with little to no apparent knowledge developed the courage to speak to him,  the Jewish man asked, “how do you know that word?”. Which word was he talking about? But before the moment could escape me, I replied with confidence, “the Torah? I know about the Torah and the history of Musa and the children of Israel very well”.  “How”, wrapped in confusion he asked. “Well, I know about their stories and about the Torah through the Quran.” “The Quran? I’ve never read it”, he stated with pride and arrogance. At that moment, I realized why Allah degraded the Children of Israel. He, this poor man, intimated by my questioning, had the nerve to boost himself with pride? Shameful, I thought to myself. The meeting of this Jewish learned man came with some benefit; for one, it gave that man the reassurance that the youth from the Muslims are courageous and confident enough to speak to the likes of a learned Jewish man. If this man did not know before our meeting, I’m sure after our encounter, he will know the young men from Islam are not shy to engage in a conversation regarding faith because we have the Quran and our confidence is not based around our heritage but rather, the words of Allah. Personally, I was not worried about his knowledge, and why so? Allah had explained their history through multiple verses and I dedicated much of my time in studying their mistakes. Secondly, it reminded me of the fatal reaction which is the  result of pride. It brought to light the awareness that arrogrance could destroy the greatest of  nations, if they so choose to cling to it, as was the case with the Children of Israel from past generations. I would narrate the rest of the story about the Jewish man but I find little benefit in the concluding parts of the story.

The Longing of the Heart

March 3, 2009 - 2 Responses

 ….I long for the summer sun, the fresh fall air and the smiles on the faces of the righteous folks. I long for a summer vacation that will never end, kind words that fall onto the ears of those who don’t return the favor with better words. I long for Ramadan, again, I long for Ramadan. I long for nights that are filled with eemaan, followed by days that bring ease and more eemaan – eemaan upon eemaan. I long for Allah, His Messenger and a life away from the sinners. I long for a life without time, a soul-mate who upon looking into my eyes can read my every thought, would be able to understand my deepest secret, and I fear she may hold me accountable for such thoughts. I long to find my wife in Jannah, a woman who would be foreign to me. I long for my love, the baby belonging to my sister, her name Baby Jannah. I long to see her grow to become a beautiful, righteous woman. I long deeper for her. O’ my Lord, raise Jannah to be righteous, and place her among the pious. I long for my relatives who’ve lived much of their lives in our Motherland. I long to find the eyes of my father and the heart of my mother. I long to enter Jannah, although I know I don’t deserve it.

Classified Verses

January 30, 2009 - 4 Responses

     During some nights, when the moon disappears behind the clouds and the silence of death overtakes society, I reach for my pen and bring about my inner realities. Some, from the many verses I conceal within myself, are more deserving to be noted and perhaps, many years down the line, my progeny may discover these very verses. And when I finally complete my Poetic Justice and if it so happens to be that my Lord decrees no children under my responsibility, then I will take the pages of my Poetic Justice and place them in a bottle before I release them into the cold sea. But until the decree of my Lord descends from above the skies, then the verses of my Poetic Justice must continue and the realities of life must be brought to light.

The following are a few lines of poetry from my Classified Verses.

If my Lord shall decree for me the eternal fire,
and history submits to its arrogant denial,
then let it be known Allah intended good for me,
when He sent down the Quran to set me free,
but my deeds converted,
in addition to a heart so diverted,
led to my entrance into the eternal fire

But If I should succeed,
and find my name written in the Book of Decrees,
under the page entitled ‘righteous’,
Perhaps some may fall jealous,
and become heedless,
towards working for a home in the seven skies,
a place where none shall exchange lies,
nor shall the bodies of its men ever die

An Interview with Sameh Habeeb

January 16, 2009 - Leave a Response
Interview with Sameh Habeeb, photojournalist and resident of Gaza
This is a transcript of an interview conducted by Alex Whisson from Friends of Palestine WA and his two colleagues at RTR FM on late on Tuesday night, 13th January 2009. I’ve tagged a whole bunch of you because i think it’s important that you get a chance to hear a direct voice from Gaza itself.

We’re speaking now with Sameh Habeeb, who is a photojournalist and humanitarian worker currently living in Gaza City. Sameh, may I start by asking what is the situation exactly where you are now?

Well, the situation where I am now is very bad, specifically in the east part of Gaza City. All over the Gaza Strip we have escalation of the Israeli bombing. Already we have 47 Palestinians killed since the early hours of this morning. The daylight of Gaza is not very different from the dark. Extensive Israeli air raids, extensive Israeli shells are being ridden down in many areas of the Gaza Strip. In {name of area inaudible] there was a very big escalation in which 11 persons were killed in that area due to Israeli bombing. Most of them are civilians and one of them is a 75-year-old man and at the moment you are speaking to me I could easily hear the sound of the Israeli shelling.

Now at the moment I will try to open my window so you can hear some of the bombing outside. It’s very dark since we don’t have electricity. It’s very hazardous at the moment.

Around 13 Palestinian fighters were killed today and the situation is very, very bad as I told you and we don’t know what will be happening soon. Also in [name of area inaudible] three or four bodies were found today of people killed before Sunday. One of the bodies was in a bad situation and he was a very old man, around 92-years-old.

In terms of humanitarian needs we don’t have enough water, we don’t have enough power, we don’t have gas, we don’t have basic supplies a person needs to go on with his life.

Sir, why do you think that Israel is terrorising the people of Gaza in such a brutal fashion?

Well, Israel is not targeting the militants as it has announced at the start of this military operation. Israel is clearly targeting the civilians and this is so clear. What we have seen on the ground, what we have seen in the hospitals, on the street and in the destroyed buildings is that mostly those who were killed are civilians.

We are speaking about around 1000 people killed and in a few hours it will be 1000. You know, around 400 of them are children and around 150 are women. So what kind of military operation is that? They [the government of Israel] are saying they want to bring safety for the Israeli citizens but they won’t do. It is good to bring safety for the Israeli people, it is good to bring security for the Israeli people. But by killing Palestinians? You know Alex around only 14 Israelis were killed by these rockets [fired by the resistance]. So what kind of rockets [are being fired out of Gaza]? They are not rockets. They are small, home-made by some militants. They are not rockets. But Israel is enlarging and exaggerating about that [the threat from these rockets]. They are saying, oh well, we are under Palestinian attack. [They are] making Palestinian people like Saddam or like Iran. In fact we are not. We are simply people. We do not have the basics of our life so how will we be able to defeat a country with an air force, with a ground force? It is a complete lie. We are under occupation and it’s a small kind of resistance being operated by the Palestinians.

May I ask you how you feel about the silence and complicity of the Egyptian regime, the Jordanian regime and all the other dictatorships throughout the Arab world?

Well we are totally not satisfied with the Arabic stance and position. The Arabs are being [distracted] by their differences. Everyone is away [distanced] from his Arab neighbour. And they [the Arab nations] are not working on ending this war. Egypt and Jordan are working but not enough. We need all our countries to go at this moment and not to wait more. I don’t know what they are working on at this moment! Israel is massacring and killing the civilians here and I have seen this by my eyes. I have seen many children dying in the hospitals due to lack of medicine and the Arab countries, I don’t know what they are working on at this moment. So they are part of this war. They are part of this war.

The American government as always is supporting Israel uncritically and the Australian government has fallen into line behind Washington. What can people do in Australia to pressure their government and to pressure the Israelis to stop this madness?

Well, the Australian people are very good friends and I was following what has happened in Australia. Many protests happened there and more than 5000 people [at one of them]. And even more participated [around the country] and this is very good. We need Jews who participated in these protests to go against the wishes of the politicians. To say no [to the actions of the Israeli govcrnment]. We need you to pressure Israel, to go to the Israeli embassy, to make demonstrations. In Australia I don’t want to see the same stance as John Howard. Because John Howard was following totally George Bush. I don’t know what kind of stance [your Prime Minister] is having at this moment but I need the people to show him in order to keep calm and peace here for the people who are being killed, for the children, to follow up the news and see what is happening. Children are being killed by phosphorous bombs, by depleted uranium and it’s a really cruel war agains the Palestinian civilians not the militants.

We can tell you unfortunately that the government which replaced John Howard is fully backing Israel and we are doing everything we can to put pressure on the government to shift its position. Mr Habeeb, you’re a photojournalist by profession. May I ask how difficult it’s been to take photos of the suffering of your own people at this horrible time?

Well, it’s very difficult to take photos at the moment. It’s very hazardous even to go outside in the night. If you go outside in the night you will be a target for the Israeli air force because it targets everything movable in the night. In the daylight you could do it [take photos] but it’s very difficult. And especially these days [when] we do not have power, we do not have internet. Even if you would be able to take some photos, you would not be able to upload them to send them out. So we are being blacked out by this war. We don’t have only a war of tanks and a war of missiles. We have a media war, we have a propaganda war. [Israel] is saying we are the terrorists, but in fact we are not. We are the victims and Israel is the victimiser.

On the subject of war crimes I understand that reports have emerged the Israelis are illegally using white phosphorous as an incendiary device against civilians, against personnel. Have you seen any evidence of this war crime?

Human Rights Watch is saying this, all international organisations are saying Israel that is perpetuating war crimes against civilians! And this is so bad. If this would happen in Darfur, we would see the United Nations [saying] we have to do something against the Sudanese President Omar Bashir. But now, why not bring the Israeli President and Prime Minister to justice? Why were 400 children killed? Why only focus on one thing [Darfur]? Why [doesn’t the head] of the United Nations investigation committee for Darfur come now and say we have to charge the Israeli leaders and bring them to the court for [crimes committed against] those who were killed here in the Gaza Strip. Israel is using banned weapons and this is so clear if you go to the footage on the TV and you see the phosphorous bombs being bombed on the people here. Gaza is a very densely populated area including hundreds of thousands of civilians who have nothing to do with this cruel and brutal war.

Do you think that it’s possible that Israel will continue the occupation of Gaza for some time?

Well who’s to say that Israel has left Gaza before? It was a lie in 2005 that Israel withdrew from Gaza and demolished its settlements. They pulled out of Gaza and encircled Gaza and now they are reaching back into Gaza. And after the war is finished, they will go around [encircle] Gaza, they will control everything, and they will be opening and closing the crossings as they want. They will not give us our freedom. Gaza was never a free town or a free city! It was always under Israeli occupation.

Sir, we’ve read reports in recent hours that Israeli troops have penetrated deep inside Gaza City itself and you mentioned earlier that you could hear the bombing outside the window of your house. How far have Israeli troops penetrated inside the city and what do you think will happen next sir?

I live in the eastern part of Gaza City. I can tell you that no Israeli soldiers are in Gaza City itself. They are still on the borders of Gaza City. They are being faced by a big amount of fighting and fire by the Palestinian militants. They are still on the borders [and none of their soldiers] was able to get into Gaza City. And if they were to get in to the Gaza City, for sure there would be thousands of people dying because [it] is a densely populated area.

How strong and determined is the resistance and how much popular support is there for the resistance forces in Gaza?

Well yes I’ve met many people who are in charge of these things and the resistance and managed to make interviews with them for some newspapers. I tell you the militants and fighters are more determined than ever to go on despite the terrible risk to fight against this big army and big country with an air force, with a ground force, with tanks, F-16’s and Apaches but they are still adamant because they have the will, they have the strength, they think that they are under occupation, they think the only way to free your country [is by resisting] and they are adamant to go on that track.

How do you explain the relative silence of your brothers and sisters in the West Bank and how do you feel about the complicity of Mahmoud Abbas in the Israeli attacks on Gaza?

Yeah you’re right the West Bank is under the control of President Abbas and he’s in charge of negotiations with Israel and he’s running and operating the steps of the Road Map and part of this road map is to have no kind of resistance at all and this is what we have seen in the West Bank. In the West Bank we did have resistance but [now] we only have negotiations. But I guess Israel was not good enough for Mr Abbas because it did not give him peace despite the calm he gave them in the West Bank.

How dangerous is right now for you to go outside where you are? You mentioned earlier that there are bombings going on. How dangerous is it right now to go outside?

Nowhere is safe. You know I was outside trying to handle some news, some work but I had to quickly get back to my house afraid of what’s happening, afraid of the drones, the drones hit everywhere and I could not stay outside for long. I had to quickly slip into my house which is not safe by the way! My house was hit two times, my cousin’s house was hit two times by the artillery shells, but we are safe thank God and it was a miracle to be safe.

Sir, may I say again on behalf of all three of us in the studio that it’s been an enormous privilege for you to speak to us in an obviously extremely dangerous and difficult situation. We wish you and your family all the best. We hope you remain safe and we hope that eventually the resistance in Palestine will be victorious.