Guest contribution by Alexander Abbasi
“Solidarity does not assume that our struggles are the same struggles, or that our pain is the same pain, or that our hope is for the same future. Solidarity involves commitment, and work, as well as the recognition that even if we do not have the same feelings, or the same lives, or the same bodies, we do live on common ground.”
— Sara Ahmed
I was thinking of the Palestinian concept of sumud recently in relation to the notion of “solidarity”. Why do we call it Palestine “Solidarity”? How does sumud play a part in our solidarity, or actually act as our solidarity?
Sumud is an Arabic word that translates to “perseverance through staying” or “steadfastness.” Contextually in Palestine, it has developed into an ideology of resistance over the decades by way of persisting on the land, not leaving it, clinging to it by any and all means necessary. With a rock in one hand and mother Falasteen underneath you.
The etymology of the word solidarity contains at least two sub-roots: “solid” and “arity.” Solid can be defined as “firm, whole, undivided,” and “to be solid” visually implies the notion of a rock or stone — a symbol familiar to Palestinians and many indigenous resistors. To be solid is the action of being firmly grounded. [Read more…]