An apology to the readers

Months ago, I joined the blogging community out of pure inspiration and ambition. I wanted to be more than just an activist with a megaphone at my mouth. I wanted to speak, write, engage, and challenge, and I wanted to use every means of communication and direct action to combat the growth of injustice in my homeland and in your homelands as well. This blog has since given me a platform to do just that. In writing and presenting my ideas and opinions, I was contributing to the global dialogue regarding the past, present, and future of Palestine. But in the last few weeks, I’ve fallen behind in my work. The drive is still there of course but my contribution to the movement is nothing to be proud of. I humbly apologize for that.

For those of you who follow this blog, you might have noticed how rarely the site has been updated in the last few weeks. When purchasing the domain name and writing my first entry, I promised myself that I’d get at least two or three thoughtful and inspiring pieces published every week. My intention was to bring to you ideas that are so often overlooked – ideas of hope, ideas of human power and resilience, and ideas that debunk the misconceptions held by those who choose to oppress us. It was a challenge for me but writing has always been a passion of mine and it came so naturally that I never considered slowing down.

But college started up again. My second year at the University of Chicago has so far been the most intense educational experience I’ve yet to face. Some of you might be surprised by this but I’m actually not a political science major nor do I aspire to go to law school. As a matter of fact, I’m just a regular pre-med student dreading the MCAT. I feel like it’s fair to say that the atmosphere for pre-meds here, just as in most universities, is so cut-throat that every minute spent doing something besides studying something like isomeric inhibitory factors in pre-mRNA splicing puts me at such a disadvantage.

I’m proud of my mom for raising me by this standard: School comes first. It’s made me who I am. Yes, I have to sacrifice playing basketball in the evenings or going to Chinatown every Thursday night in order to beat [and one day even set] the curve in Organic Chemistry but the payoff is well worth it. This mentality, however, hasn’t been able to quell the guilt I carry with me every single time I visit the homepage of this outdated blog.

I don’t know why I check it so often. It’s like that bad habit of checking your email right before you go to bed. But one thing’s for certain: the struggle for Palestine isn’t over yet and I need to get back into the mix.

I’m lucky to say that my solidarity work on campus hasn’t been inhibited by the pressures of being a student at a university that gracefully flaunts its unofficial motto, Where Fun Comes to Die. Our SJP is one of the most active student groups in town thanks to the dedication of community members, alumni, faculty, and friends who so courageously offer their full support and cooperation in combating the status quo. I’ve had the greatest honor in working with the most talented activists and intellectuals the world has ever seen. But on a personal level, I’ll continue to feel guilty until I get back into writing. I know plenty of pre-med students at the University of Chicago who find time to do solidarity work so I have no excuse. My mom also raised me by a second standard: Palestine lives through us. If everyone were as lazy as me, AIPAC would rule the world (Note: some would argue that AIPAC already does but that’s beyond the point).

This post isn’t a ‘letter to my fans’ or anything of the sort. My mom raised me to stay away from conceitedness. This is more of a pep talk and an update at where I am in my activism for those who might have been curious of my whereabouts. Since starting the blog in April, I’ve been able to infuse one of my favorite hobbies, writing, with one of my greatest passions, fighting for global justice. It’s been a very fulfilling time for me and I regret how slow things have become. The struggle has yet to be won so until then, this blog must remain a positive medium for the spread and growth of pro-peace, pro-justice, and pro-Palestine dialogue in a hostile world.

For those who depend on this site to benefit the cause and for those who expected better of me, I sincerely apologize and ask that you remain patient with me as I learn to balance the pursuit of good grades with the pursuit of a free homeland. But most of all, I thank you for helping and encouraging me to contribute to the world-wide struggle to rid oppression and free Palestine.

Sami Kishawi

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