As it turns out, this will be the 101st post on this blog. It’s taken exactly eleven months to reach this achievement, and while this might seem like a painstakingly long time, running this blog and dedicating its mission to the people of Palestine has been tremendously fulfilling. That said, I want to share with you some of the things I’ve come to experience writing for Sixteen Minutes to Palestine.
1. Maternal “wrath”
Writing takes time, especially when writing for a blog that seriously intends to change the status quo and advocate for the self-determination for Palestinians by promoting justice and truth. The way I see it, operating this blog may consume some of my time but the purpose is important and necessary. The way mama sees it, on the other hand, operating this blog means I’ve secretly dropped out of the pre-med track! It’s likely that she’s reading this and wondering whether or not I have homework to complete and whether or not I’m going to come clean and finally tell her I’ve switched to a political science major.
Just so we’re all on the same page though, I’m still a pre-med/biology major.
Nevertheless, many of my most prominent experiences as a blogger have been those involving my mom. She raised me to be who I am and I have no problem saying she knows me more than I know myself. It’s nice to know that she continues to support my ambitions as a writer, and her “wrath” (which is really just a matter of traditional Arab-style motherly concern) is much appreciated. It keeps me in check. Without it, I’d most likely spend entire days and nights reading and writing everything unrelated to my studies.
2. Analyses aren’t as popular as I hoped
When this blog first went live, my initial intention was to model it as a hybrid between Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada (both being two amazing and professional resources that provide the gist of my inspiration). Essentially, I wanted everything to be an analysis — an analysis of economic deficits as a direct result of the West Bank barrier wall; an analysis of the different varieties and tastes of olives grown throughout Palestine; an analysis of Israeli military-grade rubber bullets.
My plans quickly changed as the blog grew. I did my best to keep things fresh by infusing a bit of popular culture every so often. I was surprised to see my page views dramatically increase whenever I did this. To date, some of my most popular posts include Lupe Fiasco’s shout-out for the Gaza Strip in one of his new songs as well as a report that celebrities and world-class athletes are expected to join in an upcoming Freedom Flotilla. Unfortunately, none of these posts are analyses by any means.
But this makes sense. After all, Lupe Fiasco is a popular internet search term. I wonder what unsuspecting visitors think when they visit for an inside scoop on their favorite celebrity and instead find a political-charged message.
3. i used to write liek dis n now i donttt
Those that know me can attest to the fact that I’m oftentimes more concerned with grammar and punctuation rather than with the underlying point of an article, even if I’m the author. I definitely pay more attention to spelling errors now than I did in the past and I’m happy to say that this has helped improve my writing significantly as compared to the way I wrote one year ago. I will forever remain critical of my writing so I can’t say that I’m satisfied with my writing style as it now stands but I’m happy (relieved, mostly) dat i dont wriet like dat anymor haahaha!!!!
4. Us versus the occupation
But the most moving experiences by far have been those that involved teaching someone something new, defeating a misconception, revealing the truth, and eventually finding out that my words really do reach the people of Gaza. I’m aware that this blog’s readership is generally pro-Palestinian so these articles ‘preach to the crowd,’ as the saying goes. But I hope this blog continues to expand so that I can have more opportunities to challenge the status quo and give a voice to the Palestinian people living under occupation for decades.
I want Sixteen Minutes to Palestine to serve as a stomping grounds for justice-minded individuals dedicated to preserving the Palestinian identity as it existed before the forcible removal of 750,000 Palestinian natives to make way for a state that continues to violate international law and the moral code. I want the blog to spark discussion, the exchange of ideas, and most importantly, the move towards the truth. The occupation of Palestine is my sworn enemy — as it is for you — and for those who haven’t yet realized this, I hope this blog helps guide you to this revelation.
All in all, thank you for being a part of these amazing experiences. And thanks to all who’ve helped me reach 100 posts — either by contributing ideas, articles, or support. I can’t wait to hit the 200th post mark.