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"AlanLonergan"

A blog about Life the Universe and everything Palestinian and Irish

September 2010 Posts

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Blog Entry

Life Imitates Art

Thursday, September 30th 2010 @ 1:49 PM (not yet rated)    post viewed 4702 times

“The days of our years are threescore and ten” Psalms 90:

I experienced bereavement recently and while there was great shock, grief and sadness expressed at the passing of a life it was balanced in equal measure with the happiness that comes from knowing a long journey had ended and that our loved one was  safely home. The deceased was fortunate to get 8 years more than the threescore and ten allotted by the bible. I am mindful that there are many people who never have the chance to live a full life or reach an age of biblical measure.

Sometime ago I seen a photo of a Palestinian widow lost in the grief of her husband’s passing. The photo had a remarkable effect on me it was as though I knew this woman, recognised her face and the circumstances of the scene. Had I seen the photo before, no, so how on earth was it so familiar and then it came to me. I had seen her in a painting - that pale lifeless face the look of total abandonment and the sea of hands moving around to support her in a moment of extreme grief. I checked and yes in one of those life imitates art moments there she was in a five hundred year old painting which portrayed the grief of another woman at a funeral, and just to continue the coincidence the artist and the photographer were as one in capturing the grief of native women from the Holy Land!

 

 

 

 

Take a moment to think about all those who never reach threescore and ten.

 

The Descent from the Cross by Rogier van der Weyden    c. 1435

For a fresh perspective on Palestine and Christianity visit the Church Pages at Sadaka – The Ireland Palestine Alliance.

 

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Blog Entry

“We plough the fields and scatter”

Wednesday, September 29th 2010 @ 5:53 PM (not yet rated)    post viewed 4936 times

I seen a photo of a Palestinian farmer the other day and was reminded of the hymn “We plough the fields and scatter”. The hymn commences with the lines “We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land” but unlike the hymn the only seeds sown in the Holy Land today are the seeds of division and oppression, watered with plenty of hatred and fertilised with an excessive amount of religious and racial discrimination against the native community.

Have you ever considered what it’s like for those who scatter the seed on the land in the occupied Palestinian territories?

I have set the words of the hymn to a series of images. Move the mouse over each image for a description of the scene.


We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land,
 

But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand:

  

 

 

He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,

  

 The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft, refreshing rain.

He only is the maker
Of all things near and far;

 

 

He paints the wayside flower,
He lights the evening star;

The winds and waves obey him,
By him the birds are fed;

Much more to us, his children,
He gives our daily bread.

We thank thee then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest,

Our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer
For all thy love imparts,
And what thou most desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.

It’s ironic that this hymn is Germanic in origin. The 19th century writer could never have imagined that a little over a hundred years after it was written his nation would perpetrate a vile crime of unimaginable proportions upon millions of innocent Europeans of Jewish faith or that the aftermath of this holocaust would serve as the catalyst for the destruction of the Holy Land and its innocent inhabitants.

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Dave Smith
Group Administrator
fatherdave said on Thursday, September 30th 2010 @ 2:47 AM:

I remember this hymn well from the musical "Godspell"

I wonder if you have considered making a slide show of these images, with the hymn playing in the background. You could then YouTube it and post it on this site as well?

Love your work! Smile

Blog Entry

Always ask to see the bigger picture

Tuesday, September 28th 2010 @ 7:57 PM (1 ratings)    post viewed 4558 times

I had an aunt who immigrated to England in the late 1940’s in search of work. Before she left home her father gave her some advice “believe nothing of what you read and the half of what you hear and you will be alright.” I suppose he was telling her not to take things at face value or be susceptible to the media agenda of the day. All these years later his advice still holds true.


For most people the word Palestinian conjures up a negative image

 

They think terror

 

 

They don’t think flowers

 

 

They never think Christianity

 

 

 

And few if any ever get the full picture

 

Lord open our eyes to the bigger picture and the full story.

For a fresh perspective on Palestine and Christianity visit the Church Pages at Sadaka – The Ireland Palestine Alliance.

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James1980 said on Friday, October 8th 2010 @ 2:15 AM:

Very interesting, in that when you take a small piece of the bigger picture, the information you try to recreate doesn't end up being an accurate reflection of the original scenario.

One question though - what is actually going on in that photo? The gentlemen with the flowers are also carrying automatic firearms, so are they local security for the church or something along those lines?

AlanLonergan said on Tuesday, October 12th 2010 @ 7:46 AM:

Hi James

Yes that photograph portrays an unusual scene in which a group have come to the church with a message assuring the safety and protection of the Christian community. Native indigenous Christians and Muslims are ethnically and culturally one people and they have worked hard to prevent outside forces from draging them apart.

Blog Entry

Where will it end?

Monday, September 27th 2010 @ 7:44 PM (not yet rated)    post viewed 6110 times

Today we received the news that Israel has decided to end its partial Settlement building freeze in the occupied Palestinian territories. A weakened Palestinian people stand powerless and voiceless in the face of the monolith.  The native indigenous people must once again hang their head in despair. The word “building” implies something constructive but there is nothing constructive in this announcement it’s just another destructive act that will further dispossess the oppressed. How many more people will be cleared from their land to make place for the new arrivals?  

Like many native peoples the Irish understand the effects of colonisation and the best lesson learned through such tragic experiences is to see that it stops happening to others.

When will we learn from past wrongs, when will we stop repeating the same mistakes? When will we stop visiting the past sins of others upon the innocent of the present?

Lord tonight I pray that you bring comfort to the dispossessed and downhearted where ever they may be.


Today I provide two pictures that will help you to understand me a little better and why the ire and sadness rise in me when I see what is happening in the Holy Land.

Same story different day 

Left: A Palestinian woman awaiting eviction from her home.  East Jerusalem,  2004

Right: An Irish woman after eviction from her home. Mayo, Ireland, 1886

One was a neighbour the other a friend.

One came from the place that promised me life the other from the place that promised redemption.

The years may divide and the sea separate but the pain is a constant eternity.


For more news and views on Israel/Palestine, visit www.sadaka.ie - home of the Ireland Palestine Alliance.

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Dave Smith
Group Administrator
fatherdave said on Monday, September 27th 2010 @ 8:21 PM:

Love your work, brother.

The end of the 'settlement freeze' (that didn't apply to the Arab areas of Jerusalem anyway) is indeed the final nail in the coffin for the so-called peace talks.  It appears as a cynical act from an Israeli government that displays no serious interest in peace at all.  God help us!

Blog Entry

Why am I here?

Monday, September 27th 2010 @ 3:17 PM (not yet rated)    post viewed 4356 times

I am not into writing words, I can write, but I speak a bit better then I write and rely more on the spoken then the written word. So why am I trying it now? Well blame Fr. Dave, he mentioned this site and suggested I should join; Fr. Dave is a nice guy so I joined and here I am trying to give it a go.

My initial connection with Fr. Dave related to articles he had written on Gaza, I am active in campaigning for Palestinian rights and I liked the fact that Fr. Dave brought a Christian perspective to his commentary on the issue.  Fr. Dave is an Anglican Catholic and I am a Roman Catholic, so what? We are all Christians irrespective of denomination but historically in my country one of us hold the religious affiliation of the occupier and one the religious affiliation of the occupied yet here we are friends together in a good fight. Time heals all wounds but not unless we fight to see that the appropriate treatment is applied.

Will we ever live to see the appropriate treatment applied to the wounds that are destroying the Holy Land? Who knows but if we do not try we will never know.


I prefer pictures to words. Now and then I would like to provide you with an image of Palestine and of Palestinians that may provoke a little thought create a discourse or simply provide an alternate to the stereotyped images which the mainstream media want you to see. Here is todays photo

Let the light shine

A Palestinian Orthodox Christian woman celebrates the coming of the Easter Holy Fire in the West Bank City of Nablus. Can you help bring light to the darkness endured by the oppressed?

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Dave Smith
Group Administrator
fatherdave said on Monday, September 27th 2010 @ 8:29 PM:

 

Brother, if you do want to share some of your spoken words, please upload any addresses you've got recorded to the MP3 audio library. I'm sure we'll enjoy your accent as well as your wisdom. Wink