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OneRouge Community Check-In: Week 201

In the ancient history I call my youth, I would sneak into clubs in The City and dance to artists like MC HammerWhen in Rome, and The B-52s. I would walk around campus singing Phyllis HymanYaz, and Pepsi and Shirlie with my college bestie. But the first time I ever heard Ofra Haza’s Im Nin’ Alu (the remix), I stopped dead in my tracks and had to find the CD!

It had EVERYTHING – a catchy danceable beat, an incredible singer, drum machines and synthesizers holding it all together. Turns out she was Israeli and the song is a Yemenite Liturgical poem. Also as it happens, Ramadan just ended on Tuesday with Eid al-Fitr (a/k/a Festival of Breaking the Fast). And all these interesting tidbits add up to us celebrating Arab American Heritage Month.

Learn with us as we celebrate hear about the current state of education, healthcare, food, and a little history about the Gaza Strip. Our very special guest Dr. Ali Al Awar will be joining us from abroad, so there may be a little bit of a delay in the transmission. Your patience is requested and appreciated.



Pepper Roussel: And Manny is trying to live his best life and I'm a little mad about it, but whatever. So 20 years, 30 years on, 

Casey Phillips: we all want to be going to New York today. No quite. Hey, so  your top three Prince songs and don't try to go for cool points. You can say that. What are your Prince songs?  

Manny Patole: It's the usuals, right? It's, when doves cry, I had to set up a dove at the table today. You're purple. I'm a homer, purple rain, things like that. I got to admit, though, I really, every year, so this is an annual conference that's put on by one of the folks here at NYU. And I still want them to bring Dave Chappelle.

Tia Fields: Pancakes! Pancakes!  

Manny: Game houses. 

Casey: Fair enough. Fair enough.  

Manny: But no, so I think today is this is the 40th anniversary of  It's either Erotic City or I don't know. I'm horrible about this. So yeah, so that's going on. And then On the third thing on the agenda today, because they're all starting at the same time, is the our annual Environmental Racial Justice Summit here at NYU, and their, the keynote this morning is Robert Fuller, Dr. Professor Robert Fuller, and I'm just like, of course, you get like, that guy. 

Casey: Okay, so we're gonna do a quick roundtable. It's difficult to figure out the best Prince album. It's almost impossible, right? Purple Rain, probably if we could just take it off the table for the moment the Batman soundtrack was incredible. The love symbol album was just bangers, man. Like probably one of the best dance albums that's been put out in a long time. But I just consistently come back. All the time around the world in a day is still my personal favorite, like from start to finish. Sonically, it's one of the most his most interesting albums and I love it. So anybody want to jump in? Cause we're going to get down to some serious stuff, but we're talking about Prince right now.

Pepper: I got sign of the times is the best coming up in the chat.  

Casey: All right.  I would have to be, I would have to be convinced. Jared, come off mute. Tell me about it.  Tell me about it. 

Jarret Luter: There's no conversation to have about it. It's the best. 

Casey: It's really favorite tracks off of that. He, he meant it. There's no discussion around it. Okay. Fair enough. Okay there you go. Oh, Dr. Bell, what's happening, sir? How are you doing? 

Flitcher Bell: Good morning. My brother who I graduated with, he was a big Prince man. And his favorite was 1999.  And with little red Corvette and all that stuff on there.

So that, that was his thing.  It was it was a strong one. There's there's no questions about it. 

Casey: I'm going to have to like, really go back and spend some time with side of the times, cause I'll be honest. I just I pushed past it. It was the era of Prince that I wasn't like following this hard. And what'd you got, Pat?  Oh, you are absolutely on mute, but that elbow is there. Cool. All right. That's that's going to be the moment of levity. Let's let's move on and get down to it. Ms. Peppa,  

Pepper: We are still waiting on Dr. Al Awar.  Yes, to make it onto the call. And so we are welcome to continue this conversation about print songs as well as poverty writ large, but also the environmental justice. I will say, without hesitation that it irks the bejesus outta me, that Bullard is often invited and is turned up to be the face. Meanwhile, it was his wife. Who actually started the the movement in and of itself. They are not new glasses, Keena. Thank you, darling.  She was the one who started this movement. She was the one who took the case. She was the one and it's always the invisible labor of women. Thank you. Thank you very much. I will put away my thank you. Put your Bell nodding your head. That's what I'm talking about, brother. Particularly in white, in male dominated spaces that make it so she never gets the credit she deserves, which sucks by the way, I don't know if she cares, but I do. 

Casey: There you go. And so Pepper, the other thing that we were talking about, albeit like super briefly until our distinguished guest joins.  So 30 years ago, OJ, how different is America today? 

Manny: Oh, I think it's. First, we wouldn't have had the Kardashians. People don't understand that whole everything that comes from that would not have happened, right? I think the second thing is our idea of watching tragic tragedies unfold like that is for TV. would also not be there in terms of, that type of television, stuff like that. And then also just then, we lost the Ford Bronco for about 30 years. It wasn't produced. It only started coming back, I think about three or four years ago. Those are my three three items. 

Pepper: That's true. That's true. We went to the Bronco junior or something like that. It is a small size, one of them. And the jokes continue to, the jokes continue to write themselves. But the, yeah, I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're absolutely right. Manning the, actually the unfolding of trauma of that sort of trauma on television,  drama, DRA Until on TV that and I want to say that was around the time as as the Rodney Hart Rodney. Rodney King. Rodney King. I'm sorry. I'm letting in Rodneyna Hart. Rodney King on TV that all around the same time, Keena.  

Joquina Reed: Okay. So no one wants to look at my face right now, but I just have to chime in here cause I was listening to the reporting yesterday and I don't know if I'm quite responding to your question Casey. But what was so interesting is that, and I don't have a dog in this fight per se, but so much of the reporting yesterday was about all of this black man's high crimes and misdemeanors. And it was interesting hearing people who are not black name. How disconnected they saw OJ from the black community, right? Like one of the reporters literally said, it was so interesting because the African American community was so supportive of him, although he has spent his life disconnected. I was like, they're saying this out loud. This is really bonkers to hear. Like the narrative that people had about his blackness and the comfort in which people had. Even yesterday exploring that but not in like positive ways It was just this very weird like  we don't even understand why the blacks were rooting for him I was just like oh my god This is an interesting place to be at right now, especially post 2020 so anyway, that's what I just all the important guys saw yesterday everyone was basically like Why were the black people even there like it was just So wild to hear that 

Pepper: No, it's absolutely fascinating that there is such a disconnect from not just in general, there's a lack of understanding of even like recent history that this idea that he did not, he was not.Of imports that he had no fame. He had no juice until the murder And the acquittal right that you launched johnny cochran into superstardom that he was nobody without 

Joquina: Nobody Right and Pepper you'll appreciate this I think if we're just pretending it's you and me on the call for a second I just in my mind was like and this is why you cap. This is why You Capping for whiteness and white supremacy will lead you nowhere. Because at the end of his life, nobody had nothing positive to say about this man. Nothing! So the same people that he sought validation from at the end of his life were still like he still just did all these crimes. That's who he was.

Pepper: Agreed. Agreed. And I will respond to that in two seconds after I save Rodneyna this picture, girl. What? Loving it. Giving me life. Tia? 

Tia: But for me, I just really want to dive into racial relations in the criminal justice system. Time and time again, we've seen a black man with a white woman or white woman with a black man. And when tragedy happens, it's always interesting on how the things play out in the criminal justice system. That's my piece of that. 

Casey: Yeah that's that's, what you just said to you, I feel like could be an entire Friday call right there. You're right. There's a lot of layers to it. And that's why I posed the question 30 years later in America.  Are we exactly in the same place as we were then?  Watching that verdict come in. What's changed? Or are we just still in the same loop Esperanza? 

Esperanza Zenon: Good morning, everybody. Good morning, my friend. Part of me feels like we're worse off now. I feel like we're extremely polarized. And I would almost say in some ways you could say that OJ exposed that, that whole, the whole polarity that we were, we're dealing with, it was a start of it in my mind. I know that we had a whole lot. Of racial stuff going on  prior to, but it's, the blatantness of it, where that's the lack of civility in our discourse. I feel like a lot of it, a lot of it has its roots in that whole trial and verdict. And, the way society reacted to it. Yeah, I absolutely agree with it. And it's just grown on it that, that polarity has, the gap has just widened and, we find our ourself in the 2016 where,  you get somebody that's just who breed dissension in, in, in high places.  And it's just run amok now, but I feel they say if a butterfly flaps his wings off the the west coast of Africa, that is the spark for a hurricane that eventually hits The United States, I see that trial as like the butterfly flapping its wings.

Pepper: As far as I would not disagree in a lot of ways that O.J. did give a lot more people leave to be, to other, right? So to choose a camp, to dig in deep to who we are and the nature of just being human. And digging into just surrounding self with people who are like minded, like looking, like existing. And I think that it was probably just around the same time that we were not probably, but Because, the only trivial pursuit I ever did horrible out of the only 30 years in consecutive 30 years. I've ever actually lived through. I want to say it was around the same time that we were doing the same thing in other countries. And using this as an opportunity segue into our guests for this morning, a Dr. Al Awar.  Thank you for joining us and being here. We are going to end for a treat One Rouge fam. Dr. Al Awar is an absolutely  incredible and amazing human being. He is from Gaza at 18. He left Gaza and went to study at Beir Zeit University in Ramallah. I may be mispronouncing. So you're going to have to. Correct me if I'm wrong, and then in Jerusalem, went to Jerusalem, he's got a master's degree from the Hebrew University in the Middle East department. And after that, he got a PhD from the University of Jerusalem in the Middle East. And now he's gone, but he'll be back. He specializes in the Palestinian and the Israeli conflict and the ideas that we have, I think and I, you know what, I won't even say I'm not projecting the ideas that I have around the Israeli and the Palestinian conflict are incomplete. I don't know enough, but I do know that in many ways that I'm being called to take, pick a side. And that side is often. The Israeli side, because that's the where the U. S. money goes. That's, those are the flags that we see. Those are the conferences. Those are the folks that we seem to align with from a U.S. perspective. And so I wanted to make sure that, especially as we are coming out of Ramadan Eid. Was yes, 2 days ago and the day before that celebrating the end of the fast and as we are a neck deep in Arab American heritage month that we do have got a clarity of understanding around how it is that we are looking at the world and not just through the lens of. The folks who write the history, because until the lion learns to write his own story, we will only ever read it from the perspective of the hunter, but we've lost him for a second. Manny can you share with us how you met Dr. Al Awar?  

Manny: Sure. For some of you who do or do not know My partner does work with the Taub Center for Israeli Studies. So it's a nonpartisan cultural center here at NYU in New York City that took the approach of looking similar to the way that we look at any other country in terms of their studies. You have the American Studies. British studies, French studies, things like that to take a little bit more of a social cultural approach to this work earlier on right after October 7th, the director of the center who is  a professor from a University of Georgia that's now here at NYU is Her their work is around open dialogues around conflict in these spaces, especially particular in  that region. Brought in folks from all sides to have a live conference about this stuff. One of the big things that I think it also connects to OJ in a way is that  it's one of those things that's created divides and polarized. Communities, right? And it prevented a lot of people from having open conversations about everything that's in the middle there. Similar to what happened in October 7th there's a lot of folks who were polarized, anti Israel, Zionist, anti Gaza, anti Islam, Muslim there's so many anti whatever. or pro whatever that the conversation was never had about what was actually going on  and who was involved, right? It's similar to when I was working in Brazil. Everyone thought that if you watch procedural shows about America, It's only about violence and guns and things like that. But when you're and when you're thinking about the world from other perspectives, it's the only thing what on TV and stuff like that. There's a vast majority of folks who are moderates who don't want this. We don't like open conscription. We don't want to have this going on.  Professor was one of those folks who were speaking on that call conversing about what was actually happening and their true result in some of all these conflicts, right? Which is sad pain and truth that doesn't get resolved. So with that, I think I'll hand it back to Pepper to start the conversation.  

Pepper: Yeah, there you are. Thank you so much, Manny. I appreciate that. The background Dr. Al Awar the floor is yours. Please let us know what we need to know. 

Dr. Ali Al Awar: Thank you for all. I'm very sorry because that I participate. I think I have to start before half hour, but we can continue, we can participate together now. Yes, as I am Dr. Ali Al Awar. I hold the PhD at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the Middle East Studies Department. And my major is especially in, israeli Palestinian conflict and that's the main point in my discussion I think that's, my root is from Gaza I have a family at Gaza Strip in Deir el Balah City also I learned secondary school maybe at 18, thank you. I live in RB at Gaza, and every year I visit my family. But I left Gaza to Ramah to study at Bje University. I studied history for and I continue my studying at Israel University, the Hebrew. a university of Jerusalem, a master degree and PhD degree at Hebrew University. And I think that's very important that one Palestinian from Gaza Strip to study at Hebrew University and maybe to see and to learn about the Israeli society, about the culture about many things. Today I would like to present my many points about what happened in Gaza and the situation, political situation, education also, economic and social I think, in one word, Gaza is died without life. Everything is died in Gaza.  I think six, six months, six months of Gaza Strip, destruction, killing. Children, women we have the hope to make peace with Israel people. That's the peace is the best war and I think the best resolution for this conflict.  About 100 years, the world failed and the United Nations failed to solve this conflict. I think everyone in the world, after six months in Gaza, after killing children we talk about now 187 days. We talk about 40,000 people, Gazian, from Gaza killed. We talk about children. We talk about women. Why? What they did? Only because they lived in Gaza. Because they are Palestinian. So we have to change this picture. The picture is gloomy. We have to change it. Now we can talk about the story, the real story. About the occupation, about the settlement. Why?  We are like all the people in other, in all over the world. We need freedom. We need Palestinian independence state to live as like all the people in the world. Also, I would like to say, I'm against. I'm against killing Children. I'm against killing civilian people from both sides, from Israel  side and the Palestinian side. I'm against killing the Children and women so we can start from this point. That's we are against to killing civilian people. I think also  that's very important to, to ask the question why Hamas go to make this operation military at 7th October against the Israel settlement. We have many reasons  and I would like to remember to everyone I'm against. That's what Hamas did. To kill children and women, Israel.  That's a few back, maybe one year. That's the policy of Netanyahu government. The policy of Netanyahu government in Gaza Strip, in the West Bank. Netanyahu's government have two ministers. That's radical ministers, Ben Gavir and Smotrich. And everyone have a radical policy.  Ben Gavir encouraged the Jewish radical groups to enter Al Aqsa Mosque. Every day, he have a plan to divide Al Aqsa Mosque. Ben Gavir did not know what the relations, the connection between Al Aqsa Mosque and two million Muslims and the Palestinians. Al Aqsa Mosque became not only the religion identity, but it became also national identity for the Palestinian people. And Ben Gavir every day encouraged the radical Jewish groups to enter or to storm, not enter, to storm Al Aqsa. Mosque and Hamas Gaza Strip. 17 years closed Gaza closed. No one can enter. No one can go outside from Gaza. Can you imagine? Can you believe that  Gaza Strip 2,200,000 people inside a big person closed? Gaza was closed 17 years. Why? Because Hamas won the election in 2006  and all the war became against Hamas. Why? This is democracy. Hamas won the elections. It's okay. United I think also USA and Israel government and many Arabs. Regimes did not like Hamas to be as one of the political system in the Middle East. Palestinian people elected Hamas and Hamas won in the elections. Also, I think if we  go to the Israel policy in the West Bank, also that's the worst policy in the West Bank. We talk about 750 settlers. In the West Bank and Eastern, 350 settlements in West Bank. Why? We don't have land. They captured all our land. Every day, the settlers storm in the Palestinian villages. And fire cars and fire homes. And you remember When MRE called Fire Haa. Fire Haa Fire. Why  there, there are seven or 10 thousands people live in Haa when MRE called to fire Haa that he called to fire the people to fire the Palestinian people. So I think that, the policy of Israel government. That's especially Netanyahu government that causes more and more extrication between Palestinian and Israeli and  the Palestinian people and the Israel people. They, that's the result of policy of  NA's policy. And now all the world called for ceasefire now. Who is, did not  hear or to stop the war? Netanyahu,  only Netanyahu. And I think the the White House also, the White House know that Netanyahu stopped all the I think to became or to stop the to stop the war in Gaza Strip.  I think,  what about  the international human law, the international human law? Has to to save the people in the war. What about now one million and half people in Rafah? And Netanyahu  every day Netanyahu said, we decided to make military  operation inside Rafah. How can you do it? You have one million and a half people in Rafa, and I think we live now, the second Nakba, we have the first Nakba, as in 1948, and now we live also the second Nakba, the people without homes. No water, no food, no power, everything is died in Gaza. I think  the message for our meeting and I called  and I sent many message to American people and I think, I believe that you can make to change the decision in the the White House as please ceasefire now, every day. More 100 people in Gaza Strip killed children, women, every day. And if you remember Ramadan, the holy month for the Muslims, the holy month for the Palestinians. You cannot believe this is the holy month. Netanyahu did not  give any respect for two million Muslims. For all the Palestinian, for the Arabs, and he killed the people in Gaza. He killed them in Ramadan and in our holiday. I footer now third day, yesterday in mu camp before in Hanes, the first, in the first day of our eight,  200 people killed. What is the war? What is the people where is the international community?  Where is. No one can. No one can. No one have power to stop the war, to stop killing for the Children. I cannot believe we have to back to international human. And we have to make more power, more pressure on Netanyahu to stop. And I believe that's who can have this power. Only  President Biden. Only President Biden have this power to stop the war now. If he decided, he can stop the war now. And I called by your meeting. Ceasefire now. Ceasefire now. Ceasefire  

Pepper: Thank you, Dr. Al Awar. I have a couple of questions for clarification but I want to start at the end where you said Netanyahu has only the power to stop or and Biden can call on Netanyahu to stop the actions of bombing for those who don't know. Is Netanyahu an Israeli?

Is he a Zionist? You mentioned the Muslim holiday. Is he Jewish, so anti Muslim? How do we classify the actions? Who's on which side? Who's involved in the conflict? 

Dr. Al Awar: Yes, we have two points for this question. The first point, that's the ideology of Netanyahu. The ideology as he a Zionist and he did not believe to to be independent Palestinian state beside Israel state. He did not believe and he stopped every everyone who support or to to make or to recognize by the Palestinian independent state. This is the first. The second, I know what happened. What happened on 7th of October.  Everyone know in the world. So I think 7th of October changed everything changed. Everyone have to rethinking  what happened. But many I think in the Middle East, not only in Israel, also for the Palestinian political system. But the main point everyone have to back that we have to change. We have to change the bill for declaration. In 1917. We have to change that. Israel is only the have only the power in the Middle East. No, we, you have the other people, Palestinian people, everyone have to recognize for the political rights, we have politic, we need rights, we have political rights. We are 75 years under the occupation. So Netanyahu every day going to kill more Palestinians, only killing, destruction. Why? Because he have ideology? And he did not allow to be in future Palestinian independence state. And according to President Biden, he every day called and saying that this resolution, that's two states for the Israel Palestinian conflict. But he didn't do anything. 

Pepper: You also mentioned that Hamas took an action, took the action and. But  Hamas was elected in 2006, which was a very long time ago, a very long time ago. And my question is Hamas military, is there, are they a political power? Are they a military? Cause I, I don't know that I've ever seen a Palestinian military and I'm trying to understand who is, who are the players in the game? 

Dr. Al Awar: Yes, we have to we have to look into the Hamas for I think Hamas has a military power or a military movement Kata'ib al Jadid al Qassam,  and Hamas also as a political movement. Hamas is idea. Hamas is ideology. No one can destroy Hamas. Everyone has to know that this is So I think  Hamas has political leaders such as Ismail Haniyeh, Khalid Mishal, and others. On the other side, yes, Hamas have Mohamed Diab, have Yahya Sinwar, and others, I know. But we have  to to look to the Hamas as a political movement. Hamas, I think also as my major about the Islamic movements in the Middle East. That's in the middle. That's hama against dash, Hama against Jihad, Islamic Jihad, Hama against other Islamic movements. That's going as terrorism or others activities. So I think we have to.  May, maybe in future also, I believe maybe hamas make a peace agreement with Hamas. I think maybe also Hamad  have a political leaders have a political system movement and now who make negotiation with with Hamas make negotiation with the Smile Hania. He is the leader of Hamas and Cairo and dha. So please if we hear to Netanyahu that he said every day he will destroy Hamas, he will destroy Hamas. He cannot destroy Hamas,  only because  Hamas is idea. So no one can destroy that. The idea Hamas, if we looking about Hamas, looking for Hamas is in Washington, Hamas in Doha, Hama in Istanbul, in Malaysia and Indonesia and Turkey and the Middle East. Hamas is not one have the gun to kill them. No. So I think we all the world have to start to maybe to make the session with Hamas. And I think in future, Israel will make peace agreement with Hamas and with Palestinian people. And according to I think two states,  independent Palestinian state. 

Pepper: So the last question I have is, what is the difference between the Gaza Strip and Palestine? Are they the same place? Is Gaza Strip just a neighborhood of Palestine? Or, and why, what is special about it that Israel wants the strip?

Dr. Al Awar: Okay. Thank you. I teach I teach course about Gaza Strip. Okay. And the syllabus of this course, that's about what's about Gaza Strip. Gaza Strip, if we back to maybe 1948,  Gaza Strip is a small area.  365 kilometers square. And according to Rues  agreement, in 1949  after the the war in 1948 Gaza area 500 5550  kilometers square, you can see that Israel take also 150. from Gaza. And now Gaza is 365. Now Gaza, 365  kilometers squared. According to Rudy's agreement in 1949. Gaza  550 kilometers square. And now, Netanyahu calling for about the bolt zone, one kilometer I think Gaza became 100 kilometers.  2 million million according to Netanyahu.  Okay. Okay. No problem. I, back to your question about Gaza Strip. So  when we talk about the, his, the social or the historical social, economic, political and Gaza strip, all the people in Gaza, they're  coming as are refugees, senior refugees. We have aid. We have eight refugees camps in Gaza. And  we have eight refugees camp in Gaza. From where they come. They coming from their villages. They coming from villages and 1948, 1948. We have the neck bed. What about the neck bed? That's 700. 700. Get out from their villages, get out from their homes by the boar or by the guns and they leave their villages and go to Syrian camps, Jordan camps, Lebanon camps, as you hear about Burj al Barrajna, Sabra Chatella Ain al Halwa, and other refugees camps. Also, in Gaza, we have eight camps, refugees. When you talk about  Refugees comes in Gaza. So all the people is refugees. And finally, Netanyahu and USA  They're going to cut the money from UNRWA. That's the agency, UNRWA, give for the Palestinian people  food healthy, and the others help them. I remember when I was in the school when I aged I think 12. Every day in the morning we have milk to drink milk from honor watch and our clothes  from honor one. Now, Netanyahu and USA going to cut all the money from the honor one. How can the Palestinian people in this situation, especially after the war, can live without honor one? So also the second message I called from our meeting. To protect the honor one, to save honor one, to give more money for the honor one, to help the Palestinian people in Gaza strip. 

Pepper: You mentioned that there's  a lot of destruction, which we can see on television, but  how are, and there's no water, but people are surviving. What  should  we know about how people are living every day?

Dr. Al Awar: How wow. What about this question? How the people living now? Yes, without food. They're waiting umbrella or parachute to to coming from USA and Jordan. The people waiting the food by parachute Rafah crossing  is closed by Israel. Karam Abu Salim crossing is closed by Israel. We don't need barashot. We don't need to swimming in the sea to waiting for the food by barashot. What about the situation? The situation is very, is black, is very difficult. No food, no water. So the people did not live. The people, as I said, everything is died. Everything is died in Gaza. 70  from the homes destruction in Gaza Strip. 70 person. We talk about 40, thousands people killed. Every family, they killed. I missed five. I missed five from my family in their villa. I missed five.  Every family missed. Why? And Netanyahu continue for a military operation in Rafah to kill more 100 100, 000 people in Gaza Strip. I think there is no goals for Netanyahu. No, no object. He only likes to kill more and more. So I call for all the people, all the war. For all the world United Nations, everyone in the world to make more pressure on Netanya to stop the war since far now, the people did not like without homes, without everything, only water. Water. There is no water to drink for the people. So I think Netanyahu's plan to kill more and more Palestinian in Gaza Strip every day. 

Pepper: That feels very much the way, or sounds very much the way, that we've been talking about on a very different scale, how there are many 

Dr. Al Awar: No one can believe. No one can believe how the people living there, how can be living. I miss five of my family. Why? Why? Why he killed them? Four children and their woman.

Pepper: I'm  so sorry. 

Dr. Al Awar: And more families. This is the way no one can believe what happened in Ghazni Strip. No food, no water, no homes, and more killings every day. Thank you so much. 

Pepper: Dr. Al Awar, I cannot express to you the gratitude that I have for you sharing with us all of the things that are happening. I hope that all of us heard the call to action, that we reach out to our representatives and urge Biden to stop bombing. We've put, or we, Manny's put, A lot of information in the chat, how we can learn more and what it is that we can do to understand that it isn't about us versus them. We are all in this together as long as we occupy the earth at the same time, our struggles are tied together. And so thank you so much for joining us. And I. Offer my services in whatever way that I can give them to you  as meager and insufficient as they are. There are any questions, please drop them in the, please drop them in the chat, but I agreed. Many the most amazing thing about you, Dr., is that you have lost many people and you still advocate for peace. There would be so many people who would advocate for vengeance, for retaliation, but. Thank you. Thank you for the work that you are doing. Esperanza? 

Esperanza: I really feel deeply about this. About this because, people in high places are acting in ways that are extremely destructive and even genocidal toward people who have no power. And  that is so antithetical to. Any belief system that, espouses to have some connection to a creator, whether it's Muslim, whether it's Christian, whether it's, any faith I don't see how we can stand on, Any belief system and just ignore the atrocities that are taking place. I feel like Ali does definitely does not condone anything that happened on October 7th and none of us do.  Killing is wrong no matter who it's from. And that's what we, it seems like people in high places are taking out their frustration on the wrong people. And, it's just heartbreaking to watch and to know that it's only going to get worse. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the death toll that's about to happen because people can't get the supplies and the food and the basic necessities that they need. And the people who are trying to, even the people who are trying to supply them are being killed. So it's at some point you just have to call a spade. Some of this is deliberate. It's almost like sometimes it feels like they were just waiting for some type of event to justify just wiping out a whole group of people. And it's just wrong. And I get. Israel has the right to defend itself, no problem. But you don't have the right to just slaughter indiscriminately women, children, elderly, people who have no voice. And, sometimes I feel like, oh, why are we trying to figure it out over here in the U.S.? Those people are dying. 

Pepper: Great. We are trying to figure it out. There are people whose lives are on the line absolutely every day. And again, I cannot thank you enough, Dr. Al Awar, for sharing your story with us, for standing for ceasefire and for peace. There is a very long history of black and brown people standing in solidarity and the Palestinians who supported just drop some, a couple of those in the chat. I hope that some of the things that have been dropped in for y'all that you will have some time to read over the weekend when the notes go out, they'll be in there for you. And. I genuinely and sincerely hope that you had a wonderful and reflective Ramadan and that your celebrations yesterday, despite everything that was going on, and I know it sounds silly and I'm sorry to say it, but it's the  only thing that I know to hold on to is family and the people who love me and the people that I love. So I hope sincerely that you have moments with those people in ways that.  Help support you in the struggle in this fight. 

Dr. Al Awar: Netanyahu has refused also, Netanyahu refused only three days, three days after Ramadan month. Netanyahu refused to stop, to make three days only for the people, for the children to enjoy. After Ramadan month, we have holiday, three days. Netanyahu refused, rejected to give us three days to cease fire, only three days he rejected and refused and he did not have money, the world called for cease fire now, but Netanyahu he is alone. Rejected and refused and gonna to kill more and more people. Every day we have more hundred people killed and everyone remember, do you remember what happened in hospital? Do you remember 500 people killing in one minute? 500 in the chart? Not most. He destroyed mosques. I talk about the charge in my Madani charge in my Madani. What is the meaning of a hospital? It's inside the charge. He destroyed the charge and the hospital. 500 people, Palestinian people killed in one minute. And what happened in Shifa? 300 people  killed. And the second time in the first time, more thousand.  Every day he and the Israel Israel back to the Israel Army, back to Shifa. What? Why destroy the hospitals in Hanes Inal in Sheah Hospital? This is  hospital. Schools destroyed the schools. Mosque church destroyed. As I said, everything  is destroyed.  There is no life in Gaza. Please, Gaza became for death. Everything is died in Gaza. No life in Gaza. No water to drink in Gaza. No, no food in Ramadan. We cannot we, we cannot in the evening all the family sitting on the table to, to eat and we can see, and in the television, we can see more scene and kill. How can we make the food? How can eating? We cannot eating all the month of Ramadan. On the other side our nation, our people in Gaza without food. So please, everyone know what happened. Everyone know the real story. Only Netanyahu and the Israel army  destruction, killing every day. Again, please, I call for ceasefire now. It's enough. Enough. 40,000 people killed. What do you need, Netanyahu? What do you have other goals in Gaza?  So you have to back to Tel Aviv you and your army to get out from Gaza strip. Thank you. 

Pepper: If we can have hearts up for Dr. Al Awar. 

Dr. Al Awar: Thank you. Shukran. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for everyone. Thank you so much. Thank you. 

Pepper: Y'all that is that is a heavy way to start the day, but it is a necessary 1 the conversation that we were having just before Dr. Awar got on about the identification of camps and clans and how it is that we dig in to a very limited to a view that is based upon limited information. It is my hope. That we have more information so that we can make intelligent decisions around how it is that we engage not only with the people who are  supposed to be our elected  officials, but also with those who are around us that we are gentle with each other. We are there was a, as Esperanza mentioned, those who believe in higher powers are generally coming out of some sort of a fasting season that is reflective, that is supposed to be filled with love and care. Please reach out and put your arms around anyone, who is coming out of that season and hug somebody you love and somebody, thank you, Manny, because otherwise that would have been creepy. We will thanks again to everybody who was here this morning, particularly Dr. I know that we do have some other discussions around  the folks who are new neighbors as I like to call them to the Baton Rouge space. Who are immigrants, what are their challenges in the States? It feels very much as if much of the challenges are beginning with their, in their homeland, not a conversation we have not had, not a new conversation because otherwise there would be no reason to leave home. But with that said, I will make space for many, for Casey, for Dr. Awar to give us final thoughts. And with just the only word that I know how to say in Arabic is shukran, and I learned that from a movie. So I hope I'm pronouncing it properly. Thank you for being here. And that said we will shift to community announcements, and then we will let y'all go and be amongst the ones you love and the ones who love you right back. What's going on this weekend, y'all? 

Dr. Awar: Okay, only only in one minute. I invite you and academic tower and the West Bank  to see  the bullets of settlers in the West Bank in many Palestinian villages that  this invitation for every one of you. I invite you to the West Bank in Ramallah and take you and  a tower and the West Bank. To see in Nablus villages, Hebron villages, and the other villages, only to see on the ground, to see on the ground, the settlements, how the settlers captured and take more lands and more every day. This invitation, special invitation for you, everyone, for everyone here. 

Pepper: I am all about a field trip. 

Casey: I think that if so Dr. Awar peace be with you my friend. Thank you for sharing space with us today.  And  I just, I feel like community announcements can wait till next Friday. I think everything's going to fail in comparison, but the struggle here in the states in Louisiana is real. I know Jan was on here before. Everything that's happening at the Capitol is real. It's having real impact on people's lives, but in this moment, it feels minute. Compared to what was brought forth. So I would like to encourage everyone to move forward in love and peace today and through the weekend. I wish everyone the best. I wish everyone freedom and peace and prosperity for them, for their families. Heavy. So thank you all for sharing space today. Manny, thank you for making the connection. And Pepper for facilitating today. I appreciate y'all. And have a good weekend, everyone. Thank you. 




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