Sunday, January 4, 2009

Stories of Palestine -- “the birds that are your hands” -- with Sol Kelley-Jones and Nathan Beck

Left Click on Links Below to Listen to the Archived Version of this show.

Each Segment is about 15-20 minutes long; Right Click to Download for later listening.

Hour One, Segment One
Hour One, Segment Two
Hour One, Segment Three

Hour Two, Segment One
Hour Two, Segment Two
Hour Two, Segment Three

Photos by Sol Kelley-Jones

This is John Quinlan, with a description of a very special edition of "Forward Forum," a social justice-focused public affairs radio show, airing on WTDY, 1670 am in Madison, Wisconsin, Sunday evenings from 7-9 pm CT and streaming live and podcasting across the Internet on the website of WTDY. Send email to .

This show aired on Sunday, January 4th, and the following was posted just prior to the show:

Tonight, as Israeli troups advance upon the million and a half people living in the densely-populated Gaza Strip, following eight days of nonstop aerial bombardment that has killed and wounded hundreds of people, I ask you to contemplate what life must be like right now for the families and children of that war-torn land. And while the official Israeli government perspective on the current crisis can be found everywhere in the mainstream media, that same government has prevented the international newsmedia from entering the Gaza. As usually happens, the experiences of ordinary Palestinians are either going under-reported, or are simply going unheard.

And so on this week's show, through the eyes of two remarkable young adults, we hope to give voice to another important aspect of the Palestinian experience that usually remains invisible: the daily realities of life for families and children living in an Occupied land.

Our guests tonight are Sol Kelley-Jones and Nathan Beck, two committed 22-year-old college seniors who will share stories and insights gained from a journey they shared to the Israeli-occupied West Bank of Palestine in the early months of 2008.

Sol's poetry and prose and other multi-media depictions of life in the West Bank, juxtaposed with stories Sol experienced working on behalf of immigrant rights on the US-Mexican border near Tucson last summer, will be part of a play that Sol is writing and producing under the auspices of Madison’s Broom Street Theater. Entitled , “the birds that are your hands,” it will performed here for six weeks beginning March 19th.

Sol, a Madison native, traveled to the Middle East in the context of a Hampshire College internship, offering drama workshops with the goal of providing cathartic expression to Palestinian youth; Nathan, currently attending a liberal arts college in Lubbock, Texas, is a social justice and peace activist, whose work focuses on anti-colonialism. He grew up in Kenya, before returning to his native Texas as a teen. His social justice work with youth and adults has taken him to Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and most recently Palestine (in collaboration with the grassroots human rights group, Project Hope).

Sol and Nathan met in Palestine by chance, and their love has bloomed in the days since. This interview was conducted several days prior to the Jan. 4th, 2009 air date, on New Year's Day 2009, at Sol's family's home in Madison, during a holiday visit by Nathan.

As you tune in our program tonight (or listen later via podcast at wtdy dot com), we ask you to raise your deepest hopes and prayers tonight for all of the people of the Middle East, remembering especially the children….

This is the beginning of a new blog, that offers you the opportunity to respond to our programs, with your own observations and insights. Contact information for Forward Forum host/producer John Quinlan is at . We look forward to hearing from you.

Useful links
(provided by Sol Kelley-Jones and Nathan Beck)

Ma'an News Agency
B'tselem - Israeli Human Rights Group
The Electronic Intifada
Alternative Information
Free Gaza Movement
Project Hope(Nablus)
The Freedom Theatre (Jenin)
Birthright Unplugged

Independent news sources with fair coverage of the conflict in Israel/Palestine
Democracy Now!
Alter Net
Common Dreams

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