Thursday, October 05, 2006

Getting out of my Navel

God my problems are so damn trivial.

I've been reading Salam Pax and listening to the Smiths to get some perspective on my PMT (Premenstrual Thesis) gloom.

but then I got this in my email inbox

Here's the text version if the images are indecipherable

On the *14th of October, 10.30 am, at Sydney Town Hall,* Friends of
Lebanon-Australia along with other community groups has organised a
*public memorial for the Lebanese who have died in the recent war*.

In the weeks following the war it became clear that many Lebanese
Australian families have lost friends and relatives and were privately
in mourning. We felt it important that this mourning be public as well.
We were also keen that such a public event does not become a 'Lebanese
community event' but an Australian event where as many non-Lebanese as
possible can come to join the Lebanese in their mourning. This is why
the event is held at Sydney Town Hall.

Muslim Lebanese Australians have been on the receiving end of a lot of
negative stereotyping, prejudiced ill-feelings and discriminatory
behaviour from various sections of our society for far too long. It is
time for those of us who disagree with this this state of affairs to
not only be critical with those who peddle racism and prejudice, but to
take the more positive step of embracing the victims and showing them that
we regard them fully and unconditionally as part of our Australian
community. Joining them in their mourning is an important way of doing
so. Integration is not only about migrants adopting our values. It is
also about us learning to share their sorrow and pain.

We wish this event to be focused on a politics of inclusion within an
Australian context rather than on the Middle Eastern politics that
clearly underlies it. This is a unique opportunity, for those of us who
wish to do so, to assert an inclusive politics of friendhip in the face
of the incessant politics of hatred and division that is becoming part
of our everyday lives.

We urge you to join us in solidarity and to do your best to circulate
this invitation.

Ghassan Hage
For Friends of Lebanon, Australia.

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