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Bear’s Christmas

Bear’s Christmas
A Christmas Story
Faysal Mikdadi
Dedicated to Naz; a very special friend.
“Dear reader”, I am no Currer Bell. I loved her Jane Eyre. Still, I could never write anything like it. The depth of feeling. The very passion. The intelligent story links – so well done that they are almost invisible. I wish that I could write like that. But I can’t. So, there you have it before we pen another word.
Still, despite my writing leaving a great deal to be desired, I do have a story to tell you. It is not mine. It was given me by my friend Michelle. She likes to collect real life stories. Indeed she seeks them out wherever she goes.
Of course, it was not her story. She had the narrative from a patient at our local psychiatric assessment centre. The patient concerned had kept a journal. For reasons that will become clear later on, the patient, let us call her Alice, gave Michelle the journal to do whatever she wished with it.
She, Michelle, passed it on to me. I have contacts in our local literary world. Michelle hoped that the work could be published to promote a better understanding of mental health issues.
Here are Alice’s journal entries over the week before Christmas.
18 December
Dr Müller has helped. She has been kind. Her faint German accent comforts me. It reminds me of the archetypal Hollywood psychiatrist. Without the beard of course.
Dr Müller says that I need to shed all the popular sentimental responses. She says that they relate to responding with pure feelings usually of sadness. Today she added nostalgia to sadness. I smiled when she said that. It took me back to my failed marriage. It also took me back to my horrible childhood.
I have no nostalgia for Robert’s abuse. His utter disregard for my feelings. His insistence on using me as some human object to demean. To sleep with. To push around.
I left our sixteen years of marriage after one violent incident too many. I had made the tea. I poured the water out. I had not previously turned the kettle on. The cup was cold. He threw the tea in my face. As I wiped my face he suddenly slapped me. Hard. I fell back and banged the back of my head. I lost consciousness. When I came to Robert had gone after tearing up several of my favourite books.
That was the last “sorry but you made me do it” that I was going to hear from him. I left that day with two black bin liners. Sixteen years of marriage and I carried out my whole life in two bin bags. Like the Credit Crunch of ten years ago, it looked like married life had left us all with very little return.
What on earth did I ever see in Robert? What?
He was handsome. Everyone said that. He had prospects. And he wrote poems for me. I thought that, at last, life was going to be really good. No more horrors from my home. Robert helped me to stop taking the blame for the abuse that I had received at home.
Then he took over.
I am not really responsible for being abused. I know that much. If that is so, why do I feel so bad about the abuse? As if I had done wrong.
I have often asked myself why it all happened.
My big eyes? Huge and brown? My small hands? He said that he liked the contrast…
go on readig here 🙂

Wo der Konflikt um Katalonien seinen Ursprung hat

Neue Züricher Zeitung

Separatisten in Europa – Warum der Wunsch nach Unabhängigkeit?




I just sent petition it to European Parlament,

but need signatures:

UFree Action Alert: Akram Rikhawi at risk

PETITION on UFree-site:

UFree Action Alert: Akram Rikhawi at risk

UFree Human Rights Network
Diabetic Palestinian prisoner Akram Rikhawi has been on a hunger strike for 83 days and is at imminent risk of dying. According to the World Medical Association, in most cases death occurs between 42nd and 72nd days of hunger strike. Rikhawi suffers from various chronic conditions: diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis, kidney problems, and deterioration of his eye lenses, high cholesterol, and immune deficiency. Due to these pre-existing conditions Rikhawi’s hunger strike has been even harder on his body, and already a month ago he was in very fragile condition. Now he is in a coma and his condition is deteriorating fast.
Akram Rikhawi went on hunger strike on 12 April as a protest when he was not granted early release on the basis of his medical condition and social circumstances. (He has got 8 biological children and 5 adoptive children.) He has requested for early release twice: in 2010, and on 5 June 2012. Every prisoner is entitled to ask to be considered for early release when at least two thirds of their sentence has been served. In all discussions, these factors were disregarded and a file with ‘secret information’ was the only material considered.
Rikhawi from Gaza was arrested by Israeli occupation forces in 2004 and sentenced to 9 years’ imprisonment by a military court.
During his hunger strike Rikhawi has only seen an independent doctor once, on 6 June. Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) has made numerous requests to gain access to Rikhawi, but Israeli authorities continually deny their requests. The situation for independent doctors to visit patients has gotten worse since the hunger strikes began earlier this spring. Now they have to apply for permission through the courts for every single visit, and often the courts deny, delay and obstruct their work, and thus prevent the basic human rights of the prisoners for proper medical health care.
Following the visit on 6 June, the PHR-I doctor reported that Rikhawi’s weight had decreased from 68 kilos to 50 kilos, which is a total loss of 26.5%. The doctor further determined that a combination of inflammation of prior chronic illnesses and the complications of hunger strike rendered hospitalisation immediately necessary, as he was at immediate risk of death. The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) medical centre is not a hospital, and according to the PHR-I it is not properly equipped to handle the physical deterioration and effects of long-term hunger strike.
Rikhawi has been held in the IPS medical unit in Ramleh ever since his initial arrest. On 14 June 2012 the Israeli District Court rejected a PHR-I appeal to transfer him to a civilian hospital despite his critical condition. The decision was based on a medical opinion of the IPS that denies that his life is in danger. According to the PHR-I, ‘this opinion is in complete contradiction to the one of the independent doctor, and is not referring to any medical data on which it is based. It also does not relate to the opinion of the independent doctor and the risks it cites.’ Last week Rikhawi was briefly hospitalised to a civilian hospital several times, but returned to Ramleh prison clinic. This moving back and forth a patient in such a critical condition could also amount to a medical neglect. Akram has also been shackled to his hospital bed with three limbs, even though he is in a very critical condition.
On Tuesday 19 June, an Addameer lawyer, Ms. Neddaf, noted following her visit to Ramleh prison medical clinic that Rikhawi was extremely tired, weak and weighed only 49 kilos. Furthermore, since 16 June, he has been refusing any vitamins and fluids through an IV. (The IPS doctors’ threats to force-feed and force-treat him, in addition to their determination not to recommend his medical condition as worthy of earlier release from prison, has led Rikhawi to regard them with deep distrust.) Though he is sustaining himself on water alone, Ms. Neddaf was troubled to observe that even drinking water was very difficult for him and he was only able to consume approximately one litre per day.
I urge you to take the following actions without further delay:
1. Demand that Israel move Akram to a civilian hospital and to allow independent doctors to visit him frequently and without impediments, and lift the ban on family visits.
2. To actively put pressure on Israel to end the arbitrary use of administrative detention, and condemn the punitive measures used to quell the efforts of the hunger strikers, who are engaged in legitimate protest.
3. Call for a fact finding mission to be organised by the European parliament to examine Israel’s treatment to Palestinian political prisoners and specifically hunger strikers.

Gerechtigkeit für Gaza – justice for Gaza – justicia para Gaza – justice pour Gaza

SOS Kinderdörfer

1949 von Hermann Gmeiner
1949 baute Hermann Gmeiner das erste SOS-Kinderdorf im österreichischen Imst.Er verwirklichte eine ebenso einfache wie bahnbrechende Idee: Jedes Kind braucht eine Mutter und wächst am natürlichsten mit Geschwistern in einem eigenen Haus innerhalb einer Dorf-Gemeinschaft auf.
Dank der Unterstützung unserer vielen Freunde und Paten konnten wir in allen Erdteilen neue SOS-Kinderdörfer bauen und so Kindern in Not ein Zuhause geben.Die SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit sind ein unabhängiges, nichtstaatliches und überkonfessionelles Hilfswerk für Kinder.
Wir haben es uns zur Aufgabe gemacht, notleidenden Kindern zu einem besseren Leben zu verhelfen.Die SOS-Kinderdörfer sind weltweit in 132 Ländern aktiv: In über 500 SOS-Kinderdörfern wachsen derzeit ca. 58.000 Mädchen und Jungen auf. Sie wachsen dort behütet und mit der Liebe einer SOS-Mutter in einer Familie auf; zusammen mit Geschwistern, in einem Haus innerhalb einer Dorf-Gemeinschaft. Wir ermöglichen unseren SOS-Kindern eine Ausbildung und begleiten sie in ein selbständiges, menschenwürdiges Leben.Die SOS-Kinderdörfer stehen auch Kindern und Familien bei Katastrophen und in Krisengebieten bei. Spezielle Angebote richten sich auch an bedürftige Kinder und Familien, die in der Nachbarschaft der Dörfer leben. Wir helfen diesen Familien, damit sie ihren Kindern den Schulbesuch ermöglichen können und bieten medizinische Hilfe.Insgesamt kommt die Arbeit der SOS-Kinderdörfern über 1.250.000 Menschen zu Gute. Möglich ist das nur mit eurer Hilfe!
Helfen kann man bei SOS auf vielen Wegen: Informiere Dich gleich hier unter „Helfen“! Du kannst z.B. eine eigene Spendenaktion ins Leben rufen, eine Patenschaft für ein Kind oder ein SOS-Kinderdorf übernehmen oder ganz einfach mit einer Online-Spende helfen. Jeder Beitrag hilft!

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