Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"Unrecorded" in Istanbul

I'm in Istanbul this week to present the You Are Not Here urban tourism mashup project that I narrated and helped present last year in Rotterdam, this time at a gallery in Istanbul. The exhibition is called "Unrecorded".

Noor has come along for the ride, Yousuf (much to his dismay) has been left behind this time.

I'm writing to see if any readers of my blog happen to be in Istanbul (I seem to remember at least one) and wouldn't mind meeting up, maybe giving me the local scoop. I'm at a bit of a loss seeing as how I speak no Turkish (maybe besides the words that happen to overlap in Arabic...tamam, kofte, meydan, etc).

My mother is traveling with me. We continue to keep abreast of the situation back home. Last time we spoke with my cousin Sunday morning, usually the optimistic and cheerful type, all was not well. "Our lives are difficult; so very difficult. We are living in dark and desperate times" he said solemnly. He said a building next to his was leveled-with all the occupants still inside of it- with no advance warning. And that because cement has run out, bodies are being buried with no gravestones to mark them.


Blogger Alexandra said...

I wish there was a way to help!

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your cousin - the situation is just tragic. I am curious if you have faith in your leaders in Gaza. Yesterday I saw them at rallies encouraging further rocket attackes on Ashkelon and beyond. Doesn't it seem better to stop them? This might bring an end to immediate suffering.

6:36 AM  
Blogger dreamessence said...

Inshallah, you are in my prayers always :)


5:22 AM  
Blogger ict Leefschool Toverbol said...

Dear Laila,

I am a woman from Belgium ( Antwerp ). Since I was very young I'm interested in the Palestinian situation. Now, many years later I see it's only getting worse. I'm standing here, far away and helpless... What can I do to help your people? I hope all the best for you and your family and hope things soon get better. From now on I will follow your diary,
Greetings, Tine

2:37 PM  
Blogger s said...

I contacted my friends in Istanbul but noone seems available..

3:38 PM  
Blogger ahmed! said...

I hope nice time for you. I am in Istanbul from 4 weeks ago, How I can contact you.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Jess said...


I'm so annoyed at myself -- you posted on the 4th, and it's already the 11th. I've been so busy I haven't had much time for blog reading or blogging of my own, but I *am* in Istanbul. If I can be of help, drop me a line at my blog. I don't speak much Turkish either, but I'm sure you've found that people here are generous with their time and assistance to yabanciler....

Best wishes!

8:17 PM  
Blogger A Father From Israel said...

Hi Laila, it is the first time I am reading your blog and I must tell you your blog is disturbing. You call your self a Mother, one can expect a mother and journalist to cover both sides, to have some kind of understanig of the situation.
Today is March 12, 2008 and few day a ago a terror attack at the Mercaz Harev yeshiva in Jerusalem was a terrible act, killing 8 kids.
Not even one words from you? what are you? All victims created equal, do not you think so?
I do, I hope that your blog will also tell us about you living in Gaza under Hamas Islamic Fascists.
The Only thing Hamas brought was division and hate.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so sorry Laila, I could not read your blog for several days, I can help you of course. I wish I could meet you. Still in İstanbul?

Elif Betül

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so sorry Leyla, I could not read your blog for several weeks, of course I could help. I wish I saw you in İstanbul. sorry.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people from all over world are with you.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salaam and Hello.
I have read your blog before, but this is my first posting. Mostly I am interested in your blog because I will in a similar situation--living with my kids in the West Bank apart from their father who works in the U.S.

Although my situation is less dangerous than yours (Gaza is suffering terribly, may God bless you), I wonder about how you feel about having your son there...post more about how you deal with that...I need to read it! (oh, and for Mr. Israel...have you posted on your blog every time a child is killed in Gaza? Lets have a look at ourselves before we criticize others--sometimes you can learn a thing or two that way).

1:42 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Do you have any reflection on the suffering of the Kurds while you visit Turkey. How many Kurd's have been relocated by Turkey? How many have been killed? Isn't Turkey fight against the Kurds just a larger version of the Israeli and Palestinian fight?

6:50 AM  
Blogger betul said...

let's test your theory about the parallelism between Turks-Kurts and Israelian-Palestinian. And of course between Pkk and Hamas.

Turks(the people which live in Turkey, not the others): a nation which came with the migrations between the 6th and 11th centuries and located in Anatolia in 1040, and live since that date in there. I hope you read some history, Selçuklu and Osmanlı are known with their justice. Pax Ottomana dispensed justice to Muslims, Jews, Christians and all the nations for centuries. But, sure you accept, this land are not promised us, we earned it with our blood.

And believe me, I am a Turk and I am not free in this country, too. I can not go my school, I can not work everywhere, I can not do every job in this country because of my headscarf. You are not the only human who fight against bans and inequity.

Israelians(israiloğulları): Israel is a semi-mythological, semi-theological, imaginative country. Its history is only myth. There is no real demographic backround in this region. They established with aliyahs. If they accepted the offer of England, it would establish in Argentina or Cyprus, maybe I would read this blog as "diary of a Turkish mother", not of a Palestinian mother. They lived in Kudüs, yes, but, it was 2000 years ago. Let's listen to Ben-Gurion, the first prime-minister of Israel;
David Ben-Gurion told Nahum Goldman :
"Why should the Arabs make peace? If I was an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. Sure, God promised it to us, but what does that matter to them? Our God is not theirs. We come from Israel, it's true, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?"
As you predict, I am not jewier than Ben-Gurion, I agree him and they don't live in "the promised land", they live in "the stolen land"


Pkk: Pkk is a terrorist organization. Much than 30.000 humans was killed by Pkk in Turkey. But I want you to know, Pkk harm Kurdish people as much as Turkish State. In my opinion, the oppressed humans have no nations, have no religions. I can mourn all the innocent and oppressed humans in this world, whatever they become, because I am not a racist and I have a conscience. But I wonder, did you feel sad for the humans who killed by pkk?

Hamas: Hamas has a very different situation from Pkk. It is a social role in Palestine. They establish hospitals, rehabilitate education in country, help poor people in need. Of course, I am against suicide attacks. And our prophet says that "Anyone who killed a person kill the whole world." I pray Hamas see that point.

I become grateful, if you write the similar point that you mentioned.

And I hope, you understand the difference between my Kurdish roommate in dormitary and yourself.

4:12 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

There is obviously a huge difference history between Turkey and Israel. If you really want to distinguish Turkish current history from Israel, support the right of the Kurdish provinces within Turkey the opportunity to vote for autonomy and if desired eventual independence.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Di Mackey said...

I wish I had read this in time, I have a lovely friend over there, an anthropologist called Erkan.

His blog is a good way of staying in touch with the Turkish media http://erkansaka.net/

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As-Salaamu- Alaikum Sister Laila, I just seen you and heard your father, ON CNN, and what is happening there in Gaza is the results of the UNITED NATION initial action to cause the problem that's going on there. They, the UNITED NATION is the one who's going to be the one to solve the problem. The same Jim Crow Statue of hate that was used in the United States that brought about the Israeli State! The United Nation Has the means to immediatetly stop and sanction the Israeli to stop. The killing that's going on there. What they are doing is the same thing what happened to the Original entitled landholders, The Native American Indians and enslavement of black African Americans here in America. I pray ALLAH BRING VICTORY AND PEACE TO ALL IN GAZA AND THE MIDDLE EAST TO LIVE TOGETHER IN PEACE,AS-ASALAAMU-ALAIKUM, SISTER KHALIFAH, SERVANT OF ALLAH

6:30 AM  

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