Racial Vilification Legislation

By The Hon. SHAOQUETT MOSELMANE
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Attorney-General sought to make changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, specifically to repeal section 18C. Section 18C states that we cannot offend, assault, humiliate or intimidate any other person or a group of people because of their race, colour, national or ethnic origin. The Abbott Government wanted to get rid of this section by arguing that it restricts "free speech". Attorney-General George Brandis went further by stating that "People have a right to be bigots." We have a new Federal Government, a new Senate and, alarmingly, a cohort of Senators who are intent on revisiting this issue. Rather than show leadership, the response of Prime Minister Turnbull was astonishing, describing the call to repeal section 18C as having "worthy arguments" in favour of softening the Racial Discrimination Act but that the issue is not a current "priority" for his Government. This is nothing less than outrageous.

Adopting the proposed changes to section 18C would be a disaster for us as a nation and more so for religious minorities. In fact, the Racial Discrimination Act and Anti-Discrimination Act in New South Wales fails to address the sufferings that religious minorities face on a daily basis. There are more than 500,000 people in the Australian Islamic community and they need the protection of the law against persistent religious abuse. The abuse is so prevalent that it has become persecution on a collective scale. This collective punishment of the Australian Islamic community must stop. According to a 2015 human rights report, Muslim Australians experience discrimination, vilification and abuse on a daily basis. In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald on 5 November 2015, Judith Ireland and Beau Donelly stated:

During consultations with more than 130 community, legal, university and government groups this year, discrimination against Muslims was "consistently raised as a significant concern. Many participants labelled anti-Muslim discrimination a daily or regular occurrence"...

In an article entitled "Religion and the Racial Discrimination Act: Don't Muslims Also Deserve Protection?" Mariam Veiszadeh noted:

A decade-long national study conducted by the University of Western Sydney found that nearly half of Australians describe themselves as having anti-Muslim attitudes.

Legal protections would only apply to an Australian Muslim, for example, if one was abused as—excuse my language—an effing Lebanese Muslim, because their race is identified. Whereas to be abused as an effing Muslim, which is attacking a person because of his faith, will provide no protection. It has been said on many occasions that the Racial Discrimination Act has a limited ability to protect Muslim Australians. I say it has no ability because it only covers discrimination or vilification based on race, colour, ethnicity, national origin or immigrant status—not religion. Muslims are not a race of people but followers of a faith across the racial and language divide. It is therefore critical to add religious vilification offences in the Racial Discrimination Act and Anti‑Discrimination Act. I urge the Government to introduce a bill to amend the Anti-Discrimination Act to address the pain of the community.

In her article entitled "We need to call out the double standards in Australia's Anti-Discrimination Laws", Mariam Veiszadeh highlights the inadequacies in the Racial Discrimination Act and notes that women across the country have been assaulted, spat on, had their prams kicked, have been punched from behind, have had abuse hurled at them, have had hot coffee thrown in their face, have been told to leave an entertainment venue, have been assaulted and thrown off trains, have been verbally intimidated, have had their cars vandalised, and have been forced to restrict their public movements out of fear. This cannot go on without action.

I ask the following questions. Why are Australian Muslims still not afforded adequate protection under the State and Federal vilification laws? Why are Muslims in New South Wales, which has the largest proportion of Muslims, left without protection? Why do the States of Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, and Northern Territory cover religious discrimination in their legislation but New South Wales does not? Is it because Muslims do not have a lobby group, or the power of big business from which to lobby governments, or is it because they do not have a powerful voice in mainstream media? Do Muslims not deserve protection? I urge all members not to sit in silence in the face of continued religious vilification against our fellow citizens. We must amend the law to provide Australian Muslims with the protections they need.

 The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC.
Opposition Whip
Parliament of New South Wales
Parliament House
Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
 02 9230 2526 || � 02 9230 2722
S.moselmane@parliament.nsw.gov.au
http://www.shaoquettmoselmane.com.au

Luke Foley.. Lebanon visit

 By Sandra Kaltoum -
If you have recently run into Luke Foley, Leader of the NSW Opposition, chances are he has pulled out his iPhone and shown you photos of his recent trip to Lebanon. If you have been lucky enough to witness his excitement at recalling the sacred and beautiful sites he visited in a country so many of us have a cultural affinity to, while smiling encouragingly as he struggles with the names of villages like Zgharta, then you would have also witnessed his strong admiration for the country and its people, both those in Lebanon and those in Australia.

I recently met with Mr. Foley to discuss his trip to Lebanon, to learn more about the things he saw and his perceptions of the country from political, cultural and religious standpoints. Mr. Foley spent six days in Lebanon, from 20-25 April this year. He recalls that the spring weather was beautiful. Crisp with a little snow still visible on the mountain tops in the north, “I’m sure it’s all melted now though” Mr. Foley says, almost proud that he caught the last sight of the contradicting weather that exists in such a small country.

Mr Foley draws comparisons between the village in NorthernIreland where his wife grew up, Augher, also affected by civil war, and Lebanon. He laments the devastating effects that political insecurity can have on a country and its people, but remarks that the Lebanese diaspora, particularly those in Australia, remain ever-vigilant and concerned about the welfare of Lebanon. He remarks that “there is a strong political movement even among the diaspora who keenly stay up to date with the political situation in Lebanon and join parties in Australia to show there support for political improvement overseas”. He contrasts this with his observations of the Irish diaspora who, through their devastation, have turned away from political involvement in Ireland.

While in Lebanon, Mr Foley visited many political leaders. “I will be very disappointed if somebody I didn’t visit becomes the President of Lebanon,” he jokes. Despite his humour, he is sincere about his wishes for improvement in Lebanon’s political situation and agrees with me when I remark that the lack of a president is damaging for the morale within Lebanon and the perception of Lebanon internationally.  He met withSheikh Amine Gemayel,Dr Samir Geagea, General Michel Aoun MP, and MrSleimanFrangieh MP. He also met former Prime Minister Saad El Hariri, Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi, Foreign Minister GebranBassil, Speaker NabihBerri, Future Movement MP Kazem El Kheir, Lebanese Forces MP FadiKaramas well as visiting numerous other political figures and Mayors.

Mr Foley also acknowledged the strong connection between the Lebanese people and their religious beliefs. This strong connection was reflected in Mr Foley’s itinerary. Mr Foley met with the Patriarch of Lebanon, Mar Bechara Boutros Al Rai, the Grand Mufti of Lebanon Sheikh Abdel-LatifDerian and Sheikh Ali Fadlallahas well as visiting numerous religious sites including the Church of St Charbel. He celebrated mass at “Mar Ramanous” and visited the shrine of the late former Prime Minister, Rafic Hariri.  He mentioned that he attended one lunch with both Muslim Sheikhs and Orthodox Priests at El Minieh. He remarked, “The interactions between people of different faiths was a great sign of the harmonious future that awaits Lebanon”.

On the last day of Mr Foley’s visit, 25 April, he attended an ANZAC Day service at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery with the Australian Ambassador, Mr Glenn Miles. The experience was a reminder for Mr Foley of the sacrifice that Australian soldiers have made all over the world.

If you ask Mr Foley whether or not he will visit again, the standard reply is “Definitely, I cannot wait to take my family with me to Batroun.”

If you would like to see photos of Mr Foley’s trip, follow this link:https://www.facebook.com/LukeFoleyNSW/videos/622516224582878/




Farewell function for Miss Enas El Ganzouri







By Dr. Safwat Riad
These are photos of the farewell function for Miss Enas El Ganzouri which was organized by the Australian Egyptian Council Forum whose chairman Professor Refaat Obeid represented an award to her as well as another award represented to her by the Upper Egypt Association in Australia by the chairman General Gaddalah GAdallah in the presence of the staff of the Egyptian Consulate in Sydney  with  Ambassador H.E. Mr Youssef Shawki and his wife.

Sharing every one the best wishes for Miss Enas El Ganzouri all the best in her diplomatic career.

Eid-ul-Fitr festival 2016




After a buildup of expectation, the two days of festivity and commemoration finally arrived at the Sydney Eid Festival at Bankstown’s Paul Keating Park. Both Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th of July marked a celebratory time for hundreds of multicultural communities to rejoice with great devotional fervor and enthusiasm on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.
It was this bubbly atmosphere and vibrant diversity that made it such a privilege for the Islamic Charity Projects Association to organize this breath-taking event, and to also be an active participant in the midst of such a magnificent festival.
The Muslim Community Radio with all its staff and volunteers were also delighted and proud to convey through its airwaves, the excitement and joy brought about by the rich presentations and sensational chanting performances by the ICPA chanting band.
The day fostered a climate of warmth, togetherness and openness as Muslims greeted each other with kindness, and extended their best wishes to each other, sentiments which reflected the general aura of the Sydney Eid festival, a promotion of culture, friendship, harmony and a showcase of participation of various communities in celebrating and valuing cultural diversity, tolerance and social cohesion.
Participants were also treated to thrilling rides, enriching live Islamic chanting performances, face painting, stage entertainment, abundant stalls of food, clothing, books and home wares.
Focus was also drawn to the kid’s show which was presented live at the grounds of Paul Keating Park Bankstown. The 2MFM kids show presenters gave exclusive opportunities to many children who participated and were rewarded for their efforts. 
The second day of the festival saw the attendance of a number of dignified Islamic leaders and imams, distinguished members of the state political domains, in addition to councilors and other community leaders.  
The formal program began with a recitation from the holy Qur’an, followed by speeches from a number of key community figures.
The first to speak was Mr Mohamad Chams, ICPA Sydney branch manager who underlined some of the objectives of the Islamic Charity Projects Association.
“The Islamic Charity Projects Association, is an Association that aspires and sets an example by uniting community members towards achieving good deeds”
In his speech, Shiekh Ibrahim El-Shafie, Deputy Chairman of Darulfatwa acknowledged the significance of propagating the true teachings of Islam.
“That’s what we are working hard to achieve, to spread the correct knowledge about Islam, because Islam is the religion of moderation, sympathy and mercy, contrary to what those minorities are doing from the acts that do not belong to Islam in any way and that Islam disowns in all cases”
Ms Tania Mihailuk, MP Member for Bankstown Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services, Shadow Minister for Social Housing, Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Shadow Minister for Medical Research, also reflected the honor to be invited to ICPA’s significant multicultural festival and is proud to have an association such as ICPA in her electoral area.

Mr Paul Lynch MP Member for Liverpool congratulated the ICPA and Darulfatwa for their momentous achievements over the last two decades
“The things that the ICPA and Darulfatwa have achieved over the last two decades have been quite extraordinary, their growth has been very significant, increased institutions, and expansion, is an extraordinary tribute, first to the people who run it, to those who are organizing it and to the community in general. It is a very significant achievement in this part of the world to have done what you’ve done”
 “It is a great honor as a member of Parliament to be able to share in any number of multicultural festivals, particularly the ones with great significance such as Eid”
In his speech, 2MFM Radio chairman Mr Rafic Hussein acknowledged that the role of the Muslim Community Radio, 2MFM, is paramount in helping to build diversity in Australia.
“Our work at 2MFM over the past decade has been an integral to bringing communities together and in promoting constructive community relations, collaboration and of course engagement”
“Our work together has helped project the true and moderate teachings of Islam, to steer young Muslims away from extremism and away from those radical ideologies that we have all witnessed and of course to unite and build confidence in our diverse community”
Mrs Faten El-dana, President of Muslim Womens Welfare Association also recognized the popularity of the Sydney Eid festival.
“The Eid-ul Adha festival which for many years has been annually organized mainly by the ICPA in collaboration with other local organizations, has succeeded in gaining popularity among the diverse Muslim community. It is a special atmosphere of peace, giving and receiving as well as sharing and caring”
She also placed emphasis on many of the issues facing women within ethnic communities including domestic violence.
“As an organization focused on addressing women’s issues, it is of great concern that we address the terrifying issue of physical violence that Australian women are facing every day”.
Finally, the last to speak was Mr Abdul Ghaniyy Ghannoum, President of the Australian Muslim Youth League, who conveyed the aims and ambitions of AMYL.
“We are working very hard in teaching the religion of Islam to the youth, the religion of moderation, steering them away from violent extremism”
Finally, The Islamic Charity Project association extends their deepest appreciation to those who contributed to the success of the event. We ask Allah to endow upon us goodness and blessings from this auspicious occasion.

Amal Awwad Radwan (Palestine) Autobiography Translated by: Nazih Kassis, Ph.D.

Amal is only a green girl who emerged from the ashes of a homeland in a Phoenician nest a long time ago. Fates  brought her onto a slope of a moment that burns with impossible dreams in a tumult of darkness that flourishes with tragedies.  She is still devoting her life to chastity, playing on the flute of her hoarse sadness her cloudy radiances, and still swaying on the edges of a holy drop that is brimful with the pulse of a beam that is called "life!"

She fell in love with music and singing; she learned how to play the violin when the fingers of her childhood bloomed on the strings and musical scales. The school songs and hymns dallied with her throat, which chanted with the school chorus till her presence was donned with compulsory absence for years only to reappear in the choral of the Palestinian Jawqat al-Karawan / The Cuckoo Chorus!

Her matured feet fell deeply in love with the heritage of folk dancing; her sea steps had a watery flavor that dance with the shadows of a youth that is filled with elegance in a Dabka folk dancing group, in addition to scout activities and many other activities that fill a soul of a young girl that jumps voraciously to life!     

As for the taste of extensive reading and stories and novels, there have been  flights of desire that land on her breaths to the level of Sufism and worship since her eyes were connected with the ladders of letter decoding; the hidden pen in her pants and under her pillow has had a clank that talks to her whenever the drizzle of its pulse decreased in its  whiteness; it would open its fiery mouth, drawling its magic, as if it urged her to embrace it whenever the places became narrow for it, and whenever it became thirsty to her wine. She would fly with it in the heavens of her floods; when she sobers up, she would tear what she had written and the threads that she has woven out of her passion to erase every trace that allows the other to realize what is boiling in her soul, and because literature has a lofty place and great awe, she feared to encroach upon it or push herself into a fix, from which she would not have salvation.    

After secondary school, the period of her exile from her shining  childhood started. The snowy rooms of her university studies robbed her of the fire of her activity, and consequently, the responsibilities of marriage, family and her teaching job occupied her, and her main  role became exclusive to a new stage - building another lovable world to her, which is far from her and very close to her- the family in its whole large responsibility, and at the same time, and under the fascination of motherhood, a crazy passion for giving grew in her, despite the tenderness and cruelty of life; the incense of memories was filled with her pride, and saturated her with the perfume of the fleeing childhood.

Between the eyelashes of her days and the pillows of her nights, Amal toured in the depth of a barrenness that has no borders of emptiness; once she is taken by a nap of lethargy in exploring the past, and once she wakes up from the amazed shell of her feelings; soon the age-old gap between the I, the other, and the universe; between the buffoonery of loss that roars disturbance and the unquenched flaming cups of the inns of sins, while homeland  is lying in sighs of pain that squeeze a hope from the orchards of the impossible!

The bitter sweetness of the transparency of reality nor did the festivals of life succeed in crucifying her on the pillars of the theatres and stadia of life; she silently and quietly took refuge in the cave of the alphabet, and secluded herself in it like a hermit, possessed by the magic of meditation, where she could select meteors of letters that sparkle with ripeness, and that were about to fall accidentally into the crematory of pain, or the temptations of the roads were likely to throw burning pebbles at her, but she tried to pick with the fingers of her imagination those stinging and burning letters in order to wet the passion of her tattooed aspirations with a sobbing of salvation that might come!

The gleams of faith waved in the purity of her souls frequently, clamouring with seasons of penetration and faces of beauty into a warm future; her breaths inscribed her an engraved and coded sigh onto a gravestone of a lifetime that chases her and escapes in her wakefulness, paying no attention to a side-glance that is crowded with sorrow. 

"The Magic of Words" is my borrowed Oldman, the shepherd of my postponed waiting at the mouth of his green cave, guarding by his amulets and torches the arbors of my orchards when  the vine leaves of my heart climbed my heart and robbed memory, and my emotional texts, which are accumulated on the shelves of unpicked spaces, and which the clusters of their face lineaments were dissolved onto the plates of innocence through the Net pages, in order to eternalize the wonder of silence that moved like the wind upon the shadows of seasons and lifetime, till a fertile gleam flashed into the laps of a masked cloud from whose gown Amal Awwad drizzled, and since then, Amal's hopes have been sparkling till now with the following works:

1.    Basma Lawziyya Tatawahhaj,  (Poetry), 2005
2.    Salami Laka Mataran, (Poetry), 2007.
3.    Rihla ila Unwan Mafqud (Poetry), 2010
4.    Adamawzuki wa Tata'ashtarin (Poetry), 2015
5.    Ru'a (Essays) 2015.
6.    Hatfi Yatarama 'al Hudud Nazfi (Poetry readings in Amal Awwad Radwan (Poetry), 2012
7.    Sindyanat Nur Abuna Spiridon Awwad. (Prepared) by Amal Radwan. 2014.
8.    Amthal Tarweeha Qissas wa Hakaya. (Prepared) by Amal Radwan
9.     al-Ishraqa al-Mujannaha/ Lahzat al-Bayt al-Awwal min al-Qassida: Certificates to 131 poets from the Arab world. (Participation). Introduction by Cherbel Dagher. 2007
10.     Nawaris min al-Bahr al-Ba'id al-Qarib. Al-Mashhad al-Shi'ri al-Jadeed fi Falastin al-Muhtalla.
11.     Mahmoud Darwish / Surat al-Sha'ir bi 'Uyun Falastiniyya Khadra' 2008.

Books about Amal's poetry:
1.    Min A'maq al-Qawl – Qira'ah Naqdiyya fi Shi'r Amaal Awwad Radwan. By Critic: Abd al-Majid Amir Atmizah/ Manshurat Mawaqif.2013.
2.    Kitab bi al-Lugha al-Farisiyya: Ba'idan 'an al-Qarib. Beh Dor Az Qaywq. Amal Awwad Radwan. Preparation and Translation by: Kamal al-Nassari. 2014
3.    Kitab Istintaq al-Nass al-Shi'ri (Amal Radwan Unmothajan). By Alwan al-Salman. Printed by: al-Jazira, 2105.

•    Her poetry has been translated into several languages including: English, Italian, Romanian, French, Persian, and Kurdish.
•    Her book Basma Lawziyya Tatawahhaj was translated into French by: Farah Souames, Algeria.

Awards:
2008: She was awarded the title of: The poet of the Year 2008 at Forums that join the group of Poets with no Borders.
2011: She was awarded the Creativity Award in Poetry. Dar Ni'man li al-Thaqafa in its 9th Season.
2001: She was awarded the Shield of Diwan al-'Arab, for writing a large number of articles and high-level literary texts.
2013: She was granted The Woman's Award by Mu'assasat al-Muthaqqaf al-Arabi in Sidney, Australia, for her creative writings in the Press, and her press interviews  about Palestine.
Forthcoming Books:
•    A book about the cultural scene among the Palestinians of 1948.
•    Six books that include reports about the literary scene among Palestinians of 1948.
•     The Green Cultural Scene: 48. Cultural Reports. (from 2006-2015).
Current Position: Editor of : alwasattoday:
http://www.alwasattoday.com/ar/culture/11193.html        

سيرةٌ ذاتيّةٌ- آمال عوّاد رضوان/ فلسطين
آمال؛ ليست سوى طفلةٍ خضراءَ انبثقتْ مِن رمادِ وطن مسفوكٍ في عشٍّ فينيقيٍّ منذ أمدٍ بعيد!
أتتْ بها الأقدارُ، على منحنى لحظةٍ تتـّقدُ بأحلامٍ مستحيلةٍ، في لجّةِ عتمٍ يزدهرُ بالمآسي، وما فتئتْ تتبتـّلُ وتعزفُ بناي حُزْنِها المبحوحِ إشراقاتِها الغائمةَ، وما انفكّتْ تتهادى على حوافِّ قطرةٍ مقدَّسةٍ مفعمةٍ بنبضِ شعاعٍ، أسْمَوْهُ "الحياة"!
عشقتِ الموسيقى والغناء، فتعلّمتِ العزفَ على الكمانِ منذ تفتّحتْ أناملُ طفولتِها على الأوتار وسلالم الموسيقى، وقد داعبتْ الأناشيد المدرسيّةُ والتّرانيمُ حنجرتَها، فصدحتْ في جوقةِ المدرسةِ، إلى أنِ اتّشحَ حضورُها بالغيابِ القسريّ مدّة سنوات، لتعاودَ ظهورَها في كورال "جوقة الكروان" الفلسطينيّة!
كم عشقتْ أقدامُها المعتّقةُ بالتّراثِ الرّقصَ الشّعبيّ، وكانَ لخطواتِها البحريّةِ نكهةً مائيّةً تراقصُ ظلالَ شبابٍ طافحٍ بالرّشاقةِ في فرقةِ دبكةٍ شعبيّةٍ، إضافةً إلى نشاطاتٍ كشفيّةٍ وأخرى عديدة، تزخرُ بها روحُ فتاةٍ تتقفّزُ نهمًا للحياة!
أمّا لمذاقِ المطالعةِ والقصصِ والرّواياتِ فكانَت أسرابُ شهوةٍ؛ تحُطُّ فوقَ أنفاسِها حدَّ التّصوّفِ والتّعبّد، منذُ أن تعلّقتْ عيناها بسلالم فكِّ الحروفِ، وكانَ للقلمِ المخفيِّ في جيبِ سترتِها وتحتَ وسادتِها صليلٌ يُناكفُها، كلّما شحَّ رذاذُ نبضِهِ في بياضِها، فيفغرُ فاهَهُ النّاريَّ مُتشدِّقًا بسِحرِهِ، كأنّما يحثّها لاحتضانِهِ كلّما ضاقتْ بهِ الأمكنةُ، وكلّما تعطّشَ إلى خمْرِها، فتُحلّقُ به في سماواتِ فيوضِها، وما أن تصحُوَ مِن سكرتِها، حتّى تُمزّقَ ما خطّتْهُ ونسجَتْهُ مِن خيوطِ وجْدِها، لتمحوَ كلّ أثرٍ يُبيحُ للآخرَ أن يُدركَ ما يعتملُ في نفسِها، ولأنّ مكانةً سامقةً وأثرًا جمًّا ومهابةً للأدب، تخشى أن تتطاولَ إليهِ، أو تُقحمَ نفسَها في ورطةٍ لا خلاصَ منها.
ما بعدَ الفترةِ الثّانويّةِ حلّتْ مرحلةُ منفاها عن طفولتِها الزّاهيةِ، حينَ استلبتْها مخادعُ الدّراسةِ الجامعيّةِ الثّلجيّةِ مِن أجيجِ نشاطاتِها، ومِن ثمّ؛ تملّكتْها مسؤوليّاتُ الزّواجِ والأسرةِ ومهنة التّدريس، واقتصرَ دورُها الأساسيُّ على مرحلةٍ جديدةٍ؛ هو بناءُ عالمٍ محبّبٍ آخر بعيدًا عنها قريبًا جدًّا منها، الأسرةُ بكاملِ مسؤوليّاتِها الجمّةِ، وفي الوقتِ ذاتِهِ وبفعل سحر الأمومةِ، نما في قلبِها عشقٌ جنونيٌّ للعطاءِ، رغمَ طراوةِ الحياةِ وقسوتِها، وكانَ بخورُ الذّكرياتِ يعبقُ بكبريائِها، ويُمرّغُها بعطرِ الطّفولةِ الهاربةِ!
ما بينَ رموشِ نهاراتِها ووسائدِ لياليها، ساحتْ آمال في عُمقِ بُوارٍ لا يَحدُّهُ خواء، تارةً، تأخذُها سنّةٌ مِن سباتٍ في استسقاءِ الماضي، وتارةً، تستفيقُ مِن قوقعةِ أحاسيسِها الذّاهلةِ، حينَ تهزُّها الفجوةُ الدّهريّةُ بينَ الأنا والآخر والكون، وبينَ مجونِ الضّياعِ المُزمجرِ فتنةً، وبينَ حاناتِ الخطايا المشتعلة كؤوسُها بلا ارتواء، والوطنُ يرتعُ في شهقاتِ ألمٍ تعتصرُ أملاً مِن كرومِ المستحيل!
لم تفلحْ شفافيّةُ الواقعِ المُرّ حلوُهُ، ولا مهرجاناتُ الحياةِ مِن صَلبِها على أعمدةِ مدرّجاتِ ومسارحِ الحياةِ، بل التجأت بصمتٍ وهدوءٍ إلى كهفِ الأبجديّةِ، واعتكفتْ فيهِ كناسكةٍ تحترفُها فتنةَ التـّأمـّلِ، حيثُ تصطفي نيازكَ حروفٍ متلألئةٍ بالنّضوج، كادتْ تسقطُ سهوًا في محرقةِ الألمِ، أو كادتْ ترجُمها إغواءاتُ الدّروبِ بحصًى يتجمّر، لكنّها حاولتْ أن تلتقطَ بأناملِ خيالِها تلك الحروفَ اللاّسعةَ الكاويةَ، كي ترطّبَ وجدَ آمالِها الموشومةِ بنشيجِ خلاصٍ قد يأتي!
كم تماوجتْ في طُهرِ روحِها شعاعاتُ إيمانٍ، صاخبة بفصولِ التّوغّلِ وبوجوه الجمال في غدٍ دافئٍ، وكم نقشَتْها أنفاسُها تنهيدةً منحوتةً ومُشفّرةً، على شاهدةِ عمرٍ يلاحقُها، ويُولّي في صحْوتِهِ، ولا يلوي على التفاتةٍ تكتظُّ بالحسرة!
"سحر الكلمات" هو عجوزي المستعارُ، وراعي انتظاراتي المؤجّلةِ بفوّهةِ مغارتِهِ الخضراء، يحرسُ بتمائمِهِ ومشاعلِهِ عرائشَ كرومي، عندما تسلّقتْ عليها دوالي قلبي وذاكرتي المنهوبةُ، ونصوصي الوجدانيّةُ المكدّسةُ على رفوفِ فسحاتٍ تعذّرَ التقاطُها، وبعشوائيّةٍ لذيذةٍ انفرطتْ قطوفُ أساريرِها على أطباقِ البراءة عبْرَ صفحاتِ النّت، لتؤبّدَ دهشةَ صمتٍ عبَرَتْ كالرّيح، فوقَ ظلالِ الفصولِ والعمر، إلى أنْ كانتْ ومضةٌ مخصّبةٌ بأحضانِ سحابةٍ متنكِّرةٍ، تراذذتْ من جلبابِها "آمال عوّاد رضوان"، ومنذُها، وآمال لمّا تزل آمالُها حتّى اللّحظة تتلألأُ بـ :
*1- بسمةٌ لوزيّةٌ تتوهّج/ كتاب شعريّ/ آمال عواد رضوان/ عام 2005.
*2- سلامي لك مطرًا/ كتاب شعريّ/ آمال عواد رضوان/عام  2007.
*3- رحلةٌ إلى عنوانٍ مفقود/ كتاب شعريّ/ آمال عوّاد رضوان/ عام 2010.
*4- أُدَمْوِزُكِ وَتَتعَـشْتَرِين/ كتاب شعريّ/ آمال عوّاد رضوان/ عام 2015.
*5- كتاب رؤى/ مقالاتٌ اجتماعية ثقافية من مشاهد الحياة/ آمال عوّاد رضوان/ عام 2012.
*6- كتاب "حتفي يترامى على حدود نزفي"- قراءات شعرية في شعر آمال عواد رضوان 2013.
*7- سنديانة نور أبونا سبيريدون عواد/ إعداد آمال عوّاد رضوان/ عام 2014
*8- أمثال ترويها قصص وحكايا/ إعداد آمال عوّاد رضوان/ عام 2015
وبالمشاركة كانت الكتب التالية:
*9- الإشراقةُ المُجنّحةُ/ لحظة البيت الأوّل من القصيدة/ شهادات لـ 131 شاعر من العالم العربيّ/
تقديم د. شاربل داغر/ عام 2007
*10- نوارس مِن البحر البعيد القريب/ المشهد الشّعريّ الجديد في فلسطين المحتلة 1948/ عام 2008
*11- محمود درويش/ صورة الشّاعر بعيون فلسطينية خضراء عام 2008
صدرَ عن شعرها الكتب التالية:
*1- من أعماق القول- قراءة نقدية في شعر آمال عوّاد رضوان- الناقد: عبد المجيد عامر اطميزة/ منشورات مواقف- عام 2013.
*2- كتاب باللغة الفارسية: بَعِيدًا عَنِ الْقَارِبِ/ به دور از قايق/ آمال عوّاد رضوان/ إعداد وترجمة جَمَال النصاري/ عام 2014
*3- كتاب استنطاق النص الشعري (آمال عوّاد رضوان أنموذجًا)- المؤلف:علوان السلمان المطبعة: الجزيرة- 2015
إضافة إلى تراجم كثيرة لقصائدها باللغة الإنجليزية والطليانية والرومانيّة والفرنسية والفارسية والكرديّة.
*محررة الوسط اليوم الثقافي الشاعرة آمال عواد رضوان
http://www.alwasattoday.com/ar/culture/11193.html
الجوائز:
*عام 2008 حازت على لقب شاعر العام 2008 في منتديات تجمع شعراء بلا حدود.
*عام 2011 حازت على جائزة الإبداع في الشعر، من دار نعمان للثقافة، في قطاف موسمها التاسع.
*عام 2011 حازت على درع ديوان العرب، حيث قدمت الكثير من المقالات والنصوص الأدبية الراقية.
*وعام 2013 منحت مؤسسة المثقف العربي في سيدني الشاعرة آمال عواد رضوان جائزة المرأة  لمناسبة يوم المرأة العالمي 2013 لابداعاتها في الصحافة والحوارات الصحفية عن دولة فلسطين.
وبصدد طباعة كتب جاهزة:
*كتاب (بسمة لوزيّة تتوهّج) مُترجَم للغة الفرنسيّة/ ترجمة فرح سوامس الجزائر
*كتاب خاص بالحوارات/ وستة كتب خاصة بالتقارير الثقافية حول المشهد الثقافي في الداخل
*ستة كتب (تقارير ثقافيّة) حول المشهد الثقافي الأخضر 48: من عام 2006 حتى عام 2015

Good evening my dear Charbel Baini/ Mirna Nehme

Good evening my dear Charbel Baini,
With great joy I finished reading the books which were like a sea where I was drowning in. I would never be able to find the words to express my thoughts and feelings about each book. I could see clearly how each of the poets have a great respect and admiration for you and it was definitely proven in their  writings, their poems and their letters. I guess there won't be enough words to describe someone like you who is filled with modesty, spirituality, decency, purity, honesty, kindness, compassion, affection and integrity.  Friends of mine tell me that I am blessed to be associated with a person like yourself. I thank God for this.
As for the interviews which you conducted with the winners I can really say that they deserve the award and each one of them has great talents and rich qualities in every aspect which the world is thirsting for. Congratulations to them and may god bless them.
I, on the other hand felt I am still in the very early stage of my musical journey but I thank the Lord for this  wonderful gift  which he bestowed upon me and I ask him constantly to walk by my side because without him we are all powerless.

Invitation from the Maronite Ladies of the Gospel


CLFG- Volunteer Award 2016 Presented to Mr. Elie Akouri


Certificate of Appreciation for Australian Volunteers Australian Federal Government Volunteer Award 2016
To: The Cedars of Lebanon Folkloric Group
Presented to Elie Akouri
by Ms Julie Owens MP
Federal Member for Parramatta
Friday 10/06/2016 - 10.30am

A motion by The Hon. DAVID CLARKE about the ARABIC-AUSTRALIAN POETS

ARABIC-AUSTRALIAN POETS
The Hon. DAVID CLARKE (10:03): I move:
(1) That this House notes that:
(a) on Thursday 24 March 2016 at Parliament House, the Association for the Development of Arabic Folk Poetry in Australia and the Arab World held a function to honour Australian poets of Arabic descent for their efforts in advancing the Zajale style of Arabic language folk poetry;
(b) those who were honoured at the function comprised:
(i) Issam Melkey, poet, born in Bechmizine, North Lebanon;
(ii) George Mansour, poet, born in Mitrite, North Lebanon;
(iii) Anna Chalouhi, poet, born in Darb Achtar, North Lebanon;
(iv) Romeo Oueis, poet and journalist, born in Rachghine, Zgharta;
(v) Wadih Saadeh, poet and journalist, born in Shabtin, North Lebanon;
(vi) Charbel Baini, poet, writer, critic, scholar and journalist, born in Majdalaya, North Lebanon;
(vii) Fouad Neaaman El-Khoury, poet, journalist and accountant, born in Bouhwaita; North Lebanon;
(viii) Shawki Moslemani, poet and journalist, born in Kawnine, South Lebanon; and
(ix) Dr Emile Chidiac, poet, journalist, social scientist, accountant, researcher; interpreter, translator and linguist, born in Beirut, Lebanon.
(c) those who attended as guests included:
(i) the Consul-General of Lebanon in Sydney, Mr George Bitar Ghanem;
(ii) the Consul of Iraq in Sydney, Miss Rokiya Abd Alkader;
(iii) His Eminence, Archbishop Paul Saliba, Primate of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Dependencies;
(iv) Sheik Khaled Taleb, representative of Dar Alfatwa of Lebanon in Sydney;
(v) Sheik Iyad Abou Arja, representative of the Mufti of Lebanon;
(vi) Mr Luke Foley, MP, member for Auburn and Leader of the Opposition;
(vii) Mr Jihad Dib, MP, member for Lakemba;
(viii) the Hon. David Clarke, MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice; and
(ix) representatives of various Arabic-Australian community organisations.
(d) the Association for the Development of Arabic Folk Poetry in Australia and the Arab World was established on 6 May 2013 by Dr Bahia Abou Hamad, with its objectives including:
(i) developing and promoting Arabic folk poetry in Australia and the Arab world;
(ii) organising seminars, lectures and poetry events relating to Arabic folk poetry in Australia, the Arab world and the Arabic diaspora;
(iii) publishing academic studies and research regarding Arabic language folk poets and poetry; and
(iv) encouraging young poets to enhance their talents.
(2) That this House:
Thursday, 2 June 2016 Legislative Council- PROOF Page 3
(a) congratulates those Australian poets of Arabic heritage who were honoured at the function held at Parliament House on 24 March 2016; and
(b) commends the Association for the Development of Arabic Folk Poetry in Australia and the Arab World, its President, Dr Bahia Abou-Hamad, and its executive for its ongoing work in encouraging Arabic-Australian poets and Arabic folk poetry in Australia.
Motion agreed to.

Commemoration of 68th of Al Nakba and Celebration of Australian Palestinian Graduates




By Marcelle Mansour
The Australian Palestinian Community Commemorated the 68th Anniversary of Al Nakba, together with the Celebration of the 2015 Australian Palestinian Graduates.
The General Union of Palestinian Workers and Australian Palestinian Graduates Association held a Ceremony in honor of the Palestinian University Graduates and the HSC Achievers in 2015, under the patronage of H.E.Dr. Izzat Abdul Hadi, the Ambassador of Palestine to the Commonwealth of Australia. On Sunday, 15 May 2016 in Candle Light Reception Lounge. The event also coincided with the date of commemoration the 68th Anniversary of AL Nakba meaning catastrophe.
Distinguished guests attended: Julia Finn MP -Australian Labour Party Member for Granville NSW,  Lee Rhiannon MP – The Australian Greens Senator for NSW,  Mr Jihad Dib MP- Parliament of NSW -Shadow Minister for Education,  Mr Paul Lynch MP - Parliament of NSW Member of the Legislative Assembly Member for Liverpool Shadow Attorney General Member of the Australian Labor Party,  Mayor Khal Asfour - Clr of Bankstown City Council,  Associate Professor Jake Lynch - Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the University of Sydney,  Prof Peter Manning Professor of Journalism,  Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed – Grand Mufti of Australia, the Secretary General of Fatah Abdul Kader Karanouh, and expert of Australian Palestinian Affairs Eddie Zananiri, Artists and Academics, Various Cultural  and Islamic Associations and Political Parties Presidents,  Media Representatives and a crowd of families and friends.
 The ceremony began by playing the two national anthems of Australia and Palestine. Followed by welcoming the attendees with introduction and a poem about Palestine recited by student Rola Alian, then a video displayed a brief history of the occupied Palestine.
The function was highlighted by a creative piece of performance titled “Al Nakba Suitcase “and was acted by Saleh Saqqaf  (Broadcaster and Actor) on the sound of Oud music played by the MC. Mr Jamal Alyan.
Speeches delivered as follows:
Abdul Hadi, Ambassador: In his speech H.E. stated: " Al-Nakba marks all our lives and it remains with us". Palestinians always remember the sad expel of their home land and it remains with them until justice and freedom will take place. These wonderful young achievers are the future of the Australian-Palestinian community spanning the globe who will transform loss into victory.
Mr Monir Mahajinah delivered a political speech in Arabic, in his own wods: "Tonight, we are not here to celebrate Al Nakba, rather to commemorate Al Nakba and raise flags and slogans. Three strategies are required:  firstly, is Unity, secondly to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinian people on the ground, such as education and other things, and thirdly, resistance to the new generations. We cannot achieve independence, without our will and persistence and, embracing the Holy Stone.”
Lee Rhiannon MP who has visited Palestine and has seen the refugee camps said the Nakba day is a sad day to Palestinian people who were taken away from their home. But time has come to achieve justice, and the 21st century will witness that Palestinians will return to their land, “especially here we are celebrating the success of new generation, your voice of Palestine will act as a challenge, it is about commitment of people working together.” She said.
Paul Lynch MP:  expressed his support to the Palestinian Community on Al Nakba Day commemoration of Palestinian exodus forcibly displaced from their homeland in1948 and their right of return through justice and ending occupation. He also praised the high achievement of young generation.
Jihad Dib MP: “There is a lot of connection between Aboriginals and Palestinians… Israel built the wall, but would not kill the spirit of Palestinian People… The fight of Palestine is the fight of what is right to return the land that was taken away from them… It is an honour to celebrate the achievements of young Australian Palestinians… Live Australia and Live Palestine.”
Jack Lynch: who has been a Director of of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney stated that the process is about the continuation of academic research. He praised the Palestinian graduates who came from Gaza and have excelled in every unit. Lynch was proud to see the very first graduate of Master Degree (Mr Shamik Badra) from Gaza on scholarship and he mentioned that the university will support more students from Gaza in the near future.
The event concluded by delivering appreciation awards to the Parliamentary members for their continuous support to the Palestinian cause: Julia Finn MP, Jihad Dib MP, Paul Lynch MP.  As well as members of the Palestinian community where the Ambassr Dr Izzat Abdul Hadi presented a shield  - on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) – to The General Union of Palestinian Workers in Australia, for their tireless work of serving the Community. The shield was received by President Ibrahim Ishan, followed by Palestinian community members who received appreciation awards were: Lama Hammouri, Ibrahim Ishan, khader Sultan,  Mahmoud Sultan,  Akeel Sultan, George Dabbagh, Mr Eddie Zananiri ,  Maher Morqabala, Ahmad Qasim for Council of Australian Palestinians. The Ambassador of Palestine Dr Izzat Abdulhadi also delivered achievement awards to 53 Palestine graduates of HSC, Master and PHD.

National Indigenous Human Rights Awards

Dear Colleague,

As the Convenor of the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards, I was delighted with the success of the inaugural event in 2013 and now look forward to the third annual awards presentation night and dinner.
Through these awards, I hope to draw the attention of State and Federal politicians to the plight of our Indigenous people and importantly to the human rights and social justice work of many in our Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander community.

Keynote Speaker will be Professor the Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, the former and second longest-serving Governor of New South Wales. Professor Bashir launched an indigenous health initiative to support indigenous medicine and nursing students as well as supporting the progress of reconciliation. Professor Bashir also took up the consultative role of senior psychiatrist to the Aboriginal Medical Service. As well as championing the health of indigenous Australians.

These Awards will present an opportunity to highlight the work of individuals who work towards a harmonious, equitable and fair Australia and are taking steps to remedy inequities. Australia is a nation that is rich in its first peoples' history. We should honour and recognise those who take the voluntary step to address injustice and human rights. Your sponsorship of these Awards would be most appreciated.

The Awards will be presented and judged by leading Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander elders, and leading figures in Indigenous social justice and human rights. The recipients of the National Human Rights Award will be persons of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage.
These categories include:

§ Dr Yunupingu Award - For Human Rights and Social Justice Award.

§ The Eddie Mabo Award -For Lifetime Social Justice Achievement.

§ The Anthony Mundine Courage Award.

The event will be held at Doltone House Jones Bay Wharf, Pyrmont. On Thursday the 9th of June 2016, 6:30pm for 7:00pm Start I look forward to you or your business representatives joining us on at the Award presentation Dinner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSxZEmrAdjY

http://thestringer.com.au/finally-national-indigenous-human-rights-awards-7646#.Vejp5qh--mQ

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LC20131114052

The Hon. Shaoquett Moselmane MLC.
Opposition Whip
Parliament of New South Wales
Parliament House
Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia

M 02 9230 2526 || 02 9230 2722
S.moselmane@parliament.nsw.gov.au
 http://www.shaoquettmoselmane.com.au


Miss Lebanon Australia 2016 Mary Mehajer




By Marcelle Mansour

This year has marked the celebration of the sixteenth Anniversary of the Miss Lebanon Australia Beauty Pageant, held on the 1st of May 2016, at the Dalton House Pyrmont, in the presence of The Hon John Ajaka MLC on behalf of the NSW Government, distinguished guests from the Australian Arabic Communities, Media Representatives, majour sponsors, families, friends and many other supporters.

Mary (Mariam) Mehajer (18 years) was crowned Miss Australia Lebanon 2016, one of former deputy mayor, Salim Mehajer's sisters. Miss Mary Hakim (aged 22) came in as first runner-up and Miss Jessica Nercessian (aged 21) as second.

The nine Contestants were presented with gifts by the event sponsors and were awarded titles as follows: Jessica Francis (20) as Miss photogenic, Mary Hakim (22) Miss Elegance, Jessica Lahoud (18) Miss Style, Priscilla Rached (22) Miss Model, Rebecca Noun ( 23) Miss Personality, Rose Boustany (19) Miss Natural, Jessica Nercessian (21) Miss Swimwear, Safaa Ammoun (23) Miss Confidence, Mary Mehajer (18) Miss Congeniality.

The ceremony began with the Australian and Lebanese anthem, and both of Ms Nisreen Nasif and Mr Joe Chaar performed the Master of Ceremony (MC).

The Minister Ajaka delivered a speech praising the contributions of Australians of Lebanese background in the Australian society and stressed his support to Miss Lebanon Australia Beauty Pageants.

Great Speechs were also delivered by both Miss Lebanon Australia Beauty Contest 2015 Winner Miss Nicole Rizk and Miss Lebanon Australia Beauty Contest 2014 Winner, and Miss Lebanon Emigrant 2015 Miss Cynthia Farah.
Joseph Khoury spoke at the ceremony and thanked Mr Antoine Maksoud, the President of Miss Lebanon World Emigrant Committee, the Hon Mr Michel Faroun, the Minister of Tourism in Lebanon for their excellent support. He also thanked the Panel of judges, Monie & her team, sponsors and all those who contributed to the success of this regular event and has helped in the past years and present.

The entertainment program event included a marvelous performance by the Comedian /Actor John Khodair and beautiful songs by Shauki Deeb and his daughter Miram Deeb (guests from Lebanon), singer Nemer Melhem, and the Australian Vocalist Simone Waddell on the sound of creative music by maestro Patrick Najem.

The Pageant has been achieving a tremendous success over the years and proved to be well received in Australia. It will lead the winner of the crown into The Miss Lebanon Immigrant to be held in Lebanon.

Congratulations to the crown winner and the first and second runner up.  Congratulations to Mr. Joe Khoury the Director of Miss Lebanon Australia for continuing to serve and celebrate the heritages and the cultural values of the Australian Lebanese Community.