There, I said it. I realize that is not a very eloquent title for Omar's Introduction but for the life of me I have no idea how to introduce a Giant. Seriously, we all know him already. The mere mention of his name inspires awe.
Omar Barghouti as co-founder of the Palestinian Campaign For the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel, along with the overwhelming majority of Palestinian civil society, has articulated a clear no nonsense path each and everyone of us can walk in our quest for freedom and equality if we so choose. It is not the only path, but many of us regard it is the only viable path left after decades of injustice.
I first heard Omar speak at the End the Occupation Conference in Chicago last year. I sat in the very first row with Medea, Nancy and Ann. Spellbound, directly in front of the podium. Omar had just arrived from Palestine and informed us he hadn't slept. Helllooo, what difference did that make? This man who moves mountains, does he ever sleep? I simply do not have the skills to express my gratitude for the life he has blown into this honorable movement for freedom and equality in Palestine/Israel. This beautiful man is a Giant and the honor it gives me to announce he has offered to judge our entries, your entries...along with the amazing Susan Abulhawa and the rest out our outstanding panel of judges, excites me no end.
Should I mention Omar has an incredible biting dry wit? Of course you already know that if you've ever met him. Perhaps that means if your entry is funny it will score points with him! I have no idea!!! Just get your entries in, today!
This is a celebration of our community, each and every one of us. And it cannot happen without you. Share your stories with us, your poetry, your love letters, your deepest deepest wishes for peace, your sense of justice and fairness and who's inspired you. Guidelines range from personal essay to brief anecdote to Chomskyian prescription to haiku to letter-form. Mondoweiss will be publishing entries for the Mondo Awards starting December 26th thru the entire last week of the year and on New Years Day. Please send all entries to: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Criteria as follows: They inspire. They inform. They amuse/entertain. They are beautiful. They will bring peace to the Middle East and sanity to American foreign policy.
Thank you Omar, for everything. My gratitude knows no bounds.