Adonis Diaries

Archive for October 2nd, 2014

 

Life and Death in a Palestinian Zoo

EXCLUSIVE IMAGES

Until the Second Intifada, the zoo was a popular attraction for families keen to see giraffes, zebras, hippopotamuses and other assorted creatures that they had previously only seen in books.

By 2002, with Qalqilya under daily Israeli attack, the zoo’s resident veterinarian Dr. Sami Khader felt compelled to add a new string to the bow of his already overloaded workload.

As tear gas and Israeli bullets filled the town’s streets, they also began to spill over in to the zoo’s compound.

One night, as Israeli soldiers entered the zoo whilst shooting, animals panicked and ‘Rudy’ the prized male giraffe hit his head against an iron bar and fell. Rudy soon died of a stroke due to a build up of blood pressure caused by the accident.

Rudy’s partner, ‘Brownie’, fell in to a deep depression after seeing her dead mate and miscarried the baby she was carrying.

When tear gas again filled the zoo’s air, Brownie suffocated and died. It was at this stage that Dr. Sami decided to become a taxidermist:

‘I spent most of my time here during and just after the intifada working on taxidermy. The first giraffe took me 6 months alone. Nothing is wasted here and this is what we have, we need to preserve everything so that people can learn about animals’.

Today, the few visitors who do reach the zoo can see an array of live animals and also visit Dr. Sami’s other ‘attractions’ including the museum of stuffed animals. Alongside the giraffes are a zebra, jungle cat and others that died during the intifada, as well as various animals that succumbed to natural causes.

This rather macabre collection does not dominate the zoo’s current life however.

In more recent years Dr. Sami has also established an animal hospital, and local people often bring him injured animals to treat.

His belief is that the educational role that the zoo can provide for Palestinian children is paramount, and he is full of big ideas:

“We care for injured animals, preserve dead animals, look after live animals and I want to create so much more for the children.

Most of my time now is spent developing educational opportunities and working with groups of school children, helping them to learn more about wildlife.

I want to create an earthquake simulator and put together a whale skeleton that people can walk inside, but all this takes time, space and money.”

Being established in 1986 – before the Oslo Accords – the zoo was built whilst Qalqilya was under full Israeli civil and military control.

Dr. Sami was once asked by an Israeli zoologist if the animals were owned by Israel or Palestine. He answered metaphorically:

Animals don’t need borders...”

Qalqilya Zoo simultaneously educates people about animals and provides many metaphors about contemporary Palestinian realities.

Israel family planning: Birth control to Ethiopian Jews without their consent

Israel has admitted for the first time that it has been giving Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth-control injections, often without their knowledge or consent.

The government had previously denied the practice but the Israeli Health Ministry’s director-general has now ordered gynaecologists to stop administering the drugs.

According a report in Haaretz, suspicions were first raised by an investigative journalist Gal Gabbay who interviewed more than 30 women from Ethiopia in an attempt to discover why birth rates in the community had fallen dramatically.

One of the Ethiopian women who was interviewed is quoted as saying: “They [medical staff] told us they are inoculations. We took it every three months. We said we didn’t want to.”

It is alleged that some of the women were forced or coerced to take the drug while in transit camps in Ethiopia.

The drug in question is thought to be Depo-Provera, which is injected every three months and is considered to be a highly effective, long-lasting contraceptive.

Nearly 100,000 Ethiopian Jews have moved to Israel under the Law of Return since the 1980s, but their Jewishness has been questioned by some rabbis.

Last year, the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the health portfolio, warned that illegal immigrants from Africa “threaten our existence as a Jewish and democratic state”.

Haaretz published an extract from a letter sent by the Ministry of Health to units administering the drug.

Doctors were told “not to renew prescriptions for Depo Provera for women of Ethiopian origin if for any reason there is concern that they might not understand the ramifications of the treatment”.

Sharona Eliahu Chai, a lawyer for the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), said:

Findings from investigations into the use of Depo Provera are extremely worrisome, raising concerns of harmful health policies with racist implications in violation of medical ethics. The Ministry of Health’s director-general was right to act quickly and put forth new guidelines.”

What’s your Worldview and how it was formed?

Worldview is not a matter of logic, rational thinking, reflection… and it is not merely a bunch of emotions, feelings, guts, heuristics, mental short cuts…

Worldview is all the above, a complex, convoluted make up of irrational positions, opinions, ready-made reactions…

Worldview is mostly the results and outcomes of emotional reactions.

Consider your willpower to be a battery: If before reacting your willpower is depleted then you have to rely on your acquired habits, talents and skills to counter your innate behaviors that were constituted through social in-group behaviors.

Your worldview is a unique model that you tailored-made throughout your life, experiences, conditions, situations… in order to survive the thousands of daily problems, frustrations and barriers.

Your worldview is constituted of all the planning you undertook, the do-it lists, the step-by-step thinking on your projects, the failed attempts and alliances.

And if you are lucky, you might realize that the “planning fallacy”  never follows the learning curve that you swear for from experience in other activities.

We are not natural-born planners. Why?

1. Wishful thinking cannot be overcome: it is part of our survival technique and strategy too.

2. We tend to overlook external influences and all those rare events that bust our well-thought out detailed plans

3. We fail to revisit the past projects and plans, those that were a success story and those that failed to materialize.

4. We miss to read the outliers in the events that intervened in the failure process and those that came handy unexpectedly.

Have you tried a pre-mortem session speech to your team?
A year from now, we are supposed to finish this project. Imagine this project turned out to be a disaster. Take 15 minutes to write about your imagined disaster”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

Blog Stats

  • 1,426,915 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 774 other followers

%d bloggers like this: