Monthly Archives: August 2012

Belonging Fully

When you have so many identities, sometimes you feel like you don’t belong fully to any of them. You just exist in a vacuum of bits and pieces of cultures, languages, customs, perspectives.

All my third culture folks (or fourth or fifth): you know what I mean, I’m sure. A minority within a minority, always. I am a woman, Tunisian, American, Mediterranean, African, Arab, Maghrebi, Muslim… The list goes on. I sometimes feel more Coloradan, other days more Arab. Some days I feel closer to the Palestinians, others to the Greeks. Other times to the Ghanaians. Depends on time and place – but I feel it all.

It has its pros and cons but the cons sting…

PS: third culture awesome people – where are you in my life?!

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Proving the Crime

In my criminal law textbook today, I read this… how shall I say it.

I read this cute excerpt:

Persons accused of crime in Anglo-American legal systems are presumed to be innocent, which means that the prosecution must prove every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt.

How well is our American judicial system adhering to this principle?

I immediately thought of one of the more recent cases: Troy Davis. Davis was executed after being charged as guilty for the murder of a police officer. Thing is, no physical evidence was brought forth, and 7 out of the 9 jury members backpeddled and took back their stories. The court refused (on several occasions) to rehear the case, or to overturn jury verdicts. Davis had to essentially prove his innocence with stronger evidence than that which was used to charge him as guilty.

Countless other examples abound – especially in cases where an additional charge would simply add severity to the defendant’s punishment. The charge of armed robbery, for instance, is notorious for being handed despite the real and actual lack of possession of a weapon. Yet, the courts assume, based on some evidence or another, that the defendant had a weapon. So, even though it could be later determined that the defendant did not actually possess a weapon, the defendant is charged with an armed robbery (as opposed to only being charged with a robbery). This charge, as you can guess, carries a more severe punishment.

The defendant would be burdened with proving innocence, as opposed to being charged with guilt that is proven ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’

What I doubt is that our courts are making sure evidence and elements are indeed proven beyond a ‘reasonable doubt.’

Would love to hear feedback in the comments section.

“Show me,” she asked

The girl with Venus’ hair
Her locks locked and lain fallow

So many Things she’d like to know

Tries not to escape reality too much
Where will she go?

Heaven under her heart
Holding her breath high over the questions

Mercy me, all she wanted
Was in a simple prayer
That she uttered under an infinite sky

Show me,
Show me what they meant
Show me which heaven
Is under their hearts
Show me, so that I may understand

Oh, the seasons pass
What was it all coming to now?

Treading
Tracks
Trail

In the end

Some stay
Some go

Fractions of some hearts remain
And others are blown away.

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The note in between.

July 17, 2012

You never see a shooting star when you’re out there looking to catch it.

Twice in Lebanon. Once outside a church as I sat beneath a statue of Jesus, in the mountain town of Beit Mery. The second was under an anticipative sky in Beit Eddine, Shouf, as I was waiting for a jazz concert to begin filling me with oceans of joy.

The air smelt like blossoming jasmines and Anaïs perfume. Whatever it was, I knew the night was pregnant with possibility.

After the concert, we went to Deir el-Qamar, where we – albeit briefly – stargazed. Outside the Fakhreddine mosque, I understood why the town was called the Monastery of the Moon. The sky was clear and it was impossible to not feel humbled by it.

And sometimes, you carefully define and write down two musical notes just so you can accurately imagine the one note in between. Once you and another human being jointly discover that you imagined the same note, something Big is meant to happen. Something just as Big and infinite as that very same sky.