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Obituary:

The poet Ai died unexpectedly from breast cancer on March 20, 2010.

Ai was born October 21, 1947 in Albany, Texas and lived much of her early life in Arizona. She received a B.A. from the University of Arizona in Oriental Studies in 1969 and an M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine in 1971. Ai was a major voice in contemporary poetry, working extensively in the dramatic monologue. She published her first book Cruelty in 1973, and six later collections, Killing Floor (1979), Sin (1986), Fate (1991), Greed (1993), Vice (1999), and Dread (2004).

She was the recipient of many awards for her poetry, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1975, the Lamont Poetry Award from the Academy of American Poets for Killing Floor, and National Endowment for the Arts Awards in 1978 and 1985. She received the American Book Award for Sin in 1987 and the National Book Award for Vice in 1999. In 2002-2003 she held the Mitte Chair in Creative Writing at Southwest Texas State University, and in December 2009, she was recognized with a United States Artists Ford Fellowship in literature.

From 1999 until her death, she was a professor in the Creative Writing Program at Oklahoma State University. A volume of new poems, No Surrender, is scheduled to be published by W. W. Norton in September 2010.

The poet Ai is survived by her half-sister, Rosslyn O’Carroll, and by many colleagues, students, and friends.

The OSU Department of English plans to establish a creative writing scholarship in Ai’s memory. Contributions may be sent to: Ai Scholarship, OSU Department of English, 205 Morrill Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078.

from the blog of Alfred Corn (http://topicsevent.blogspot.com/2010/03/poet-ai-1947-2010.html):

Two days ago, my friend the poet Ai died in Stillwater, Oklahoma, of breast cancer. I hadn’t seen Ai since 2002, during the year I taught at Oklahoma State, but we spoke by telephone and exchanged email posts since then, and I would also sometimes get news of her from mutual friends. The last time we exchanged messages was in early January, when she made no mention at all of poor health. She was a very private person, lived alone, didn’t see many people, just taught her classes, gave occasional readings, and wrote her poems. I’m saddened to hear this news and again reminded that breast cancer is a national health problem that seems to be getting more and more serious. I’m not sure enough is being done to promote awareness of it and to fund research. It’s something that has affected the lives of many people close to me, beginning with my mother (legally, my stepmother), whose illness I wrote about in a poem titled “Stepson Elegy” (in Present). But much more to the point are the courageous poems by Marilyn Hacker and Mary Cappello, written from a first-hand perspective.

I met Ai in Tulsa in 2001, when she attended a reading Robert Pinsky gave there at a literary festival sponsored by the English Department at Oklahoma State. Robert introduced us and we exchanged contact information. I was teaching that year at the University of Tulsa and decided not to go back East for the Christmas holiday. Hearing that, Ai invited me to Christmas dinner at her place in Stillwater. I remember an apartment absolutely filled with things, especially wicker furniture, which Ai had a special liking for. As I was to learn the following year, going out to comb the thrift stores was one of her favorite occupations. Ai always had stylish clothes, designer dresses and jackets combined with thrift-store items she had a flair for discovering. I remember once she was contemplating spending a lot of money on a beautiful turquoise and silver necklace, either Zuni or Hopi, I’m not sure. I egged her on because she looked gorgeous in it and because I knew she was proud of her Indian ancestry. Buy it she did, and even now I can see it ornamenting one of her great ensembles. I think she was also pleased to have African ancestry and, besides that, a Japanese father, whose name (Ogawa) she used on official documents, but not when she signed her poems and books. Still, because she grew up in a Native American community, that heritage seemed to be foremost in her consciousness.

I was invited to come teach at Oklahoma State for the following year during Ai’s sabbatical and was pleased to accept. I got to know English Department faculty there very well, in fact, it was one of the friendliest I’d ever worked with. Because we were both single, Ai and I saw each other many times, going out to dinner or making raids on the thrifts, where I found stuff to spruce up my temporary apartment in Stillwater. Like many poets, she didn’t know how to drive, and I was perfectly willing to be the chauffeur. It’s said that some people found her personally difficult, but I never did. We seemed to have the same kind of humor, and she knew I valued her and her work. To her poetry she brought keen novelistic skills and a dramatic instinct that didn’t flinch when faced with the inhuman behavior that characterizes so much of human existence. I read her and think of the great Japanese filmmaker Kurosawa’s statement to the effect that, “The artist does not avert his eyes.”

And yet. For some reason Ai averted her eyes from her own illness and didn’t have a check-up when symptoms appeared. I don’t understand this, and, in my confusion, am posting these reflections in the hope that someone who knew her better than I did can explain what happened. When there is a loss, we try to extract from it something besides sadness. Perhaps that may happen in this case, too. Meanwhile, I will reread Ai’s poems, inevitably from an altered perspective. I asked Ai if she’d adopted her name from the classical Greek, the word that is usually translated as “alas!” or “woe!” She said, “No. In Japanese, “ai” means ‘love.’”

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Mannahatta
by Walt Whitman

I was asking for something specific and perfect for my city,
Whereupon lo! upsprang the aboriginal name.

Now I see what there is in a name, a word, liquid, sane, unruly,
musical, self-sufficient,
I see that the word of my city is that word from of old,
Because I see that word nested in nests of water-bays, superb,
Rich, hemm’d thick all around with sailships and steamships, an
island sixteen miles long, solid-founded,
Numberless crowded streets, high growths of iron, slender, strong,
light, splendidly uprising toward clear skies,
Tides swift and ample, well-loved by me, toward sundown,
The flowing sea-currents, the little islands, larger adjoining
islands, the heights, the villas,
The countless masts, the white shore-steamers, the lighters, the
ferry-boats, the black sea-steamers well-model’d,
The down-town streets, the jobbers’ houses of business, the houses
of business of the ship-merchants and money-brokers, the river-streets,
Immigrants arriving, fifteen or twenty thousand in a week,
The carts hauling goods, the manly race of drivers of horses, the
brown-faced sailors,
The summer air, the bright sun shining, and the sailing clouds aloft,
The winter snows, the sleigh-bells, the broken ice in the river,
passing along up or down with the flood-tide or ebb-tide,
The mechanics of the city, the masters, well-form’d,
beautiful-faced, looking you straight in the eyes,
Trottoirs throng’d, vehicles, Broadway, the women, the shops and shows,
A million people–manners free and superb–open voices–hospitality–
the most courageous and friendly young men,
City of hurried and sparkling waters! city of spires and masts!
City nested in bays! my city!

“Manhatta,” by Michael Nyman
performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars

Did you see Juan Rulfo peeking out of your coffee?
Did you dream of Rosario Castellanos and the electric fans of nightfall?
Did you forget about the summer roads of Jose Emilio Pacheco?
Were you chewing the pithy last straws of Jaime Sabines?

Bring the cardboard cartons of egg shells of Octavio Paz.
Bring the tiny glittering headaches of Francisco Hinojosa.
Bring the sharp stabbing light rays of Heriberto Yepes.
Bring the falling down fountain red curtains of Dolores Dorantes.

Department of Cultural Affairs Presents
“Sun, Stone, and Shadows” – The Next Generation
City of Los Angeles Central Library – Mark Taper Auditorium
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 – 7:30 p.m.

The City of Los Angeles Public Library is pleased to present Sun, Stone, and Shadows – The Next Generation, a free panel discussion on the anthology Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories. The discussion will focus on mid-career and emerging authors/writers that have been influenced and inspired by Latin American authors found in this anthology such as Juan Rulfo, Octavio Paz, Rosario Castellanos, and Carlos Fuentes.

The panel is part of the Big Read 2009/10 Program in Los Angeles, produced by DCA through a grant awarded from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. DCA and the NEA hope to unite communities through great literature, as well as inspire students to become life-long readers with the 2009/10 Big Read Program in Los Angeles.

Karla Diaz

The event will be held at the City of Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, located on 630 W. 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90071. The panel will be moderated by Sesshu J. Foster, author of Atomik Aztex and teacher of composition and literature in East Los Angeles since 1985. Panelists will include Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Chair of the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, UCLA; Karla Diaz, Co-Founder of Slanguage, an art collective in Wilmington, CA, which includes teenage artists, street artists, and established mid- to late-career artists, many of whom live and work in the Los Angeles area; and Maarten Van Delden, Chair and Professor of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, UCLA.

Word up/Slanguage

Los Angeles is home to many persons of Mexican descent. The rich and vibrant culture and traditions of Mexico are prevalent in the art and architecture, restaurants, and the names of our city and its streets, neighborhoods, and communities. Rarely, however, are the majority of our city’s residents – young and old – exposed to the deep literary traditions of Mexico.

The event is free and the seating is limited. For reservations, please call 213.202.5540 by 5:00 p.m. on or before Monday, March 22, 2010. Underground parking is available at Maguire Properties’ 524 S. Flower Street Garage, $8.00 per vehicle. The Central Library is fully accessible to the physically challenged.

Saint Saliva from Romo-Santillano on Vimeo.

after talking to liz, gloria, abel and jose lozano at the “prayer for the women of juarez” readings by reina prado, consuelo flores and others on first street (after checking out the play by walking into casa 0101 by mistake), 11 PM i turned east on valley blvd., where an asian teen girl in black flagged me down at the corner, she looked scared and i thought maybe there was some kind of trouble, rolled the window down and she jumped in, said i must “please” take her to valley and sixth street like she was one of my daughters at some most absurd spoiled moment—she just missed the last bus—a five minute drive near noodle world where where i was going for dinner, not having eaten all day. her cell phone in hand, her semi-panic at the thought of the twenty minute walk down valley blvd was funny. i thought maybe she was drunk, but the way she talked, she was not drunk, just crazy, “my dad takes me to noodle world. what’s your favorite dish there? do i look vietnamese? are you vietnamese?” “where are you going? i asked. “just home,” she said and i dropped her off at sixth and got a bowl of tom yum.

I had my coffee in hand when I got through the gate at Franklin High School. White clouds swirled across a striking blue sky and it was going to be a beautiful, sunny afternoon. Fifty or sixty people were ready to start the opening ceremony for the Franklin Mural Project. I said hellow to artist Arturo Romo-Santillano and his wife and family, and his collaborator on the mural project, Reies Flores. Standing before the entrance, looking out on the concrete plaza, with the four story wings of classrooms and balconies enclosing the space above, a woman elder from the Tongva (the Indians who once—for centuries or thousands of years—migrated throughout the L.A. basin, from the mountains to the sea, from the desert to the flats) gave her blessing. Melissa, former Franklin student now a junior in sociology at UCSB, MC’d, introduced herself and spoke eloquently about what the mural project meant to her personally. I appreciated her articulate insight; she thanked Arturo and Reies, saying not only did this projects touch students, bringing together people and creating community, but helped “decolonize our minds,” serving to help us reconnect and learn about the original peoples of this place and their presence, relevance and history, which has been so consistently and persistently erased. Melissa gave a really insightful, moving tribute.

A representative of the Arroyo Arts Collective, a neighborhood arts organization, spoke on the contribution of the mural project to the neighborhood and local culture—which emblazoned the entrance of the school behind her with the green original landscapes of the area before colonization. I was amazed to notice in details in the mural the astonishingly technical naturalistic representations of botanical and cultural knowledge of the Tongva. Christopher Nyerges, a Pasadena naturalist who collaborated with Reies and Arturo on Tongva uses of native plants read a poem about the necessity (even for others) of “going back to Tongva roots.” Michael Espinosa, grant manager for the Office of Community Beautification said how proud he was that his office was able to provide funding for projects like this that build community and allow youth to participate in public arts. I later discussed these issues and the many murals endangered throughout Los Angeles, defaced, graffitied and erased. Don Newton, white-haired Glassell Park activist, writer and artist who I’d previous met as he’d asked me to read (around April 25th 2010) at the reading series at the Avenue 50 Gallery in Highland Park, and who I’d interviewed the previous Saturday as part of the Recent Rupture Radio Hour with Arturo, read an essay which I thought was so incisive, so necessary, I reprint it whole below. A Kumeyaay representative (I think) and singer sang four ceremonial “bird songs,” loudly and clearly out on the concrete plaza while two teen girls in bright long dresses danced, sometimes chanting along. The faculty representative of the school’s Native Student Club thanked everyone for participating and invited people to purchase fry bread.

People looked on from the balconies above. El Huarache Azteca restaurant from nearby York Avenue set up a taco stand and a long line formed for savory curry chicken and carne asada tacos, with iced watermelon, horchata and pineapple refrescos. Arturo and the former students who’d worked on the mural over its five year “first phase” (subsequent phases will work up the building, and the exposition and imagery on subsequent levels of the building with advance historically, chronologically). Ruben Mendoza, lean and not mean from teaching Chicano Studies classes of fifty students each, enjoyed the gathering and I sat with him over tacos. He introduced me to Jennifer, a dancer with one of two troupes (she explained) of Danza Azteca L.A.—the founding couple had divorced, and now there were two. Dolores and Mike Willard arrived after the ceremony, in time for tacos, but not for the speeches. We went into the entryway and viewed the mural, with students, their friends and family. Here’s what Don said about the Tongva. I was struck both by the relevance of Don’s historical sources and also his point, that officially—except for place names such as the Hahamongna watershed preserve behind the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, that no monuments or markers have been erected to mark this people’s importance for current inhabitants of the L.A. basin—American historical Alzheimer’s is complete in regards to to the Tongva:

THE TONGVA IN CONTEXT
by Don Newton


Seeing the current situation: drop in jobs, plunge in artificial housing market, poverty for working families measured in percentages of Federal poverty level (100%, 200%, 300%, etc.). At the same time, sweeps of undocumented immigrants as well as homeless people, concentration camps and prisons for the poorest people in our society… in short, an unsuccessful capitalist economy, benefiting only those who are already wealthy.

I’m not an economist, just reflecting the point of view of the neighborhoods. Since last June I’ve been working as a community organizer in Baldwin Park and unincorporated La Puente… The situation of families and individuals faced with the real challenges of life in sunny Southern California: this is what gives rise (in me) to considerations of the original inhabitants, the Tongva. For thousands of years, the Tongva (Gabrieleno) have lived in what is now known as Los Angeles County. From Catalina to the Cajon Pass, their rancherias (villages) were built in harmony with the land, changing location and form according to the seasons.

In order to survive, they gathered seeds and nuts, berries and roots; they hunted rabbits and deer; they fished in streams as well as the ocean, launching plank boats to get to the islands off the coast. Their lives were intimately involved with ceremonies and season gatherings of people from all over Southern California.

When the Spaniards invaded in 1769, they set up missions, which served as concentrations of labor and religious indoctrination. The Tongva were slaves in the missions, whipped and put into stocks for minor offenses, often summarily executed and raped by the soldiers. But in spite of the beatings and folrced labor, the indigenous people continued to resist—there were many uprisings.

Although the missions were economically successful, the population of the Tongva was greatly reduced as a result of the Spanish and (after 1821) the Mexican regimes. Most of those who survived ran away into the mountains or the desert, or tried to survive in the pueblo of Los Angeles. A resident of Los Angeles after the Mexican War, Horace Bell, wrote this about the Tongva in the 1850s: “Los Angeles Street from Commercial to Nigger Alley, Aliso Street from Los Angeles to Alameda: Sunday afternoons, drunken Indians (paid with aguardiente) until sundown, when they were rounded up by the marshal and his Indian deputies. They were kept in jail all day to keep them sober, and herded into a big corral on Downey block. Then they were auctioned off, fifty-two times a year, $1 to $3 per Indian slave for a week. Generally, they only lived one-two-three years.”

Along with other indigenous people and all different kinds of other people, there are still homeless Tongva on the streets of Los Angeles, victims of our ruthless economic system. The context of the Tongva’s successful partnership with the land, their thousands of years of history in our very same canyons and along this precise coastal plain—this valuable and relevant information has been brushed aside. That is to say, I don’t see any of our well-dressed politicians urging us to grow our own food, to build our own houses, to move away from the debilitating freeway-economy which traps such a large percentage of our people in poverty & despair about the future.

The Tongva people did not live a lavish middle-class lifestyle, but their respect for the land yielded very valuable knowledge. Their mores were extremely different from ours—sanitation, for example, wasn’t their specialty. They would eat whatever: worms, small birds, small fish, flying insects, ants. Also leaves and roots. Their life expectancy was low, they had a very poor rate of live births, their medical procedures were highly unscientific. But the technological deficit is not the whole story: their social model, the way they adjusted their living to the land, this has been brushed aside as if there were no relevance to their long history in this place. Our own society is coming to the point where we are questioning: How do people survive when houses, food, transportation are pushing farther & farther out of reach? In fact, many of our fellow-Angelenos find themselves into the “underground economy,” the “tribal” level of barter and mutual exchange.

Besides the economic aspects of their culture, the Tongva have other lessons for us. Although their art was not a professional endeavor, they were surrounded by art: their baskets and tools were decorated and their rock art still communicates their basic concerns—hunting, the animals, the stars, the spirits. Their art was based on reverence, and many of the early contacts with California native people revealed the importance of the spiritual in their daily lives. Ceremony was the key. The initiations and birth and death ceremonies took up a great deal of their time. In a Luiseno initiation rite (from Malcolm Margolin’s The Way We Lived: California Indian Reminiscences, Stories & Songs) the young people are told: “The earth hears you, the sky & wooded mountains see you. If you believe this, you will grow old. [If you listen & obey] they wiull say of you: he/she grew old, he/she heeded what she was told. So that when you die you wioll be spoken of as those of the sky, like the stars. Those, it is said, were people who went to the sky & escaped death. And, like those, your soul will rise…” At the ceremonies, the secret truth was told about how the world began, how this place, these hills & people & animals were formed.

The social aspects of their ethics were as important as the spiritual. The necessary solidarity of their way of life made these people as solid as trees or rocks or mountains. Everything they did or ate or made was according to necessary methods laid down by generations of knowledge. All of this sabiduria was kept and shared by the viejitos—they were the resource, the library, the museum. To demand more than was due, to kill more than was needed for the day (storing up food for the future) was dangerous & showed lack of respect for the animals, the plants, who were also people… all living things and even hills and rocks and streams had once been people like us… Balance must be maintained: people must perform ceremonies for the animals plants if they expected food and skins for clothing, sinews for tying, nuts for food, bark & roots for baskets, feathers for holy ceremonies.

Respect had to shown, not just to people & animals & plants, but to the stories about them. Lack of respect, according to the Coast Yuki, another California indigenous group, could turn you into a hunch-back. “Don’t chew the bones of the bird you’re eating because it’ll bring bad luck to the hunter who brought you the food.” Hunters could not eat the food that they themselves had caught. Margolin also relates the story of the greedy father—he’d eat the salmon he caught & only bring back the tail to his starving wife & children. They ran away, turned into trees & plants of the kind used to make baskets. He turned into a “moss eater” bird. “Thus when a Karok woman went out each morning to collect pine roots, hazel stems and bear-lily roots for her baskets, she moved in an animate & indeed passionate world. She gathered basket materials from these people—from a woman & her children who had once been dreadfully poor.”

Along with other California tribes, the Tongva believed that a person isolated from family was grotesque, frightening, pitiful, unable to survive. Thus the common joke about mules being the parents of Spanish soldiers. Individuals were incomplete, transitory beings; only family persisted, only family had meaning & authority, only family could bestow personhood. The usual living arrangement was in-laws, all living together. They also believed that putting aside time for dancing, singing, praying, fasting & other ritual observances was very important for the full development of human beings: “such activities were as necessary for human life as hunting game or gathering acorns.” A typical ceremony itself, gathering and camping together for day after day of practicing the dancing and singing, and then spending another week, all day & night dancing and fasting, waiting for the culminating final days when the sacred stories would be told.

Much of this concentration on ceremony, as well as their leisurely mutual appreciation of social gatherings, entered into the Californios’ way of life on the ranchos and in the pueblos of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego. This buried culture survives in what outsiders see as our laid-back way of life in Southern California. The forgotten history persists in local allegiances, even without specific references, translated into quinceaneras, into holiday gatherings and even Superbowl parties.

There are no monuments and hardly any references to the Tongva here in Los Angeles’ complex and stressful society. The original inhabitants of this county, I believe, can certainly provide some of the wisdom we need to continue as positive and peaceful human beings—still intimately related to this land, still breathing the same smoky air, still watched over by the same mountains.

Host: The Franklin Mural Project .
Location: Benjamin Franklin High School
820 North Avenue 54
Los Angeles, CA 90042 US

Saturday, March 13, 11:00AM to 3:00PM

Join us to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Frankin Mural Project!

The Franklin Mural Project is a collaboration between community members, students of Franklin High School and substitute teachers Roberto Reies Flores and Arturo Romo Santillano.

This first phase of the mural depicts life in Los Angeles 250 years ago. The Tongva, original inhabitants of Los Angeles, are represented in the mural along with the native flora, fauna and landscape of Northeast Los Angeles.

Come by for the dedication, poetry, drumming and conversation with the mural group. Food will be served.

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Program

11:00am-11:30am: Presentation of mural by Roberto Reies Flores and Arturo Romo-Santillano

11:30am- 12:00pm: Poetry by Don Newton and Christopher Nyerges

12:00pm- 12:30: Franklin High School Native Pride Club Performance

12:30pm- 1:00pm: Tongva dedication

1:00pm-3:00pm: Reception

When we were about 20 years old, my girlfriend and I tried to hike over the Pyrenees from Spain to France. We were roaming around for months, hiking around Europe. We didn’t have a good map, and no familiarity with the area. The mountains rose so high around us the slopes were rock (something different from the granite of the Sierras) and old snow, ice, and treacherous. Part of the trail extended out on metal pitons hammered into the rock face that we had to cross hanging with a bit of a crack in the rock for one of your feet, maybe, above the cliff, ands then just swinging hand over hand. We climbed up to cirques that ended in steeper slopes, surrounded by sharp tooth-like granite peaks. We decided it was too dangerous to risk a fall on the fields of old snow, sloping steeply away hundreds of yards. The trail was buried under it somewhere in high passes above us. We carried minimal camping gear, backpacks, tubes of plastic sheeting, tube tents. At dusk it started snowing. Our little stove was barely working in the cold and altitude. In the morning we shook the snow off of it and our gear and heated water for tea. It was still snowing lightly, the day dark and cold. The rock face was wet and the pitons cold on the hands crossing over, descending. We made it down into the forested canyons below treeline, where we’d seen a bright red orange fox, and headed into the quiet little stone towns. It could’ve turned out differently, we’ve seen trouble now and then, but we got married and have been hiking for over thirty years together.

Arnoldo Garcia mentioned that he knew these people, and there’s a campaign going to free them. Free the hikers:

FREE THE HIKERS: SHANE BAUER, SARAH SHOURD, JOSH FATTAL

Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal have been detained in Iran since July 31, 2009, when news reports say they accidentally crossed an unmarked border while hiking in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan near the Ahmed Awa waterfall, a local beauty spot. They were in a peaceful region of northern Iraq that is increasingly popular with Western tourists attracted by its natural beauty, traditional culture and long history. The three hikers, all graduates of UC Berkeley, entered northern Iraq with visas from Turkey on July 28 and had planned to spend five days visiting the area. A fourth friend, Shon Meckfessel had stayed behind in Sulaimaniya when Shane, Josh and Sarah set out on their hike because he was feeling unwell.

Shane Bauer, 27, has been living in Damascus, Syria with Sarah Shourd since late 2008 and is a student of Arabic, which he speaks fluently. He is a freelance journalist whose writing and award-winning photographs have been published in the US, UK, Middle East, and Canada. Shane, who has two younger sisters, grew up in Onamia, Minnesota and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2007. Shane has reported from Syria, Iraq, Darfur in Sudan, Yemen and Ethiopia but has never reported from Iran, nor expressed any interest in doing so. He had hoped to offer photographs and a story on the aftermath of recent elections in Kurdistan to the online news network New America Media, but was not on a formal news assignment.

Sarah Shourd, 31, has been living with Shane in Damascus, where she teaches English and is learning Arabic. She previously taught as part of the Iraqi Student Project, a program which gives Iraqi students living in Damascus the skills to continue their education in US schools. She was on a break from her teaching responsibilities for a week, and she and Shane decided to take a hiking trip with their friends Josh and Shon. Sarah has written articles on travel and social issues reflecting her time in Syria, Ethiopia, Yemen and Mexico. Sarah, who has an older brother and sister, was born in Chicago, Illinois, grew up in Los Angeles, California and recently moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Josh Fattal, 27, is an environmentalist who worked for three years at the Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon, which teaches sustainable living skills. From January to June 2009, Josh was a Teaching Fellow with the International Honors Program (IHP) “Health and Community” study abroad program in Switzerland, India, China, and South Africa. Josh and his elder brother grew up in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. He spent his junior year of college on an IHP study abroad program in the UK, India, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Mexico and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004 with a degree in environmental economics and policy from the College of Natural Resources. Josh was visiting Sarah and Shane in Damascus when they went on their trip.

Sign the Petition

http://freethehikers.org/?page_id=345

DONATE

http://freethehikers.org/?page_id=1516

WEBSITE

http://freethehikers.org/

Rheim Alkadhi on Recent Rupture Radio Hour, CSULA, 2009

http://www.revumbio.com/RECENTRUPT/HP/rootlike.html

Join your hosts Jose Lopez-Feliú and Swirling Wheelnuts for The Recent Rupture Radio Hour #3, East LA’s #1 post-modern store front radio program. Special guests for Saturday’s broadcast include Reies Flores, urban farmer; Don Newton, artist, poet and activist and Enrique Pico, president of East Los Angeles Dirigible Transport Lines!
A live chicken will be on air to answer all your most pressing questions. Don’t miss it!

Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Location: The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park
Street: 4800 Hollywood Boulevard
City/Town: Los Angeles, CA

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