Ask @Abou_Charlie

Feel free to ask me anything! Leave your questions in the comments section below

What do you think of Guantanamo Bay? Is such a place needed or should Obama have closed it like he said he would?

I think that Guantanamo Bay is one of the many means by which the United States government short circuits justice. It is unlawful, unjust, and inhumane. There is a false consensus among the desensitized masses that ‘everyone in Gitmo must be a terrorist, otherwise they wouldn’t be there.’ It is all a result of the US government ignoring the Constitution, due process, the rule of law and basic human decency. To me it’s no question- Guantanamo Bay has to go.

What’s your most vivid memory?

My most vivid memory also happens to be one of my earliest. I was about 2 years old and Mama was praying thuhr (early afternoon prayer). She was wearing a light pink/orange Salawiyya (Prayer garment) and I was standing right behind her. I had a huge smile on my face and my arms were raised in the air ready to pounce. I was anxiously waiting for her to make Sujood (Prostration) so I could jump on her back and have her lift me back up as she stood back up. I remember this single instance (Yes, it was a regular occurrence when I was younger) because the sun was shining through the window and straight into my eyes and I had to squint the whole time. I didn’t care because I was having too much fun! It was like a game, and sometimes when I see my Mom praying I still get the urge to play 😛

Where did ‘Abou_Charlie’ come from?

This is a question only few know the answer to, and it must be earned! Sorry 🙂 I will say this though, I do not have a son named Charlie!

How will you take part in the Global March to Jerusalem? http://www.gmj-na.org/participationoptions.html

If I can’t participate, I will do my best to spread the word and make sure it ends up being a tremendous success!

What types of features do you want your ideal wife to have?

There is an Arabic saying that goes “Gheir Naseebak Ma Biseebak” In other words, whatever is meant for you will happen. The word ‘naseeb’ (fate) is very often used specifically in the context of marriage. I would have to agree with this saying. First off, I know that there is no such thing as an ‘ideal’ wife. Everyone has their flaws (God knows I do) but the key is to emphasize and focus on their positive attributes. I am going to assume that by ‘features’ you are not referring to superficial aspects of physical appearance, because I don’t do that. Yes, beauty is an important and wonderful thing, but I don’t play what I like to call ‘The Pretty Game.”  Somewhere out there, is someone better looking than you and I, and no matter how pretty someone is, there is always going to be someone prettier. So I really don’t concern myself with that as much. On the other hand, things that I do think are important include (but are not limited to) ability to speak Arabic and religion (Sorry, but she has to be Palestinian Muslim). I would like her to challenge me intellectually. I would have to emphasize education. I was raised by a very well educated woman (Love you Mama!) In fact, my Mom has a higher level of education than my Father! But honestly, growing up I noticed the difference having an educated mother made and I would like that for my kids as well. In all honesty though, this is not a concern at this point in my life.

What do you think about during the day? (Everything and anything)

 Oh man. Well I definitely can’t answer this entirely- my mind shoots out new ideas and old memories at light speed! But right now, graduating college and figuring out what I am going to do after that preoccupy my mind. I daydream a lot. Usually about things I would like to become proficient in, like chess, playing the Oud and Fus7a (Classical Arabic). I still haven’t figured out what I am going to do on the day Palestine is freed, so I think about that quite often as well.

What is your deepest darkest secret?

I cheated on a 3rd grade spelling test. I know it sounds silly but this was a very formative event in my life. Maybe I will write a blog post about it! *Spoiler Alert* The word I misspelled was ‘Whale’ :\

What are your views on the debate people are having whether Khader Adnan’s hunger strike is ‘halal” or “haram & suicidal?” I obviously support Khader.

I think this conversation is the polar opposite of the one we should be having. From an Islamic perspective, actions are judged by their intentions. Khader Adnan is not intending to kill himself, he is using the only resource he has to protest oppression and injustice; his body. Those who believe that what he is doing is Haram, need to check their privilege and leave the rest up to God.

Did you give Charlie up for adoption? If not, do you keep him in your attic?

I plead the 5th.

What state do you live in? (don’t worry i’m not a stalker just a curious child) lol

I go to college in Washington, D.C.

If you only had one day in Palestine for the rest of your life what would you do with your time there?

This is a tough question. Really tough. I can only assume that my last day in Palestine would include doing some of my favorite things. I would start my day with knafeh from 7alawiyat 3arafat (Arafats Sweets) in Nablus, drive down to Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and pray in Masjid Al Aqsa (Al Aqsa Mosque). Continue on my journey to Yaffa (Jaffa) and drink orange juice on the beach and finish my day with a sea food dinner in Akka (Acre).

Why don’t you practice yoga? This is Diana, asking you a silly question

I’m more of a Pilates kinda guy.

What type of people do you usually get along with?

I usually like to surround myself with people who are strongly opinionated and challenge me intellectually. I have (what I consider to be) well thought out opinions on many issues and they only came about by being pushed to think more critically about them by the people around me.

What does Abou_Charlie eat for breakfast?

Zeit (Olive oil) and za3tar (Thyme) like any good Palestinian!

What’s the earliest outrage committed by Israel that you can remember (as in happening in your life time)?

The murder of Muhammed Al-Durrah while hiding behind a garbage can in his father’s lap was the first time I can remember ‘feeling’ injustice. I wasn’t very educated on the Palestinian cause at that point in my life, but at that moment I knew I had to figure out why such a heartless crime would ever take place. I realized that as long as Palestinians were denied their rights, I had to commit my life to the Palestinian cause and to all people currently in the pursuit of justice.

Akkad is a well-known Syrian last name. Forgive me for being a blonde, but are you Syrian?

The Akkad family is a huge family all over the Middle East. While I have a ton of love for Syria and its people, I hail from the land of Palestine.

Hi! I follow you on Twitter & noticed your love towards Fairouz’s songs & Arabic poetry. I’m a huge fanatic myself; just out of interest, what’s your favourite Fairouz song? Noticed you’re studying medicine as well, so all the best of luck inshallah

Thanks for following! You are correct, I am a huge fan of both Fairouz and Arabic poetry. As for favorite Fairouz song, I could never answer that question with 100% confidence. It seems as though the particular Fairouz song I am listening to at any given moment immediately becomes my favorite. So I will answer by saying right now, I am listening to ‘Sahrat 7ob, Al jozo2 Al awwal’ by Wadee3 Al Safi and Fairouz. Thanks for the well-wishes!

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