sexual and gender-based violence during disasters

im so sorry to share this as it makes me ill. been reading all these documents on humanitarian crises interventions (and the gendered lens on war/crises) in cote d’ivoire, liberia and sierra leone and how sexual and gender-based violence is used as a weapon of war. . . damn. some of these pieces blow the mind. im going through testiminonials, interviews and studies. this was my last read:

A study conducted by the International Rescue Committee on Liberian refugee women and adolescents, aged 15-49, living in refugee camps in Sierra Leone found that seventy-four percent of the women and adolescents interviewed reported having experienced at least one incident of sexual violence before being displaced, and sixty-six percent said they experienced at least one incident of sexual violence during displacement . . .

74%. damn. that’s absolutely normative. these women are probably even wondering why people are asking about it . 30% is almost normalized (cm). blekh. in short, war sucks. deep.

here’s a link to more info from WHO’s HAC and GWH:




Once. . . I heard a bird,
an absorbed ecstatic bird
eloquently telling
it’s child:
“Fly away,
soar high:
a few bread crumbs
will suffice you,
but the sky
you need . . .
the whole sky.”

(sa’id ‘aql)
translated: mansour ajami

a noun sentence (m.darwish)

A Noun Sentence

A noun sentence, no verb
to it or in it: to the sea the scent of the bed
after making love … a salty perfume
or a sour one. A noun sentence: my wounded joy
like the sunset at your strange windows.
My flower green like the phoenix. My heart exceeding
my need, hesitant between two doors:
entry a joke, and exit
a labyrinth. Where is my shadow—my guide amid
the crowdedness on the road to judgment day? And I
as an ancient stone of two dark colors in the city wall,
chestnut and black, a protruding insensitivity
toward my visitors and the interpretation of shadows. Wishing
for the present tense a foothold for walking behind me
or ahead of me, barefoot. Where
is my second road to the staircase of expanse? Where
is futility? Where is the road to the road?
And where are we, the marching on the footpath of the present
tense, where are we? Our talk a predicate
and a subject before the sea, and the elusive foam
of speech the dots on the letters,
wishing for the present tense a foothold
on the pavement …

by mahmoud darwish
translated by fady joudah