Afghan Women’s Writing Project | Heart of a Warrior

We Afghans, we are a zealous people,

stronger than a stone but delicate,

the most self-contained, but hot blooded,

the most kind, but vengeful,

the most peace loving, but warriors.

Here, this Afghan girl, she is a grown girl,

she burns to learn, to lead.

She dreams of being president

as she works each day to feed her brothers

and pay their school fees.

She looks out at you, abroad, in your newspapers,

from your websites, and she knows you are looking

and she wants to say to you

You see my face framed with my rough blue scarf,

streaked with mud from the fields,

but you can’t see my zealous, warrior’s heart,

How much it is hurt!

You see my glancing eyes,

but you can’t see my tears

How much they rain!

You see my laugh,

but you can’t see my pains

How much I have suffered!

You see my words,

but you cannot read my thoughts

How much power they have!

You see my steps,

but you cannot feel my intention

How it is solid and strong like our mountains.

You see my poverty,

but you cannot imagine my zeal

How it gives me strength!

You see my hard life,

but you cannot feel my confidence,

you do not know how deeply

it dwells and feeds me.

By Rabia A.

via Afghan Women’s Writing Project | Heart of a Warrior.

Israeli settlers uproot 5000 olive tree saplings near Turmusayya | Maan News Agency

Jewish settlers have uprooted more than 5,000 olive tree saplings in agricultural lands east of the town of Turmusayya in the central West Bank north of Ramallah, locals said Thursday.

One of the owners of the lands targeted, Awad Abu Samra, told Ma’an that in the last week settlers have repeatedly raided the area to attack the olive tree saplings.

via Israeli settlers uproot 5000 olive tree saplings near Turmusayya | Maan News Agency.

This just sucks – such terroristic children backed by childish Israeli government!

VDU’s blog: Bats in a tree…

Of course this will raise the usual question of whether we cull all bats to prevent this from ever happening again. Don’t be ignorant! Bats have very important roles in pollinating and thus in keeping our ecosystem going. Should we kill all bees because they sting us? I’m pretty sure I’ve been stung by a bee more times than I’ve had Ebola/Hendra/SARS/Nipah/MERS/Lyssavirus or any other bat-hosted virus infection. Killing off everything to prevent a very rare zoonotic event when better knowledge can resolve the problem is just a typically short-sighted and knee-jerk human reaction (not a fan-can you guess?).

One question that does still remain, and one that is of extreme interest to me, is how often mild disease results from an Ebola virus infection? Good, robust serology methods to the rescue.

via VDU’s blog: Bats in a tree….