Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Posted at the NY Post.

Activists with ties to the principal of the city's controversial new Arabic-themed school are hawking T- shirts that glorify Palestinian terror, The Post has learned.

The inflammatory tees boldly declare "Intifada NYC" - apparently a call for a Gaza-style uprising in the Big Apple.

The organization selling the shirts, Arab Women Active in Art and Media, shares office space on Brooklyn's Third Avenue with the Saba Association of American Yemenis.

Dhabah "Debbie" Almontaser, principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy - which is scheduled to open in Brooklyn next month - is a board member and spokeswoman for Saba.

Members of AWAAM refused to comment.

But Almontaser downplayed the significance of the T-shirts.

"The word [intifada] basically means 'shaking off.' That is the root word if you look it up in Arabic," she said.

"I understand it is developing a negative connotation due to the uprising in the Palestinian-Israeli areas. I don't believe the intention is to have any of that kind of [violence] in New York City.

"I think it's pretty much an opportunity for girls to express that they are part of New York City society . . . and shaking off oppression."

Google "define:INTIFADA", and indeed it literally means "shaking off". However check the Merriam-Webster dictionary and you begin to see what the contemporary meaning of the word is. Many words have evolved whole new meanings based upon their use in popular culture and even by their frequent use by social groups. Take the word "gay" for instance. Fifty years ago, no one would have thought twice about going to a "gay" church affair.

These t-shirts have been developed to deliberately paint an image in the minds of those who see them. People buy them with that same intention. You're fooling no one when you try and say that the word literally means "shaking off" when you know good and well what the word really means to the whole world. Honestly, what images come to your mind when you hear the word "intifada"?

No comments: