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Hope 2021

Mahmoud Darwish (Palestinian poet and author) on Hope: appropriate for a year that follows the year 2020.
We have an incurable malady: hope.
Hope in liberation and independence.
Hope in a normal life where we are neither heroes nor victims.
Hope that our children will go safely to their schools.
Hope that a pregnant woman will give birth to a living baby at the hospital, and not a dead child in front of a military checkpoint;
hope that our poets will see the beauty of the colour red in roses rather than in blood;
hope that this land will take up its original name: the land of love and peace..

Death of death.
Amrita, July 13, 2020

It is no fun to think about death
But people are dying.
Why choose to be morbid?
Where is that proverbial chin up
With that mask hanging under the chin?
Because people are dying.
Two nurses died yesterday at the hospital around the corner.
A homeless man who lived on our street froze to
Yes, death. With his mask on.
Heroes and martyrs are being celebrated. On twitter.
Mass shallow graves, ICU beds are being planned.
Death-planning. Tick.

Two colleagues and two students died of “normal” causes
Three died of the “normal” nowadays.
We even have protocols for privacy and anonymity
For reporting the stats and the figures
Protocol sans emotions.
The mechanics of the remembrance form
They were humble, kind, good, smiled a lot
We extended our support to the family
A.k.a one phone call.
This is the mental health hotline.
Please call us.
Tick. Job done.
There will be a virtual funeral.
For our virtual existence.
If you have enough data.
Please join us.

Accessing the invisible: balcony talks with migrant domestic workers in Lebanon
Amrita, January 12, 2015

In the spirit of being a truly reflexive feminist researcher, let me start by acknowledging the critical role of three body-tools – curly hair, ambiguous looks and a strong neck – in my research on migrant domestic work in Lebanon.

The intimate Labor of Research
Amrita, May 10, 2017

As a sociologist and ethnographer interested in issues around gender and globalization, I have previously worked with surrogates in India and migrant domestic workers in Lebanon (Pande 2012). In both these projects I was in research sites surrounded by women, where men appeared only fleetingly.

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