My last few columns have been quite candid. I’ve laid out our future plans and written about our challenges. However, I think I missed a very important point: we love what we do, despite all. People often tell me that finding new themes and gathering the content to give it justice must be the hardest part of what we do. I normally reply: “That’s the fun part!” Exploring new themes and acquiring content is the spice of our work and is certainly enjoyable. In fact, I often find myself saying, “I can’t wait to publish this article!” or “This is a wow!”
Here’s an example of building an issue. Take the June issue with the theme sumud, or steadfastness. In line with our self-imposed mandate to promote and document Palestine (now refined in the slogan “A credible source of information about Palestine”), the initial idea was to highlight people, institutions, networks, and even private-sector companies that have excelled and stood out for their good work. As there were so many options available, the challenge was to choose which institutions or personalities to feature. We ended up highlighting Suad Amiry, Raja Shehadeh, Hanan Ashrawi, Abdalhadi Alijla, Mounir Kleibo, and Issa Nesnas. Certainly there are hundreds, even thousands of others we could have written about, but sometimes proximity, and admittedly personal connections, weigh in. In that issue, we also featured the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, and Pharmacare, a successful pharmaceutical company that exports to Europe. Since we normally announce our themes two, sometimes three months ahead of time, we had no idea when we announced the June theme of sumud that the glorious demonstrations at Damascus Gate and later in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem would take place in May. We surely did not expect the latest attack on Gaza that followed. Luckily, however, we were able to accommodate an additional two articles about Gaza and Sheikh Jarrah. In my opinion, the latter turned out brilliantly since it focused on beautiful Sheikh Jarrah, the jewel among Jerusalem neighborhoods, and its celebrated history. The whole issue was wonderful and, as my brother once said, “Each time I say that a particular issue is the best, you prove me wrong!” This is the fun part I’m referring to.
In my November column, I promised that when the December issue is uploaded, it would include a prototype of the search engine that we have been working on for some time, whereby users will be able to choose a category to get a list of the articles that have been published on that topic. Although this exciting feature is certainly coming, its implemention is taking more time than expected. My apologies! Thank you for your understanding and for your continued support.
Long live Palestine!
By Sani Meo