Author Archives: Kali Rubaii

Reparation Journey In Iraq

Farmer_Northern Iraq

November 4, 2014 “This is community land” says a man herding his cows in this valley. “They have plans” says a farmer about the cement factory being built in this valley. “They are building there, and there, and soon our land will be surrounded. They promised electricity and benefits, but it never came.” “Come, let…more »

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Existentializing Difference

Kali Rubaii with Yazidi children in Iraq

The Existentialization of Difference: Why Have The Yazidi People Survived? You have asked me: “Why and how have the Yazidi people survived so long? Why are they just now being threatened?” What important questions. I have had the privilege of working with displaced Yazidi who have suffered unprecedented violence, and lost many family members in…more »

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Why Is The United Nations Doing Business With G4S, Notorious Prison Supplier?


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees In early September, I accompanied an Iraqi friend to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in Amman, Jordan to help register him officially as a refugee. It was a bittersweet day: my friend had reached safety, but he was now registering as a stateless person. I trusted…more »

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Gaza ~ Operation Protective Edge, August 2014

It was on bloody feet that I arrived in Palestine. When I was seven, I tromped through the oily jungles of Central and South America, not fully realizing the arches of civil war implicating my blue American passport in its weave. I handed over the document as a currency of empire. Why I didn’t feel…more »

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Appeal to UCSC Administration To Stay Human


On April 2, 2014, UCSC Union Leader Josh Brahinsky peacefully attempted to exercise his legal right to picket. After announcing his affiliation and intention to officers, he then tried to comply with their orders by walking away. Instead, UC Berkeley officers in riot gear arrested him with unnecessary force, while UCSC Chief of Police Nader…more »

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Syria: The Soap


The Soap Syria washes everything off my hands. This block of olive oil, hard and smooth, glistens and makes no foam or bubbles. It sits on the far side of the sink. It washes everything off my hands. The cat dander. The bruised squished peach. The to-do list I write in the space between my…more »

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Letter From UCSC Student In Israeli Live Fire Zone

Photo by Jessica Kali Rubaii

Dear Friends, Representatives, and Family, If you are receiving this note, you were contacted by those concerned for my safety and well being, as well as the safety of village members in Al Aqaba, a village located in Area C of the Jordan Valley (in the West Bank). Thank you for all of your work…more »

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University of California Anthropologist Petitions for Children’s Freedom of Expression

Photo by Matthew DeMaio

The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, California was scheduled to display artwork by Palestinian youth from September 24th to November 13th. The exhibit has been canceled. The artwork depicts children’s experiences with war, similar to displays of former exhibits by children of war. According to Hilmon Sorey, the museum board’s chairman, “the museum couldn’t…more »

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