Thankful to Be Free

I interview a Palestinian environmental activist living under Israeli occupation.

Thankful to Be Free
Photograph by Victor Keppler / National Museum of American History

LISTENING: to the 'Squid Game' theme song
FEELING: tired
SEEING: this goofy ass 'Squid Game: The Challenge' show

By the time you all will be reading this, Thanksgiving Day will be upon us.

It's my favorite holiday—I know, don't cancel me just yet. I've written about navigating the emotions of such a violent holiday as an adult now that I know its history. This year, however, I want to challenge all of us to think about the colonialist roots of Thanksgiving and the ways colonialism continues today.

The Israeli occupation of Palestine is a textbook example of modern-day colonialism.

Welcome to Possibilities, a creative climate newsletter on the possibilities that lie where crisis meets community. I’m Yessenia Funes, and we can't look away from Palestine.

Earlier this week, I interviewed Abeer Butmeh. She's the coordinator for the Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network. She lives in the West Bank. Palestinians don't celebrate Thanksgiving—this is, of course, an American holiday—but I found myself thinking about how fucked up it is that my family and I will gather around our table to feast in a few short days while households on the other side of the world don't have tables to sit around.

In Gaza, people are losing their homes at best. At worst, they are losing their lives.

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