About Ramallah Café


Ramallah Café, from veteran journalist Sandy Tolan, chronicles daily life in a land of conflict.  The stories are based primarily on reporting from the West Bank, with analysis and commentary from Los Angeles, where I am often based. The blog mixes on-the-ground impressions of “normal” life with reporting and commentary from my pieces in Al Jazeera, the Christian Science Monitor, Salon, NPR and elsewhere.  The Daily Life blog will document what it feels like on the ground in the region now.  Much of it will be off-the-map material, personal impressions, moments in time, and insights from ordinary people in the context of the broader ongoing conflict.  Many of the postings will chronicle my work on a new book about a Palestinian musical visionary – a child of the first intifada – and the exceptional group of international musicians, and Palestinian children from the West Bank and the refugee camps in Lebanon, who together are building something extraordinary.  (The book’s working title: Children of the Stones.)


Comments (7)

  • Hanna Elias

    It is such a great blog.

    It is great to know you’re in the hood. I’m in my village writing, Near Safad.
    How long are you staying?

  • I would like to subscribe to your blog but I couldn’t find the widget to do it and the link for the RSS subscription didn’t work I found your comments very interesting. I’m very interested in the life of palestinian people. As a Journalist specialized in International and world news I have been following the situation for a long time. I would like to add your blog t my blogroll

    • Phillip Saperia

      I, too, would like to subscribe to this blog. Could not do so through the provided link. Thanks for helping.

    • Exiled, judging by some of the releips you got we have a long way to go before people start realizing that even recent history is loaded with propaganda. That so many people here are fully aware of the I/P propaganda campaign is a good start. Eventually they’ll see that it extends all over.Libya for example. When the MSM is divided on what is going on (along with alternative media) it is hard for me to believe them. Considering Syria has long been on the Israel/Necon/NATO radar (since at least the early 80s, definitely in the 90s in the A Clean Break’ Necon report) I don’t know what to believe there either. Especially after what happened in Iraq.Speaking of Iraq, the estimated Iraqi death toll is almost 1.5 million. That is primarily civilians mostly women and children. That is over ten times the amount attributed to Saddam’s regime. I’m not saying Saddam was a good guy at all. What I am saying is when you look at it the other way doesn’t that make us the bad guy? How is this not a NATO/US-led genocide judging by how the term has been used in the past?Partitioning also applies to Iraq. It applies to I/P and it’s happened quite a bit (India/Pakistan being the famous and most volatile example) with methods achieving it involving war and terrorism. Neocon reports for partitioning Iraq date back to 1982. NATO has a proposed ME’ map that I doubt was just a for fun exercise.Divide and conquer. Split people by ethnicity, race, religion, culture, whatever it takes. Split them up and they’re easier to control and pit against each other in time of war.Anybody who denies that the US has been involved in domestic terrorism should check out Operation Gladio. Also, who arms the terrorists? Often the USA. We armed Iraq to fight Iran while trading weapons with Iran. Even Israel was in on the weapons trading with Iran. Iran-Contra, look it up. You’ll wonder why Oliver North is on CNN instead of in a prison cell. Ignore the weapons for hostages’ narrative, that’s a new propaganda creation to white-wash the facts. Think that doesn’t happen today? How are the Los Zetas getting armed? Who just recently got caught for that? How come nobody cares about this stuff? I get labeled a conspiracy nutter all the time but some of this stuff doesn’t require circumstantial evidence to draw a conclusion. The evidence is often conclusive and in plain sight and nobody seems to care.

  • Another possible title for the book: “Palestinian Violins.” It has a lovely ring to it, and it’s a little word play on the usual news focus… It’s something unexpected and catchy.

    “The Musical Intifada” would also grab some attention. It seems music should be included or implied in the title.

    But it’s up to you, of course — lots of people tried to talk me out of “Fast Times in Palestine.” 🙂

    • I read both atcriles, and I didn’t see anything about Palestinians requesting both personnel to be Arab. Call me naive if you wish, but I think they did out of a matter of convenience. If the medics were both Arabs, they were more likely to speak Arabic, thereby being able to perform their job more effectively.

  • Warren Smith

    An American (I’m sometimes not proud of) who would just like a little truth about thenMiddle East.