I don’t know Roba Al-Assi, but I started hearing her voice during ArabNet. She was one of the bloggers covering the event. But I first got wind of her wit on Twitter at @robaassi, where her current avatar is a pair of red Converse sneakers, remixed to look like smiley faces. I can’t remember exactly which Tweet drew me in, but I soon found myself on her blog AndFarAway and, after reading a few entries, realized that it was licensed under Creative Commons. By that time, I was already collecting the CC list (and I need more, especially in Arabic, so please share!)
Al-Assi uses a CC license that permits remixing, so I’ve cropped the photo to my own needs and only included an excerpt here. But I’m only allowed to do this if I:
- attribute the work to the original creator (Roba Al-Assi, of course),
- do this for noncommercial use (we’re not selling the content), and
- if I share our work under the same or a similar license, which we do (look in the bottom right-hand corner of every smex.org page).
That’s how CC works. Creators get to set the terms, and recreators innovate with them.
On to the post: Besides its nostalgia and vintage photos depicting life in the Palestinian community in Jeddah in the 50s and 60s, I like this post because it was composed as a way of sharing with another blogger. You’ll have to read to find out who.
Blogger: Roba Al-Assi
Once Upon a Summer Day in Jeddah
My mother was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where both her maternal and paternal families had moved to in the middle of the last century.
Some of her family started their lives there, becoming Saudi citizens and producing offspring that still calls the coastal city home. Others, like my great grandfather, ended their lives there, buried away from home, having spent the last few years of life unable to go back to Palestine.
The first time I ever visited Jeddah was in 2003. My memories of the city are of humidity, malls, and looking for the house on the beach where my mother grew up, only to find out that that beach has not existed in decades. It was covered with sand to accommodate the city’s growth, and the beach is now miles away. My mother’s tales of Jeddah are of fishing for hours, eating ice cream at a place called Mechaniko Cream, and her father’s woodshop.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Generic License.