30 May, 2008

A Worthy Cause

I'm afraid I'm no expert, I shall have to cut and paste, but this is a worthy cause and deserves support:

Stop The Deportation Of Hicham Yezza!

(from facebook group)

Hicham Yezza, a popular, respected and valued former PhD student and current employee of the University of Nottingham faces deportation to Algeria on Sunday 1st June. That's NEXT SUNDAY.
This follows his unjust arrest under the Terrorism Act 2000 on Wednesday 14th May alongside Rizwaan Sabir and their release without charge six days later.

On his release Hicham was re-arrested under immigration legislation and, due to confusion over his visa documentation, charged with offences relating to his immigration status. He sought legal advice and representation over these matters whilst in custody. On Friday 23rd May, he was suddenly served with a deportation notice and moved to an immigration detention centre. The deportation is being urgently appealed. Hich maintains he will be able to sucessfully fight deportation in the courts.

Hicham has been resident in the U.K. for 13 years, during which time he has studied for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Nottingham. He is an active member of debating societies, a prominent member of an arts and theatre group, and has been writing editorials for the Student Peace Movement magazine for the last five years. He is well known and popular on campus amongst the university community and has established himself as a voracious reader and an authority on literature and music. An application for British citizenship was underway, and he had been planning to make his yearly trip to Wales for the Hay Festival when he was suddenly arrested.
There's more information at http://freehichamyezza.wordpress.com/ which has information as to how you can help. But if you've only a limited amount of time and still want to do something, please do the following:

1. Sign the e-petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/freehich/ this is FREE (despite the conspicuous donation ad) and will take a minute MAX.

2. Send an e-mail to home secretary Jacqui Smith at the home office informing her of your support of Hicham's case and asking her to stop the deportation of this man who is being dealt with without trial. A template and e-mail address are available at http://freehichamyezza.wordpress.com/2008/05/29/model-letter-to-the-home-office/.

There's an awful lot to this, none of which I can claim to totally understand. A complex set of worrying implications for academic freedom and right to due process. But I cannot explain these. All I would hope is that Hicham gets an opportunity to defend himself in court before anyone can eject him from the country he's lived in for 13 years.

Thanks for any time you can give.

26 May, 2008


'Tis time, my dear, 'tis time. The heart demands repose
Day after day slips by and with each hour there goes
A little bit of life; but meanwhile you and I
Together plan to dwell... yet lo! 'tis then we die.
There is not bliss on earth; there's peace and freedom though,
An enviable lot I long have yearned to know.
Long have I, weary slave, been contemplating flight
To a remote abode of work and pure delight.

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, 1834

I've let things slip of late, it's true. But exams, you know. Anyway, I found it hard to get hold of Pushkin that's not, y'know, in Russian. Not even really understanding their alphabet I have no idea what it sounds like. But this translation is nice (it's by Nabokov, author of Lolita)

04 May, 2008


I've been intermittently leafing through the complete works of W.B. Yeats (the everyman edition with at least as many pages of notes as poems themselves). It's been quite a slog at times, I've not yet developed an ear (eye?) for longer poems, and I'm pretty sure I'm getting on better with modern poets than classical ones. Still, that's not to say that I haven't enjoyed parts of it.

Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
Man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all;
Many times he died,
Many times he rose again.
A great man in his pride
Confronting murderous men
Casts derision upon
Supersession of breath;
He knows death to the bone
Man has created death.

W.B. Yeats (~1933)

I've taken to posting my weekly poem up on the fridge door, as much for my pleasure as for my housemates'. But as with so many things it's become a source of conflict. For I appear to gravitate towards rather grim subject matter, and this poem about death was swiftly removed. Better luck next time.

This week I'm reading some verse by E.E Cummings. It's a special joy because since picking up a book of his about a week ago I've discovered I adore his poetry. It's precisely why I set out upon this enterprise, to discover stuff like this. I might try and pick a cheery one (One ends "and everyone's in love and flowers pick themselves" - should strike a bell with some UK music fans).

Oh yes and I've missed out a week (our internet's cut off!) but I have learnt a poem by Pushkin. Unfortunately it's proven tricky to get hold of much of his work. I'll do that later.