Thursday, January 8, 2009
This video clip was just forwarded to me by my friend, Fataneh, who received it from Salam, a female academic from Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine, whom we met at IFU, the International Feminist University in Hanover, Germany, in 2000.
"This short video is prepared by my daughter Luna. She is shocked and overwhelmed by the Gaza terror, as
everyone of us. To release out some of her sorrow and anger, i advised her to do something, no matter how small!"
Salam's daughter, Luna, writes:
I stayed up late last night to broadcast a video on youtube about the Palestinian struggle under the harsh Israeli occupation...
to all of you who are interested please visit [the Youtube] link ... and leave me your comments...
special thanks to all,
Towards the end of our time in Hanover, because of the escalation in violence against the Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip (which resulted in The Second Intifada, also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada, which began in Sept. 2000), Salam headed a workshop at IFU about what it means to live under occupation, what it means to be a Palestinian, what it means to be a Palestinian academic in the West Bank, what it means to live under the boot of Israeli soldiers--literally. Salam spoke of watching colleagues die at the hands of Israeli soldiers. Of the everyday degradation and injustices and deaths she has been witness to, at border crossings, in the street, in the neighbourhood.
Salam had also told us of her father's imprisonment. A writer, her father was sent to prison for 3 years simply for writing something the Israeli authorities didn't like. He was tortured in prison, Salam told us, and was never the same. He was released with the help of a Jewish lawyer, Philitsia Langer. Salam also told us of trying to shield her young daughter's ears from the sounds of bombs and gunfire exploding in the night sky.
Nahed and I in Hanover, Germany 2000
Shortly after I left IFU in October 2000 to come back to Canada, I wrote the following email to Nahed, who like Salam, also had to return to occupied Palestine after our studies in Europe, and I thought I would share it with you because it seems I could've written it yesterday.
Just a note from across the ocean because I have been thinking about you. I hope that you did not have any serious problems on the way back home, especially with all the trouble that is being created in your part of the world by the Israeli government. Did they give you a problem when you arrived back home? I know that you were worried to go back--I was worried for you!--and I'm sure you are still worried because the situation is so grim. So horrible. So dangerous.
I have been thinking of you and of Salam every day and worried so much about what the situation is for you, and particularly for Salam who lives in Ramallah.
Have you heard from her at all? Is she ok? Is her family ok? The other night I lay awake in my bed thinking about how unfair it is that I should come back from IFU to a warm home and just regular life here in Canada, and you and Salam have to return to a country where Palestinians are treated as criminals, actually, as less than human. Go back to a country that is a warzone.
The stuff I hear on the news breaks my heart because it seems there are so many young Palestinians dying.
And the world community just drums up support for the perpetrators of the problem! The newspapers keep saying that the Palestinians have to stop the violence! This is so backwards, so blaming the people who are suffering. I get so mad and sad to read this, or hear it on the television. When will the people of the world come to realize that the policies of the Israeli government are to blame and not the people who
have been dispossessed?
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I think about you and I hope the best for you under these most difficult of times and I hope from the bottom of my heart that something changes the course of the terrible suffering of the Palestinian people.
If you hear from Salam give her my best wishes.
love, your faraway friend,
One night, Nahed sang an Arabic song. She wrote me this note about the song.