“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

What’s Going on in the Holy Land?

The strict closure for one week now has paralyzed all facets of society in the Holy Land. There is no movement among villages and cities. People are cut off from living as usual. For 14 months we adjusted to the misery and humiliation of walking across the checkpoints as the only way to get anywhere. But for one week now, even walking is forbidden for Palestinians. The severe siege has prevented most people from going to work, school or hospitals for health care.

The strict closure for one week now has paralyzed all facets of society in the Holy Land. There is no movement among villages and cities. People are cut off from living as usual. For 14 months we adjusted to the misery and humiliation of walking across the checkpoints as the only way to get anywhere. But for one week now, even walking is forbidden for Palestinians. The severe siege has prevented most people from going to work, school or hospitals for health care.

Many children are missing school days like the 70 students that can’t make it to the Zababdeh Latin Patriarchate School from their surrounding villages. And when all the children do make it to their school because it is within their own village, a great number of teachers in core subjects such as mathematics, Arabic and English teachers are absent. Such is the case in the Taybeh School where six teachers could not make it to school this week. This list goes on and one with basically each school being affected in one way or another with this siege in the Palestinian territories. Most small villages will even run out of food and medical supplies if this collective punishment continues. Many people depend on the city for their basic daily needs. In my area alone, about 45 villages depend on access to the city of Ramallah.

As the international community stays silent, Ariel Sharon continues to give orders for more and more bombings of Palestinian targets, which sometimes happen to be next to schools injuring and severely wounding innocent children in Gaza. When Palestinian children die, they must somehow be creatures of a lesser God because major world leaders do not call up to express their condolence like they do with Israelis. And major world powers do not send wreaths of condolence and express their sympathy to the grieving families such is done with Israelis. It is such a tragedy to be in the third millenium and not have human equality and view the value of human life the same regardless of ethnicity and religion. Are we not all beings of the same Creator?

Being stuck at home this week, forces me more to stare at the harsh reality of the Holy Land right outside my kitchen window where the illegal settlement of Ofra is getting bigger and bigger right in front of my eyes. Each night I see more and more lights pop up across the mountain indicating their illegal expansion while throughout Palestine the Israeli government continues to demolish Palestinian homes and make it difficult if not impossible for local people to build on their own land. Such rage and anger takes place in my heart because I see no sign of justice in front of me. And, I see no future for my children in the land of their forefathers.

I use to not understand the young Palestinian boys at the checkpoint throwing rocks at the Israeli soldiers and hiding behind my car. I would roll down my car window and scream at them to go home and ask them to go away before the soldiers shoot them. Go home to what? It is not go home to Nintendo, Gameboy, Playstation, books to read, travel plans to make for vacation, soccer to play on the weekend. Usually, these boys go to a home where most of them have lost a father or a brother to Israeli guns; where most of them have a father or a brother in Israeli prisons; where most of them can hardly afford their daily bread never mind an education; where most of them can hardly find a job that pays the average monthly salary of $300 even after a college education; where most of them are prisoners in their own town because the Israelis have chopped up Palestine into so many parts the map looks like Swiss cheese from the illegal Israeli settlements.

The Western world thinks that suicide bombers are “terrorists” because they have not seen the humiliation, misery and horrible conditions the majority of Palestinians experience during 34 years of Israeli Military occupation. Such suicide bombers are so desperate facing Israeli soldiers daily that they take innocent lives with their own. Suicide bombers are freedom fighters for some people because they give their life in martyrdom to a noble cause “Free Palestine from Occupation.” We have the children that try to fight occupation with the pen but no one listens at least the suicide bombers get their message on the news but because innocent lives are lost their message is so desperately misunderstood. Following are the wishes of Palestinian teenagers in the Al Ahliyyah College in Ramallah from the English Writing Contest:

“The only wish that I think about, is the wish of all Palestinians, that one day we can have our independent state and have our right to live in peace and to bring all refugees back to their homeland Palestine.” (Joseph Kasseri,) “I wish to live as other children, so I can have the right to education, play and leisure, cultural activities, and freedom of thought…” (Kanaan Khalayleh) “All people have different wishes, but the Palestinians have the same wish, their wish is Independence, liberty and peace. Also my wish is the same.” (Fady Theodory) “My wish is to set free Palestine and to live as all children in the world and I am sure that it is not my wish only, it would be the wish for all Palestinian children.” (Liana Miqdadi) “Like a Palestinian child my wish is to have my rights, my normal rights that which all children have elsewhere.” (Hadeel Dalool)

In conclusion, what really saddens my heart the most is that some students can not even think of making a wish. The daily conditions are so horrid they affect children’s thinking and perception of reality. Thus, the children that don’t die from Sharon’s bombings will suffer a lifetime of psychological affects: “It is really too hard for me as a Palestinian to have dreams because since now no one knows where we will be and how we will be in the future. I don’t know if I will be alive or dead. So I think that the Israeli Occupation has destroyed our future plans.” (Maysa Alqara).

2016-10-24T07:35:28+00:00 December 10th, 2001|Categories: News|