Save The Palestinian Prisoners
I took the kids on a national duty yesterday, as I felt it was, to partake in the events taking place at the tent set up for solidarity with the Palestinian Prisoners who are on hunger strike for over 65 days today. Although the experience may be a bit premature, I just felt an obligation to let them get a glimpse of the scene and not force them to internalize more than their little minds can. Aljundi Park is quite near, and so we walked a few meters then rode the rest of the way when a taxi stopped for us. At first they thought that the people who gathered at the scene were actually the prisoners until I pointed to the large pictures hanging over the place. One had four rows of about 20 photos each lined up with healthy looking young men and a few older ones. It was sad to think how their health must be deteriorated by now from the hunger strike. Today, one is confirmed to be in a coma, Bilal Diyab. It was devastating just to think of what they may look like or feel as I was staring at their pictures above. How they have resorted to this last and most painful option to regain their very basic rights of freedom and dignity.
There was an appeal in their eyes, in the way they seemed to be looking at us. It was an almost audible and clear appeal saying: I have sacrificed my life so you all can live in freedom, so please don’t let us down. Don’t forget the reason why are deprived of life, of light, of love and how we are living in the darkness of the earth. Our lives were stolen from us because we practiced our legitimate right to resist Occupation and injustice. We could no longer stand the cruelty of our oppressors in stealing our land with the construction of the entrenched Apartheid Wall; razing green pastures in olive ripening season; killing and capturing of anyone anywhere at any time. While the whole world remained deaf and blind to the calls of our people, we chose to stand up for their rights.
My fellow brother and sisters in the lifeless prison cells: You are the sparkling rays of hope that shines light ahead and gives our life a meaningful goal to attain. To all those youths wandering aimlessly, or killing time in cafes smoking hookah, please remember that you live on a holly land inscribed in our Holy Quran and so you have a mission to accomplish. Our beloved prisoners were free like you one day, but have put their lives on the line for the love of their people and country. They yearn to breathe the air we breathe and embrace the warmth of the sun to relieve their weakened bodies. They long for the love of their families who have spent many Ramadans and Eids waiting for their return. Some have cried themselves to blindness and other to death. Their only wish was to hold their sons in their hands. A more humble wish for all was to be allowed to visit their sons, husbands, fathers and sisters in prison even if only for the limited period permitted by the oppressors. Untold stories of bereavement lie behind many doors among Palestinian families of imprisoned loved ones, yet there remains the unwavering hope and faith in the return of those heroes behind bars and underground. As I write this last line, the horrible howling of our neighbors’ power generators come to a relieving halt marking the end of this post.