Thursday, June 10, 2004

Few Minutes From The Life Of A Proud Palestinian

Yesterday and while watching the news there was this recording which captured a few minutes of an experience of 6 Palestinians. They were walking towards a tank with soldiers who were trying to destroy their home. They were unarmed, and walked all the way just to say no, and try to stop the tank. Unfortunately we’re used to watching Palestinian homes destroyed everyday, and we’re used to watching Palestinians trying to stand up and save their homes and families, but the special thing about what I’ve seen yesterday was this old man, around his late 70’s, barely standing up, skinny, with shaking hands, a curved back, looks so weak and helpless, when in fact he is the one holding together the other 5 young men, his sons. Yes, this old man was walking hand in hand with the 5 young men, and every time a soldier points the gun at them and every minute the tank comes closer, he holds his sons tighter and tighter, so full of courage, so full of determination to save a home he’s spent his whole life building, brick by brick. A home in which he spent days and nights of sweet and bitter memories, and now after 70 years and more, it makes no sense for him to give up after his sons have grown into men, and after the little seeds he’s planted have grown into a beautiful garden to feed his family and neighbors. His steps were so powerful, unlike his weak tired body; his head was left up high, unlike his spirit; and his hands were pressing so tight, so strong, putting all his efforts to make his old feet bare him for a little longer, and make his legs tolerate a few more steps further… but there came a soldier, respecting no age, caring for no feelings, showing no sympathy to those who are trying to save their home, there came he, to hit one of the brave sons, he hit him with the back of his weapon, forcing him to fall unconscious on the ground with blood covering his face. The other 4 sons tried to carry their brother, never a better moment to attack them, and so it was, the tank started moving fast and 3 soldiers were backing it up from outside, while the young men were trying to carry their brother out of the way so he wont be run over, not aware that the other 3 soldiers have made up their mind to kill them all. The only one aware was the old man, who has gathered few stones from the ground of his own garden to throw on the tank in an attempt to stop them from taking the lives of his boys and then take his home away. He threw and threw and threw, until one could see nothing but the 4 young men carrying their bleeding brother in their arms, running to their shut old father who was pointing at the house with his hand and saying: the house, watch out for the house…
It wasn’t clear where he got shut, therefore, I couldn’t tell whether he died or fell unconscious, all what was clear, is that despite all efforts, the garden was destroyed, a very big part of the house fell down and the reporter was taken away for investigation. Now what makes an old man get out of his home, gather his sons, walk with them hand in hand, paying all that effort in pulling himself together and supporting his sons not to surrender to the destruction of their home, to face the tank, the weapons and soldiers with nothing in their hands but few small stones? What makes him so determined and so full of courage to say NO! GO AWAY! What makes him resist till the very last breath? It’s not the love of cameras and media, as some pathetic losers try to convince us, and it’s sure not for fun, it’s for only two simple reasons: belief and responsibility.
The man believes he has the right to have a home, protect that home and fight for it. He believes that no one should steal his effort, his right, and his passion. He believes he should never lose hope in peace, never lose hope in a normal life, never lose hope in fulfilling his dreams. And above all that, he feels the responsibility towards his home and family. He feels responsible for their safety and security, he feels responsible for keeping hope in them, and responsible for giving the right example of a man of honor, a man of word, a man of principle. With all the suffering and hard circumstances, he was an idol for his sons, he was the symbol of life, sacrifice, pride, courage, faith and hope. He lived all his life like that, and he wanted to die like that. If he really died, then he lost nothing, it’s humanity who lost such a unique person who still have the beautiful meanings of survival and continuity. And if he lived, then he will continue to fight and struggle, he will re-build a home to gather his family, he will plant new trees, with their roots, these trees will hug the ground that is watered with the blood of his beloved people day after day after day.
This is the proud Palestinian, and this is how Palestinians will always be. May God be with them all, help them survive and give them peace. May the world be fair to them even for once in a lifetime… Amen!