Our fears, our dreams, our hopes.

I want the world to know about us. About our fears, our dreams, our difficult struggle, our hope for a peaceful and just future. Most of the time, people don’t know anything. Or, they come with strong ideas about us that have nothing to do with our reality.  And sometimes it feels as if the world has forgotten us. So when Lynda, a very kind woman I know from facebook, wrote me an email and wanted to make an interview with my family about our situation, I was so happy to open my heart to her.

Here is the article she wrote about us, interviewing my family. Thank you Lynda! To read her article, please click here.

My mother arguing with an Israeli soldier a demonstration against the Apartheid-Wall

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Posted in 2. News From Ni'lin | 2 Comments

Updates About The Fundraising Efforts And My Father’s Release

Dear friends and supporters,

so much time has already passed, but I nevertheless want to update you all on the fundraising efforts and my father’s release.

I’ve been very worried that our success in raising the necessary funds would endanger my father’s release from prison. I was worried because it has already happened in the past that the Israeli military changed the release dates or the deadline at which the fine was due in the very last minute, thus making it impossible for prisoners to be released. Also, I had to go into hiding since I received a request to present myself to the Israeli military for an interrogation. When this happens, we never know if we come back home the same day or if the Israeli military decides to put us into prison. Because we live under military rule, this happens easily and often, even without any charges being presented against us. I wanted to make sure not to be imprisoned before I could pay the fine for our three leaders and before my father came back from prison. So I had no choice but to hide and that meant also be silent on the internet. This is why we didn’t keep things as transparent in the latest phase of the fundraising campaign as we did all the months before.

With many many thanks from the bottom of our hearts, finally I want to let you know everything about how you all freed my father Ibrahim as well as Hassan Mousa and Zaydoon Srour. With your generous help, we were able to raise 1,784.67 Euros! *(this equals roughly 2,283.14 US-Dollar, or 8,126.04 Shekel) through the facebook support page and the blog. Additionally to that, a German friend and supporter Mona, who I initially knew only from facebook came to visit us in Ni’lin. Once back home, she went on a speaking tour in Germany and raised another 1,725,- Euros *(equal to 2,207.64 US-Dollar or 7,854.35 Shekel) on behalf of the three prisoners – thank you Mona, we will be forever grateful to you!!!

My friend Nicole from Italy was planning to make a fundraising concert in Rome, in order to raise what was missing to pay the fine. She had to find musicians, a place where the concert could take place, technical equipment and print flyers and posters and sell tickets. But it was very dificult to organize because people gave promises and then didn’t keep them. At some point Nicole told me, that she wouldn’t be able to organize the concert in time for the deadline. I was so worried. Already we didn’t know whether enough people would come and pay and how much money she would be able to raise. The idea that we wouldn’t be able to free my father scared me so much and together with the delay it all made it seem like an impossible endeavour. Finally a date and time was set: the concert was to take place on 19 Dec 2010 in a very nice theatre in Rome. But we had to pay the fine until the end of November. Several sleepless nights followed until I finally found someone who could borrow the sum that was missing. I promised to pay it back right after the concert, not knowing if we would be able to raise enough money. But we had to do everything we could!

Many Italian artists participated – thank you so much my friends Diana Tejera, Barbara Eramo, Daniele Mutino, Jorge Omar Sosa and the Trio Cosacco!!! I’ve heard from Nicole that you were fantastic! Nicole raised another 1400,- Euros selling tickets and staging an auction, where they sold our caps, with pictures of the three prisoners printed on them. I was so so so happy when Nicole send me an sms the same night, I could not sleep.
On 5 December my father and the other two leaders came back home from prison. It was my happiest day in a long long time. And I will never forget that only your solidarity and your love for justice and peace made it possible. Not only did it give me and my siblings our father back, it also gave us back some hope in a time where darkness swallows our dreams of a free, peaceful and just country. Thank you from my heart, my friends.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Thank You!!!

Dear friends,

while our Tunisian and Egyptian brothers are fighting for their freedom and against their dictatorial regimes, the world looks away from what is happening in Palestine. As so many times in the past, the Israeli military is taking advantage and escalates their violence against us, while nobody is watching.

All the more I am so grateful my friends from the whole world, to know that you all still watch and care about us. That you haven’t forgotten us. Your messages of support help me to remain strong and steadfast.

Now, a friend and supporter and musician from Thailand, has dedicated a song to our cause and to me and my father, and to all the oppressed people in the world who are fighting the just fight for peace and freedom. Please watch his wonderful video on youtube and listen to his song.

Thank you Hamed! Your song and your dedication means so much for us!! Its gives us strength and courage. Thank you all, my friends, for your support!!

*You can read the dedication either while watching it on the Youtube-page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LKS1btkNT8, or towards the end of the video.

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In Memory Of Ni’lin’s Demonstration In Solidarity With Gaza Strip In 27 December 2008

The demonstrators of Ni'lin raising the pictures of muhammed and arafat in the Demonstration in 07.01.2011

With no preceding signs, Israel began one of the most brutal attacks against the Palestinian people. On 27 December 2008, Israeli bombs were being dropped over the people of Gaza. The massacre lasted 22 days and on the second day of the attack, the residents of Ni’lin began a demonstration  which organised by the Ni’lin popular committee against the annexation wall at the checkpoint in the entrance of the village. Solidarity with Gaza is not accepted and Israeli armed forces used live ammunition, spraying several rounds at the young guys. Arafat Ratib Khawaja, 22, was shot in the back. Mohammad Khawaja 18,was shot in the head, above his right eyebrow and Mohammed Srour was shot in the leg. Arafat died that day and Mohammed remained comatose for 3 days and finally passed hours before the New Year began.

The Israeli occupation forces refused to allow an ambulance to enter the village. We carried Mohammed and Arafat to a truck, under the fire of tear-gas from soldiers. Only after what seemed like an eternity, did the soldiers give permission for the Red Crescent to transfer Mohammed and Arafat.

We lost two more of Ni’lin’s sons, for protesting the atrocities that had begun in Gaza.  We had already lost two in the beginning of the summer. Ahmed Mousa, who was ten, was killed with live ammunition on 29 July 2008. He had been playing with His friends on village lands and a soldier had shot him point blank at close range. During his funeral the next day, Yousef Amira, who was 17, was shot in the head with rubber bullet and died 3 days later in a Ramallah hospital.

The Israeli army was trying to stop our unarmed demonstrations with extreme force. Ni’lin has a remaining (7000) dunams (2800 acres), 30% of it’s original size.

Israeli illegal settlements have been built where our ancient olive groves once stood. Our livelihoods have been robbed, as Israel continues to confiscate more land under the guise of security.

A road was built in the middle of our village, to connect the settlements to ‘Israel proper’. I remember a demonstration against the construction of the settlement of Kiryat Sefer. The army shot a Ni’lin man named Attallah Amirah in the head with live ammunition in 1997. He was 38 and He had four daughters and  four sons.the eldest was 18 years old and the mother was Pregnant with the youngest whose name is Atallah too.

But we continued, after the deaths of Arafat and Mohammed. Because we cannot sit as our land is taken. In the spring of 2009, Aqil Srour was shot with a 0.22 caliber in his chest as he was reaching to help another boy from the village who was shot. His wife was expecting another child.

The death of Aqil shocked me more than the others. I met him when I was arrested for participating in demonstrations. He really took care of me and helped me through prison and we had developed a bond.

Today  07.01.2011 Ni’lin’s demonstration was in memory of muhammed and arafat khawaja, commemorating the second anniversary of the killing of muhammed and arafat who been brutally killed by the zionist occupation forces in 27.12.2008.

The  massive demonstration which organised by the Ni’lin popular committee against the annexation wall and settlements began after the Friday prayer in the land,and joined by the people of Ni’lin village together with number of israeli peace activists.shouting slogans against the massacre that israel did in gaza and in Ni’lin village too.

Once the demonstators reached the gate of the concrete wall the israeli occupation forces started shooting Poison gas bombs heavily which caused to dozens suffer from the tear gas inhalation, one guy got shot in the leg with the tear gaz bomb.Then the sodiers opened the gate and went out the gate running toward the demonstrators to catch them and arrest them, shooting rubber bullets and tear gas bombs at the demonstrators and even live bullets to scare the demonstrators, until they reached the village they started shooting tear gas bombs at the houses of the innocent people.

The demonstraton finished at 3:00 pm

Palestine is occupied and we will not stop until it is free.

 

 

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I am Wondering…..When This Will Have An End????

Ni'lin Demonstration in solidarity with it's prisoners.

Three years of the non-violent struggle in Ni’lin village against the expansion and annexation wall, the Israeli army still carries out several mid-night break-ins to arrest people who take part in the weekly peaceful demonstrations organised by the Ni’lin popular committee against the annexation wall and settlements.

These invasions are carried out by well-equipped and disguised soldiers.They lack all means of respect and are deliberately horrifying our families. For example, they shot Mr. Ayed Srour in his left eye with a rubber coated bullet in 2008 while they were trying to arrest his late brother Aqil Srour. (Aqil Srour was brutally killed later on in 2009.) At present, Ayed has only one eye and is suffering psychologically after the incident.

These arrests target people who belong to different ages and families. They have also arrested the leaders of the Ni’lin Popular Committee in an attempt to suppress our just struggle and kill the patriotic feelings. Obviously, Israel fears that the Ni’lin is setting an example in the struggle against the unjust occupation. And that this struggle might spread throughout Palestine. Last night (05.01.2011), at 01:30am, around 100 soldiers of the Israeli army invaded our town Ni’lin from the surrounding fields. They succeeded in arresting Mr. Muhamed Hussen Srour (26 years old). This arrest was followed by vandalism in the house of his family and terrifying his younger brothers and sisters. Srour was arrested once before in 05.09.2008 and has gone through indescribable maltreatment back then.

But we want Israel to know that, although the number of detainees exceeded roughly 250 persons, the people’s of Ni’lin will not give up their just struggle, come what may.

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My Father Will Be Free

Dear friends, I want to send you a big thank you from the depth of my heart. Your contributions that are meant to free my father Ibrahim, as well as Hassan Mousa and Zaydoon Srour have reached me in Ni’lin. With your generous help I was able to pay the fines necessary to liberate the leaders of our Ni’lin Committee Against The Wall. My father, as well as the other two will be free this Sunday. All of this was only possible because you helped me to free them. There are many things I want to tell you, so many things that happened in the past weeks. Please forgive me that I didn’t update you very much in the past month, but there was too much risk my father’s freedom if I talk about it before he is free or even before I could pay the fines. I promise to tell you the details once they come out of the jail and are safe, re-united with us and with their families. In the past days I was a lot in the mountains with time to think. Many things that were going around in my head. I want to share them with you. Only five months ago very few people knew about us, the people from Ni’lin. About our struggle, our pain and the daily injustice, violence and terror that the Israeli soldiers force on us. Only few people that knew about our leaders that were sent to the military prison and sentenced to 20 months and 15 days, based on forced confessions from a mentally ill villager. In the oast few months, newspapers and websites wrote about us, many many people emailed kind words of support and prayed for us, and today, there is a support group on Facebook with 1119 members. 1119 people around the world who care about us, who support our cause, who spread the news about our suffering, some going on lectures and talks in their countries to tell our story. Many of you donated money to help free our prisoners. All of this touches my heart very very much and gives me hope that the world has not forgotten us, and that we are not alone in our struggle. It gives me strength to stand steadfast against the daily opression and to never give up hope. The hope that we all, one day, will be able to go to the sea. As a free people, enjoying the sun, the beach, the water and not being troubled any more by night raids, snipers shooting protesters from the roofs of our houses in order to prevent peaceful protesters to join demonstrations, soldiers shooting tear gas canisters at us and killing people that participate in non-violent protests. A hope that keeps me going in the face of the daily difficulties and hopelessness that we are facing. For this, I am very much grateful to all of you – thank you!!

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Israel you will not stop our quest for freedom, justice and peace!

 

Photo courtesy of Ahmad Mesleh

Last Friday we’ve had a very powerful protest with more than 100 people in Ni’lin, protesting the Apartheid wall and commemorating the 6th anniversary of the death of our president Yassir Arafat. It was a very string symbolic act, when the protesters succeeded in cutting the electric wire that separates us from the rest of the world.No matter how many of us get arrested or killed or injured – they can’t stop us in our quest for freedom and peace!

During the protests, Muhammed Amireh’s spoke to the IOF soldiers:
“You know nothing about peace, instead you have learned to kill innocent people, steal their land in order to build settlements, and build walls. This wall will not bring peace neither to you nor to us. But peace is not only in international interest, it is also for the benefit of your children, as well as our children. You, the soldiers, can and must refuse to all of this. You must refuse to serve in the army. You must refuse to kill us, the people of Ni’lin.
Your government killed Yassir Arafat, even though he always wanted peace. Also, you killed your leader Rabin. Even though he killed many Palestinians, in the end he believed in peace and he realised that peace is for the good of jews and Israel and that’s when the settlers killed him – because you don’t want peace.
Stop stealing our land and destroying our homes. What you are doing is unbearable.”
You can see a video of the protest here((please click here))

After the demonstration the soldiers came to our village to take revenge and fired sound bombs.

 

Posted in 1. Updates About Our Situation, 2. News From Ni'lin | 2 Comments