March 16, 2006

march sixteenth

March 16th is a day of contemplation for me. Four years ago today, my grandfather passed away, a man I dearly loved and admired. Three years ago today, Rachel Corried passed away, a woman I never knew, until her death appeared all over my computer screen. Even though I didn't know Rachel, on March 16th she became a close friend, a woman I grew to admire as I read more of her last words and understood why she had stood bravely in front of that Israeli bulldozer on that fateful day.

My grandfather struggled similarly, but with something more natural, but not any less brutal: cancer. Thousands of miles away, his once strong body whithered away as the cancer spread across his soft skin and his big heart. Even when you know it's coming, you are never prepared. I wasn't in Jordan when he took his last breath, and I wasn't in Palestine when Rachel took her last breath, but I felt the loss nevertheless. And after the loss, you begin to regret many things...i wish i had spent more time with jiddo* every summer... i wish i had known rachel before they killed her...i wish i wish i wish...

None of that really matters today, we cannot turn back time, we can't change the past...but we still have a hold on the future. Rachel's words, her bravery and her selflessness intrigued me and motivated me. Why would this young student, just like me, travel half way across the world to a country she did not know, and risk her life for people she did not share anything with except the simple but priceless commonality of humanity? In my life, what have I done for the cause of justice? How could I, a Muslim, an Arab, an American...a human...not do enough for something I believe so strongly in. My grandfather too, like many in his generation, risked their lives for the this same cause...i wish i had sat with him longer, heard more of his war stories, and experienced them through his eyes.

Both of these amazing human beings have shaped the way I see the world today. A world facing a lot of injustice, but one where average people, like you, me and them, can bring a ray of hope to those who are suffering, or at least enlighten ourselves so that we do not become like those who inflict injustice upon the rest.

When I remember my grandfather and Rachel, I sometimes think to myself that they deserved to live longer...but who am I to decide that? Indeed, Allah is the most just and the most merciful and I could not go on a single day without this belief...the belief that there is a God and an afterlife in which such oppressors will face justice once and for all.

We shall meet soon insha'Allah*.

Until then jiddo, I will read your diary, hold your shmagh* tightly in my hands, admire your picture near the staircase, and pray for the day when I will see you again. I love you.

Until then Rachel, I will remember your selflessness and hope that a many more people in this world would be like you, speaking out against injustice at any cost. You did not die in vain, your life continues today and your story inspires millions to stand up and speak the truth. Your parents, friends and supporters have outdone themselves, and you would've been very proud. We shall meet one day.

*jiddo: grandpa
*insha'Allah: God-willing
*shmagh: red and white checkered traditional scarf, variations also in black and white

In Rachel's own words...
Just want to write to my Mom and tell her that I'm witnessing this chronic, insidious genocide stop. I don't think it's an extremist thing to do anymore. I still really want to dance around to Pat Benatar and have boyfriends and make comics for my coworkers. But I also want this to stop. Disbelief and horror is what I feel. Disappointment. I am disappointed that this is the base reality of our world and that we, in fact, participate in it. This is not at all what I asked for when I came into this world. This is not at all what the people here asked for when they came into this world. This is not the world you and Dad wanted me to come into when you decided to have me. This is not what I meant when I looked at Capital Lake and said: "This is the wide world and I'm coming to it." I did not mean that I was coming into a world where I could live a comfortable life and possibly, with no effort at all, exist in complete unawareness of my participation in genocide. More big explosions somewhere in the distance outside.

*jiddo: grandpa
*insha'Allah: God-willing
*shmagh: red and white checkered traditional scarf, variations also in black and white

More: Rachel Corrie Foundation, EI resources, photo story, Rachel's Memorial Website

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At 8:08 PM, Blogger Why Palestinians Usually Get It Wrong said...

Remembering Rachel Corrie - A Supporter of Terrorism

Three years ago Thursday, Rachel Corrie was accidentally killed by an Israeli bulldozer after she entered a closed Israeli military zone to protect Palestinian homes that were sitting on top of tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists to smuggle illegal weapons to be used against Israeli civilians. Rachel Corrie was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISD), a firm supporter of Palestinian terrorism (what the ISD calls “resistance”), “by any means necessary.”

There has been a lot of heated debated about the New York Theater Workshop’s recentpostponement of the play, My Name Is Rachel Corrie.Some folks have suggested that the theatre caved intoIsrael supporters. Other, more paranoid types, have suggested that the infamous “Israel Lobby” had something to do with the postponement.

The photogrpahs on the right show Rachel Corrie burning an American flag to show her support of Palestinians and choosing to lay in front of an Israeli Bulldozer in the hopes of protecting tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists to smuggle illegal weapons.

One of the reasons that the Israeli army closed the area that was being bulldozed was because Palestinian snipers often shoot at bulldozer crews. This endagers not only Israelis, but "peace activists" as well. Palestinian terrorism insures that Israeli bulldozers have very litlte visibility because of the need to protect the driver with metal shielding. Ms. Corrie chose to lay down in front of a bulldozer. Her act was not one of peace, but of suicide. Clearly Ms. Corrie spent too much time in the company of suicide killers and their supporters.

Perhaps the New York Theater Workshop simply realized that they did not want to be associated with Rachel Corrie because Ms. Corrie supported terrorism and allowed herself, either knowingly or unknowingly, to protect Palestinian terrorists. Perhaps the theatre company did not want to be associated with Ms. Corrie because she was eager to publicly burn American flags. Or perhaps the theater simply did not want to be associated with the left’s obsession with supporting anti-Semitism.


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