Every time there is repression, it gives birth to revolution. The people of the Middle East are under repression for too long. Too many years we have suffered the dictators who exercised their own will upon the masses. They subjugated us, denied our rights and exploited us. The West is vocal about democracy but when it came to Middle East they preferred silence and co-operated intimately with those dictators. This double standard made us realize something has to be done. We all were waiting for a spark that would ignite us. We knew the time is neigh to break our cocoon and set ourselves free from this oppression.
I am Roba Salipi. I live in Gaza strip, Palestine. Gaza is now under siege from land, sea and air by the “world’s most moral army” who killed 1400 people including over 350 innocent children in the last war. I have been there when the bombs were falling like acid rains. Whenever there was an explosion I used to close my eyes and thought I won’t live to see another day light. But here I am speaking to you. I survived. But one of my friend wasn’t so lucky. She was killed along with 3 of her other cousins because of shells fired by the Israel Defense (!) Force. We are still in a blockade and the international community seems to be deaf, dumb and blind to do anything about it. The only way we can end the blockade and fight for a liberated Palestine is by being united. But sadly our political parties are deeply divided. There is anger and mistrust between them which is ruining our freedom movement. Despite the political division, every Palestinian aspires for freedom. All we were waiting for was an inspiration from somewhere perhaps.
Something happened very suddenly. There was a sudden uprising in Tunisia. They succeeded to get rid of their dictator. Egypt was next to follow. I watched with enthusiasm when a young girl in Tahrir Square said “We will make the change” in a firm and determined voice. I was amazed to see how a young girl could find such courage to speak in public like that. I started to believe in the spirit of youth. If we all can speak against injustice, than Middle East could be a much better place. I begin to realize youths are a part of the society and should share the responsibilities. It is how we could bring the changes. Young people leading the protests in Tahrir square stood their ground for 23 long days despite many difficulties. They were not tired or afraid because they had a cause to defend and a reality to change. Soon revolution was ignited in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and Palestine.
The interesting part behind all these movement was the involvement of the social media. People started to speak up their mind in blogs, Facebook, Twitter or Youtube. Some youths here in Palestine started to talk about ending the division between the political parties. There were groups in Facebook who wanted to start this change on March 15. As the days went by more and more people started to show enthusiasm. On March 15, I went to the protests along with all my family members and friends in my Palestinian traditional dress. Mao Tse-Tung said, “Revolution is not a dinner party, not an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be advanced softly, gradually, carefully, considerately, respectfully, politely, plainly and modestly.” I learned it on that day. While we were peacefully protesting with our Palestinian flags we were attacked by Hamas supporters. I don’t understand why they thought our movement is a threat to them. Many people who participated in the protests were beaten including woman. Many were arrested. One of my cousins was injured in her leg. My sister was trapped in an UN building while protesting. I was chased by the pro Hamas supporters as I was taking pictures of their violent crack down on us. Things were going against us, but that is how revolution is I guess. We aimed to unite the whole Palestine under one flag, the national green, white, black and red one. Not just a green flag that of Hamas, or a yellow flag of Fatah or a red flag of PFLP. Perhaps we have to deal with the biggest revolution of all. We have to win over our own people before we can fight against the injustice of Israel.
As we are continuing our struggle for the freedom of our people here, many people have been killed in Bahrain, Yemen and Libya. I don’t know when we will have the victory but I have faith that, when truth collides with falsehood, falsehood perishes because falsehood by its nature is bound to perish. I hope and dream for a day when every people of the world would be able to live their life with dignity and honor, enjoying their freedom and there would be peace in the land.
(This article is co-written by my friend Roba Salipi and me, just after the March 15 protests all over Palestine.)
(Found on Facebook / 27.03.2011)