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News ::
Don't be afraid by Silvia Cattori (english)
18 Oct 2003
The shattered eyes of Palestine are staring at us. They are craving for unity, for justice, for truth, for humanity. Those are the eyes of generations of children who have been deprived of the happiness of their age.
Don’t be Afraid

By Silvia Cattori, September 30th 2003

Translated from French by Olivier Roy

The shattered eyes of Palestine are staring at us. They are craving for unity, for justice, for truth, for humanity. Those are the eyes of generations of children who have been deprived of the happiness of their age.


The eyes I am talking about are those of this young Palestinian kid whose gaze, straight and profound, came to rest at us with curiosity, with warmth. Green eyes oddly contrasting with the apocalyptic landscape of greyness of this April morning, when, horror-stricken, we entered the ruined historic quarter of Naplus. The eyes of this young kid were talking about F-16, tanks, machine guns, of corpses still warm under the rubble, of made up soldiers who sowed terror and destructions beyond imagination. Eyes hurted by the pain and humiliations inflicted upon him by those barbarians, brandishing the Star of David, who withdrawned a moment ago. We were on April 22nd 2002.



When we asked him : “ What message would you like to hand out to the world? ”, the child didn’t hesitate to retort to us, with his eight years old : “ Don’t be afraid. ”



We were pinned down to the ground. This children gaze was saying to us with strenght that the Israeli soldiers could do anything, but that nothing, neither the crimes nor the collective punishments nor the Merkava, nothing would make his people surrender, never…



The crying green eyes with the long black eyelashes of this Palestinian kid never left me.



I turned back to know what happened to this little kid whose courage guided me, without me knowing it. I didn’t find him.



“ Don’t be afraid. ”

Those few words, violent and soothing, I haven’t been able to unveil them until now. By fear of distorting their meaning. By fear also of not having been able to figure out all their scope. Today, I want to render thanks to them.



“ Don’t be afraid. ”

Help us to give all its meaning to the cry of the child bearing all the sufferings of Palestine inside him.



“ Don’t be afraid. ”

The child thrown into the dark by Israel’s cruelty was saying to us, with rage, passion and confidence, not to fear being on the side of the resistance, not to fear challenging tougher than us. That there is no middle way… that we have a duty towards truth and perceptiveness. That we must be able to choose on which side we stand : beside the shooting Israeli soldier or beside the shooted Palestinian?



Among this huge disaster we meet this Naplus kid drawing us out of this mess and with him, a society, certainly ravaged and confined, but which remains lively, free and creative, despite all opposition.



“ Don’t be afraid… you must not be afraid of the toughest… together, united, we can beat them… we have beauty and justice on our side… Them, with their tanks, they are digging their own grave. ”



It’s often in times of distress that humans reveal their greatness.



It’s the gaze of this child which must encourage us to serve their cause, as humbly and efficiently as possible and incite us to side with those who, without compromise, without ambiguity, commit themselves in the fight with dignity.



Edward Said tried hard until the end to indicate us the way of dignity and solidarity. His ultimate message has now become a legacy for everyone of us.



www.ism-france.org

silviacattori (at) yahoo.it
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