Tuesday, March 17, 2015

We Teach Life, Sir

Today I offer the words of two Palestinian women.

The first words come from a friend in Hebron - no one famous, but a beautiful soul who longs for a world where all lives are affirmed and honored. I offer her words to expand a monochromatic picture that some may have of Palestinians or of Palestinian women. She posted this on her Facebook page yesterday and gave me permission to share here:

I want to live in a world where honor and sexual freedom are not mutually exclusive, where boys are never told that "boys don't cry", where being gay doesn't require "coming out", where being oneself is not a constant declaration of war, where ethics prevail over edicts and reason over traditions, where difference is not perceived as a threat, where respect needs not be demanded, where rights need not be fought for...and most important, I want to live in a world that is not always trying to kill me.

And in this poem written in December 2011, Palestinian Rafeef Ziadah responds to the question: "Don't you think it would all be fine if you stopped teaching your children to hate?"

Two voices of resistance countering a narrative that misses, or covers, so much of the picture...A narrative that claims that these women, their families and friends, are terrorists, that they are hateful, that they are evil. A narrative that attempts to silence or punish those who dare to bring light to a more complete picture. The perpetrators of the narrative succeeded in killing Rachel Corrie, but they did not kill her message.

May these women someday know the depth and breath of freedom in its most expansive sense. May we all know such freedom. May we work to create it.

If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. 

- Lilla Watson

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