Palestinian Writer Praises Teenage Daughter for Sharing Goal of ‘Martyrdom’
A well-known Gazan writer expressed joy at her teenage daughter’s enthusiasm over the recent stabbings and other attacks carried out by her peers in the West Bank and Jerusalem amid the recent wave of violence between Palestinians and Israelis, the Middle East Media Research Institute reported last Thursday.
The writer, known by the pen name, Sama Hasan, shared her sentiments in an article published last week in the Palestinian Authority newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. In the piece, Hasan describes her pride at having a 15-year-old daughter who dreams of becoming a “martyr,” and for her utilizing the modern tools at her disposal to keep abreast of each new attack and its outcome.
She also shares her amusement at having the goal of dying on behalf of “Palestine” be the thing mother and daughter have in common.
The following is MEMRI’s translation of the article from the original Arabic:
“I was very disturbed to hear and read about all those who enthusiastically encouraged our brethren in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, [calling them] ‘the beating heart of the West Bank’ – for all of us together constitute a single beating heart, the heart of Palestine, the motherland, which is our foremost cause and our only pain today.
“I was overjoyed to see my young daughter shed tears as she held her new mobile phone and used the most advanced technology to watch a video about one of the martyrs [who died recently] in the Al-Aqsa events. The camera panned around, [showing] his home and his personal belongings. My daughter, still choked up with tears, suddenly sprang from the couch, as though bitten, and shouted: ‘Mother, I want to sacrifice my life! I want to carry out a martyrdom operation and kill some Israeli soldiers.’
“More than filling me with fear, my young daughter’s words filled me with joy, since I could see myself during the Intifada of the Stones [the first intifada, which erupted in 1987]. I was 17 [at the time], namely two years older than my daughter [is today], but I was filled with the same youthful and fervent fighting spirit stemming from love for Palestine. We used to leave school to cheer for Palestine and chant the one and only slogan: ‘In spirit and blood we shall redeem you, Palestine.’
“We did not carry flags or signs bearing slogans, because the soldiers would chase us and seize any flag or sign we carried, and would arrest us and impose heavy fines on our families. Most of us were girls from middle-class families, and our fathers were unable to pay the arbitrary fines they imposed. Despite this, our voices rang out; the Palestinian cause was staunchly upheld; and our rage pierced the air and reached the skies as we called out ‘Palestine! All of Palestine!’
“My daughter made me glad. Hugging her, I said: ‘Long live those past [glorious] days.’ She used to jokingly rebuke me for being old-fashioned. She still thinks so, but my daughter and I have something huge in common: both of us [are willing] to give our lives for Palestine.
“My daughter decorated her phone with all the pictures she could find of the freedom martyrs killed in recent days. She was happy to inform me that a father in Gaza had named his newborn son after Muhannad Al-Halabi, in honor and in memory of that martyr who was killed in Jerusalem. This has always been the custom in Gaza, and it will continue to be the custom, for we [Gazans] share the sentiment of our brethren in the rest of Palestine, and our demand is one. It is far removed from political infighting and from those who are trying to divide the homeland into [several] small states.
“You made me very happy, my young daughter, when you stopped watching Korean [TV] series and started avidly following the news about the popular uprising in the other part of the homeland [i.e., in the West Bank]. You made me very happy when you felt as though you lived in Jerusalem, in Nablus or in Ramallah. You made me happy when you asked about each of these cities. When I told you about [them] – especially about Nablus, where I went to the university – I felt as though I was telling you about Gaza and its people, its streets and its refugee camps.”