26 thoughts on “Rafeef Ziadah – 'We teach life, sir', London, 12.11.11”

  1. It must be frustrating to record all the murders committed by the Zionist terrorists and condemn without having any action taken to solve the problem. VIVA PALESTINE


  3. Bless you Rafeef. This is a remarkable Palestinian girl, looks just like us, eloquently speaking, passionate, intelligent … yet the media here in America has painted the Palestinian people as subhuman, and are afraid of telling the real story of the Occupation.

  4. Wow! Your performance, charisma and courage are amazing.
    You deliver the voice of Palestinian people suffering. And this voice is genuine, it is true.
    As hard as it may be for me, I have empathy for this voice.
    I have friends, twins actually, who live 2 kilometers away from Gaza, in a Kibbutz, and they have the right to live there by any international law. There were fields of vegetables and a beautiful forest surrounding their home. Because of the launching of blazing kites during the last months, it is all in ashes now. They cannot breathe normally when outside of their home, the air is polluted. Farmers who did not do anything wrong to Palestinians have lost all their work to the flames, animals and plants burned without any fault.
    This is not all. The people who live near Gaza suffer from continuous bombings and rocket launchings on their home. Children who should have been enjoying their summer cannot go to sleep due to the noise of the alarms, are forbidden to go far from home because they need to run within 15 seconds to a secure room which will shield them.
    There are People from Palestine who are stabbing, trampling over and bomb themselves at people in Israel, people who were just there, without doing anything wrong or posing a threat to them. Sometimes, the people from Palestine travel across tenths of kilometers in order to do it.
    The common to all of this is that the people from Israel, normal citizens, do suffer from the people in Palestine. I do not know if it is always so – sometimes the people from Palestine are a part of an organization – but sometimes the attackers from Palestine are also regular people, even sometimes teenagers, just like me. In one of the extreme occasions, a 14-year-old boy stabbed an adult.
    I can call this terror, it is by the official definition, but it would not serve anything.
    Know that IDF tries to harm as fewer people as he can. It tries to decipher each time that he kills only when necessary, and almost only terrorists (I do not have another word for it). There are tons of mistakes in its acting, but it at least tries not to attack ordinary people. A huge amount of the IDF members invest three years of their lives in order to make sure that IDF will attack only supplies of weapons, and attack people only to prevent those people attacking others from Israel.
    I know that we are not on the same ground. Israel is a lot wealthier, and it can be that the suffering of people from Palestine is a lot more intense. So I cannot have the same moral demands from Palestinian people. You are aware of how bad it sounds, right?
    However, I cannot deny the suffering of Palestinian people. Its source is mostly the fear of the people in Israel. Fear, not hatred nor evil thoughts. Israel stops people for hours in the checkpoints, because attackers have passed there in the past, and they still do; Israel limits the water and electricity supplies because they are mostly used for attacking Israel; and so on. As I have said, it is mostly because of fear, so there are many follies and bureaucracies problems, which have led to the enormous suffering of Palestinian people. It really hurts me to hear that Palestinians have only 4 hours of water and electricity for a day, it is absurd! I do not know how to change that as a teenager… But the responsibility for that is not only on my shoulders, or on Bibi’s shoulders. The last powerhouse in Gaza has been closed this month. Israel has conveyed millions of Shekels to Gaza, only to be used by Hamas to build tunnels for attacking people living around Gaza. I do not know much about politics in Israel and about the politics in Palestine moreover. But if Gaza cannot build its own economic system, then the people in Israel will fear to help it.
    I do want to live in peace, and to have the courage to make that peace.
    The first step in order to get there is to start educating for empathy, and not for heroism. How do you think a soldier in the IDF feels when he protects his homeland, his family, and control the streets of Gaza with fear and destruction? I am sure that he feels like the freedom fighter who claims his rights on the land of Palestine by launching rockets on innocent children. I’ll ignore the differences which I have stated earlier.
    They both feel like heroes, and they are, because they both have led their people to a better life. But they have no empathy to the other side. Because the other side is unknown, and has harmed our side a lot, and we cannot live peacefully while the other is around. And maybe it is because we all want desperately to be a hero, so we have to create ourselves villains.
    But let us surpass that. Let us have empathy to the other side, while still keeping our narrative intact. I think that this land is mine, and that we could have lived in peace with Palestine, but they have forced us to conquer and occupy them; you, or other Palestinians, think that Jews have no right over Israel, that they have banished their families from their home, and now they are ought to fight them, no matter who or how. Let us tell this story – to one another. Because we are all people. Let us have empathy for each other’s sufferings, beliefs, joys, patriotism, and maybe then we will be able to change our lives for the better.
    You have said that you are not teaching hatred, you are teaching life – and then have described parts of the life in Gaza, without explaining what you are actually teaching. I do not have access to the curriculum in Palestine, but according to researchers of it, there is not any mention of Jews, Jewism and Zionism except showing them as a strange presence in the land of Palestine. There is not a mention of the peace attempts in the last decades. In Israel, maybe the history books are narrative-biased, but we do hear the Palestinian perspective from interviews and movies shown at class.
    I am trying my hardest to have empathy for Palestine. Can you have empathy for Israel?

  5. This video I firstly saw in MUN and as we were supposed to bang on tables for appreciation. So when this video ended I was just astonished and just started to bang table very hardly I was the first one to do so and then all did. It was seriously a heart touching poem I loved it. I wish, like in project awaaz, I gave a speech of Malala Yousafsai and similarly I wish that I could deliver this poem too in the showcase.

  6. Genius, but was it effective? I love you, Rafeef, and I honor these words. I want to think they changed some minds (and I guess we'll never know for sure). Would you like to post here a story of a "conversion to sanity" that resulted from this post? I hope there is one.

  7. My prayer goes to every child, man, and woman in the occupied land of Palestine. Stay strong, you, indeed, teach the rest of the world LIFE every single day.

  8. Has anyone noticed that the Palestinian and Turkish diaspora have brought a vibrant cultural revival to The Paterson area of New Jersey USA? – an area previously fraught with crime and poverty. Ask the school teachers if the children there are taught to hate.

  9. "Do you have enough bone-broken limbs to cover the sun?" She asks. Oh. those are often the result of Lockheed Martin Paveway 2 Laser guided missiles. The media often turns down the volume when those devices are shown doing what they do. Heinous things aren't they? And their datasheet once had a link to "Investor relations". These are things humans do. I saw one photo with the top of a child's head missing held in his father's arms. The average American could not give a crap. As Vonnegut said "so it goes".

  10. Speaking of teaching hatred, here, apparently is a Jewish member of the Israeli government doing quite well at it….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD-zOV1MDAc
    Promoting genocide in Israel seems to be not a problem, but promoting BDS in America may soon bring jail time. These are things humans do. As Vonnegut said "so it goes".

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