Abir Kopty مدوّنة عبير قبطي

You will never be free until you respect the freedom of others

I’m Omar Saad and I will not be a soldier in your army

32 Comments

Omar Saad, a young (Druze) Palestinian musician from the Galilee village of al-Mughar has received a summon to the Israeli enlistment army. The Druze citizens of Israel are forced to enlist in the Israeli military, since 1956, when conscription law applied to Druze men (not to other Palestinians). Recent studies show that two thirds of Druze youth would not enlist in the Israeli military if given the choice, read more here.

Omar is one of the many Druze youth who refuse to serve in the Israeli military, in his letter below (which I translated from Arabic), he says it all:

To the Israeli Prime Minister,
To the “Defense Minister”,
Subject: refusal to appear for compulsory military recruitment.
I’m the undersigned, Omar Zahr Eldin Mohammad Saad from the village of Mughar – Galilee, have received a notice to appear in the military recruitment offices on 31.10.2012 to conduct tests according to the conscription law imposed on the Druze community. I would like to make the following points:
I refuse to appear for tests, because I oppose the law of conscription imposed on my Druze community. I refuse because I am a man of peace and I hate all forms of violence, and the military institution represents for me the peak of physical and psychological violence. Since I received the notice to appear for tests, my life has changed, I became more nervous, my thoughts were distracted, I remembered thousands of cruel images, and I couldn’t imagine myself wearing military uniform and participating in the suppression of my Palestinian people or fighting my Arab brothers. I oppose the recruitment to the Israeli military and any other military for conscience and nationalistic reasons. I hate the injustice and oppose the occupation; I hate intolerance and restriction of freedoms. I hate those who detain children, the elderly and women.
I am a musician, I play the Viola , I have played in many places, I have musician friends from Ramallah, Jericho, Jerusalem, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, Shfa’amr, Eilabun, Rome, Athens, Amman, Beirut, Damascus, Oslo, and we all play for freedom, humanity and peace, our weapon is the music and we shall not have any other weapon.
I am from a community that was unjustly treated by an unjust law, how can we fight our relatives in Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon? How can I hold arms against my brothers and people in Palestine? How can I be a soldier standing at Qalandia checkpoint or any other checkpoint, after I experienced the injustices at these checkpoints? How can I prevent someone from Ramallah to visit his city, Jerusalem? How can I guard the apartheid wall? How can I be a jailer to my own people while I know that the majority of prisoners are freedom prisoners and seekers of rights and freedom?
I play for joy, for freedom, for a just peace based on halting settlements, the end of the occupation in Palestine, the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem its capital, the release of all prisoners in prisons and the return of displaced refugees to their homes.
Many of the youth from my community have done the compulsory service in the army, what have we received? Discrimination in all areas, our villages are the poorest, our lands were confiscated, there are no master plans, and no industrial zones. Percentages of university graduates in our villages of the lowest in the region, the unemployment rates in our villages are the highest. This mandatory law has kept us away from our Arab connection.
This year, I will finish high school, and I seek to complete my university education. I’m sure you will try to make me concede my human ambition, but I announce it loudly:
I, Omar Zahr Eldin Mohammad Saad, will not be the fuel to the fire of your war, and will not be a soldier in your army .

Signature: Omar Saad

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Author: abirkopty

Palestinian social, feminist and political activist. Works as media analyst and consultant. Former city council member in Nazareth & former spokeswoman for Mossawa, the Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel. Holding a Master's in Political Communication from the City University of London.

32 thoughts on “I’m Omar Saad and I will not be a soldier in your army

  1. Well said, you are a brave young man and set an excellent example, thanks…I hope others follow you. Play for peace, that is a beautiful weapon…let the strings of your viola create a harmonious tune. Sadly we live in a world where peace activists such as Imran khan are interrogated for speaking against drones. I am refused a visa to film an anti -drone peace march and target killers obliterating civilians roam free!

    • Bientôt âgée de 80 ans, j’ai connu la guerre en France sous toutes ses formes : bombardements, arrestation de mes parents, déportation de ma mère, disparition d’être chers etc… ; alors j’apprécie qu’on ose dire non je ne veux pas tuer des innocents. Je veux la Paix, je veux chanter, je veux jouer de la musique avec tous. Je veux vivre en paix avec ma conscience.

  2. what a brave young man…from this moment on I will never question any Palestinian love to this land who carries the israeli ID…I had my suspitions because of the people living around me but not anymore…with minds like Omar’s Palestine will be freed…we should spread his story

  3. Very inspiring!

  4. Pingback: Druze-Palestinian musician refuses Israeli military service | Mondoweiss

  5. Pingback: #OmarSaad | I’m Omar Saad and I will not be a soldier in your army | Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

  6. What a wonderful and strong person you are: If everybody was as upright and determined as you are, there wouldn’t be anymore unjustice and killing. Keep playing your violin: music is the best way for people to understand each other!

  7. Im an musicuan from Korea, having gigs alot in Brunei. While living in Brunei, i have become more tolerant because the Sultan of Brunei. He has all good and kind personality to all of us. Peacefull country.

    I love some muslim in Brunei. They give me support throught music and i can feel peaceful through music. There is no fighting about religion.

    I wish all of us united as one
    Disregard who we worship.

  8. “…we all play for freedom, humanity and peace, our weapon is the music and we shall not have any other weapon.” Would that the world would play this way. Thank you for sharing this young man’s passion and truth with us.

  9. You need great courage and force. Good Luck, I am sure you will find help by friends and associations like New Profile. Take care.

    Martine (France)

  10. Keep playing your viola, spreading joy to the world, as music knows no bounds – it just goes straight to the soul. Go Omar Saad, in continual peace wherever you are, on this trajectory of yours, to University, and a blessed life.

    • I agree, music (and other artists’ contributions) have an important role to play, as expressed by Bartell, in keeping the peace

  11. As a Druze Arab American, I applaud your courage. I know you are facing a very hard reality, but don’t give up your fight,and do not give in. you are on the side of morality and Justice. we are proud of you.

  12. Reblogged this on kshihabi and commented:
    All the respect and support for Omar Saad.

  13. Omar Saad, I salute you for your courage and conviction. I respect and totally agree with your belief about being against violence of any kind. Our world is in desperate need of PEACE, in desperate need of young people like you.
    I wish you all the very best.

  14. Follow your conscience always.

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  17. Respect and solidarity.

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  19. Pingback: Druze youth faces jail for refusing to serve in Israel’s army | Egypt

  20. Hello.
    I am a member of Palestine Peace and Solidarity in South Korea, and we’ve just published on our website the Korean translated version of Omar’s letter. And I also copied your image. Hope you give us permission to do it. Shukran in advance.

    http://pal.or.kr/xe/161037

  21. Hello.
    I am a member of Palestine Peace and Solidarity in South Korea, and we’ve just published on our website the Korean translated version of Omar’s letter. And I also copied your image. Hope you give us permission to do it. Shukran in advance.

    http://pal.or.kr/xe/161037

  22. Pingback: Druze youth faces jail for refusing to serve in Israel’s army | صَوْتُكِ ثَوْرَة

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