2011, a year was good for some people and bad for others, a year that has united some families and separated others, a year of liberation for some nations and for others, a year of poverty, lack of power and continuous oppression.
Myself 2011 held many insights in my personal, professional and political activism. Of all the years I remember, 2011 was a very good one for me. I made new friends, took several decisions, started things and continued others.
In the very beginning of 2011, I happen to be in Cairo when the Egyptian revolution erupted. I was lucky to be there and had the privilege to spend my time among the amazing people in Tahrir who taught me so much. Even though the revolution does not look like going on the right track, I still believe that Egyptians have changed history forever and the good yet to come, even if it will take longer than people hope.
Since it was my first visit to Egypt, I decided to come back again as I felt very much connected with Egypt, but after applying and denied visa twice, I was disappointed. The Israeli passport I hold allows me entry to many countries, especially European without visa, something that always made me wonder, how come Israel continues to enjoy those privileges despite its continuous violations of human rights and International law. So as Israeli citizen, I do benefit from this privilege, I think the Palestinian citizens of Israel are the only Arabs allowed entry to European countries without visa. On the other hand, we can’t enter most of the Arab countries, it is the siege imposed on us being the Palestinians who remained on our lands. I believe it is about time to break this siege.
Like all my Palestinian and Arab peers, I have watched and followed all Arab revolutions, day-by-day and hour-by-hour. We are watching them now being stolen and disrupted by foreign, western and even Arab hands. Even though things are getting confusing and suspicious towards the development of some revolutions, I haven’t lost faith in the people who made them. Yes, revolutions might be disrupted, but the heroes who made them will always be there to fix the path, they will have dark years but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
On personal development, 2011 made me realize I can’t be a “good” politician, I resigned from my post as a member of the city council of my beloved city Nazareth, where I served as member since 2008. I took this decision as a revolting act against behaviors and decisions taken which I did not agree and could not accommodate with. I have truly realized that I can never be part of a system, any system. I have been my whole life a rebellion and therefore, it looks like I can never be a “politician”: I do not compromise.
2011 was the year of self-learning and insights, I attended a coaching program, something I only did after two amazing friends pushed me for, and I’m so grateful for them. I’ve learned so much about myself and realized the greatness of the people who made up my life. I’ve learned to overcome my fears and dare to think big. To appreciate what I have and yet understand that all is possible for me. However, I’m not and will not be perfect; life will still teach me a lot.
In our continuous attempt for resistance, we loose brave people. In the village of Nabi Saleh, Mustafa Tamimi, 28 years, a brave comrade, was murdered on December 9th by Israeli army for taking part in the Palestinian popular resistance. For many of us who used to join Nabi Saleh’s weekly rallies, it was a shock. Mustafa was not the first, and perhaps, won’t be the last to be killed by Israeli army in cold blood, his murderers are still in uniform, and might soon kill other Palestinians. One soldier pulled the trigger, and Mustafa was killed by the occupation that must end. Mustafa’s story became familiar to many because it became strong on social media, but his story is the story of many Palestinians unknown to many, and it might one day become Khalid Said or Buazizi of Palestine. We will not let it go.
I wish the year 2012 will bring justice to Mustafa and every Palestinian.
This will be my first wish for 2012. My wishes are big, but not impossible, I wish this year will bring the Palestinian spring. I have never lost hope and will continue to struggle against all the frustration and recklessness threatening my people. Optimism is a responsibility, not a choice. That is my belief.
I’m working on particular project and I wish it would see the light this year. It will need your support even if you know nothing about it now.
I wish all the best to my family, my great father and mother, beloved sister and brother, whom without them, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.
I wish my friends and beloved ones a year of fulfillment.
I wish for my comrades to take our struggle for the freedom of Palestine, to the next level.
I commit to be there to empower and support everyone who needs me.
Last, I dedicate this poem by the Turkish poet Nazim Hekmet, to all of you: “The most beautiful sea, hasn’t been crossed yet. The most beautiful child, hasn’t grown up yet. Our most beautiful days, we haven’t seen yet. And the most beautiful words I wanted to tell you, I haven’t said yet.”
Happy New Year!