Salam to Rachel: From the land of the brave

March 16, 03. Rachel nonviolently blocks Israeli bulldozers from destroying Palestinian homes along the Rafah/Egyptian border

Many a night Rachel Corrie slept next to a well, in a town called Rafah in Palestine, near the Egyptian border. She felt afraid that this source of much needed water would be destroyed on some pre-text by the Israeli military. A Palestinian lady who had the keys to this well would quite frequently ask Rachel about her Mother. The reason? She wanted to make sure Rachel kept in touch with her mother.

Rachel did this via email.

She wrote regularly to her family and friends, recounting stories of home and green house demolitions, the constant firing, sniping, explosions and the abject poverty of the Palestinian people.

Here and there she would write about her nightmares... her reaction to the constant violence imposed on the people of Rafah:

When that explosive detonated yesterday it broke all the windows in the family's house. I was in the process of being served tea and playing with the two small babies. I'm having a hard time right now. Just feel sick to my stomach a lot from being doted on all the time, very sweetly, by people who are facing doom...

She had some warning. On February 14th of 2003, she was pushed into a house by an oncoming bulldozer, along with other peace activists - and the house was partly demolished while she and her fellow "internationals" were inside. Fortunately they survived.

Despite such terror, she wrote about how she would feel bad about leaving:

...I would like to leave Rafah with a viable plan to return, too. One of the core members of our group has to leave tomorrow - and watching her say goodbye to people is making me realize how difficult it will be. People here can't leave, so that complicates things. They also are pretty matter-of-fact about the fact that they don't know if they will be alive when we come back here.

I really don't want to live with a lot of guilt about this place - being able to come and go so easily - and not going back...

Rachel Corrie, a twenty-three year old American, was crushed to death while defending a Palestinian home. She was wearing a bright red jacket and was waving her arms and hands standing on a pile of debris as a bulldozer (made by Caterpillar of Peoria, Illinois) drove over her and then backed up again, silencing one of the most courageous human beings of our time.

Rachel understood the plight of an ignored people. And her effort to help them was almost Prophetic in scope - she is a tribute to her parents, and to her country.

Send condolences to Rachel’s Parents rachelsmessage@the-corries.com

Pictures of Rachel Corrie: http://www.indybay.org/news/2003/03/1583823.php and the destruction of Rafah, the town she was trying to save: http://www.rafah.vze.com Rachel Corrie’s Letters: http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel

 

Photo Attribution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rachel_Corrie_2003_March_16.jpg

 

Comments

Jazakallah, This is a great article to share. Many of us need this awakening who tend to make blanket statements. Rachel courageous journey shows that God can put some of the basic instincts in any one heart. This is beyond the boundaries that we as humans have created.May God bless her soul and her parents who supported her.

Location

MA

Mashallah Bilal! That was a very profound appeal for those who seek to uphold justice in a land where injustice and tyranny are common place. No doubt, Rachel is a hero in these troubling times and a person full of conviction. May Allah impart this sort of courage into the hearts of Muslims, to enjoin in the good and eradicate evil.

Location

Mississauga, ON

Good article. Just confirms how dangerous it is to generalize about people based on their backgrounds/ethnicity/religion. I am sure there are countless people who share Rachel's spirit among Muslims, Jews and Christians. Just one minor point regarding the use of Caterpillar. I am not sure that when Caterpillar sold its bulldozers to the Israeli Government they were aware of how they were going to be used. The protest should be directed towards the Israeli Government not manufacturers of construction equipments.

Location

Chicago

Dear All:Greetings from Palestine. I want to show you my web site, so you will know about the IDF crimes which they are doing every day against our people and children.. Please see this web site, and let your friends know about it.. www.rafah.vze.comAnd if you have any questions so please feel free to ask what ever you want in that e mail rafahtoday@yahoo.comWith respectsSalamatMohammed.

Location

Palestine

Thank you for this article. I hope that you sent a copy to her family. Hopefully many more people will appreciate this courageous work of conscience that is often carried out by such individuals. People who stand up for what is right, despite being overwhelmed by the immense wrong.

Location

Salaam ya all,Mr. Daniel J. Freedman’s tasteless caricature, titled "From the American Heritage Dictionary" (published in the Diamondback on-line magazine), depicting murder victim Rachel Corrie (bless her soul) sitting in front of a US-funded Israeli wrecker brought unintended results. As a zealous defender of freedom of speech myself, I defend Mr. Freedman’s (and the likes of him) right to express his sentiments towards Israel. I also defend Mr. Freedman’s understanding of the definition of the word “stu.pid.i.ty”. I defend his constitutional right to be insensitive if he chooses to be so. I also defend his expression of his perceived unique eternal birthright to accuse, try, convict and punish sight, unseen, whomever he wishes whenever he wishes. But what is stupid to me is that Mr. Freedman decided to break ranks with the US media. The US media at large decided to emulate the ostrich by burying their heads in the sand regarding the murder of Rachel Corrie. The US media has not buried its head in shame of their 50 years of condoning and encouraging Israel to commit all forms and shapes of atrocities against Palestinians. Rather, this was done in the hope that this murder will just magically disappear, as is always the case when it comes to the crimes of Israel against Palestinians. What is stupid is that Mr. Freedman allowed his instincts to take over any remnants of logic and common sense that he might have had. Sincerely, Raid Mohammad. raid_mohammad@yahoo.com. Austin, TX.

Location

Austin, Tx

Peace be unto Rachel, Peace be unto ou. In this article you brought Rachel alive in all of her courage and eternal beauty. Here is my tribute to Rachel.RACHEL CORRIERACHEL, DEAR RACHELAFRICAN SLAVES WHO LONGED TO TASTE FREDOMLEFT US A ROAD MAP IN A SONGOH MARY, DON"T YOU WEEPOH MARY. DON'T YOU WEEPPHAROAH'S ARMY GOT DROWNEDOH MARY, DON"T YOU WEEPCONTEMPORARY FREEDOM FIGHTERSWE FOLLOW THE MAP AS WE DEFY AS YOU DIDTHE BRUTAL STING OF TYRANNYWE STILL LIFT OUR VOICESAS WE PLACE OUR BODIESAS FRAGILE WEAPONSBETWEEN THE DISPOSSESSEDAND THE POWERFUL ARMIES OF THE MODERN PHAROAHSOH MARY, DON"T YOU WEEPTHEY BROKE YOUR BACK, SWEET RACHELBUT NOW YOU ARE PART OF OUR BACKBONEOF STEELY RESOLVE TO STAND STRONG AS YOU STOODOH MARY DON'T YOU WEPTHEY CRUSHED YOUR SKULL KIND RACHELBUT NOW YOU ARE A LIGHT IN OUR CONSCIOUSNESSAS WE THINK FREELY AND CLEARLY AS YOU THOUGHTOH MARY DON"T YOU WEEPTHEY DESTROYED YOUR YOUNG BODYBUT THEY FAILED TO BREAK YOUR PRIMORDIAL HEARTOR DIM THE BRIGHT LANTERN IN YOUR IMMORTAL SOULOH MARY, DON"T YOU WEEPWE CLAIM YOUR LIGHTAS PART OF OUR HEARTBEAT AND SOUL FORCEAS WE REACH OUT AND STRIVE FOR YOUR PURITYAND WE REMEMBERTHAT IT HAS BEEN WRITTENBLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEARTFOR THEY SHALL SEE GODOH MARY, DON'T YOU WEPDEAR BELOVED FRIEND RACHELWE ARE CERTAIN THAT YOU ARE WHOLE AGAINHEALED AND HEALINGOH MARY DON'T YOU WEEPSO AS WE SAY FAREWELL TO YOULOVELY AND LOVING RACHELWHO LEFT US AN UPDATED MAP THROUGH THE TREACHEROUS TERRAIN OF OPPRESSSIONWE COMFORT OURSELVES WITH A SLAVE SONGOH MARY DON'T YOU WEEPC2003 zakiyah D. Bilal-MuhammadWAGING PEACE, ONE HEART AT A TIME

Location

Dorchester, MA USA

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