“The time has come for our men, women and children to live normal lives, for them to be able to sleep without waiting for the worst that the next day will bring; for mothers to be assured that their children will return home without fear of suffering killing, arrest or humiliation; for students to be able to go to their schools and universities without checkpoints obstructing them. The time has come for sick people to be able to reach hospitals normally, and for our farmers to be able to take care of their good land without fear of the occupation seizing the land and its water, which the wall prevents access to, or fear of the settlers, for whom settlements are being built on our land and who are uprooting and burning the olive trees that have existed for hundreds of years. The time has come for the thousands of prisoners to be released from the prisons to return to their families and their children to become a part of building their homeland, for the freedom of which they have sacrificed.”
Everything you read above is true. I sincerely hope this speech was aired on TVs across the United States because I feel we are the most unaware. Our media doesn’t tell us the truth. But now it has been spoken out loud for the world at the United Nations. It was an incredible moment in Palestine. It’s almost indescribable. The evening started at 6:00 with several groups of dancers performing on the stage. We couldn’t see from the ground, so we moved to a cafe several flights up in a building and attempted to watch from the crowded balcony. Standing on a chair, I marveled at the the thousands gathered for this celebration in the square. I sat down to smoke some shisha and have a drink and while we sat and talked, the celebration suddenly ceased as everyone turned their eyes to the TV in the cafe to watch as Mahmoud Abbas handed over his bid to the Secretary General. There was clapping and cheering throughout the crowd and the cafe. We all joined in on the excitement and stood and clapped loudly. The dancing soon resumed and then a huge screen in the square was switched on as Abbas started his speech. Everyone was silent. The customers of the cafe were glued to the screens. You could hear the speech echoing outside in the square as Rasha translated some of what he said to me. The only moments breaking the silence were occasional loud cheers in support of the speech. And as he finally walked away from the podium, and the cheering was full force. The theme song written for the UN 194 campaign started playing and the crowd was jumping and clapping to the beat while singing along. I have never been so happy to witness a moment in my life.
Today was the first day of rain, a welcome blessing for the land, and after such an exhilarating day it was calming as people resumed their everyday lives. I hope someday those everyday lives are full of happiness and peace.