yesterday morning, i woke up to read that there was another night raid in nabi saleh and that five young men were arrested from inside their homes. i looked at the list of the men, and saw that jihad was one of them. jehad is in his early 20s, he is the nephew of the martyr rushdi tamimi, his mother jiji is rushdi’s sister. jehad is the brother of samia, sami and amany. he spend several months in military prison about two years ago and participated in the mass hunger strike of palestinian political prisoners in israeli military jails that was meant to protest against arbitrary detention, administrative detention where prisoners are held without ever getting charged and therefore never being granted the chance to defend themselves in court, against solitary confinement, abuse, etc.
i watched a video that seems to be available only on fb through this link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=814635385219172
i thought the video was filmed by activist and jihad’s aunt and my friend nariman, but later at night, i found out that it was his sister samia who filmed it. it’s a video of the raid in their home. in the video, you can see jehad’s youngest sister amani tell the soldiers repeatedly to move away as she walks past them, trying to assert some thought of ownership and insisting that she’s not intimidated. in the end, when they take jehad away, she clings to him and says “take us with him, take me with him, want to go with him”. one can hear samia crying and the last thing jehad says before he leaves is “don’t cry” to her.
i almost cried watching the video, i know his sisters seem strong and crazy at times, especially amany, but i also know how hard rushdi’s murder hit them. i imagined jiji watching them take jehad away, it hurt a lot.
then, i watched this video by bilal:
and i realized it they arrested rami, noora’s husband as well. it hadn’t even occured to me that the “rami” on the list of detainees i saw could be him. in the video, you first see the soldiers marching through the main street of nabi saleh.
then you see them in bilal and manal’s house, and in the adjoining apartment of bilal’s mother. i was glad they did not arrest bilal and manal’s older son’s osama and hamada. there is a scene where a soldier confiscates all the spend tear gas canisters and rubber coated bullets and other bullets that the family collected in front of a mirror. manal (and bilal behind the camera) tell the soldier to go ahead and take them, that the streets of the village are full of them. and it’s true, each time the soldiers enter the village, they shoot or throw a shitload of them (an incredible waste of money that the zionists are regularly granted by foreign states to maintain their “security). in fact, some children in the village collect the aluminium canisters and sell them to the aluminium buyer, recycling at least.
it’s absurd (yet unsurprising) to see the soldiers raid the apartment of bilal’s mother, where she lives with bilal’s sister nawal and her little daughter jana. in the video, nawal shows her id to the soldiers and says “is that enough? do you not want to take me then?”
next, bilal films the street in front of the house again, and we soon see the soldiers marching the young activist journalist mohammad atallah (who also spend several months in military jail, if i remember correctly without charges) about 1,5 years ago) to the military jeep. before he’s lead inside the jeep, he shouts to bilal something like “take care” and bilal answers “greet the others”.
then the soldiers are seen marching rami to the jeep.
i started crying when i saw this. after rushdi’s murder, i often slept in noora and rami’s house. i still slept sometimes in bilal and manal’s house and before rushdi’s murder, i used to stay in nariman’s house while her husband bassem was once again in military jail for his activism.
i know first hand that noora had a really hard time getting on her feet after rushdi’s murder. she felt very depressed and sometimes had trouble doing her daily chores. we are very close and i miss her often. she and rami have only one son, hisham, who i love very much. hisham is a kid that is hard to describe, even though i’ve often tried describing him to my brother and to friends. he’s now six years old, he is tiny for his age, but has the energy of two or three. he is very quick, he sometimes tries to teach me physical exercises. he is very sweet, and when we are outside and we are not playing, he becomes protective of me, seeing as somehow he’s the man in the house and i’m a girl. he sometimes even says “you’re our daughter” to explain that of course i don’t sleep in anyone else’s house.
i often talk to hisham as a friend, he’s both very child-like and very mature at the same time.
i know how close he is to rami, and i know that unlike nariman or manal, noora stays away from the demos and tries to protect hisham as best as she can from that violence and repression.
i talked to noora last night and she said “hisham is still small, he was very scared”. i think of the two and my heart hurts.
yesterday, after watching both videos, i sat here in europe crying, although i too am used to seeing these things in nabi saleh. i was crying not because it is so unusual, but because i know that in spite of their strength, these families have been through too much already. i know that they hurt.
when i asked him if it was indeed rami in the video and how he is after a night like this, bilal (who was detained for a day last week for his documentation of human rights violations in his village) began to try to cheer me up as usual. he said that they are all very well and asked how i was, what my news were. the same last night when i talked to nariman, noora and samia, they asked about my news, said not to worry and asked when i was coming back.
mohammad was released on bail late yesterday and he is required to show up in court. there was no news about jihad and rami and the other two from the village. they will probably have a hearing today or tomorrow or the day after.
and here is my older post about the murder of rushdi with more about jihad, noora, rami, jiji, nariman, etc. including pictures