By: Roba Salipi
I was thinking the whole day how can someone describe a great woman. I mean, you stand helpless in front of the computer thinking what might be a good start. This is exactly what is happening with me right now. I have a revolution inside myself but words are letting me down.
I was born and brought up in Palestine, and I know you have enough background about how life looks like in here.The daily news about martyrs, bombings, detention and protests. Every day, there are new stories to be told. And here I am trying to tell the story of a woman, putting my hands on the keyboard, looking at the screen and thinking if my words would be good enough to tell the story of a freedom fighter, I wrote a line then deleted it, but then I decided that it does not matter how to start, what really matters is to speak up.
Palestinian women or as I call them “glowing face of Palestine” were from the very beginning fighting side- by- side with men. They proved to the whole world that they are strong enough to stand in front of armed soldiers with their bare hands and hopeful eyes without being afraid of being shot. Through the past 63 years, Palestinian women have lost brothers, husbands and sons. They haven’t slept most of the nights praying for their children to be safe. I would describe them as “great mountains” since they carry lots of pains but still standing as a proud and strong mountain.
As an every Palestinian woman losing a precious thing. Hana Shalabi, 30 years old, is losing her freedom, and Israel “of course” is all behind it. At 2:30 am, 16 February 2012 Israeli soldiers broke into Hana’s house. Drag her out with a very aggressive way forcing her to go with them. Her family tried to protect her, but soldiers hit them with guns. I should mention that Hana was set free last October after the prisoners exchanging deal, and now she is an administrative detain which means that she is in prison without charge or trail.
Being arrested without charge is very illegal, but this is Israel who never takes in consider any law or right. Israel does not even know what humanity means. That should be the definition of terrorism I believe. The story is not over yet. Hana as an every Palestinian woman never surrender.
Once they arrested her, Hana declared hunger strike because she wanted to tell Israel that they can’t go on with their crimes any more. Administrative detention must be stopped wither they like it or not. Khader Adnan has started this mission and she is now completing it. Today is her 31st day in hunger strike and the empty stomach battle is still on.
Hana is fighting with her own weapon. Her empty stomach is standing in front of an inhuman army. Her empty stomach is speaking louder than Arab presidents who never seem to care, but they must know that Hana represents Palestinian .Hana’s empty stomach is the road to Palestine.
I am still looking for words that can tell the very true story. Nothing seems to help me. This is only a little part of the story, because no one in the whole world can describe it better than her, the one who’s actually living it. I imagine her sitting in the small cell trying to breathe hardly in this cold weather, I can imagine her wrapping her hands around her stomach feeling weak and sick, seriously, how can I describe that? You will have to live it so that you can know. I have nothing to say because Hana is saying it all without having to speak a single word.
So, If you consider yourself as a human being, pro-feminist, human rights activist, or anything you want. Please do anything you can to spread her story. Or to make sure you have some of the human spirit left in you.