Since the day I heard about the Italian convoy that is coming to Gaza I was longing to meet Vitorrio’s friends, and dreaming of the day they would arrive in Gaza. The 12th of May was the arrival day. It was a long day because some friends and I had to wait for the convoy in their apartment in Gaza as we did not have permission to welcome them at the Rafah crossing or even to invite them to our homes.
Words can not express how happy I was when I met those great people. They are one of my great sources of inspiration. Their love to Gaza is just wonderful – they taught me how to love my land, to stick by my principles, to fight longer seeking freedom and to stay stronger: “stay human”.
Vittorio’s folk, as I like to call them, are brave enough to visit Gaza and show the whole world that they are not afraid to come to the place where their friend was kidnapped and murdered. Their love for Palestine and Gaza is just unbelievable – they would sacrifice their souls for the sake of any of us!
This was illustrated when we were at Erez crossing and all of them wanted to go further and further in order to witness and experience the atmosphere that most of the Palestinians have to suffer. Besides, they wanted to experience what Vittorio used to do with many of the ISM members in Gaza: such as the farming actions; going to the buffer zone areas; supporting many of the farmers and fishermen; and participating in many of the demos that were held to raise awareness of the human rights of the Palestinians.
One of the things that I loved most about those beautiful Italian souls is that they appreciated the instructions of our religion, traditions and culture. They did not want to cause us any kind of difficulty; they cared a lot about us and wanted to do anything to make us feel equal. In addition to that, I felt that they have clear, pure, modest and charming characters. Each one of them has a special thing about their character.
The moment when we had to say goodbye was so emotional that none of us could hold back our tears. Men cried in front of women and we tried to make it easier by comforting each other – we promised that we would all meet again soon. I was looking at their busses as if I was longing to go back home with them. I really felt I was Italian and they had become Palestinians!
This is my message to all the convoy members who shared much pain, sorrow, tears, joy, happiness and laughter with us,
“Since the day you arrived here my life has changed because you guys are amazing, and the moment of saying goodbye was so emotional – filled with love, respect and hope. You guys are astonishing and unforgettable just like Vittorio. I will never forget you! We will meet again inshAllah. Much respect and love to all of you my new Italian friends.”