ERETZ / PALESTINE HOPE : other voices rising



    They say the little man with his back turned to all, his head bowed down and his hands clasped in the back, actually is a little boy, aged 10, born in a refugees’ camp, a long time ago. His name could be Hindu, Arabic, Persian, or Javanese : they call him Handala. Remember him : HanDaLa, the eternal refugee-child of this Earth.

    Not so many people remember where he was born exactly. Somewhere between Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, for sure. His father took him to the West, but his father was later shot down on a London street, and Handala has remained an orphan and a refugee until this day, twice forsaken.

    Others claim he was from Kobani, a Kurdish town in Syria, and the little boy whose body was washed ashore on a beach in Turkey, Aylan, with his elder brother Galip, were his siblings.

    Behind the high walls of Gaza, where almost 2 million people have been locked in for 8 years, others yet say that Handala actually was a child from Gaza, a close cousin of the four Baker kids, Zakaria, Ahed, both 10, Ismail, 9, Ramiz, 11, whose lives were taken by a missile in July 2014, on the harbour beach, before the empty hotels.

    But some claim that Handala is not dead, but alive today, and that he’s actually a refugee from Deraa (Syria), stranded somewhere along the banks of the Tisza river, between Serbia, Romania and Hungary. He’s even been identified as Kinan Masalmeh, and shortly interviewed.

    After 111 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza were injured by the army, a rabbi and his son were shot down south of Hebron on November 13, 2015, and 44 people lost their lives in twin bombings in Beirut, Lebanon, and another 129 persons were killed and 353 injured in Paris by kamikaze killers related to Syria, all of it on the same day (but who cared about the rabbi, the Lebanese and the Palestinians?) – after such abyssal waves of darkness and shame, and before he grows up to be washed away onto the shores of normality and indifference, maybe we should listen to what the eternal refugee-child has to say :

    “My message : please, help the Syrians! The Syrians need help now! You just stop the war, and we don’t want to go to Europe. JUST STOP THE WAR IN SYRIA!”

    Not just in Syria. Stop the war process on its threshold : in Palestine & Israel.

    Needless to blame leaders, be they Syrian, Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese, American even, or else.

    To steer away from darkness and doom, needless to identify politicians to messiahs… You only need to rekindle hope. Hope and common sense.

    We, the people, the simple people, only need to become a little bit more human, a little bit more responsible, a little bit more other-centered. If only to start looking for Other Voices, voices to bring us together in the face of fear and terror, madness and separation.

    Again, not to expect the moon and the stars from self-appointed or elected leaders. They only do what they are able and allowed to do. Start expecting a little more from yourself… to stop the deadly processes of war and dislocation – all the way from Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, to France and further…


    With Peace Lines we have decided to open a door into Hope, to share the sound of these Other Voices rising. May you remember Kinan’s voice… May you add your part, one way or the other, and bring a little light into this night !

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