Conversation with Rachel Corrie
Rachel, good morning, do you hear me?! … What a stupid question, of course you hear me, you are everywhere now, and no doubt you know that Gaza is cleaning its monsters, so its flowers can grow again, we knew, we and you, that this has to happen, but it happened a little bit late, we all apologize to you for the delay.
Rachel, the kids of Rafah swear they saw you, the day of cleaning, soar above them in the sky smiling, that day Rafah was more beautiful, they said you were like a clear white dove, soaring in lines singing happiness and victory, do you know what came to my mind, I’ll tell you, imagine if we can translate that drawings made by soaring of doves into musical notes, it could be the most wonderful symphony for peace and justice victory, what if that dove is you, you will make Mozart jealous, easy on him.
Rachel, the kids in Gaza are arguing, if you were the goddess of love and beauty or the goddess of sacrifice, many can love and enjoy beauty, but few are able to sacrifice, then you are the goddess of sacrifice first, and the goddess of love and beauty too.
Rachel, when Marcel sang kamal Junblat dirge, said to him if that bullet was able to see your eyes, it would apologize, Rachel, I was thinking if that blades of the bulldozer has the choice, when it was reaching your body, what it could do, it would convert itself into pure honey to melt on your lips, so it will be more shiny and bloomy, to reflect your smile on the moon light, to distribute it to all kids of the poor and victims in Gaza and New York, Sabra and Hiroshima, Chile and Rwanda, and South Africa, Rachel, do you remember Amy, she also was American she also went to South Africa, what is the difference between South Africa in that time and Palestine, injustice is injustice anywhere, and the fighters against injustice are the same anywhere, Amy was killed while she was trying to plant a smile on the lips of the black kids.
Rachel, do you remember that holy teardrop from your eye, what was the last action in your first life, a small girl from Rafah in the age of a flower in the time of the dew picked it with her tiny little fingers, put it on her brow, and said I am now Rachel, we will not allow the death to come to Rachel, if we fail to protect you from the tyrants we will carry you in our hearts, and inherit you generation after generation, Rachel, do you remember what Shakespeare said in king Lear, Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound Reverbs no hollowness, if our voice was not heard by the people in the north, our hearts stronger than the stone itself, it will safeguard you and take you to reach your aim.
One Palestinian Madonna swear, when she went to the spot your blood made sacred, she saw a jasmine towering despite the power of the caterpillar which passed over it without any mercy, Rachel, do you know why the jasmine stayed white, according to Omar Alfarra, when the artist in love started to color the flowers, every one has to bend down to get the color, except the jasmine refused to bend down and stayed white, stayed the most beautiful flower, all the flowers bend down for her, who doesn’t bend down, who doesn’t change color every thing bend down for hem.
Rachel, today the land of Gaza will be clean and modest like a surgery room in the hospital, the people of Gaza getting ready to receive you as princess, get up like the Palestinian Jesus, look, the walls of the holey Sepulchre church shaking like an earthquake, urging you to raise, and the land of nativity in Bethlehem spread out olive oil to have you dance on it like skiing, or dance like the birds of pelican lake, dance and have fun please, let us rest a little from the feeling of guilt, let us rest a little from the feeling of guilt.
Rachel, you chose the people of Faris Odeh, Faris you know came back from the death that day, screamed and said to me with a voice racing the tears, if I was Lorca I would say for Rachel better than the lament of Ignacio the matador, an old woman reaching her ninety said why they killed this beautiful girl?! I answered her with what the Jewish poet Bialik said in his poem, even the Satan himself couldn’t create who is able to kill a kid, she smiled while continuing her slow walking, but Israel’s rulers could, the owner of the home you were trying to protect said, AH …. I wish they demolished all the houses, but kept Rachel, without her and people like her Americans won’t find anyone to respect them in result of what their rulers do, she made us understand the difference.
Rachel, Rafah is the gate of Asia to Africa, or the gate of Africa to Asia, it’s where the two continents meet, meaning you chose eternity on the line splits or connects two continents, in the north their was a sea splits or connects three continents, and you came from a fourth continent, yes I know you meant all that, you wanted to give history something special, usually history writes the winners, but as you are not ordinary, you could give us, we the defeated for now, the right to write history, didn’t Oscar Wilde say, the one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it, didn’t Sonallah Ibrahim write the history of the defeated revolution’s warda, but remember defeating the right always temporary, we are going thru the bad times nowadays, but Nathem Hekmat told us, the best of days didn’t come yet, I promise when it comes you will be with us, didn’t Julia Boutros sing for you, we refuse to die.
You didn’t record in history an ordinary heroism; you weren’t in a war and got shot by a fatal bullet, you weren’t at a demonstration and got killed by a bullet, such death happens a lot, but you were their, in front of you home and bulldozer, the home for a family from powerless people, the bulldozer for the biggest two tyrants in our times Israel and the United States, you looked you scrutinize and decided they will not pass, your feet marched steady with disdain, you looked at the sky, flirted the stars a little, smiled to the moon, thought of Bethlehem star, it is not far from their, and said to it see you, thought of Gibran Khalil Gibran when he said, I want to live the truth, instead of writing about fire, I prefer to be firebrand burning, then you took off like a beautiful gazelle, stood high in front of the bulldozer and said to the killer stop, I forgive you, you thought he is human, then what happened, happened.
Rachel, did they scratch your beautiful face, all Arab pretty girls said take my face, did they scratch your breast, the milk grotto next to the church of nativity shouted don’t worry, your chest will have Mary’s breast which feed Jesus.
Rachel, we love you more than our martyrs, you are greater than us, we when killed because we are defending our homeland and our freedom, but you were a fighter for all humanity, you made us think again about the definitions, are you Palestinian?! No, are you American?! Also No, you belong to the country of the human being, you are citizen of all the history, all the geography, and the three dimensions.
Rachel, I noticed in your writings, you used relativity when talking about danger, do you know that Einstein refused to support Israel or immigrate to it.
Rachel, in that fateful third month of this new century, Israel killed ninety nine lives, you and ninety eight Palestinians, sixty eight before you and thirty after.
Rachel, what you did inspired poets and lovers and moved them, Suheir Hammad: What greater story to tell? Haroon Rashed: you martyr of the right, you martyr of the justice, you martyr of peace, poem is powerless when it’s about you, words failing my lady, and talking is shutting up. Edward Said got up from his death bed to praise you. You know Romeo and Juliet came back from death that day, and said the enemies of love killed us again. Victor Jara shakes and carries his guitar, forgot they cut his fingers, and played and sang for you the song of songs, he said about you more than Elton about princess Di, even Jesus dropped tears and said, this what my teaches did to my followers, Najeeb Sror repeated for you what he wrote before you were born, you say to me the dead lion better than him the live dog, I say you are dead, not a live who choose the live of a dog. I think Edward Mast said what we all believe in, when she passed out of her single body, did she become as large
as the world?.
You didn’t know, Arthur Miller wishes the history remembers him as a human who wrote what he feels, but who other than you brought to perfection writing her feelings. Do you know Michelangelo works day and night to create sculpture of you to stand next to David. Dostoevsky failed to analyze your personality, so he asked Freud to interfered, who said she is greater than being a human. Homerus is writing the Ilias again, as they appointed you to replace Achilles. Saleem Shawamreh: Rachel died for us. Rafah kids screamed with what Gibran wrote when he lost his mother, I lost the source of incline, compassion, and forgiveness, the chest I lean my head on, the hand which bless and safeguard me. Rafah children left without Rachel.
Were you writing the history of our live in Rafah and Moasy, did you start writing Los Miserables again, are you Jean Valjean or his creator.
If you just read what Naomi Klein wrote about you, Naomi is great in all what she writes, I love this Naomi more every time I read her, I didn’t know that poor soldier Lynch was born in a town named Palestine, Oh… the paradox and Oh… the coincidence and necessity, Rachel how come AIPAC didn’t change the name of that town in USA, they always change the truth.
Rachel, let us take a little break, did you hear the last joke, I‘ll tell you, Gogo meaning George Bush, discovered after years in the oval office, that 100% of the products the US imports, imports them from outside of the US, good one, right, you know here we say the problem is the half idiot, because no problem dealing with normal person, and you know how to deal with the idiot, but people don’t know how to deal with the half idiot, specially if he is the president of the United States.
Rachel, I have bad news, they killed Tom, but he didn’t die the way they wanted, he resisted and fought the death with his heart, for long days and nights irritating and fighting them by his heart’s beats, his heart was urging the rulers of London and DC, thinking they might have some humanity feelings could move, but they said humanity is not our business, then his heart stopped as protest.
Rachel, why for god sake you left the green Washington, why you left Olympia and Eugene, didn’t you read when you were a child my friend Flicka, and stay their enjoying the green plains and the horse, or may be small beautiful cat, Rachel, childhood innocence the most important in the world. Why you didn’t go to Hawaii as you wrote, and enjoy the beach, the sun, drink and a boyfriend, I know, I know what you will say, when the eye sees truth, it’s impossible to close it again.
Rachel, do the tyrants know, you love basketball game because in it you always aim high.
Rachel, is Hollywood going to make a movie about you, they did about that heroic guy who was killed by Kessinger’s allies in Chile, but is their any one who dare to touch Israel, may be Richard Gere, or he is not their yet, I heard that Michael who did a journey to the occupied land documentary is proud of you.
Rachel, do you know who is responsible for your death,
First: Israeli rulers.
Second: that part of Jews in the world, who let Israel comment its crimes in their names.
Third: Israeli Jews, who knows about these crimes and some of them, participate in it.
Fourth: Israeli Jews, who close their eyes and ears so they won’t feel guilty.
Fifth: American rulers, who without their support and protection, Israel won’t be able to continue its crimes, and threaten the world peace.
Sixth: European Rulers twice, first when they killed Jews during the holocaust and in the period of anti-Semitism, and second now in their support to Israel and there silence about its crimes.
Seventh: the American media, which doesn’t say the truth about Israel.
Eighth: Arab rulers, who put themselves servants for the American rulers in order to keep their posts.
Ninth: The corporations, who give or sell to Israel weapons and bulldozers while they know for what Israel uses them.
Tenth: God, who allows all those to continue their crimes.
Rachel, the goddess of heroism and sacrifice, you didn’t have the time to tell your people, that your government spends on each Israeli citizen more than it spends on the American citizen.
Rachel, the heart who loved the hall world, why your people don’t know you have one of the greatest thinkers Noam Chomsky, who writs and shouts weak up and see the truth, but the democracy of your media, don’t allow what contradicts the official story. Rachel, advice them not to be like Britney Spears in what she told Michael Moore in the documentary 9\11 Fahrenheit, and that the brain is their to use. Tell them about Norman Finkelstein and the Holocaust Industry, or about what he wrote in history that Israel uses to confiscate Palestinian land, similar methods were used to confiscate the land of the Native Americans.
Rachel, did you hear, the guards of Abu Greab and Guantanamo decided to monitor the human rights violations in North Korea.
At last, Rachel, be calm, and proud of your parents, we all wish to have parents like them. Before saying good by, promise me to meet again, may be in Baghdad or in Kabul, or may be in Harlem, or we will meet in the state of Palestine, it’s true their will be thousands of girls named Rachel there, but don’t worry I’ll know you, you will be the most beautiful and surrounded by angels singing and dancing, we will meet and drink for the falling of tyrants and the victory of love and unity of all people in the state of human, their we will crown you its Queen, and your crown will be made of Jasmine, and we’ll forget about religion, race, sex, and color, and peace will spread over, peace will spread over.
Shawqi Issa – Director of Ensan Center for Democracy & Human Rights, Palestine