My Voice Will Remain Loud

5_Broken_Cameras_v5

Emotions are still raw from watching “5 Broken Cameras” the Oscar nominated documentary by Palestinian filmmaker, Emad Burnat, and Guy Davidi. Please watch while it is still available on Netflix, share it with others, and if you want more information on what happened when Emad and his family landed in LAX for the Oscars, please click here.

My eyes are still swollen from the intense crying at seeing nonviolent protesters attacked, killed. Children being arrested by the IDF in the middle of the night. Fathers being ripped from their families through no fault of their own except the hope to create a better world for their children to grow up in.

The Palestinian community is resilient, steadfast, and full of heart and I only wish I had a portion of their loving kindness and sustained hope in their nonviolent resistance against the illegal occupation and the building of settlements on their cultivated land by Israel.

I was awake most of the nights reliving the images that I watched on my laptop screen. It is unsettling to acknowledge that this is their daily life – mere survival in the midst of constant denial of their human rights.

How privileged am I? How can I use this privilege to bring about change rather than sit in my safe and secure apartment thinking I can do nothing?

My voice can remain loud but soaked with kindness for both sides (admittedly this is extremely difficult for me). I have, since graduate school, stayed tightly on the side of the Palestinian movement even to the point of completely demonizing Israel and Israelis. That was and is not helpful. Peace has to include ALL people, even the ones that commit these atrocities. As Martin Luther King said only light can drive out darkness.

In my small town in Arkansas, I will shin my light and continue to engage in conversations that promote peace and freedom for Palestinians. I will encourage others to learn about the history and fully comprehend the true living conditions in Gaza and the West Bank. There is much need to dispel the stereotypes permeating the air involving any individual from the Middle East. I have hope and will celebrate even if only one person changes their views of Palestinians from “terrorists” to their “brothers and sisters.”

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

—Gandhi

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