“Love you. Really miss you. I have bad nightmares about tanks and bulldozers outside our house and you and me inside. Sometimes the adrenaline acts as an anesthetic for weeks and then in the evening or at night it just hits me again – a little bit of the reality of the situation. I am really scared for the people here. Yesterday, I watched a father lead his two tiny children, holding his hands, out into the sight of tanks and a sniper tower and bulldozers and Jeeps because he thought his house was going to be exploded. Jenny and I stayed in the house with several women and two small babies. It was our mistake in translation that caused him to think it was his house that was being exploded…” – Those were the words of Rachel Corrie, the 23-year old peace activist tragically killed under Israeli bulldozers, to her mother.
As we commemorate the fourth anniversary of the brutal killing of Rachel Corrie, let me pay a tribute to this heroine who sacrificed her life in protest against the Israeli destruction of Palestinian houses in Rafah.
No activist acted more heroically than did Rachel Corrie four years ago when, as recalls Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the Palestinian-led International Solidarity Movement, which Corrie worked for, she died while “attempting to prevent the Israeli military from destroying Palestinian civilian homes. She was raising her hands and yelling at the bulldozer driver to stop. The bulldozer driver paid no attention. … He buried Rachel with dirt, which ended up, obviously, knocking her down. Then he ran over her, and then reversed and ran over her again.”
Nothing can be more heroic or noble than sacrificing one’s life for defending human beings, rights, or noble values.
To those who always attempt to change historic facts in a way that suits their goals, Corrie’s killing wasn’t accidental. The woman sat for about three hours in front of houses belonging to Palestinians, before the driver of the Israeli bulldozer drove over her. She was aware she was going to be brutally killed, but she wouldn’t care.
Rachel; we’ll always remember your loving spirit, your dedication to the Palestinian cause and your determination not to bow before even death in your struggle to aid the suffering population of Palestinians.
The Sheikha can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]