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Latifah, A Mother of Seven Prisoners

Call from a Mother of Seven Prisoners
23 April 2007

Latifah and her imprisoned sons

Latifah Naji Abo Homeed, 61 years old, lives in Al Am’ary Refugee Camp in the city of Ramallah – Palestine.

Of her 10 children, one killed during 1994 by Israeli military & seven have been imprisoned by Israel. She longs to see them but has only their photos for comfort. She has asked to be taken to prison herself so that she can live with them.

Latifah remembers how her son Nasr loved to play with his first son; his wife delivered his second child while he was in prison. She misses Basil’s jokes, Naseir’s kindness, and Muhamed’s helpfulness. Her youngest, Jehad, was always missing his older brothers, and now he, too, is a prisoner, awaiting his own conviction. Sharif is engaged and dreams to be free and marry his bride. Islam was known for his beautiful eyes; many girls tried to win his attention by being nice to Latifah.

Latifah does not attend any weddings because she is afraid she will not be able to control her tears. She despairs that she will die before she can witness her own sons’ weddings.

Though Latifah has not given up hope that her sons and other Palestinian prisoners will be freed, she often feels that no one remembers them and no one is fighting for them. She prays, searching for the strength and patience to endure life under Occupation and the unending separation from her sons. The home Latifah shares with her husband has been demolished twice in the last ten years. She and her husband, 67 years old, have recently opened a small candy store in their home to try to earn money and fill their free time.

This is the story of countless Palestinian women, who hope for the freedom of their sons, husbands, and brothers with every breath.

Latifah Naji’s imprisoned sons:

Name, Age, Year imprisoned, Sentence
Naseir 36 years – single 2002, 7 lifers + 50 years
Nasr 34 years – married with 2 children 2002, 5 lifers
Sharif 30 years – engaged 2002, 4 lifers
Basil 29 years – single 2004, 4 years + 4 months + $2500
Muhamed 26 years – single 2002, 2 lifers + 30 years
Islam 22 years – single 2004, 5 years + 6 months + $2500
Jehad 19 years – single 2006, Not yet