The Struggle of the Village of Nabi Saleh – Nariman Tamimi

Attorney Nisreen Alyan reading Nariman Tamimi's words

During the Human Rights March, which took place on 9 December 2011 in Tel Aviv, a speech was read on stage – written by Nariman Tamimi from the village of Nabi Saleh – regarding the struggle of the village residents.
A short time after the speech was read in Tel Aviv, at the weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh, Mustafa Tamimi was critically injured from an army teargas projectile. He died in the hospital the following day, on International Human Rights Day, December 10, 2011.
Below is the video of Nariman Tamimi’s speech, read on stage by ACRI attorney Nisreen Alyan.

Nariman Tamimi’s speech:
In the Name of God – the Peaceful and Just.

From the depths of the continuing tragedy and disappointment for all of the time that my land is occupied, I greet you in my name, Nariman Tamimi, wife of the prisoner Bassem Tamimi, mother to four children, living in the village of Nabi Saleh.

On December 10, 2009, the day that the first Human Rights March took place in Tel Aviv, settlers, with the support of the occupation army, took control of the only source of water in our village of Nabi Saleh. On the same day, we began holding weekly non-violent demonstrations against the theft of our right to water, land, and a life of dignity and freedom.

My husband Bassem and I participated in the resistance; which from its very beginning was non-violent. I was injured and arrested many times, and our oldest son was also injured. Our son Salam (whose name means peace) refused to let them call him by this name. The decision to destroy my house, the unceasing questions by my children about their father, and the constant painful cries of my mother-in-law for her imprisoned son and her daughter who had fallen martyr (to the occupation). Nonetheless, I would not relent, and have continued to demonstrate and protest against the actions of the occupation with the hope that our voices would overcome the sounds of the occupation’s bullets and tanks; that our voices would rise higher and higher over the racist separation wall and the cancerous settlements, and be heard among believers in freedom and human rights.

Like others who have organized non violent demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian villages, my husband Bassem was arrested once again, eight months ago and accused of organizing and taking part in demonstrations in Nabi Salih. During a time when the entire world is experiencing a wave of demonstrations and social protests, Bassem and his friends are languishing in the darkness of continuing imprisonment because, in the shadow of the occupation, there is no dignity and no freedom of expression.

Even the most basic right to demonstrate and protest against the actions of the occupation is grossly abused. Bassem sat in prison for more than eight months because of his participation in non violent demonstrations. These demonstrations are our last resort to express our resistance to the domination by settlers and the occupation over our land and water.
During my visits to my husband, Bassem asked that the hearts of our sons be purified from any and all hatred and for the seeds of love to be planted there. Now we are waiting for redemption, joy, justice, and freedom. With your help we can cross the bridge of optimism with our heads raised high. Your massive presence, believers in justice, democracy, equality and in all of the disappearing values will redeem us. You are free people in the world. Release us from the occupation and bring us freedom, justice and peace, for you and for us. Let there be peace for you and also for us.

I am filled with hope that my voice will be heard among you on this day on which you are gathered to emphasize the fact that human rights belong to every human being. Remember! We are human beings and the ugly occupation has not succeeded in wiping out our aspirations for freedom. It has not prevented us from continuing the struggle to its end— to the end of the occupation.

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Categories: The Occupied Territories, Use of Force


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