Saudis Speak up for Gaza

Posted: January 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Rage filled the cyberspace since the early morning of December 27, 2010! Despite the almost hush-hush attitude the Saudi media has taken this year regarding the second memory of the Gaza war, young Saudi bloggers and Internet activists filled the cyberspace with their courageous statements about Palestine in general and about Gaza in specific. Twitter witnessed one of its most active days when Saudis bravely and fiercely showed their support to the Palestinians.

Encouraged and inspired by many advocates of the Palestenian Cause along with the passionate, young Saudi, Ahmad Sabri, Political Sciences graduate, a dedicated activist on the Palestinian issue, on human rights, and on preserving sea environments,  the Gaza Twitter trend said nothing but: We will not compromise! Justice! We will never forget Gaza!

Ahmad Sabri

Sabri kept tweeting that day till a very late hour and kept providing his Twitter followers with videos, documents, news stories, and articles that show the painful reality the Palestinians are living in, condemn Israel’s criminal and barbarous acts, and reveal the ugly truth of the American politics and other allies of Israel! Sabri stated bravely in one of his tweets that if it wasn’t for the USA and the Western support, Gaza’s massacre would never have happened.

Is that all that Ahmad Sabri has done?

Till the day of writing this post, Sabri keeps tweeting about Gaza, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other Arab and Islamic issues, proving that despite the political and media repression of the truth, young Saudis have a cause to live for, and they “know” what is going on!

Sabri says it so bluntly in one of his tweets: No one will bomb hungry poor civilians after years of putting them under a siege except cowards like apartheid Israel.

Of course, Ahmad Sabri wasn’t alone. Other Saudis and expats like Fouad Alfarhan, Yasser Al-Refai, Hamid Hossein, and Ahmad Al-Dahshan, Soha Jamal were also tweeting all day to show their support for Gaza. A number of Saudi thinkers like Ashraf Fagih, Dr. Maram Meccawy, and Dr. Abdul Mohsen Hilal had their say as well.

In his blog, Mr. Ashraf Fagih, faculty member at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, who is currently pursuing his PhD degree at Queen’s University, Canada, narrated his reflections when he attended a lecture by Dr. Mads Gilbert, Norwegian medical doctor and advocate of the Palestinian issue. According to Mr. Fagih, Dr. Gilbert made him feel ashamed because he, like many people in the Arab World, has become numb towards the Palestinian crisis. In that lecture, Mr. Fagih says, Dr. Gilbert clarified that the situation of Gaza reminds him of the small town where he comes from, Tromsoe, which was under the Swedish conquest for hundreds of years, and then it was under the Nazi occupation for many other years before it obtained its independence. Now, Dr. Gilbert asserts, all the people who have fought against that occupation are looked upon as heroes whereas those very people were looked at as terrorists when they defended their town at that time. Today, his home town, Tromsoe, is currently officially twinned with Gaza because of the efforts of his and others.

Ashraf Fagih

Mr. Fagih continues his article with a bitter tone mentioning the various efforts people all over the world undertake to voice their opinion in support for Gaza while Arabs and Muslims keep silent! “Mads Gilbert is another example that shows the Palestinians do not need us. Palestinians are not poor people who deserve our pity; they are heroes…legendary creatures with supernatural abilities. We are the unfortunate and pitiable ones because we are immersed in shame. We let the Palestinians down…they never expected anything from us. The Latin American countries one after the other have acknowledged Palestine as an independent country. Some British universities have rejected many educational and scientific partnerships with Israel. Today, as we spend hours on Twitter, in remembrance of Gaza’s tragedy, we should feel sad for ourselves first and foremost because history will not be merciful on us!  The coming generations will remember us in the way we deserve!

The participation of young women wasn’t absent in such an activity as well. Many female bloggers were all over Twitter speaking up against Israel like AmoonaE, who said: “You can prevent us from trending, you can try to shut us up; we know too well that our voices are the storm you fear”. Also, Shaima Al-Bishtawi kept tweeting to inform Twitter users about the conditions in Gaza saying: Electricity in most Gaza homes are cut for eight hours at least every day and in some houses electricity is cut for twelve hours.

In addition, notable Al-Watan Saudi columnist, Dr. Maram Meccawy, wrote an article titled Two Years since The Massacre, where she emphasized her absolute objection to any kind of compromise regarding the Palestinian issue. She said that some might argue, “Why do we write about Gaza today? Why don’t we focus on local issues that concern our society?”, but she asserted that talking about Gaza is not mere “talk” nor a slogan of a national, Islamic issue that some might call “terrorism”. “We are not alone in remembering our tragedies as the Jews are still “feeding” on the Holocaust massacre and blackmailing Europe even after fifty-six years of end of World War II. Many European capitals and American cities have museums that specify sections to remind people of the atrocious crime and to instill it in the minds of people as the most brutal crime in the history of humanity. This is still happening although the tragedy ended years ago, and the responsible parties were prosecuted and sentenced. Even the young soldiers and officials who worked in the Nazi prisons are being internationally prosecuted today in order to be presented to court although they are over eighty. Rights don’t die. They shouldn’t die. Why then, when Arabs or Muslims speak about their rights and about a current, fresh massacre and bloodshed, they are blamed and accused of being retroactive and reactionary?

Resisting compromise and boycotting are the last two weapons human beings can use not only to support Palestine, but to protect their humanity from being put under the same situation of Gaza. When you justify your shaking hands with a criminal, your fun encounter with an invader and rapist, or your playing with a gang of thieves, claiming that there is no need to mix cards, you are choosing to be with injustice. When you take the side of the people, whose principles are based on injustice, you are going to be internally diluted as a human being…your body will not die…but you will not have anything else but a shallow body! Forgive us, Gaza!

Furthermore, Dr. Abdul Mohsen Hilal, well-known Saudi academic and writer, seconds Dr. Meccawy’s opinion in his article, which was banned by Al-Madina Newspaper. Dr. Hilal says that we’ve tried all solutions; negotiations proved to be a waste of time, complaining to the United Nations Security Council, where the American Veto always has some strings to pull, is in vain, and even trying to use some authorities’ power has proved to be full of manipulation and bargaining. Hence, what has been taken by force must be returned by force. All of Israel’s so called superiority will not help it win this war since it s war is against people. This is not a Palestinian enthusiast’s statement like myself; it is what Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Minister of Industry in the government of the enemy had said before. He warned Israel from a disaster if the world acknowledges Palestine as a country and if the Arab countries unite and take serious action. He also pleaded that the Israeli government goes back to negotiations and to temporarily freeze the settlement plan.

All that Twitter activity on the 27th of December shows that Saudis are using the New Media the best way they could. Young Saudi writers and thinkers have a cause to live for, and it is so shocking that many “shiny” names and well-known “liberals” and “salafis” in the Saudi media were totally silent that day!

Want more on Palestine and Gaza?

Here is an Article by Ahmad Sabri titled 2010 and the Palestinian cause

http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article223921.ece

And here are some of the articles that Mr. Sabri shared with his Twitter followers:

A report on the miserable conditions of Gaza’s people

http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/EXERES/0F796A3E-3BBF-4C37-8E18-72CBA4CC0962.htm

Israel troops shoot Palestinians at Gaza border

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hTULfQg_I6922SHpH4h5YkgsQ3fA?docId=CNG.05a6e85bfb37cddd7fe037aaf5164bc0.8c1

Americans’ Money Goes to Israel

http://www.alriyadh.com/2010/12/24/article588204.html

Israel Kills Sleeping Palestinian

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cot33pLP5dY

Letter Urges Israeli Girls Not to Date Arabs

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/12/29/israel.letter.arabs/index.html?eref=rss_world&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_world+%28RSS%3A+World%29&utm_content=Twitter

Also, make sure to read this eye-opening interview with Dr. Mads Gilbert:

Medical solidarity with Gaza: in conversation with Mads Gilbert

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11212.shtml

 

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Comments
  1. Erin says:

    This is so well-written, Maha!
    Those young people are really amazing! Honestly, I never thought that Saudi people, especially men care about Palestine!
    I am an American, but I don’t approve of what my government is doing. I am so sorry for what is happening in Gaza..it is really so un-human!

    I will check the links and then come back to comment again.

    Thank you for an eye-opening post!

  2. Tender says:

    Yeah Saudi young generation are using the new media to make their voices heard! let us hope.

  3. A_Chris says:

    This is so stupid Arabs are all stupid! It’s been over what a 100 years people and u still don’t understand that you should just get out of Israel!!!

    • Maha Noor Elahi says:

      A_Chris
      I don’t know what do you mean by stupid..is it the post or Israel killing Palestinians?
      If you call defending one’s land stupidity, then when someone comes to take something from you, stand still and do nothing.

      Thanks

    • بان says:

      What you and all the Zionists don’t understand is that Palestine is ours. Palestine is for Muslims. You will go back to your homeland otherwise we’ll make you go by force. In spite of all your brutal massacres we’ll keep fighting you until you go away. Zionists are Nazi criminals and …. Stupid..

  4. بان says:

    This can be the most wonderful post I ever read
    You talked about everything, and left nothing to add. I just would like to emphasis on the boycotting weapon. We really should do boycotting campaign. Let’s talk everywhere about the companies that support the Zionist entity economically and invite people to boycott them; Pepsi, Coca-Cola, MacDonald, Burger King, Starbucks, Kintaky, Pizza hot, Fuddruckers, Chilies, Marlboro. Pepsi stands for: “Pay Every Penny to Save Israel”. And the owner of Starbucks donates 2 billion dollars to the so called “Israel” EVERY year.
    Thank you very much..

  5. Sandra says:

    Great article!

    There seems to be a totally different side of the story in my country 😦

    Thanks for sharing!

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