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Open Letter to President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) 

Sunday 24 January 2016, by Huda Abdelrahman al-Sadi

All the versions of this article: [عربي] [English] [français]

Huda Al Saadi, 23, a young Palestinian woman from Gaza, is a graduate of French department at the University Al Aqsa and valedictorian 2015. She has won several writing awards for which she has never been able to receive honors, delivered each year at the Institute of Arabic World in Paris, because of the Israeli blockade.

Dear President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)

I send you this modest letter on behalf of the Palestinians - oh sorry I meant on behalf of Gazans, those people who still survive on this small corner of Palestine called "The Strip". Yes my President, this little corner where you used to live in your home that is in the Anssar street, still exists.

My dear President, since you left in 2007, nothing changed in the band, not exceeding 360 square kilometers.

Or I still believed that nothing had changed, that year... I was only 15 and I had no knowledge of the political, civil war, division, or the hate that is in the heart of some ; at that age, I believed that the people of a country never fights against himself, never hates, never divides - ever.

Especially the Palestinians who live in the only country in the world, occupied and colonized in this century, where one sings the freedom although still looking of it.

My dear President, in this year, I thought it was a temporary situation that would end soon ; a civil war ... Division and hatred don’t exist between people whose only concern is the end of the occupation, the revival of the peace and the recovery of their land.

Unfortunately, at that age, I was wrong. All in which I believed went up in smoke since that time, after eight years of division between the two poles of Palestine – at last, what remains of Palestine (Gaza and the West Bank).

As if the land division carried out by Israeli was not enough, we Palestinians, we created another division, the division between us. Instead of unity between us, we moved away from each other, and our enemy is watching us make by ourselves what he wanted to do for a long time, and he laughed at the ridiculousness of a people who forgot his own cause by committing his brother’s massacre - and why?

As for power..., let him go to hell, this power that destroys our cause and acheaves what our enemy wants.

Let him go to hell, that power which replaces the name of Palestinians by those of Gazan and West Banker.

Let him go to hell, that power which divides Palestine into Fatah and Hamas.

Discovering that everything had changed around me, my dear President, I rise to say : Gaza isn’t anymore Gaza and the West Bank isn’t anymore the West Bank.

By being besieged for eight years, until today, Gaza has become the largest prison in the world.

Would you like me to begin by wars, just three wars during those eight years, with only thousands of deaths, millions of losses and massive destructions?

Or do I have to talk of reconstruction which will require hundreds of years for its implementation, for the simple reason that we are still besieged?

Do you think I should talk about the unemployment rate, with a percentage of 42%, considered the highest in the world?

Do I have to mention the permanent closure of the Rafah crossing and the occasional opening of Eretz, just for a moment ; or thousands of students who lose, each year, the chance to continue their education ; or even thousands of patients who die while waiting for Israeli permission to treat and cure ; and finally thousands of families, married, engaged and dispersed between Gaza and West Bank, who do not have the right to unite for the simple reason that the Israelis fear a demographic growth of the Palestinians in THEIR OWN COUNTRY?

Dear President, Gaza is no longer the same ; eight years ago that Gazans don’t have electricity, like everyone else ; since eight years we are told that tomorrow we’ll see a radical solution to the problem ; and that tomorrow doesn’t come.
When I was younger, I prayed for power cuts to have the pleasure to light the candles hidden in drawers - and have I prayed!

Do you know that there are currently more than 40,000 employees who receive less than half of their salary every three or four months? Do you know, that here in Gaza, those who work (officials) care for their homes, their children, their needs with only 1000 shekels (142 euros)? And what shall we say people without work!

With a poverty rate that exceeds 60%, Gaza will never be Gaza, after all of this ; with its 1.8 million inhabitants, Gaza is declared uninhabitable from 2020, according to the latest report from the UN.

And despite all this, we survive yet , our dear President. I don’t know what is happening in the West Bank where you are, all I know is that the number of martyrs increases there, the number of destruction, the number of colonies and the number of checkpoints, of course.

Imagine Mr. President, I am a young 23 year PALESTINIAN who knows Palestine through photos - and many young people are like me.

Mr. President, I grew up dreaming to see you one day, but in our case, I can only pray that my letter reaches you, and this will have to suffice me.

Dear President, I am writing as a young girl, a “Gazéenne”, as say the French historians who are still interested in the past of Gaza, a Palestinian who has spent her life preparing to become a dentist, a dream trampled by Palestinian division, and I do not want that the dream of next generations be crushed like mine.

I send you these words that represent the last ray of hope in the life of a young person, who has not tasted the meaning of life, like so many others of her age ...

On behalf of young Palestinians, do not crush our future before being drawn, we beg you to stop this conflict between Palestine in Gaza and Palestine in West Bank.

PLEASE, forget the past and remember PALESTINE.

Peace that we dream, Love of homeland, Liberation of prisoners, Hope of Palestinian youth, Blood of the martyrs, Tenderness of our mothers, Infinite of our will, Birth of a new future, Exile of our ancestors ...

We still have dreams !!

Huda Al.Sadi
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The icon is a close up of a marble statuette of "The goddess Aphrodite leaning herself on Pan child head ," Jawdat Khoudari collection, Gaza. Quote of Bernard Genies investigation report, "Blockade of Gaza: the invisible treasures" Culture, Real Time (Temps Réel), L’Observateur, April 25, 2015.

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