Oh Mothers of the World, “I want My Son Alive.”

They tortured the corpse

'till the dawn broke exhausted and the rooster rose to protest.

They planted hooks in its flesh. They flogged it with electrical wires.

They hung it from the ceiling fan.

When the floggers finally tired

and they rested, the corpse moved its small finger

opened its wounded eyes

and muttered something.

Was it asking for water? Did it want bread, I wonder.

Was it cursing them or demanding for more?

What was it that the corpse wanted? Sargon Boulus

 

*****

How and in what way did the child "Muhammad Abou Khudair" face his kidnappers?

How did he spend his last minutes in the woods near the village of Dier Yassin? Do not turn your faces,

Do not shut your ears,

Do not cover your eyes with your palms:

Yesterday, the child Moussa Zaloum in Shu'fat;

The day before yesterday: the young nurse Hayat Al Balabseh in Deir Yassin;

Today the boy Muhammad Abou Khudair, 16 years old, in Shu'fat;

Tomorrow, the boy Muhammad Aly El Kaswany, 11 years old in Beit Hanina;

And after tomorrow will be your sons'/brothers'/daughters' turns, in Palestine, in the Arab World and wherever you might be if you do not wake up.

*****

With the overflowing tenderness of a father's love, Hussein Abou Khudair, the father, remembers the last hours he spent with his son in front of the TV on the night before he was burned to death. He added that they sat almost till 11: 30 pm and spoke about the month of Ramadan. They separated and met again for suhour [1].

"He used to spend a lot of time with his friends on Facebook. After suhour Muhammad left for the mosque as he does every day, but he never made it."

A few people, on their way to prayer, saw his son being kidnapped by Israeli settlers.

 

[1]Suhour is the last meal one eats before the dawn call for prayer to begin fasting

What was Muhammad thinking of when he left his home, heading to the mosque to pray after a long chat with his father spent in front of the TV screen? Did he think of a tasty meal his mother would make for him? Did he think of talking to his friends over Facebook after his return from the mosque? Did he think of buying new clothes in anticipation of the Eid? Did the presents and the money he would get from family for the Eid, and the cookies cross his mind.

*****

How did this boy spend the last hours before he was killed? How did he spend the last hours of his life? How? When they forced him to swallow gasoline, and burned him alive before they shot him, did he look into his killers' eyes?

"Perhaps he screamed from pain, from the burning of the fire in his guts. Maybe he laughed; maybe he smiled, or shivered. Perhaps his last breath was a word of goodbye, or a legacy to those who hold on to the cause." Many images fill our imagination, we who have lost you Sheikh Imam. What is certain and what cannot be argued with is that Muhammad did not have a chance to die a man's death, even if he died a martyr.

He was a boy. Yes, he was a boy. He must have yearned to grow into a man that would have a hand in realizing his freedom and the freedom of his people.

Oh God! The horror of what has befallen his mother and father and brothers and sisters and his kin! The horror of what has befallen us all!.

*****

Remember, you free world, that massacres are massacres and that the freedom of peoples is indivisible.

Muhammad was kidnapped between 3: 30 and 5: 00 am.

Remember America, when you turn a blind eye to the massacres of the Palestinian people;

What happened at 5 am on 6 March in 1836 in Alamo, Texas?

Remember the massacre, which only ended at 8 am and reaped 412 young men's lives; none were over the age of 30, all of them sons of your 28th state.

When you bless the embargo on Gaza, remember how the sons of this state on 23 February of 1836 were besieged before being shot and then burned;

When you use the right to veto against international resolutions that incriminate Israel for going against the Geneva Treaty, and international treaties which demand that prisoners of war are treated as prisoners of war;

When you condemn the Palestinians' rightful defense of their country; Remember how your sons/those asking for freedom after finishing their ammunition turned their guns to sticks to fight the invading Mexicans in defense of the right to independence.

Remember how the Mexican dictator General "Santa Anna" broke the treaty and pledge after the American soldiers surrendered, and instead of treating them as war prisoners, his soldiers asked them to get down on their knees.

"None obeyed the command to kneel?

Some made a mad and helpless rush, some stood stark and straight,

A few fell at once, shot in the temple or heart, the living and dead lay together,

The maimed and mangled dug in the dirt, the newcomers saw them there,

Some half-killed attempted to crawl away,

These were despatched with bayonets or batter's with the blunts of muskets,

A youth not seventeen years old seized his assassin until two more came to release him,

The three were all torn and covered with the boy's blood.

At eleven o'clock began the burning of the bodies;

That is the tale of the murder of the four hundred and twelve young men." Walt Whitman

*****

Do not ask about what a mother feels after the slaying and burning of her own flesh and blood!

Do not ask.

Ask about the just demands of Al Yamama[1] and let us think of how we can make them happen!

"I want him alive. I do not want anything else. I want my son to come home.

Convictions do not return rights to those who lost them. Muhammad went out to pray dawn as usual with his friends and he did not return…I am waiting for him."

[1] Al Yamama Bint Kulayb: A historical character who took part in the pre-Islamic war "Albasoos" that raged after the assassination of her father Kulaib. When asked about her demands to stop the war, Al-Yamama replied: I want my father alive.

faihaab@gmail.com

6/07/2014

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