- Dear All:
- I am the director of the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre
in Ramallah (http://www.sakakini.org).
As I am under siege at home, I am sending out this email to journalist
friends, & others, to ask to please get our message out &
- I hope this message will not become morbid fodder for
chain emails to draw pity, or prayers, or donations, but rather actions.
We are doing our bit by resisting & or standing steadfast, & ask
the world to please do its bit in the name of our common humanity, each
according to his her/own capacity. We do not want to become the red indians
of the Arab world, but simply want to live free, in peace & dignity
on this land.
- I will start by a few paragraphs' overview of the
"live" as i see it, & follow it with 9 suggestions of what
we would please like to see happen in the media & elsewhere in the
- Firstly tonight -Sunday- we have heard numerous reports
of 30 Palestinian policemen executed in cold blood by Israeli soldiers
in a building where they sought refuge on Irssal street in Ramallah. This
was after 5 Palestinian officers were executed by being shot to the head
& then had their corpses thrown on the pavement for hours on Friday.
Ambulances are prevented from reaching their destinations & 2 hospitals
have either been broken into (Arabcare) or shot at (Nazer Maternity
If this continues, it will be another Chechnya or Sarajevo in the
- Personally, I have been shut at home since Friday
like all the tens of thousands of inhabitants of Ramallah & El-Bireh,
& no prospect of an end soon. We did not have electricity for one day,
but thank God it got reestablished today Sunday.
- One of the employees of the Sakakini Center had the
army burst into his village (Kobar) yesterday, destroy belongings &
arrest his younger brother, alongside 30 other young men from the
- The cleaning lady of the Center lives in a house with
an outhouse for toilets. For 3 days the Israelis have been posted by the
door to her house & preventing all exit. When the eldest today sneaked
out to the outhouse, the Israelis caught him & beat him. His school
teacher father tried to intervene, the Israelis beat him & arrested
- One of the board members of our center was arrested with
all the employees of the office building where he was working late Thursday
night. They were all blindfolded & had their hands tied & placed
in one room for 16 hours. The Israelis destroyed some office furniture
& stole hard drives from computers. They all untied themselves once
they realized the Israelis had gone on to bigger prey..
- My brother in law & his wife & their 3 under-10
year old kids are without phone & electricity since Friday & cannot
go live w/ someone else as they would be shot at.
- My next door neighbor's 70+ year old father lives near
Yasser Arafat's office. The Israelis broke into his home Friday, broke
everything w/ the butt of their rifles (TV, sinks, furniture, etc.. ) &
then stole some money.
- There are reports also of Israeli soldiers breaking into
banks & change offices & jewelery stores & stealing money &
- In El Bireh, they arrested Saturday 150 young men between
16-45 years of age after calling out for men of this age bracket to get
out, they are grouping them in Ramallah's Old City.
- The only local private TV station in town that used to
air hourly news & advice (Watan TV) has been seized by the Israelis
on Friday, & they are now airing pornographic films. Journalists have
been ordered out of Ramallah today Sunday.
- All neighborhoods are abuzz with talk of who is next
in Israeli home incursions. As for me & many others, there is the human
instinct of crying out for help when in danger.
- What we have done: With our means we have made phone
calls to appeal for help & pressure on the international community
to a number of high level officials in a number of neigboring countries,
as well as sent appeals to the media like this one.
- Below are 9 modest and/or utopic suggestions &
- 1- This is a long siege please keep the pressure to have
our story told & appeals for action continuous.
- 2- The Centre's admin & finance director, Ms. Manal
Issa has collected about 10 testimonies by children around her describing
conditions under siege as well as drawings she has scanned. These
in Arabic can be obtained directly from her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I
will translate them tomorrow to englsih & have them available. I am
also asking that anybody who gets this email directly or forwarded, ask
us for copies of these testimonies to have them published as widely as
- 3- Please ask for pressure on the international community
& decision makers to lift the siege on us. We need tens & hundreds
of letters daily to: email@example.com & vice.president@white
- 4- If you do not want that, please write mainstream news
organizations in the US about the siege.
- 5- We need daily demonstrations in front of Israeli
- 6- We need appeals from Arab artists to western European
artists for concerts/demonstrations/appeals to decision makers to lift
- 7- We need action by Western/European artists for events
to ask for the siege to be lifted on us.
- 8- If you work for a publication, please keep a section
for daily news or weekly news from the siege, interviews with witnesses
to repression/the siege, children's testimonies, & information from
- 9-The disastrous health picture can be obtained by
the Ramallah Hospital & talking to its director Dr. Atari or to the
Deputy minister of health who is stationed there Dr. Munther Sharif (972
2 2 298 2220).
- 10- Please give us your suggestions for action &
for what you need from us to better help us.
- Thank you to the Muharraq Club, Bahrein TV, & Dubai's
Nadwat al Thaqafa for hearing us already..
- Thank you all & we all look forward to hearing from
- Adila Laidi.