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Hussam has been a lifelong human rights activist who is passionate about promoting democratic societies, in the US and worldwide, in which all people, including immigrants, workers, minorities, and the poor enjoy freedom, justice, economic justice, respect, and equality. Mr. Ayloush frequently lectures on Islam, media relations, civil rights, hate crimes and international affairs. He has consistently appeared in local, national, and international media. Full biography at: http://hussamayloush.blogspot.com/2006/08/biography-of-hussam-ayloush.html

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Youngest Palestinian prisoner leaves Israeli detention camp

A must read story. I could not find words to comment on this inhumanity.
Youngest Palestinian prisoner leaves detention camp

November 22, 2007
by Hadeel Wahdan – BBC

Translated by Ghassan Bannoura - IMEMC News

They say life is just stories someone did not have the chance to tell yet. With this in mind, I tried to manage the boredom I felt while waiting in front of the Israeli detention camp of Telmond for the release of Aisha Eliyan, the youngest Palestinian political detainee to be released by the Israeli army this week.

3-years-old Aisha

Aisha was born three years ago in Telmond Detention Camp. For three years she was unable to see the blue sky or play freely, her crime was that she was the daughter of a Palestinian woman, Itaf Eliyan, who is detained for being a member of a political group that Israeli considers hostile.

Aisha walking out of the detention camp with the attorney

Um Waleed, the grandmother of Aisha sat waiting on a stone installed by the army in front of the main gate of the detention camp; Um Waleed is Aisha's only remaining family member, since the army kidnapped her father several days before.

Aisha's father has never held her; he used to see her during a visit just once a week and he was unable to hold her.

Aisha's grandmother asked me to ask the soldiers guarding the gate when the release was going to take place, and before I even had the chance to reply to her request, the loud noise of the gate filled the area, and there she was; Aisha, holding the hand of the family lawyer. Um Waleed rushed to her granddaughter to hold her and kiss her.

To begin with, Aisha did not accept Um Waleed and started to pull the lawyer back toward the detention center gate while shouting and screaming for her mother, who in addition was crying because of being separated from her child.

Eventually, with fear and hesitant steps, Aisha made her first steps out of the jail. The lawyer said that Aisha should have been released a year ago, as Israeli law says children of prisoners should not stay with their parents above the age of two years old.

Aisha meeting her grandmother for the first time

There were five Palestinian babies in Israeli detention centers, three were released directly after being born due to health complications, one died at birth and Aisha stayed with her mother because her mother wanted to breastfeed her.

Quickly my cell phone caught Aisha's attention because of its constant ringing and this led her to the car that took her home. When in her new home she was jumping everywhere and looking around, exploring the place. Um Waleed looked at Aisha and said, "How I am going to take care of her, I am old and sick; they did not leave anyone from the family to take care of Aisha except me."

Aisha misses her mother

Aisha disappeared for some time and when she returned she was holding a photo of her parents on their wedding day. She did not recognize her father but of course she recognized her mother. I asked if I could speak to her and said "who are they?", she gave me an angry look because of my ignorance, and just cried "Mom, where is mom? I want go to mommy" all the while looking at the photo.

Aisha playing with the BBC reporter

Just as I was leaving, Aisha grabbed onto my bag and said in her baby language, "I go with you, to bring mommy". At three years old, she knew a lot, including that this detention center would not allow her to see her mother.


Kathleen O'connor Wang said...

All I have are tears. My 7 grandchildren know me very well because I have been able to love and care for them. My next grandchild will be my first grat grandchild and she will be loved and held in a way that was denied this small innocent girl.

Anonymous said...

"Then surely, with hardship comes ease

Surely, with hardship comes ease"


Anonymous said...

What an outrage!
It puts me in mind of the ICE agents here in the US who are tearing mothers away from their US-born infants.
None of us is free while our sisters and brothers are in chains.

Josh said...

What if instead of a Muslim Aisha, the young girl was a Jewish Rebbecca and was being held by Syria or Hizbollah? Would the US media ignore such an issue?

Why is it that Muslim and Arab lives are considered less than human??

mike said...

i have a two year old son, and i can only imagine what it would be like to be parted with my son even for a day. my prayers are always with the captive children in israel, iraq and various CIA run prisons including the 20 year old canadian khadr who is languishing in guantanamo for the last 5 years. what kind of savage are the zionists and those brain dead zombies that live in the US that authorize to torture children?