Message from Dr. Abdel Fatah Abu Srour,
Director of the Al Rowwad cultural and theatre Training Centre
Aida Camp, Beit Jalla (near Bethlehem),
Tuesday 28th May
Al Rowwad Centre has been vandalised today at around 14.15 pm. The occupation army of "democratic" Israel entered Aida Camp, penetrated and searched many houses and arrived at Al Rowwad Centre. Two young men were inside. A student looking for a quiet place to prepare his final exams and the house keeper, Maazen, a temporary employee on the emergency program of the UNRWA. The soldiers asked the two young men for their ID cards, took the ID and asked them to wait at the door outside.
The respectable soldiers of the respectable army of the respectable State of Israel began a full operation of vandalism. They emptied the drawers and shelves, threw all the files and books on the ground, broke to pieces the JVC video cameras we use for animations (rented cameras) and the cameras children use to take photos. They emptied the oil, acrylic and gouache paint tubes on the computer screens, keyboards and all over the place, even on the glasses, cups and spoons. I don't know what else they have done. My mother, who tried to talk to them, who tried to tell them that this is a centre for children and was pushed back into her house and asked to remain inside, told me what happened.
The army arrested Maazen and took him I don't know where. I feel deep sorrow and anger. This centre is a bit of me. We paid for almost everything in it from our own money. Some friends have also donated for the furniture and the books, some let us equipment to work with. How are we supposed to reequip, rebuild and give back what we borrowed? How are we supposed to continue working as if nothing had happened? To begin from scratch all over again after each Israeli reoccupation? This is no longer the promised land, This is the permitted land. Whenever this army of terror, this government of barbaric mercenaries wishes to reinfest our land, we should kneel and welcome the new gods of the century.
Nobody is protesting anymore against their entrance and vandalism of our places. Nobody is shouting against what is going on. These ghettos that are encircled by barb wires and check points, these checkpoints like the gates of prisons where the Palestinians must have permits from the Israeli wise government to pass from one Palestinian city to an other. These checkpoints that can close according to the mood of the soldiers in guard. These humiliations and murders that prevent people from getting to work, to school, to hospital or simply to visit family members.
How many women, children and sick people will have to die on these death
checkpoints before Israelis realise it is a crime and before the whole world
realises its complicity with these crimes? How many time will it take the
world to realise that suicide bombers are the symptom of this injustice and
silence and complicity with the government of terror in Israel will make
number proliferate? What will it take to make you realise what you are
with the people of the world? What will it take to wake you up and make you
think that your silence doesn't help anyone? Not the Palestinians, of
but also not the Israelis and not your own people.
(Dr. Abu Srour, a biomedical engineering expert, has established and the Center on his own with the help of friends. He converted part of his home into a children's theatre; due to the situation, this theatre now serves as an emergency medical clinic)
June 7th update: an Israeli peace group is trying to help re-equip the Center. Those who wish to donate, please call Liora +972 54 419341, Yael +972 51 617848, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org