Thursday, January 29, 2009
"I'm a prisoner in my own land..."
I ASKED A UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR whether he intend to travel abroad to raise funds for his flattened science lab following repeated bombings by Israeli jets in the 22-day war on Gaza. I suggested to him that he may be able to rebuild the lab if he passes the hat around among his colleagues in other universities. But he would have to launch a campaign whereby he goes to meet his counterparts in other countries. Speaking in English, the professor said: "My dear brother, I'm not like you. You can travel freely in the world. Nobody stops you from travelling overseas. It's different for a Palestinian in Gaza. I have valid visas to visit two countries to attend conferences and improve networking with others in the big world. I've not left Gaza for two years, despite getting invitations to attend and give lectures; or participate in other academic pursuits for the sake of my students and university. My dear friend, I don't know when and where I can travel next. I'm a prisoner in my own land, deprived of the freedom of movement and many other civil liberties. But my spirit is free and my mind roams the earth in search of an enduring peace and freedom for my people. Help me, help us..."