Sunday, January 2, 2011

I used to view images like this very differently. Even after watching documentaries and doing some research on the Palestinian "cult of death" and martyrdom, I wasn't able to detach myself from the old stereotypes. Even as I stood watching Jaoaher's funeral procession, I wondered to myself, "Why are they waving Fateh flags? Why does her poster have a Fateh symbol on it? Why does her death have to be political? Why are they shouting Allahu Akbar? Are they not aware of how this looks? Is she really a martyr?"

There was this inner battle raging as I watched the procession, but even my limited knowledge of Bil'in and its people was enough to shed those old thoughts.

They're chanting about how they will continue their non-violent struggle for peace.

She supported Fateh, and their struggle was one and the same: Free Bil'in. Free Palestine.

It's easy to assume that all the photos of martyrs that are plastered all over Palestine (especially in Nablus) are of suicide bombers and violent resistors. I made the same assumption of Palestinian martyrdom. Now that I know that Jaoaher is considered a martyr, it makes me reconsider the faces on the posters. Now I'm hearing what people are telling me, that most of them were non-violent resistors, and were killed unjustly.

Anyways, here's my friend Haitham's video of the procession.