byRamzy Al Ouk

(Alresalah.ps: This is the story of the freed Palestinian prisoner Ramzy Al Ouk).

    Dreams look deniable. Jungle law predominates thoroughly, and injustice stumbles at each corner of time. It has no identity, and it is proved no authenticity. Idiocy dupes it. Bribes never debilitate truth. And truths never turn lies. Sunshine penetrates old walls, and hope never relinquishes the poor hearts, which fear dreams.

    I never understood how a man would be taken off his dreams, until I was robbed mine. Happiness looked scary. It was dreadful to celebrate my up-coming freedom. Not even for a second! I canceled my future, and never dared I think out of the box.

   I tried to live normally, the moment I knew my name was on the list of the freed prisoners in the swap deal. I could not wound my fellow prisoners spiritually. They demanded me to sing, in celebration of this special event. “Sing, Ramzy. Sing!”

  Why do not you please us with your dulcet voice? Today, at this particular time, we do miss your soft voice; we want to celebrate victory together. We want to celebrate the victory of the righteous over the evil. I could say nothing. I was tongue-twisted, actually. I could not console them. They – with the long-life sentences.

  “Sensitive you are. You are very funny, as well. You are both, bold and confident,” my fellow prisoners used to say. “Yes I am. Still, I am a human being,” I used to think. I know how touché proper words are, and how expressive a broad smile is.

  My feelings towards my friends, fellow prisoners and their families almost deprived me and my mother from rejoicing, when we met for the first time in years. My mother ululated! I thwarted her. “Some families still have their sons in detention, mother,” justified I. We are destined to exult inchoately.  

   Ramzy Al Ouk! I could not believe it, when I knew my name is on the list of the freed prisoners. I could remember every single moment of life. I remember myself a child – I mean the days I looked a child-like. At that time, the Israeli occupation was bombing and devastating the dreams of childhood.


The Journey of Eternal Battling

   The Israeli soldiers would stand still by the checkpoints. Then they would beat my father hard, and insult him in front of me. They made my mother cry painfully bitterly for me, while she was watching the Israeli soldiers torturing me.

   The Israeli soldier was pulling my brothers across the ground, as if they were animals. I remember myself a boy. My stones turned dreadful. They spread boldness in the hearts of the children around to me. The Zionist soldiers used to chase me and the children of my age. Revolution erupted inside me. I declared myself a rebel. And I took my place in fighting the Zionists.

  There, in the narrow lanes of Aida refugee camp, my story began. My journey of eternal battling did not end in Gaza, and will never come to an end as long as Palestine is not free. Between the beginning and the never-reaching end, I had stories about jailers and sterile chases. They are unhealed wounds and sore pictures.


   The Unbreakable Pride

   They were sources of toughness and unbreakable pride. I was first detained by the Palestinian Authority (PA). Detention there was less bitter than detention in the Israeli prisons, even though it was rough. Between the two prisons, chasing grew tense.

  The picture of the old woman, with the cane in her hand, is still present in my mind. When I talked to my mother on phone, I told her not to rejoice a lot so that she is not shocked, in case I was not on the list of the freed. “Seriously ?” she asked. “Yes, my beloved,” said I. “Those are the Jews,” I sighed. And the phone call was over.

   We received the list of names of the freed prisoners. I knew I was going out of detention, but I did not tell my family. I felt it was too much for me to rejoice. And for my family, as well.

    I was afraid that the dream was not coming true so that we would be hurt more. I waited for a day, a second day and a third. Then I called my father in the fourth day to tell him the news. He manipulated my emotions, and started to scare me.

   I guess I deserved it because I was late when told him. My brothers, who were held captive in Negev jail, had called the family and told them before I did. “It is still early,” my father said ironically.

I felt I was a traitor to walk out of prison

    Emotions became more rampant, and bewilderment increased. My fellow prisoners got close. They wanted to congratulate me my freedom. I dismissed them with my hands. I did not want to harm them spiritually.

    Moments crept slowly and melancholically. I packed my possessions and poems at the last moment. Happiness, then, overwhelmed me. I had a lot of gnawing questions; their impact almost killed me. I could not suppress my feelings.

    I felt I was a traitor to walk out of prison, while my fellow prisoners were in prison. Such feelings will never leave me, until prisons are wiped out. My spirit cracked down, until I put my first step in the bus, and headed to Gaza, the triumphant.

   In a tearful and wretched moment, I trembled, once the buses showed up. I started thinking of my brother, Ahmed, the one who was left in Israeli prisons. At this exact moment, I remembered some days in prison. Prisoners were discussing the swap deal. I insisted that I will not walk out of prison, in case the swap deal was not decent and honorable. I stared at the faces of my fellows. I started chanting.


 If we are destined never to meet on earth,

And death separates us,

Then we will meet in Heaven.

There, where the two beloveds live.


   They all sang and chanted. And we washed our faces with tears of hurting farewell. The Zionist generals were submissive. Their heads were down; their sights were broken. Spirits lost. I did takbeer loudly. And I waved my hands with victory sign. The freed prisoners repeated after me out loud, “Allahu Akbar wa lilah Alhamd!” The scene was moving. Souls were coming and going to congratulate me for my freedom.

   I entered Gaza. No, I, rather, entered al-Medina, the radiant city, and the spirit of Islam. There, few believers stand patient. There, morals of Sahaba, the companions, spread. Few days later, my mother came to Gaza. My friends demanded me to hide and  surprise her, but I could not. When I saw her, I ran towards her.

     I carried her between my arms, and I span around and around. I was like a little child. I span and chanted, “O, Soso! O, my beloved!” We laughed. We kissed on another on the cheeks after ten years of absence.

     Here I am, in the bosom of Gaza, enjoying tea, my favorite drink. I go up the roof of a house, enlightened with the hearts of mujahedeen. I count stars, and I write a prisoners name on each one. Before I close my notebook, I wave to them.

    I send them my warmest messages with the moonlight. Hopefully, my fellow prisoners, the beloved, may chat with the stars like I am doing now ! (T/P02/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

Source : http://www.alresalah.ps/en/index.php?act=post&id=1726

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