By Steve Amsel
We constantly hear of the Nakbah, the human catastrophe that happened 62 years ago and what it means to the people of Palestine.
Today as we remember the Nakbah, the following will bring it closer to home as we describe the impact it continues to have on Palestinian families even to this day.
Haitham Sabbah is a fellow blogger, one that I proudly refer to as my brother. He is a Palestinian but is not allowed to live here. He’s not even allowed to visit. I have to chuckle to myself every time I think of Haitham, in Hebrew his family name means Grandfather. Although he is 25 years younger than myself, I think of him as the Grandfather of the Palestinian Blogesphere as he is the one with the most wisdom and personal experiences in the struggle. He is always there to offer his advice and guidance, without which our message would never reach the number of people it does on a daily basis. We are all eternally grateful to him for his dedication to the cause.
The following, from his own Blog is a bit about himself.
Haitham Sabbah is a Palestinian activist and blogger. He was born in exile in Kuwait on 2nd April 1969. The last time he was allowed to visit his homeland, Occupied Palestine was in 1986. He has never been allowed entry to his homeland since then. He has lived in many countries throughout the Arab world including Jordan, UAE and currently resides in Bahrain. He graduated in 1990 from Birla Institute of Technology – India with a degree in Engineering, Electronics and Communication.
He is now employed in the capacity of senior manager at Zain Bahrain – part of a leading global telecommunication company – and is a professional blogger during his personal time.
Haitham is one of the founders of the blogosphere in the Middle East and he continues to be one of the most famous bloggers there, as well as having a very large global readership. He is a well known online activist and his writing focuses on Israel’s occupation of Palestine, War, Human Rights, Culture and Religious issues in the Middle East. He integrates into the sites and blogs. He manages the innovations the medium allows as well as maintaining its essential character as a space of exchange of information and community.
He has participated in several conferences and workshops related to blogging and activism in the Middle East and his blog has received several awards over its years of existence (2000 – present). He has also participated in many blogging and Web 2.0 projects, some of which are well known references today, such as Palestine Blogs Aggregator, and Global Voices Online. He is also a co-founder of Palestine Think Tank, which, like all of his sites, is primarily in English, but also includes material in Arabic.
Why do I blog?
The main reason behind my blogging is to provide an alternative medium through my Blogs to empower my people and those who are in solidarity with my people, to accurately and passionately unleash the truth hidden by the main stream media about the Middle East and how it is presented to the world Online, TV and Press, by the western media. I find the international media in general to be biased and censored and does not reflect the truth about Arab nations, culture, religion and politics. Another reason (which is related to the first) is the weak media of the Arab world, that focuses more on non-Arab and non-Muslims issues.
I blog because I want to correct the wrong perception about my nation and to present the facts which are hidden (by design) from being presented to Western public, specially when it comes to Israeli occupation of Palestine and the truth about what is “Terrorism” and what is “Resistance.”
‘Born in exile’… can you even imagine what that means? ‘Not being allowed to visit your Homeland’ … can you imagine what that means? And WHY? Did he commit a crime? Did his parents ? NO! His (their) ‘crime’ is the fact that they are Palestinian. They were among the first victims of the ongoing ethnic cleansing of the state of Israel.
BUT…. it doesn’t end with Haitham. A close relative of his was the first Palestinian that was deported from the West Bank to Gaza under the new military order, now famously known as “Order No. 1650″, in a move to expel Palestinians living in West Bank.
His name is Ahmed Sabbah, first deported Palestinian prisoner to Gaza as “infiltrator”
A young man from the same town, guilty of the same crime: HE IS A PALESTINIAN.
Ahmad Sabah was born in Jordan to a refugee family from the village of Um a-Shuf near Haifa. In 1994 he joined the Palestinian defense forces entering the Gaza Strip with Yasser Arafat and received a Palestinian identity card with a Gaza address. About a year later he moved to the West Bank, where he settled down and raised a family.
During the first five years in prison Sabah’s family was not permitted to visit him. At a later stage his wife and young son, Yazan, were allowed to visit him once every six months. The last time they saw each other, before his so-called release from prison, was in October 2009.
Ahmad Sabah, 39, was put on a bus to Gaza while his wife, son and other relatives waited for him since the morning hours at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in the West Bank.
Sabah was told only before boarding the bus at about noon that he was being taken to Gaza. His family and relatives only found out in the evening that he would not be coming home.
Ahmad Sabbah announced a sit-in strike at the Strip’s northern Erez crossing in protest.
“I consider myself the first detainee deported to Gaza, and I will stay in this sit-in tent at the Erez terminal until I am allowed to return to my wife and family in Tulkarem,” Sabbah said.
…AND it won’t end with Ahmed Sabbah unless YOU do something about it.
Of all the ‘laws’ that have been passed by the Zionist entity since 1948 the year of the NAKBA, this new military order is one of the most unjust. It not only legalises ethnic cleansing, it officially puts Israel on the road to fascism. This MUST NOT be tolerated by the rest of the world. We are talking about the lives of innocent people, NOT TERRORISTS. We are talking about people with families, with children, with livelihoods. We are talking about ordinary people living in daily terror.
THIS MUST END NOW and only YOU can end it. Israel won’t do it on its own.
Don’t wait until they come for you. PROTEST NOW throughout the world DEMANDING Freedom for the Palestinian people and an end to the unjust Military Order No. 1650.
Details of the order can be read HERE.