Saturday, December 24, 2005
From Aboud: Another Message of Inspiration and Sumud
Excerpts from Father Firis in Aboud:
"While decorating our church for the joyous birth of Our Lord, we also prepare banners for the next protest against the wall that Israel began to build on our village's land one month ago.
"Aboud is nestled among terraced olive groves in the West Bank west of the city of Ramallah. The village has 2,200 residents. Nine hundred of them are Christian. Within the village are seven ancient churches. The oldest dates to the third century.
"With signs, songs and prayers, our village has been protesting against Israel's apartheid wall every week. Through peaceful demonstrations and the planting of olive trees, we want to tell the Israelis and the international community that we are against Israel taking our lands. We are working for peace here, but still the Israeli soldiers have attacked our peaceful protests with clubs, sound bombs, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets."
Father Firis quotes Patriarch Sabbah who visited Aboud on December 11:
"Our hearts are filled with love, and no hatred for anybody. With our faith and love, we demand the removal of this wall. We affirm that it is a mistake and an attack against our lands and our properties, and an attack against friendly relationships between the two people.
"In your faith and your love you shall find a guide for your political action and your resistance against every oppression. You may say that love is an unknown language to politics, but love is possible in spite of all the evil we experience. We shall make it possible!"
Father Firis closes his story: "We have here good Jewish people, good Muslims and good Christians. We can live together. This is the Holy Land.
"If we in Aboud can send a message to the world this Christmas, it is that Jews, Christians and Muslims have to live together in peace."