Despite the many years, I have vivid memories of my childhood in Vienna
Marwan Al Shoubi - "Many live their lives, few are compassionate"
My name is Marwan Al Shoubi. I lived several years with my family outside our homeland, in one of our brotherly Arab countries, but we returned out of love and longing for Palestine, that deserves living in. We returned to our beloved hometown of Nablus. We returned and left everything behind for the sake of our beloved homeland.
When the fateful invasion began in Black April 2002, I knew that my family and I would not be isolated from the oppression of the brutal Occupation. The invasion of Nablus began in April, which is known for its warm weather, its shades of green and the beauty of nature at this time of year.
But Nablus and Palestine were suddenly black, and the shades of green were replaced with the colour of blood that filled the streets and turned sadness and pain into the fate of those who stood up for freedom, who said enough to the violence, enough to the Occupation. April was a month of pain that entered the homes of many and even the stones, trees and anyone with a passion for freedom on this soil.
My family and I also encountered the Israeli Occupation when it knocked on our door and entered it with grief and pain in the loss of our loved one, who lived and still lives with us. My only brother, the Shahid Ghassan Al Shoubi was wounded on August 24, 2002. He was 25 years old at the time, and was directly hit by a tank shell that isabundant in hatred towards freedom, hostile towards hope. It struck my brother’s body without any cause or prior notice. The only reason was that my brother is a Palestinian.
We were with him moment by moment. His hospital bed was inundated with the tears of my mother who never left his side and with the groans of my father who never took his eyes off of him with a heart filled with sadness. His heart stopped, m brother Ghasan became a martyr after six days in the Intensive Care Unit in the Nablus hospital on September 1, 2002.
What was it about my brother besides his Palestinian identity?!
All he had was his love for Palestine and a desire to live a stable life with his family and friends on a land of peace and security. But this land never lived in peace, not even for one day. My brother left us and went far away. He didn’t say goodbye to us and didn’t even close the door behind him. But he opened the gates of sadness, grief and pain. He took nothing with him. He even left us his name and a gaping wound in our hearts.
Often a small deed that one does can be everything to another person…
The Parents Circle Families Forum, another story in my life, although it was difficult to accept the idea at first. All options diverged from me and I realized that the path these members of the PCFF are walking on both sides – Palestinian and Israeli, ends with freedom and a new hope for equitable and all-out peace.
I learned that my joining the Forum is a new and tremendous way to thwart the ongoing Occupation’s plots in killing and besieging our people. We must overcome our pain to fulfill our dreams and make the Palestinian voice calling for peace heard in every forum. I found a way to fight to attain my people’s rights and to convey the humane message that we are striving to fulfill on the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
Don’t be surprised when a bird flies if you approach it with a bit of food in your hand. The birds, as opposed to human beings, believing that freedom is precious, even more than bread.
Yes, tolerance is a global virtue.
The peace-maker is a leader that creates great people for equitable and all-out peace to result freedom and stability.