My name is Achlas Ashtaya and I live in the village of Salem in the Nablus District
Muna Abu Sara - "All those wonderful attributes vanished in a heartbeat"
My name is Muna Abu Sara and I live in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem.
Before I married I lived in the Shuafat refugee camp, but due to harsh daily clashes with the Occupation, we decided to leave the camp to protect our children. We moved to Sheikh Jarrah and lived a simple, happy life; we were a tight knit family with close ties to all our relatives.
On February 11, 2000, my husband, my son Khalid, my daughter Rim and my son Ashraf who was two years old, went to shop for the home and buy supplies for the horses that my son Khalid loved to raise. On their way there, in the car, a large truck drove by and the driver was a settler. The settler advanced towards my husband’s car purposefully and when my husband cried out to him to be careful, the settler drew nearer and started swearing at my husband.
My son Khalid was very upset and couldn’t take the insults against his father. When they came to a stoplight, Khalid got out of the car, went over to the truck driver and said: “Stop, why are you doing this to us?” Khalid’s arm was broken, it was in a cast. When the driver saw Khalid approaching, he drove off, with Khalid’s arm stuck at the end of one of the hooks that stuck out of the truck.
The driver dragged Khalid a long distance this way and then stopped, turned the truck around and drove right over Khalid who was killed on the spot.
Khalid died at the age of 22. He was an optimistic young man who loved life, always smiled and supported his siblings in every way. All those wonderful attributes vanished in a heartbeat. Our lives turned upside down and from that moment on we saw nothing but tears and heard nothing but the sighs of pain and heartbreak.
The accident was very hard on Rim and Ashraf and it resulted in a severe emotional crisis for many years. My daughter Rim was sad all the time, especially when we talked about the moment her brother was killed, and we didn’t know what to do for her.
A few years ago I started seeing the light and hope when I became acquainted with the Parents Circle-Families Forum. I took part in the historic Narrative Project, met with and listened to the perspective of the other side about the conflict and realized the importance of dialogue and getting to know the other. I felt that I too could be a member.
I am now a PCFF member and my only message to both nations is peace, living freely and ending the Occupation and the suffering. I always say to myself, when you find peace within, you become a person who can live in peace with others.