I met Ziad, my former Palestinian husband, in Texas
Murad Izzat Samaneh - "Whoever wages war can also make peace"
My name is Murad Izzat Samaneh, I’m 33 and I live in Beit Iba in the Nablus governorate.
On January 13, 1991, I lost my father when he was working as a taxi driver. On his way to work from Beit Iba towards Nablus, an Israeli was driving behind him in a fuel tanker. The driver kept coming closer to his car, forced him to veer towards the slope bordering on the highway and finally crashed and rolled over onto him. My father died instantly before the ambulance arrived.
After my father’s sacred death, my mother struggled working as a seamstress, knowing that we are in dire straits because of the loss of my father who was the family’s sole breadwinner. We didn’t get assistance from anyone at all. We lived in a very small house and my mother suffered very much from the darkness we lived in. Later we moved in with my grandfather.
Due to the lasting Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Palestinian families lost many loved ones and friends and as Palestinians we live under occupation, oppression and racism. We still suffer every day from lockdowns, arrests and aggression towards my people.
My mother was our father, mother and friend; she refused to remarry after my father’s death and opted to care for her children on her own. She was young when we were little and she bore the burden of work, household and responsibility for our family. It was years before my mother succeeded at her work and her struggle to build us a home of our own and we began to feel safe and secure.
I was always lacking something. I never had that fatherly love and I don’t know what it means. Now I am 33, but thirty years ago I had no father, no support. Now I am an adult and my responsibilities are increasing; I have a big void and turmoil in my life. The absence resulted in pressure, I became withdrawn and hid away a lot of pain and suffering until I sought out a psychiatrist.
My mother was familiar with the Parents Circle – Families Forum; she joined despite the criticism from her family and friends who said: How can you sit with the people that killed your husband? But my mother is very strong and can argue with anyone; she believes in the message of reconciliation and peace between the nations.
Now I am a member of the Forum. I strive to convey the message of peace and reconciliation and I can sense the change that the Forum generates through dialogue, events, projects, knowing the other and breaking down the walls of fear. All I wish for is a solution of peace for both nations; that we abandon the circle of bloodshed and live in peace and freedom.
I always say to myself that whoever wages war can also make peace.