“Why do you have Arabic in this notebook?”

17-year-old American student strip searched and interrogated in Ben Gurion airport, Israel:

[ Hanna is a “17-year-old American girl” who grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. Because her father is a U.S. citizen born in Morocco, and she was traveling with a notebook that had one page of Arabic writing in it, she was subjected to an interrogation and strip search when leaving Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. ]

I am a 17-year-old American girl. I grew up in a small town in Massachusetts.  My mother is from the U.S. and my father is a U.S. citizen born in Morocco. In the summer of 2016, I went through Ben Gurion Airport.  Going into the country I had no issues. Leaving, however, was a different story.

Getting through the initial security check was relatively quick, but the number they put on the back of my passport was a 5 out of 6. The man at security told me I had to bring my bag to oversized luggage, so I made my way there and tried to give the man my bag. The man at oversized luggage asked to see my passport, checked the number on the back, then made me put my bag on a special table. He told me I was all set to go.

I then went to the security check on the way to the terminal. The officer there told me to go through the shortest line, which I later found out was extra security. When it was my turn to get checked, I was sent to the end of a long metal table and was told to dump out all my belongings so another security officer could check them.

After only about 10 minutes of checking and questioning me, the officer said I could pack all my stuff and I was ready to go. He picked up my notebook to hand it to me and it happened to open to the one page of writing in the whole book, a childhood Arabic lesson, which was dated 2012 at the top. He told me he would be back and came back with another man who grabbed the notebook, stared at it, then stared at me. He started by asking, “Why do you have Arabic in this notebook?” then asked, “What connection do you have to Arabs?”  When I told him my father is from Morocco, he took my passport and walked away. I stood there for about five minutes watching as the man showed multiple security officers my passport.

He came back with a woman who right away started asking questions like, “What holidays do you celebrate?” “Are you sure you are not Palestinian?” At the end she asked, “What are your parents’ names?” When I answered, “Susan and Ahmed” she said, “and what?” so I repeated “Ahmed.” She grabbed my passport and told me she would be back.

She came back with another woman who told me I would have to go with her. She asked me if I had any weapons on me or anything that could hurt her and did not seem convinced when I answered no. She took me to a security scanner where she made me stand with my hands above my head for a prolonged period of time, even after the scanner was done scanning. She told me I needed to take off my sandals and to sit down. She checked in between my toes and then called someone as she was staring at me. She took me into a little closet room with a curtain and began feeling me to check me, then told me I needed to take off my bra. I gave her a confused look and she said the scanner found something and she needed to check. I took off my bra, handed it to her and she took it and left me standing there with another woman watching me for ten minutes. She came back and felt me and scanned me again and then left me there again. After about 20 minutes, she gave me my bra back and let me get dressed again and brought me back out to the main security area.

At this point I started to shake and cry.  It had been about two hours and I was very nervous but also very, very angry. They sat me down and took my things for a final check. Finally, they let me pack up all my things for the second time and leave. They handed me my passport and as I looked on the back they had put a 6 sticker over the 5. I took my stuff and made my way to my gate.

I was thirsty so I went to the little shop near my gate and bought a juice. The woman at the counter asked to see my passport.  When she saw the 6, she told me I couldn’t take the juice on the plane with me. I saw that others were allowed to take their liquids on the plane.  I was too tired to care so I went and waited at the gate.

At the gate, I thought it was all over, was starting to relax and could finally take a deep breath. My plane was ready for boarding and I was looking forward to resting on the plane and getting home. I got to the gate and gave the woman my passport and boarding pass.  She stared at my passport for a second and then said, “You need to come with me.” My heart dropped.  I had thought it was all over, but apparently they were not done with me. The lady informed me that they had lost my bag and had located it because of name tags I had left on it. She blamed me for losing the luggage and told me I had to wait there. Everyone else had boarded the plane and I was over at the side waiting. They brought me my bag and told me I had to wait for security to come to check my already checked bag. My plane was scheduled to leave in ten minutes and when I asked if I would still make my flight they ignored me. A security officer came over and asked me some questions about my bag and checked it at the gate of the flight.

Finally, after over two hours of being questioned and strip searched, I was able to board the plane and go home.  The bag, which had been searched in front of me at the gate, did not make the flight and was delivered two days later.  Rather than scare me off, this experience has made me more determined to help those who suffer much worse every day.

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💔 I’m So Sorry my little girl .. The world is blind, deaf and dumb .. Nobody cares about you .. #Aleppo before a while
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نجت من براميل الموت قبل قليل في حلب .. استشهد العشرات في قصف بيت عزاء في حي باب النيرب
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#Palestinian #picoftheday #photooftheday #bestoftheday #instagood #life #islam #hijab #ksa #usa #uae #uk #فلسطين #القدس #الامارات #السعودية #me #GoPro #qatar #Turkey #هاشتاج #قطر #الكويت #Palestine #تركيا #Istanbul

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Today, the Israeli Occupation Forces released Dima al-Wawi, 12yo, the youngest Palestinian in Israeli prison, after 2.5 months.
The look on her face tells a story. The sadness and horror is spelling over.
May God protect her and help her to overcome this ordeal.
Dina is not the only one. Palestinian childhood is being abused and robbed everyday by the occupier.

Edit: posted in May 2016

Keep your distance from the upcoming Wonder Woman movie. She is played by Gal Gadot, an Israeli who served in the military and supports the genocide of Palestinians. 

During Israel’s last major attack on Gaza in 2014, she said: “I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens, especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country…” 

Her words rubbed salt into the wounds when you remember that Israeli citizens were relaxing on hilltops overlooking Gaza as they watched Israeli jets focus on killing large Palestinian families

More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, and six Israelis.

It’s impossible to hear of that movie and not immediately think ‘genocide’.

Syrian kids deserve a chance to feel the childish joy of running out of their houses at the sound of an ice cream truck and buying ice cream

Pakistani kids deserve the chance to go to an amusement park and feel the rush of the wind in their face as they try the biggest rollercoaster in the park

Afghan kids deserve a day to sleep in and wake up lazily to the warm glow of the sun and the sound of happy voices coming from downstairs

A young Iraqi girl deserves the chance to discover the amazing world of cake decorating and realize that she was born to decorate incredibly stunning cakes

A boy from Uganda deserves to fulfill his dream of becoming a singer because his whole family and all his neighbours always praise his beautiful voice

A little Somali girl deserves to know all the different art mediums that exist so she can explore her God given talents as an artist and mesmerize everyone with her work

A brown man enslaved in Kuwait deserves to wake up early and surprise his wife with breakfast in bed and to hold her in his arms

A little boy in North Korea deserves to feel the nervous excitement as he gets on a plane to fulfill his dream of traveling the world

A Palestinian girl deserves her chance to stun the world with her superior acting skills, a surefire Oscar winner if the world ever knew it

A Kashmiri boy deserves a chance to delve into the world of literature and be the greatest poet we ever knew

A Native girl in Canada deserves to find out she’s an amazing swimmer and fulfill her dream of one day competing in the Olympics

A Sudani boy deserves to feel the excitement of seeing a magic trick for the first time and then putting on his own little magic show for the neighborhood

An Egyptian girl deserves to find out she can make the best blueberry muffins you ever tasted and she opens her own bakery to discover she’s a talented businesswoman as well

A black boy in America deserves the chance to graduate from his dream law school and become the best humanitarian lawyer to practice

A Nigerian boy deserves the chance to wake up at dawn and go on a beach trip with his friends so they can catch the sunrise and stare in awe at the explosion of colours against the sky

A Yemeni girl deserves to feel the exhaustion after spending an entire day doing dares with her friends and she goes to sleep with a smile on her face

If they were born on this planet, they were meant to be here. Everyone deserves a chance at a life. They deserve to know peace.

The daily struggles of the children around the world should include arguing with their parents about not wearing a sweater because it’s not that cold out, not making sure they live to see another day.

Everyone deserves a chance at life.

Do what you can to save humanity. Change starts with you.

. 🌸🌿 { إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ
وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيماً }🌿
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Rasullullah ﷺ said “Whoever confers one blessing upon me, Allāh confers ten blessings upon him, forgives ten of his sins and elevates his status tenfold.” 🌿🌸
~ Musnad Ahmed .
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@yusuf_artist
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#Palestinian #man #picoftheday #photooftheday #bestoftheday #instagood #life #islam #hijab #ksa #usa #uae #sweet #فلسطين #القدس #الامارات #السعودية #me #qatar #Turkey #هاشتاج #قطر #الكويت #Palestine #Istanbul #تركيا #erdugan

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6

Youngest Palestinian prisoner finally free.

Dima Al-wawi, 12, is finally free from the Israeli prison this Sunday morning. Dima was one of the youngest girls in the world to be
imprisoned.

She was received by the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners, Issa Qaraque, and her family at the Israeli military checkpoint in Tulkarem, in the occupied West Bank.

On February 18, the Israeli military court at Ofer prison sentenced the 12-year-old Palestinian girl to four months and a half in prison and an eight-thousand-shekel.

Al-Wawi, a 7th grader from the occupied West Bank town of Halhoul, near Hebron, was arrested on February 9 while on her way to school wearing her school uniform.
Since her arrest, Dima’s family were living under extremely difficult psychological circumstances.

They received a letter from her, though the hands of her lawyer.
Subhia al-Wawi, Dima’s mother, in an interview with a PNN reporter stated that her daughter sent her and her family a the letter through their lawyer, since they are not allowed to see the child.

With tears in her eyes, al-Wawi read the letter: “My beloved mom, dad, and dear brothers:  I miss you all so much and I know that you are with me.  I am good, healthy, fine and happy. With love, Dima.”

Al-Wawi said that as any other child, her daughter has the right to play and to eat properly, referring to Dima’s arrest and captivity in an Israeli jail, violating Dima’s children rights.

She added that Dima’s lawyer tried to appeal and to prove that the accusations against her daughter are false, but all in vain.

Celtic (Scottish football club) fans have raised more than £100,000 for Palestinian charities in an attempt to match an impending Uefa fine for displaying Palestinian flags at a match against an Israeli team.

European football’s governing body began disciplinary proceedings against the Glasgow club last week after a number of fans displayed the flags during their 5-2 home victory against Hapoel Be’er Sheva in a Champions League qualifier.

The return leg is due to be played in Israel on Tuesday night.

The Green Brigade group of supporters set up an appeal on the gofundme website on Sunday to match the anticipated fine, and donations passed £80,000 on Tuesday morning.

The fans are raising money for Medical Aid Palestine, which delivers health and medical care to those “worst affected by conflict, occupation and displacement”, and the Lajee Centre, a cultural and sports project for children in Aida refugee camp, in Bethlehem.

The appeal read: “At the Champions League match with Hapoel Be’er Sheva on 17 August 2016, the Green Brigade and fans throughout Celtic Park flew the flag for Palestine. This act of solidarity has earned Celtic respect and acclaim throughout the world. It has also attracted a disciplinary charge from Uefa, which deems the Palestinian flag to be an ‘illicit banner’.

“In response to this petty and politically partisan act by European football’s governing body, we are determined to make a positive contribution to the game and today launch a campaign to #matchthefineforpalestine.”

The statement said the money raised would help buy football kit and equipment to enable the refugee camp to have a team, which would be called Aida Celtic, in the Bethlehem youth league.

Celtic face their ninth Uefa punishment for supporter behaviour in five years when the case is heard on 22 September. Two years ago the club was fined more than £15,000 after a Palestinian flag was displayed at a Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik.

Uefa rules forbid the use of “gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message that is not fit for a sports event, particularly messages that are of a political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature”.

Holocaust survivor and activist for justice Hedy Epstein dies at 91

From Mondoweiss

Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, 91, died at her home in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, on May 26, 2016. An internationally renowned, respected and admired advocate for human and civil rights, Hedy was encircled by friends who lovingly cared for her at home.

Born August 15, 1924, in the Baden-Württemberg region of Germany, her lifelong commitment to human rights was formed by the horrific experiences she and her family endured under the repressive Nazi regime.

Unable to secure travel documents for themselves, Hedy’s parents, Hugo and Ella (Eichel) Wachenheimer, arranged for 14-year-old Hedy to leave Germany on a Kindertransport. Hedy credited her parents with giving her life a second time when they sent her to England to live with kind-hearted strangers. Hedy’s parents, grandparents, and most of her aunts, uncles and cousins did not survive the Holocaust. Hedy remained in England until 1945 when she returned to Germany to work for the United States Civil Service. She joined the Nuremberg Doctors Trial prosecution in 1946 as a research analyst.

Hedy immigrated to the United States in 1948. She and her husband moved to St. Louis in the early 1960s, and shortly thereafter Hedy began working as a volunteer with the Freedom of Residence, Greater St. Louis Committee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to housing integration and advocacy for fair housing laws. Hedy worked for many years as a volunteer and board member, and ultimately served as the organization’s executive director during the mid-1970s.

During the 1980s, Hedy worked as a paralegal for Chackes and Hoare, a law firm that represented individuals in employment discrimination cases. As an advocate for equality and human rights, Hedy spoke out against the war in Vietnam, the bombing of Cambodia, and overly restrictive U.S. immigration policies. She spoke and acted in support of the Haitian boat people and women’s reproductive rights, and, following the 1982 massacre at Sabra and Shatila, Hedy began her courageous and visionary work for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine.

During her later years, Hedy continued to advocate for a more peaceful world, and in 2002 was a founding member of the St. Louis Instead of War Coalition. Much of her later activism centered on efforts to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine. She founded the St. Louis chapter of Women in Black and co-founded the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee and the St. Louis chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace. She traveled to the West Bank several times, first as a volunteer with the nonviolent International Solidarity Movement and repeatedly as a witness to advocate for Palestinian human rights. She attempted several times to go to Gaza as a passenger with the Freedom Flotilla, including as a passenger on the Audacity of Hope, and once with the Gaza Freedom March. Hedy addressed numerous groups and organizations throughout Europe and returned to Germany and her native village of Kippenheim many times.

Three days after her 90th birthday, Hedy was arrested for “failure to disperse.” She was attempting to enter Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s St. Louis office to ask for deescalation of police and National Guard tactics which had turned violent in response to protests following the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Hedy was a member of the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center’s speakers’ bureau and gave countless talks at schools and community events. She shared her Holocaust experiences with thousands of Missouri youth as a featured speaker at the Missouri Scholars Academy for more than twenty years. She ended every talk with three requests: remember the past, don’t hate, and don’t be a bystander. Through the years, Hedy received numerous awards and honors for her compassionate service and relentless pursuit of justice.

Hedy is survived by son Howard (Terry) Epstein, and granddaughters Courtney and Kelly. She was beloved and will be truly missed by countless friends in St. Louis and around the world.