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Ibitsam Mahmud Full Raw Interview

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We, Palestinians and Israelis, believe that there could be word of (mercy), which is found in every religion, and every messenger calls for it, It is found in Holy Quran, Gospel and New Testament. We didn't devise this principle, but we should enforce heavenly laws on earth among us as humans, since we all have one origin; Adam and Eve; we all are created from earth and will return to earth. For this cited saying, there's in our Holy Quran, a verse which says, In the Name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, "O Mankind ! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another." The phrase "nations and tribes" refers to nations and tribes that Allah created on the earth, and we-peace activists- are calling people to a lead new life, a life of love and mercy among all peoples. I come from a land where there was a disaster, which afflicted my family, and a massacre took place in Tanturah. My father came from Umm El Fahm. He was killed, and my grandfather and grandmother's brother as well. I witnessed the war that took place on this land. But we can't live with hatred and rancor are still in our hearts. It is my duty to make peace to live peacefully. This will be done through the activities I perform. This way, we can live with a new vision. This vision is how to pave the way for Palestinians and Israelis to co-exist without killing, without wars or misfortunes. This will be achieved through my co-work with Iliaho, Ilana, Sarin and Ester. This activity we perform is called the "Affinity of Hearts". When I open my heart to the other party, the Israeli, I can hear and feel that he, just as I did, has experienced the disasters, has lived in wars, and has suffered pain. So, my heart should be full of mercy, through which I can work with them. We can build a new land of peace where we can live together. We always deliver listening seminars. In these, we gather in a circle, and there is someone who listens with and talks from his heart. The other party always wants to listen to what the first party says. Through these seminars, we can share our pain, and learn how to love each other. Also, we can learn how to help each other through inviting the Israeli to visit me at home. He would see my village, and meet local people. I can visit his own home, too, to learn about the Judaism, about lawful meat, and about Sabbath. I should also know what Al-Jumaa means for me. Moreover, we should learn about what Christians do on Sundays. We can learn about religious doctrines from each other. We can meet and visit Al Quiama Church, Al Aqsa mosque and the Wailing Wall, since they all belong to me, to you, and to all people living in this land. Great! Yes! Because there are two kinds of policy; people's policy and government policy. The latter is that hinders peoples' affinity. There is some kind of policy everywhere. Your son, and my son, must be enrolled in the army. When they meet, each of them would hold an arm, and want to destroy the other. We, peace activists, say that we should give up arms and war tools. We should invent a common language other than language of war. Let's try a new round of mutual understanding and love. Let's try a new peace agreement, through which we give the Palestinian people their rights in order to be able to co-exist with the Israeli society. Up till now, we saw only one woman among peace negotiators, namely Hanan Ashrawy, in the Palestinian side. Here in Israel, there's no women among Israeli peace negotiators. I say that woman has a great role at the heart of peace negotiations, in order for us to be able to sign a serious agreement with woman has a role in it. This role shall be a political and social one; a role in determining the points of peace agreement. Woman is the mother, the sister, and the wife. She loses her sons, husband and brother in wars. She has a vital role in peace making process. Man always depends on the sense of strength, the language of domination, the desire of enforcing his own laws on woman. But woman has a vision that exceeds the surroundings. She is able to see many thing at the same time. Woman has what's called the "womb". She bears her children in this womb, then carry them between her arms. She pays an expensive price as a result of losing her son, husband and brother in war. Woman can do well in the peace making process, and she is able to initiate dialog more than man. Man doesn't think of future. He doesn't know what can happen to the next generations. His ultimate concern is how to fully control the situation, even through war. But woman always call for mutual understanding and negotiation. War is usually the last option for her. Even with this last option, she has no such kind of thinking. Yes! I mean if we look in the past, at the time of Prophets, we will find that woman had a role. Our Prophet depended on women. In the Gospel, too, we can find names of Sarah, Roti and many other women who were serious in religious activity just like men. I say here that my role as a woman is to struggle against war, and in favor of peace. I should do my best to deliver my idea and my vision to First, it is not new for woman to participate in peace making process. Deep in history, names of Sarah, Roti and Nomin were mentioned in the Gospel. Many other women were mentioned in the Gospel. We can find woman at the heart of the Torah. She is also found in the Islamic principles. Among those, there were Fatemah Al-Zahraa, and Khadijah, who played a great role with the Prophet, peace be upon him. There were many other well-known women, too. We will proceed in this way, believing that every woman is able to give, and to create a new atmosphere of mutual understanding among people, in addition to mutual understanding among families, in the streets, and among countries where they live. This is called voluntary efforts and religious activities. We have, in the Islamic doctrines, the Medial, the Sofis, the Islamic Missionary and Islamic movement. All these belong to the Islamic doctrines. They are based on Islamic principles. They are subdivided branches, but they all are built on the same methodology. This is my religion, as a Muslim, Arab woman. I believe that every woman has to assume power herself, in cooperation with man, since he is her son, husband and brother in her life. If man and woman unify themselves to achieve their aims, this will be better than working separately. There are many ways through which we can work together to draw a straight line on a level land of love and mutual understanding. I said that there's a kind of spiritual Jihad. The Jihad I mean is how, as a woman, I could be able to make peace and prevent war. I am against the word "Jihad", which means to kill innocents. Yes! Yes! In my religion, there's a kind of Jihad that aims at living in dignity and honor on this land. This Jihad is based on how can I, as a woman, make peace and resist wars and their distresses and misfortunes. I use a standard accent. I use classical Arabic when speaking. OK! Do you want me to speak with my own slang? The same accent I use. OK! No problem. Arabic Slang! Shall I repeat using Arabic slang? Great! I say that the word "Jihad" is - for me – to strive as a woman with a new vision to create wider horizons. This way, we can implement the correct methods and tools of "Peace" instead of war. This can be accomplished via building a bridge of peace to the other party. As a Palestinian, I can build a bridge of peace between me and the Israeli citizen. I should meet peace negotiators and add the points I want to settle with the other party, not to leave negotiators decide this alone. Together with man, we can design this plan. It is so hard for me to work alone, just like man. But together we can reach a common goal. Great! Firstly, we have to learn about all principles found in the world. As a Muslim, Arab, Palestinian woman, I know my principles. But I don't know yours. In order for me to understand your principles, I should ask you about them and understand what are they? What are your habits? What are your customs? This prevents me from exceeding the red line so as not to create a kind of discontentment between us. We need to learn from the other mutual respect. We need to know how to listen, not with ears, but with heart. I should tell you that I want to open a new life page with you, and that I want to give you my hand, not to betray you, but to say you are welcome in my home. I shall like to visit you at your home, to hear more from you, and hear more about the world. This is what I call the "Language of mutual love in the world." In the story, both Hagar and Sarah took their children and went away. One went to the east, the other went to the west. Hagar took her child to the Arabia, and Sarah took here child, too. So, there was a kind of separation in the family. My idea is how to bring Sarah and Hagar into this tent back again. This center is set up to unify Sarah and Hagar. It is not for the Arab and Jewish woman alone. But to unify all world women in this Sarah and Hagar's tent. From this place, from onto this earth, I invite every woman in the world to come and sit down here in order that I can feel they are my sisters. This center and this earth call for all Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Indian and American women to come all and learn each other about tolerance, love and giving. From here, we go out to the world with Hagar and Sarah's tent. This is my prayers I perform every day. This is my hope and my dream I want to come true on this holy land, God willing! We will be able to resurrect hope again through fair peace, God willing! Great! good question! I believe that this starts from inside every man. There's something called Positive Inertia. I can motivate this Inertia inside me through words and good treatment, as we all know that good faith is good treatment. When I treat you as a human being, you shall treat me with the same. It is impossible for you to treat me with any way other than respectfulness. Respect means that one should not exceed borders. It implies a mutual understanding of habits and customs. It also implicates the hallowing of religions. One should know that there are borders which should not be exceeded. We can live in peace on this land, if each party respect the other. Give the Palestinian people the right of self-determination to live in dignity. Give this right to people who suffered war pains for sixty years. It is high time to give those people, the Palestinians, their right to live in peace. Then, I can peacefully co-exist with you. I suffer just as people of this land you are occupying, and those families who are suffering. So, if my nation lives in peace, I will live in peace, too. I say that we have to bring up a new generation. Such generation should know that we have to co-exist. Last generation put into their minds that with strength only they can restore land. I mean with a new generation how to bring up tomorrow's young people who can think in a new vision other than war. This can be done via courses, through enlightening hearts, and through learning them that one can obtain his rights without war and arms, but via mutual understanding. When we were young, we have been learnt to defend ourselves and how to bear a stone and hit. We have been learnt not to give up our rights. But we didn't have been learnt how to restore my rights without hitting stones, without tanks, and without fighting planes. We didn't have been learnt how to reach the other and try to build with him a link of mutual understanding and mutual dialog, then use other methods. I mean there are many ways and methods, but we can't, and don't want, to see them. We can say that there's a mutual link, since there's no link between us, Palestinians and Israelis. Rather, each side has his own way. Here, we teach Israelis and Palestinians our principles, then exert efforts to gradually bring them close to each other. You can't start with teaching Palestinians language of peace, while the Israeli army kills many people in Gaza daily. You can't direct the Israelis to peace, while people are killed in buses without any guilt. First, you should get rid of language of war, Then, start dialog with each of two parties. Only after that, you can gather them. We can't say there's a link between us, while we fight each other, while we hate each other, and while we kill each other. The idea of unification can't mean to unify religions, but we can death on the basis of religious foundations regarding the augustness of other religions. But you can't say that we want to unify religions. There is a secret in that our God created Moses to entrust him with Torah, created Mohammad to entrust him with the Holy Quran, and Jesus to entrust him with the New Testament. However, there's a mutual understanding among religions, and among peoples. The word "Unification" is a bit difficult, since you can't say that we would unify religions. But we can unify peoples. This can be accomplished through education, through mutual respect. But we should understand that we have to respect each other's religions. I call this "Language of peoples to respect each other through religions". I believe that the word "Unification" means nothing more than respecting all heavenly religions. I also ask non-Muslims to respect my religion, my beliefs, and respect me as a Muslim woman. I say those who didn't taste honey, don't know its sweetness. Those who witnessed misfortunes of war can't understand the meaning of peace. The word "peace" is found in our religion. One of Allah's attributes is "the Peace". In Islam, Allah has ninety-nine attributes, of which there are the Peace, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate, and the Most Generous. Thus, I say that we should be generous to each other. I don't mean peace as a word, but I mean to live in as one of our rights. We tried war, so what did we benefit? What did we benefit from this sixty-year long war? Our sons are being killed. We can't live in peace while economy collapses, while we suffer from unemployment, poverty and misfortune. I don't see that through the sixty years of war, there's no result at all. And when Egypt and Israel decided to live in peace, Egypt managed to restore its lands without war. I learnt my sons to follow my way. I told them that violence results in nothing but violence. Faten, Shukry and Mohamed. Faten works in Barambam, Mohamed learns in Natania, and Shukry works in Natania. My sons should know that on this land in which I live, there are citizens other than Arabs, and that they all should cooperate with each other. It was so difficult to me to accept the massacre my ancestors faced. As a mother, I hope my sons would not face it again. They should grow up their children on love. This means that we shall give up wars. But we shan't give up our rights. I can obtain my rights using methods other than war. I want to try this methodology for sixty years, and obtain my rights without war. Then, I can be accounted if I can't get my rights back. I reject violence and war, even if they achieve the alleged victory. After war, there's no victory; there are misfortunes for both parties. Both suffer from losses; losses in materials and in individuals. Losses in individuals are more difficult. One may lose his father or his brother, and none of them can come back again. So, our hearts are still full of hatred for generations. For me, I want to live for the next sixty years without war, and to use new methods to obtain my rights. I want to try. This method may be better than war. Power of reason and heart together. This means that you think with your reason and talk through your heart. About my idea? OK, our God created us with a reason to think and learn that there are two ways. I can follow the way I want without saying that I was compelled to do so. When I decide to follow one way, I shall bear the full responsibility for this decision. The results of this decision are always mine. None forced me to do perform activities, but my love to this land, to my family and to my sons. I believe that there is nothing better than love and kindness, and there is nothing better than language of giving for nothing. I want to continue working and to bequeath this activity to my sons to complete the journey after my death. For me, strength is to entrust my reason to take my decisions. For me, strength is not being bodily strong, arrogant and violent. But it means to sit down and plan a future to live in peace. The word "strength" for me means how to be able, under the prevailing circumstances, to proceed in what I started in despite of all difficulties around me. This strength does not come from nothing, but it is achieved from the determination, persistence, and willingness to create new atmosphere. I should not make hear to some people around me, and to proceed in my way, believing that power of peace is the power of peoples. I want to express my sorrow that we spend money to make misfortunes; several million dollars are spent to launch wars. How much money is allocated to make peace? Just peace alone? I can't plan for a better future without an economic scheme. This plan is interpreted by the sum of money allocated to the plan. But I can see today several billions of dollars are spent to launch wars, and just few pennies are allocated for peace. How can we make peace? I know many needy families whom I want to help. But there's nothing I have to satisfy them, even what is enough for them to have one meal. However, there are many people in the world who want to make peace with me, but they don't know how! Thus, I address all living hearts in this world to positively consider those peace makers, to assist them, and to come and join hands with them to make a better future. Through true faith. I should believe that my way of peace is difficult and long, and that next generations will gain the fruits. The next generations, perhaps, are my grandsons. I don't work for the present, but to serve the hundred or two hundred years to come. After two hundred years I will not be here, but then I will have planted a tree of peace in this holy land from which my sons and grandsons can benefit. Patience… It is called Patience.

Video Details

Duration: 59 minutes and 7 seconds
Country: United States
Language: Arabic
Genre: None
Views: 197
Posted by: global on Aug 6, 2008

Ibitsam Mahmud

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