- Published on Saturday, 12 May 2012 14:55
PNN- Prisoners Center for Political and Development Studies
Hassan Salama, a Hamas leader who was convicted of murdering 67 Israeli citizens sent a letter to the Palestinin people from al-Ramlah Isolation.
O! You dwell in the great world that we heard of without seeing —
My place: a small world where I live the bitterness of isolation and detention — In this narrow place which grows narrower and narrower, how much we'd like to remember that past time, which might be the most beautiful image that we still hold in our hearts and minds.
How much do I wish to return to that time, the moment we were all innocent and did not know hatred, the moment our respect to old people was a sacred thing, sacred like a verse of the Qur'an. I still remember the time when we were coming back from school and when the campaign to check the neatness of books and notebooks starts as I used to be the neatest — how much I do wish to go back to my home, my neighborhood, and my city. We miss everything. Not only am I isolated, but I am also deprived of living with any friend of my region to talk to about Gaza or Khan Younis or about memories of childhood.
I am getting older, my beard has turned to gray, but I live as if I am a child, yearning and missing everything.
Dear beloved, they want to segregate my memory, remove me from the human world and put me in the world of the dead, to drive us after years to a new memory that is unrelated to human beings. My letter is my only means to sustain myself. The moments of happiness in this isolation are when I write or receive a letter from the outside. I sit on my bed like a little child and cram myself in the corner to read a letter that came from the world of living things, the world of humans. The way I got it does not matter, whatsoever. The important thing is that I received it.
Once I receive it, I feel that I still belong to you, I\'m still alive. I read every word, every letter, as if I take the elixir of life that brings me back to life and removes me from among the dead. So are your letters and hearing your voices. I am looking for ways to survive, to stay alive and to breathe. I swear to you, you are the oxygen I breathe. If I find it I breathe and survive, and if not, I turn into a dead body between the dead people as a man in the horror movies. A body with no soul that walks — nine continuous years in which I move from one tomb to another, I stay in the tomb 23 hours and get out for an hour to a wider one, but I am still strong, thanks to God, and I still have a strong will and all the suffering I go through is aimed at breaking my will by using modern methods from psychology. There are friends of mine next to me who were the most wonderful, but they lost their reason and their condition became lamentable. And believe me, what I am, my strength and steadfastness, is from the grace of God. Never do I play any role; God is the only one who stands with me. Even you whom I loved, your concerns and problems prevent you to stay in touch with me even for moments that take few minutes from your time every week, but it means life, the whole world, oxygen and the challenge to me. When one of you gets bored, he or she goes to visit a childhood friend to talk to him or her; what about those who are forced to talk to themselves and to live with memories leaving them homesick? I grabbed my pen to talk to you and I found myself like a hungry or thirsty man who wants to talk about what wanders in his heart, my problem is that I do not cry and I hold my tears to bleed blood in my heart. I have begun to enjoy the bleeding of my heart and I feel that my heart's tears have sterilized my wounds and yet they increase my pain at the same time. Because I do not want to forget what pain does mean, I don't want to forget my pain. I want it to boil like a volcano every day, so I do not forget who I am, to whom I belong, who they are; I am still a human being and I am still alive.
How much time would it take you to talk for a few minutes every one or two weeks, or to write a letter to me and send it with my lawyer or by mail making sure that by doing so, you will strengthen and help an isolated prisoner? I wish I could buy your support for me and the other prisoners.
These words come from my pain in this period of time.
To the people of the other world we've heard of, but do not live in:
I wish you success from the bottom of my heart and I\'ll keep loving you even if you forget me and my only comfort will be that I have God whose name is Al-Kareem (The Generous) who will not forget me. Allah is very beautiful and I live according to this beauty in every walk of my life, in my isolation, despite my concerns, my victimization and the difficulties of my life.
Al Ramlah Isolation (Ayalon).