By: Hala Alsafadi
On the behalf of many Gazans, I am deeply sorry that some heartless Gazans are treating you this way. We are ashamed of those Gazans.
Upon hearing the news of the abduction of Vittorio Utopia Arrigoni, the Italian Journalist and humanitarian in Gaza, I could not help it but start crying. I remembered him coming over to our house many times before. He is my brother’s best friend who actually turned out to be a family friend. Everyone loves him in my family, for he is a person who makes you proud.
Vittorio or let me call him with his nickname “ Vik” came to Gaza as a young man who decided to devote himself for the Palestinian case. He is considered a “terrorist” by Israel and was actually forced to leave Gaza once before; however, he made it back again to Gaza through the tunnels. He is a pure humanitarian who insists on letting people know the real misery and situation in Gaza. Vik is not just a journalist that is in Gaza seeking the truth, but he is also a part of Gaza and Gazans. He has done many things for the sake of Gaza more than pure Gazans. I cannot forget how he has always made of himself a human shield by joining the farmers in the buffer zones that get shot by Israelis almost every day. He has always joined the Gazan fishermen who might get shot by Israeli boats in the sea anytime. He was ready to die for us. He was ready to die for Palestine. He was ready to die for Gaza. Is that how we are supposed to pay him back?
I will not be exaggerating when I say that almost everyone in Gaza LOVES Vik, even the waiters in coffee shops and restaurants talk about him and love him, for he is always friendly to everyone. Whenever he is there, people just love him. Vik is as Gazan as I am and he deserves to be among us free. He has offered Gaza many things more that those who kidnapped him. I myself envy him every time I see him, for he is way better than me and he is actually doing many things for my country and for humanity that I myself cannot do. He is one of the best people I have ever got to know. You do not find many people who are ready to give up living in peace and decide to live among Gazans who suffer on a daily basis from the Israeli closure, killing, and destruction. This guy left his family, friends, and country behind him in order to live in Gaza and help Gazans. I refuse to address him as a journalist since he is a journalist and first of all a HUMANITARIAN in an age where humanity does not exist no more.
The Salafist organization in Gaza is not speaking on the behalf of Gazans. Islam does not approve what they are doing. Those Salafists are ruining the image of Islam and Palestinians. They are not reflecting who we really are.
If anyone would give it a second thought, one would realize that those ignorant barbarous animals are giving all reasons to Israel to declare war on Gaza. They are just making it easier for Israel to accuse Gazans of being “terrorists”, therefore, win the European and American sympathy once and for all.
Gazans are against what is happening to Vittorio right now. We all demand his release. We want him back among us. We are all angry and we will go down to the streets demanding his release and the punishment of those ugly creatures that kidnapped him.
Sorry for any misspellings or grammatical errors, but I am just writing whatever comes to my mind without giving it a second thought – so excuse me.