MAY 2005

Animation shows the Sun's last 250-million-year orbit around the center of the galaxy (GC), and other stars converging toward the Sun, ending with all of them nearer the Sun today. May load slowly. Credit: ESO

When is our mother coming back?'
by Ali Samoudi
April 21, 2005

A 13 year-old girl from Jenin Refugee Camp is writing a letter to Kofi Anan. Sandi Nasser Al Sa'di is appealing to international organizations to help her reach the UN General Assembly in New York. Sandi wants to hand-deliver her letter to the Secretary General of the UN. She fears if not hand-delivered, the Israeli government may confiscate her letter, or it may take a place among many others on the dusty shelves of the UN marked "Palestine."

"I am calling on the Secretary General of the UN, whose job was established to guarantee the human rights, the dignity, and the life of human beings. I am calling because the Israeli oppression has reached to a certain point, and my life has become a small prison that is not so different from the bars of the prison that are holding my parents. This is the time that we live different suffering and oppression at the hands of the occupation that reached my mother, Qahira Al Sa'di. She was taken from our house.

"Tens of soldiers invaded our house in the middle of the night and they took our mother from her bed. They have deprived us from her sympathy and protection. Our screams and tears did not help her when the soldiers handcuffed her and took her to the arrest center to face the torture and the hard investigation."

"For two years, Your Excellency, I am tearing my insides out with nostalgia to see my mother who is isolated, arrested and oppressed in the Telmond Prison.

"They were not happy just to arrest her, to torture her, humiliate her, take away her dignity, and deprive her of the minimum of her rights, which are visits with her children.

"Since her arrest I didn't see the face of my mother and each time I try to see her with my brothers they are refusing and insisting on torturing us in that way."

"The feasts and the happy occasions come, and my mother is away from me, arrested without a reason, only because she's Palestinian.

"In the feasts I don't wear the nice clothes and I don't know the taste of happiness. The Occupation deprived me my childhood, my right to life. How can I be happy while my mother is in prison? From where does happiness come while the symbol of motherhood, sympathy, and humanity, are imprisoned and under siege, threatened by hard levels of torture?

"I am dying seeing the children in the arms of their mothers.  I am dying from inside. I now hate school, life, and the street because the imprisonment of my mother deprived me from all the tastes of happiness and life. My brothers, Your Excellency, are crying all the times and sometimes refusing to eat or drink. They don't know what the playgrounds are. They sleep with fear and tears, and wake up with fear and tears. They have only one question: 'When is our mother coming back?'"

"You are the United Nations. They refuse to release my mother even for a few hours. They prevent us from meeting her, even for a few seconds. They torture us every
second. And because we are Palestinians, the arrest of my mother was not enough because a year ago they invaded our house again and took my father. It is a scene I will never forget, because I woke up to the sounds of bullets and bombs, and the screams of soldiers and their faces were painted black and they were holding all sorts of weapons. They invaded our house, arrested our father and left us alone without a mother or a father. We still do not know until when this destiny will continue.

"My father and mother are imprisoned and I am asking for all the living conscience in the world to try to help us while we are alone again and our grandmother is crying day and night. Some of her sons were killed and others arrested. We are crying and all we know in this life are tears and despair. The occupation is not listening to our screams. It's depriving us our childhood. So do you hear our cry?

"We don't want money or petrol or gold or houses or games or playgrounds. We have only one wish. We are asking you to help us reach her. We are tired from waiting, begging and hoping, while going between the Red Cross, Red Crescent and the Prisoner Society. We want the chance to feel the warmth of our mother and our childhood. We want our mother and our father."
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The European Southern Observatory group said the red image is the first direct shot of a planet around another