Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Abir's Garden

I want to take the opportunity to pass on information about a very special project to honor Abir Aramin, a 10 year old Arab girl who was shot in the head with a rubber bullet (by an Israeli Border Police Officer) and killed in January of 2007.

Abir Aramin

An acquaintance of mine runs the The Rebuilding Alliance which has championed a project to build a beautiful playground and garden in Abir's home town, Anata (in the West Bank), to be named "Abir's Garden." You can read more about this project on the Rebuilding Alliance website at this link: Abir's Garden.

The Rebuilding Alliance which, from their website: is a nonprofit organization, rebuilds homes and communities in regions of war and occupation. We advocate for government policies towards these regions based on human rights and international law. Through a mutual commitment to justice, we create alliances among our supporters, partners, and those who suffer injustice and violence, yet resist through rebuilding. Our projects are symbols of hope that help rebuild shattered communities and offer people around the world immediate ways to make peace, starting with the tangible support of a family's right to a home.

I believe they may have already reached their fund raising goal, but I still encourage you to read about this special project and possibly contribute anyway!! These types of projects are too few, and supporting organizations who make them happen is important to us all.

An excerpt from The Rebuilding Alliance website:

What Happened to Abir?
Abir Aramin was walking home from school with her sister and two friends in the West Bank town of Anata on January 16th 2007 but never made it back to her family. On this day the Israeli Border Police jeep,parked outside the gates of the Anata girls' school, opened fire at the 4 girls walking home. Abir was hit with a rubber bullet to the head and critically wounded. Abir Aramin was taken off life support after 3 days of struggling for her life. She was only 10 years old.

News of Abir's death created a wellspring of emotion worldwide, in part because Abir's father, Bassam Aramin, is an activist and founding member of Combatants for Peace.

"I'm not going to lose my common sense, my direction, only because I've lost my heart, my child. I will do all I can to protect her friends, both Palestinian and Israeli. They are all our children." -- Bassam Aramin, Abir's father and co-founder of Combatants for Peace.

Combatants for Peace is a group of Israeli and Palestinian individuals who were actively involved in the cycle of violence in their area. The Israelis served as combat soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinians were involved in armed resistance in the name of Palestinian liberation. They believe that the blood shed will not end unless they act together to terminate the occupation and stop all forms of violence. They work to educate, raise consciousness and create partners in dialogue, and to maintain political pressure on all governments to stop the cycle of violence.

These organizations, and this project in particular, give me great hope for the future. I hope that they will inspire you as well.

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