Out of the mouths of Babes……..
Beit Lahiya’s children laid on an afternoon of celebration of “Vik” on thursday afternoon, A celebration most welcomed for those of us who attended another court session that morning . As adults, we sometimes tend to focus on the bad memories but children realize the importance of celebrating and remembering life. Through Drama, song and dance they portrayed Vik as he should be remembered , Happy, Loud , Alive !!!. They made us dance to his favourite songs, clap to their dances of his favourite music, . They depicted in drama Vik’s work with farmers and fishermen, but also his playing with Palestines children, We laughed, we danced , we sang and as they brought Vik back to us for a little while on stage, we , all of us, men and women, friends, and colleagues, allowed the tears to fall for him.
Saturday 14th April, 2012
Gaza , El Meena, ( Gaza Port) , 10.30 a.m.
Most of this week we have found ourselves focused on what has changed in Gaza, what or rather who is missing but unfortunately some things never change. As we gathered with the fishermen, Shots ring out and a fishing boat is towed back to Port by fellow fishermen, Its engine shot out, the crews livelihood destroyed by Israeli gun fire , well inside the 3 mile limit, unilaterally imposed by Israel .
Yet still, after speeches , and photographs the fishermen, along with Internationals clambered into the CPS Boat, ” Oliva” and one other fishing boat laden with flowers and took to sea. We slowly headed out, singing” Onadikom” perhaps not “totally Synchronised between the 2 boats! Not very far out, ( lack of fuel for the boats) We stopped and threw the flowers in the water, the same waters Vik fished so many times with the Palestinian fishermen he loved and respected and who loved, respected and now missed him.
A few hours later , on a blank wall just up from the port, Vik’s picture emerged. A mural of Vik and Handala together, along with his name, near the building he lived in, near the Port he frequented, a reminder for all of his presence………Always here!!
Sunday 15th April, Avenue Hotel, Gaza city
Many of us gathered again on the actual day of his anniversary in Avenue Hotel. The proposed link up with Italy could not take place due to electricity problems so a downloaded video from Italy was played. The children from Beit Lahiya again came to sing for us, some young Palestinian children played “Bella Ciao”, many spoke of Their personal stories of vik, A young boy, Mahmoud Samouni spoke poignantly of his friendship with Vik as a video of the Samouni family was played. We sat together and chatted and remembered mostly the good times, the memories we should always remember…..
Vik will never be forgotten and his words to us, ” STAY HUMAN” should also never be forgotten…..
Pictures and video’s by Jeff Bright, Rosa Schiano, Hussien Amody, عبد الحليم ابو ناموس and Omar El Qattaa.