I was expecting this Friday, a day of freedom for 250 Palestinian prisoners, to be somewhat a national holiday. However, I had no idea how to be in the right place at the right time, and what the right place and the right time would be anyways.
The usual Friday in Palestine is a day off in every sense of this word. Bigger cities and smaller villages change overnight – the rush and hastiness of the week disappear, and time is given to God and families. I remember one Friday morning I had to walk Al-Irsal street for twenty minutes before I saw a single taxi. Even Al-Manara, the vibe of Ramallah, becomes deserted. Christian families open their stores, but not until late afternoon.
However, today was different. I was supposed to meet my friend in Ramallah’s main square at noon. Little did I know that it would be THE place and THE time. I started to get suspicious when I saw crowds of people in the central streets. Crowds of people on a Friday! And then I saw the cars, flags, buses, and happy people. The buses with the released prisoners, among them women and youngsters, were heading towards Muqata’a for a meeting with the president.
My thoughts went back to the spring of 2006 when crowds of Belarusians flooded the streets close to the prison in my capital to await the release of over 500 political prisoners. The officials had arrested them for protesting agains fabricated elections. My sister was one of them. And I will never forget the happiness my family and I felt upon her release. Well, today 250 Palestinian families got to experience the same feelings.
Posted By Tatsiana Hulko
Posted Jul 20th, 2007