Your name is carved in our souls
Gaza vigil for Vittorio
Gaza vigil for Vittorio
London Vigil for Vittorio
Dear Vik, I decided to write you a letter today to tell you what you have missed since you have passed away. Let me go back to the black Friday of your death, Gaza was very sad and devastated. We couldn’t handle losing you because it was something too big to be handled, but what I knew later on is that you were loved worldwide not only Gaza. Vik you touched so many lives here, the people who knew you, the people who heard about you, your friends, your close friends, the farmers you endangered your life to protect, the fishermen who could never forget your bravery while you were on board with them trying to protect them and document the Israeli violations, your ISM family, your folks back home and hundreds of people around the world who were inspired by you.
Vik wallah I got emails from around the world from people who were huge fans of you, they read ur books and were really looking forward to meeting you one day. The emails expressed such grief for your loss; people were upset that you left us all early before they got the chance of meeting you. The emails were from many countries around the world but you cant imagine how much Italians you touched and inspired. I kept asking myself why are those Italians so touched by you more than others, I forgot that you are Italian and I know if you were alive you wouldn’t blame me, you are more Palestinian and Gazan than many of us.
Last Saturday I went to TedxRamallah, the cab ride was aweful. On my way there I kept watching Gaza’s streets and skies, they looked different. Gaza isn’t the same without you Vik, its like something is wrong or just not right or maybe something is left undone that’s how I feel. Police in the streets felt useless for me, they did their best to release you while you’re still alive and I believe that but for me that isn’t enough. We looked useless too, I felt like we should have protected you but I don’t know what could we have done to save you but we owed you that. I want to be honest Vik, when I heard you passed away I was angry and sad and kept thinking you hated Gaza and Gazans at your last moments but then I knew I was wrong when I calmed down. You loved Gaza more than we did, you fought for Gaza just like we do if not more so you will never ever hate Gaza or Gazans no matter what.
At tedxRamallah Huwaida Arraf had a word to say, she wasn’t going to attend after hearing about your death but then she decided to come and dedicate her segment to you, they showed a video about you and your numerous good deeds for Palestine and Gaza. She was in tears, Ramallah was in tears, Gaza was in tears and everybody else watching through VC or online. But then we smiled because we remembered something nice about you and we wished you were there sitting between us. I truly felt that day that you were watching from above.
Rim Banna dedicated a song for you and Juliano Mer Khamis, you were both a huge loss for Palestine. Every speaker mentioned you, knew you and loved you.
Gaza held many vigils and funerals for you, people here showed how much they loved you and cared about you, you were an inspiration for us all. I cant believe those who call you a murderer, a terrorist and all these crappy biased untrue things. I always considered you as the HUMAN in Human Being. You were so humane that you touched numerous hearts around the world. You fought for Palestine and Gaza’s freedom viciously but you only used determination and passion as your only weapons. How could you be a terrorist and how could you be a threat to any one? I wished those who are trashing you really knew your human side or knew you before they opened their filthy mouths. I couldn’t understand how one person can be considered as an enemy to a whole country and a heavily armed army??? Well that just shows how much you were touching people and inspiring them.
Vik I have a few good news for you: They renamed Freedom Flotilla 2, its now called “Stay Human” taking after ur words and the name of one of your books on Gaza, and listen to this: your mom is coming with Stay Human to Gaza, we are so happy. We are planning to go meet her and show her how much we loved you, I truly cant wait to meet her and hug her and tell her thank you for bringing you to life and tell her how many heart you touched. Alessandra wants to come too maybe soon, she cant make it now but she told me that she would love to come to Gaza when she can.
A street will be named after you in Gaza to honor some of your most noble deeds for Palestine and Gaza. Your friend Claudia came to Rafah today to take your body back to your family in Italy. Honestly, I would rather have seen Alessandra here at Rafah today to take you back to your second home since you considered Gaza as your home too. Let me tell you a new secret, I always asked myself why do you love Gaza and Palestine that much, and always wondered if I was Palestinian and Italy went through the same would I be as passionate as you are? You are among few activists who loved Palestine and Gaza enough to die for them. You passed away here; god answered your prayers as you always prayed for dying in Gaza. You wanted to die in Gaza so bad that you never left Gaza during Israel’s war on Gaza 2008-2009. You stayed and volunteered in a hospital and took a shrapnel in your arm. You also attended most of the buffer-zone protests and kept shouting “Shaheed” there. You joined the ISM family to protect the Gazan farmers and fishermen, something I never dared to do.
Your friends here wanted your family’s permission to burry you here and I wanted that also because everyone knew you would want that too, but I wont be selfish enough to be angry at your parents for wanting your body back to burry you in Italy. We all know that your soul will never ever leave us or leave Gaza. I told everyone that I feel you are watching over us and Gaza from above like a guardian angel.
Vigils around the world are taking place to honor you, you are globally loved. You were so down to earth; you loved every cm of Gaza. You never hesitated to meet anyone here or visit any place, you always felt so safe here which is remarkable because Gaza is a war zone but you cared less for violence and more for humans. You are like no other person I have ever met, knew or heard of.
I keep thinking about stuff we can do to honor you, like the street thing or maybe a charity holding your name or anything that keeps your legacy alive. I then realized that you never asked us to pay you back for your love to Palestine because it came from within you. You considered Palestine as your country and us as your family. Your legacy represents your books, friends, love for Palestine and Gaza and the unbeatable flame of your passion towards Palestine and Gaza.
I promise you Vik we will never ever forget you, not one day will pass without 1 person here or around the world thinking of you and what you gave for Palestine and humanity. You are a role model for hundreds around the world.
Vik Gaza misses you, we miss you, Gaza loves you, we love you and you will always be carved in our souls very deep inside. May you rest in peace and rest assured that many will complete what you started. You aren’t silenced, instead your voice became louder because many people around the world are using your voice now.
I miss you.
From Gaza to you Vik with all our love.