“I’ve lived under military occupation most of my adult life. I have been repeatedly beaten up, shot at, interrogated, [and] even imprisoned. I have seen some of my best friends killed. My next-door neighbour’s kid shot in the back. I’ve seen my daughter’s childhood totally destroyed, living in fear, being tear-gassed, and living under curfew.
I’ve seen houses demolished, crops destroyed, our infrastructure destroyed. And recently I’ve lived for weeks under curfew, a prisoner in my own home, without water, without electricity and often without a phone. I’ve lived under constant shelling – I’ve seen the windows and doors of my home (my ancestral home) being blown away.
But I’m not saying this to tell you that I’m a victim – no – I’m saying this to tell you that despite all these things, despite my living under captivity and seeing the worst horrors of violence, being on the receiving end of the last remaining colonial situation in the world, an occupation, I have never succumbed to hate. I have never allowed hate to take over, and I have never accepted any kind of revenge as a motivation.”
Dr Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi
Teacher, academic, writer, peace activist, justice advocate & champion of human rights,
Founder and Secretary General of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH)
Dr Ashwrai’s advocacy has played a central role in the development of a self-governing Palestine.
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2003 Sydney Peace Prize events