Giffords, Hurndall and Palestinian Children: Shot in the Head – one more story: "A hopeful Palestinian boy"
My article about Palestinian children and others shot in the head by Israeli forces came out yesterday in CounterPunch. The first email response was the usual Zionist diatribe, but since then I've received many positive, supportive messages. Below is an especially moving one:
"...The reason I'm writing you is to relate that sometimes the Israeli bullets kill children many years later. I met this Palestinian kid, Deya Ali, when I was active in the Palestine movement. He was shot by a settler. He was brought here in 2003 and received treatment at Mountain Side Hospital among others.
I spoke on his behalf at a well-attended event at Rutgers in which he was present. I had written a poem and was so nervous reading in front of the large crowd that my arm flapped around.
One thing I remember vividly is that he wanted me to know that he was only walking when the settler shot him. He wanted me to believe him that he wasn't throwing rocks. I believe him, although even if he had been throwing a rock that would not have justified the devastating bullet the Israeli settler shot into his spine.
It is a grave injustice that he was the victim of a gunshot wound which caused him extreme pain, debilitation and unbearable suffering for eight years before finally ending his life last year.
You can imagine how sad I was last year when I read of Deya's death from complications
I went to this link and below is what I read:
Deya Ali: Dreams derailed
I mourn the loss of my friend, Deya, who passed away in Germany on February 18, 2010, after a series of complications stemming from his long and brave fight to recover from an Israeli bullet's shrapnel lodged in his fragile body. In January 2003, I travelled to Jordan to bring back to the US the then 15 years old youth to be treated in NJ hospitals. Acting as his Legal Guardian, I witnessed and shared in Deya's fight for life.
I am recalling my memory of Deya over the last seven years, details of which are known only to very few. It is an inspiring story even though fate has so untimely ended his life dreams- and boy did he have dreams!
I will miss Deya and what he so inspiringly meant to my family and myself. His zest for life has impacted the lives of so many people and we owe him a thank-you for showing us the unyielding determination to conquer one's weaknesses.
Below are links to news articles at which you may want to glance. I hope to soon recover from the shock of Deya's passing to pen down my memories of him.
– "Ammo" Aref Assaf
Below are excerpts from one of the news stories. (I'm pleased that this was published. Often such stories are blocked by editors who are either Israel-protectors themselves or are fearful of advertisers/subscribers who are.)
...Deya also said that he wants to visit the Statue of Liberty because it represents freedom...
"Maybe I can touch the Statue of Liberty, smell it, and take a piece home with me," Deya said.
...He also said he is grateful for the help he has received in the United States, writing a letter, in Arabic, to thank doctors and nurses who have cared for him.
"I only hope to return your good deeds by being able to do the same unto other helpless children - the many whose luck was not as good as mine," Deya wrote.
"I shall forever declare that there is goodness in this world, and that there remain good people who love to help others. I shall forever say that if more good people join hands, there will be peace amongst humankind."
... Deya said he never gave up hope that he would walk again, and he expects to lead a normal life. In his letter to doctors and nurses, he said he knows he has a long recovery ahead of him. He signed it this way: "A hopeful Palestinian boy."
Such stories are so sad and so plentiful. All should be remembered and recorded. If you have one, please consider sending it to me.
PHOTO: Deya Ali, 15, undergoing physical therapy with the help of occupational therapist Tara Powers of Manasquan at the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside. Bob Karp. Daily Record