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Behind The Veil: We Crave To Do Something More

Behind The Veil: We Crave To Do Something More To Support The Palestinians


By Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed

Iraq has made the decision to stop oil exports to the US and everyone that we know is supportive and relieved. We wonder why OPEC doesn't also pursue this course? Why must other Arab governments only think of their own pocketbooks instead of the injustice and massacres being done to the Palestinians? Why doesn't the west realize that the suicide bombers are a reaction to the occupation and the statelessness of the frustrated Palestinians? Doesn't anyone but Iraq and Iran have enough courage to stand up to the US?

Many are refusing to buy US products now, but it is not enough, and this in no way defuses enough frustration, tension or anger.

Unfortunately Saudi Arabia doesn't allow marches or rallies, and people really have a lot of pent-up feelings for the Palestinian cause that we wish we could find an outlet for. There has been a telethon on television to raise money, but many people wish for a physical outlet. As a mother, I would be proud if my (Saudi) husband and son went to fight with the Palestinians.

I suggested to a local newspaper that a walk-a-thon for peace in the Holy Land be considered. Walkers could look for sponsors to pay them for each kilometer walked, and the money could go to Palestine.

However, I'm not very hopeful that the government will allow it. They seem to be very paranoid against public support of any cause, worried about their own stability, when in reality it would probably add to their popularity to allow it.

One rally was put into effect in Al-Khobar, east Saudi Arabia, and the government arrested the organizer, not agreeing with his theory of freedom of speech. Another attempted rally planned from a Jeddah mosque and announced and spread by cellular phone texts led to the imam (pastor) being arrested and all the license plate numbers of the cars being filmed by video camera by the police for future reference in case of unrest.

No, the people's opinions, I am sorry to say, are being suppressed, and there is much feeling for our Palestinian brothers and sisters. We wonder how anyone can perpetrate such crimes against humanity such as done to them (by Nazi's) on other victims. It must be the abused turning to become the abusers as often happens.

We fully support the Emirates proposal that the United Nations should approve the use of force to halt Israel, as it has done to save other threatened populations, such as East Timor, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Kuwait.

With Arab leaders that don't seem to take a hard line role such as stopping oil supplies, we can only throw up our hands and turn to God for divine help and protection. Maybe He also will wonder why leaders don't do more for oppressed humans, and hold them responsible for their inaction.

I really can't express it any better that Firas Al-Atraqchi has. We are proud to have his eloquent words spoken to explain our feelings and what is occurring. Our frustration has no outlet, and pressure can only stand a certain amount of strain before something breaks.

(Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed is an Oregonian American married to a Saudi who converted to Islam in l977 and has lived in Saudi Arabia since l985.)

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