DAILY REMINDERS

Elizabeth Welliver (Davidson, North Carolina)

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The past nine days have been a stream of constant learning and immersive encounters with Palestinian and Israeli activists. We have had the rare opportunity to see areas of the country from the Jordan River to the Dead Sea, the village of Bil'in, and the future of Hebron, Ramallah, Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem.

While meeting with leaders of 22 organizations, we've seen into the intricate woven fabric of civil society and learned from multiple perspectives of history, identity, and analysis.

This list is an interpretation of the daily tasks and hopes of those on the front lines of the resistance to injustice, working to end the occupation.

I learned from our trip leader Shakeel that in Islam, the most important expression of faith is through repeated, small actions. 

To do (a list of #resistance actions across peoples & borders):

Pick the grapes from the ten-year-old vines and count each one as a gift to share with the neighbors

Watch the sunrise from the rooftop after surveying for the soldiers who raid your home before twilight

Wait three more hours for the checkpoint to open to Jerusalem only ten miles away and a world apart from your home deeper in the West Bank  

Make maramiyeh (sage) tea with a little extra sugar to calm the body and sweeten the heart

Tell the Israeli government you refuse to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces and prepare to go to military prison for indefinite terms

Look over the cliff at the Israeli settlements being built on your great-grandfather's land while refusing to hate those who dwell there

Organize protest with the elderly and religious to remember the Yemeni babies stolen from their families in history of racism against Mizrahi Jews

Give a tip to the Eritrean asylum seeker cleaning houses to keep her children fed 

Take Shabbat (sabbath) as a time to reflect on art and social change 

Invest in set of drums for next Friday's demonstration where the children will lead and beat and sing to take down the wall

Eat bread to your fullest contentment

Milk the goats and have a conversation with God and remind yourself this is for the long haul

Go to court for the 16th year in a row to defend the land where your blood and your bones trace back centuries 

Attend the neighbors' interracial wedding celebration and offer to help them build their home

Invent a story of hope even if it is a lie to keep going tomorrow 

Endure being stopped and strip searched on the street without blaming yourself

Tell your life story and your family history to a group of US activists hoping they will share with family and friend and advocate to their government to stop funding your oppression

Write a letter to end child prisons

Read Edward Said, Paulo Freire, Angela Davis and Ilan Pappé for the youth book club in the refugee camp

Invite your neighbor whose son was shot by police over to dinner and make maklouba with chicken 

Walk the children in tow to school through the checkpoint with armed soldiers surrounding them

Water the roses and hope they last through the next season before being uprooted by demolition

Read the news in Hebrew and Arabic for the differences in interpretation of your arrest last weekend

Explain to the person on Facebook that Jews of color exist and have Arab, North African, and East African heritage 

Make friends with the mail deliverer who noticed you've received many letters from across the world for your activism

Teach your four-year-old to chant for freedom and self-determination 

Find water to replace the shut-off supply that you bought from Israel after it was harvested in the West Bank 

Learn to speak another language to communicate with the international community 

Paint a mural to remember the faces of the martyrs lost by police brutality against young men

Look for demolition orders that may be hiding on your property

Listen to your grandfather's stories as if they are woven in gold 

Return the bike to the Palestinian child stolen by an Israeli settler 

Find a way to Skype members of your family in Gaza while they are under siege with no electricity or control over their own cities 

Pray with the young men outside al-Aqsa mosque gathered peaceably in the streets by the thousands with prayer mats and cardboard and matching hats 

Close the windows when the soldiers throw tear gas near where your child sleeps

Keep breathing even when the bombs are falling

Find out the history they never taught you in school 

Stay alive and fight and validate your own existence with every step

Plough the field and don't look back