Last year on New Year’s Eve 15,000 sang the night away in Abu Dhabi with pop star Shakira at Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace Hotel while everyone else around the world was glued to their TV sets shocked by the barbaric Israeli attack on Gaza.
But, of course, many Arabs did not hear the cries of bereaved mothers mourning the loss of their families especially their children who were the victims of the Israeli assault on Gaza during the operation ‘Cast Lead’.
The celebration bash with Shakira was deafening and louder than any cries of maimed children, and the dancers who gyrated through the night cared less about those who were crippled for life and more about having a good time.
This New Year’s Eve a considerable number of Western supporters and human rights activists from all over the world were determined to show their solidarity to the bereaved Palestinians, and spent a difficult time away from their families, facing all kinds of hazards as part of aid convoys.
The Egyptian regime refused them permission to go through its land to reach the stricken Palestinian people. Many of these fine supporters experienced the cold desert nights, after driving around the world to deliver medical aid and artificial limbs donated by my friends the Bristolians of whom I feel very proud.
Artificial limbs and wheel chairs are for children who are disabled for life and will never be able to know what dancing feels like. At that same time our Arab friends show great insensitivity as they celebrate the New Year forgetting the many families that have lost fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers. This year, on the first anniversary of the Gaza massacre, global superstar Rihanna, sang in the new decade in front of over 10,000 fans. Her spectacular performance on the lawns of Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace Hotel was followed by a spectacular firework display.
As one might notice, Arabs can’t celebrate silently. There must be young energetic women baring most of their bodies, screaming, twisting, sweating, and standing in a provocative way. Why would I mention such celebrations in Abu Dhabi? These insensitive celebrations that went on during the Holocaust of Gaza, and on its anniversary, show very clearly that those Arab countries do not care a toss about Palestinians or their feelings. They do not care about Palestine or Palestinians let alone the feelings of mourning mothers. Some women from France, UK, USA, and Belgium have more in common with Palestinians and identify with their pain more than any Arab state. And if I may add that some women have more balls than many Arab leaders who allow such ridiculous parties to go on unchallenged.
A French woman*, a human rights activist, died in Egypt while she was fighting for her right to reach Gaza and offer her help to the people, our comrades journalists and activists were beaten up by the Egyptian police in Cairo, while the crowds in Abu Dhabi were dancing throughout the night, and welcoming the New Year in style. The firework desplays this year remind us of the white phosphorus that fell like rain on Gaza's children, burning them alive down to their bone marrow.
I wonder what they are really celebrating ? What are their achievements regarding world peace? Is there anything at all to celebrate? Are these celebrations really reflecting the feelings of the UAE people? I dare say they are not.
* Marie-Renée Le Grand, member of the National Board of the Association France Palestine Solidarité [Tlaxcala's Note]
Source: the author's site
Original article published on Jan.2, 2010
About the author
Iqbal Tamimi is a guest author at Tlaxcala, the international network of translators for linguistic diversity. This article may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source and author are cited.
URL of this article on Tlaxcala: http://www.tlaxcala.es/pp.asp?reference=9669&lg=en