I always had this question nagging in my head… why would a person leave his country, his family, his world behind and go to somewhere else in the world just to stand by its suffering people… think about it… you are well-educated, has a descent job, a beloved and supportive family standing by you, a girl friend or a wife, friends, kids… name it and you just decide to leave all this behind, leave that future you spent your whole life planning for it… leave all your dreams and ambitions that you spent days and nights thinking and drawing them… and choose that small little piece of land that sits by the sea, in the middle of the hottest conflicting area in the world.. the middle east.. specifically Gaza…
When I got this book, I expected to read articles that was written by blood and tears… by an eye witness who lived the suffering of the Palestinian people of Gaza day by day, night by night… an activist who ate Za’ter and Zait with those people, shared the sanction of the Israeli occupation… felt the loose of beloved ones… went to victims funerals… and shared lots and lots of people’s hopes and dreams of freedom and life… but these words were more than just testimonies of war crimes of Israel against Gaza in Operation Cast Lead 2008-2009… it was a cry.. a cry to stand by the essence of our existence… a cry for Humanity….
Only humanity would be the answer to my question… only humanity…
This is my review for the book written back on September, 25th 2012.
Vittorio Arrigoni: RIP. Stay Human is the motto Vittorio used while witnessing the tragical war of Israel on Gaza 2008-2009 in “Cast Lead” Operation. Stay human was the signature of his daily reports wondering how the world can stay human while people of Gaza was being killed under their eyes not moving a single finger to try to stop it. It was a different experience living the hell Gaza people had back in 2008 through the eyes of this Italian humanitarian activist who not only lived the war day by day but also who lived in Gaza sharing its people their dreams and the right to dream.
When my boss brought me this book he told me that he don’t want to read it because its going to make him cry, and anyone who won’t cry reading these lines written by Vittorio under the daily horror where death accompanied people through the allies or what was left of Gaza is a shame on humanity. No matter I wrote describing this book leaves us the Arabs way way behind the heroic acts this man did for Gaza and its people.
In neutral words, Vittorio describes how Israeli militants under the excuse of fighting Hamas had killed 1,285 Palestinian and injured 4,336. 90% of those killed were civilians, The majority of the kills and injuries were between children and women. 2,400 houses were set to the ground leaving thousands of families homeless without shelter, food, electricity, medicine and even the most basic human needs, humanity.
What makes this book worth reading not only the facts mentioned through an eye witness on the massacre of Gaza, but the feelings and cries he managed to transfer to us through simple words and logical questions. An expressive paragraph written at the end of the book worth a million words. His Italian colleague suggested re-writing a well-known speech by Kennedy to “There are many people in the world that cannot understand, or claim they don’t understand what the deal between Palestine and Israel is. Let them come to Gaza. Some say that Israel is the force of the future. Let them come to Gaza. Others claim, in Europe and elsewhere, that we are able to cooperate with the Israelis. Let them come to Gaza. And there are even some who say that it’s true, Israel is evil, but it allows for economic progress. Let them come to Gaza.”
Al Jazeera documentary channel produced a documentary to salute Vittorio Arrigoni that shed the light on his staying in Gaza to help them as a part of the International Solidarity Movement ISM.