Fatma Salem passed away of cardiac arrest last night. Gone was the strength of this brave woman, who fought for her home in Sheikh Jarrah against bigger and stronger forces than hers.
Fatma was born in her parents’ home in Sheikh Jarrah. She lived there for over seventy years, gave birth to her children, raised her grandchildren there. For years she suffered the harassment of colonists at her doorstep and in the courts. The colonists coveted her house, and she wouldn’t surrender. She faced them, determined and assertive. “I have nowhere else to go”, she repeated on the weekly Friday demonstrations in the neighborhood.
“How are you?” she would ask, with a hug, kiss me on both cheeks, and thank us warmly for the support she received. A previous illness had warped her face, but that was gone the moment one met her personally. She gave private, warm and noble attention to each and every one of us.
Fatma left the evil Israeli world in the midst of a horrible war. Her death marks the endline of human containing ability.
Now I hug Fatma Salem for the last time. May justice come and stand by her side up there, where no evil men may enter.