NO PERMISSION FOR THE BLANKET!

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This sad and touching story is written by 13-year-old Mays Abu Rass – the daughter of Walid Abu Rass, who was taken from his home in Ramallah on November 22nd 2011 by the Israeli occupation forces.  Walid has been held since then in ‘Administrative Detention’, which means that he is detained without charge, and that neither he nor his family nor his lawyer can find out why.

Read Walid’s full story here on his friend, Sam Bahour’s blog, and write a letter of support.

Walid Abu Rass and his daughters

Happier days: Walid Abu Rass with his daughters (Malak, 4 years old, and Mays, 13).

“No permission for the blanket!” This sentence is the only sentence I heard from them.

Sunday is my day. My mom told us that we had permission to visit my dad. That night I did not sleep at all from my excitement. It has been one and a half months without seeing my dad. He was taken by the Israeli occupation with no reason! My dream is to know why he was taken.

I wake up really early that day and wear my best clothes. My sister was really exited and kept asking me how we are going to visit our dad.  I was debating my answer because explaining the way is too complicated to tell such a young girl. We took some clothes and a blanket for my dad because it’s so cold over there. We also took some sandwiches for us in order to eat them while we wait.

We are now standing in front of the big door of the prison. We are WAITING, WAITING and WAITING. Nothing new is happening; every time we saw a couple of soldiers coming we jump up like crazy people thinking they are coming to open the door. Then we go back to the same position, WAITING, WAITING and WAITING. My sister is asking me “do we need more time? I am really bored.” I don’t have any answer for her.

Two hours pass, finally the huge door opens; at that moment, I thought all the hard part is gone and now the easy thing is coming: joy for just seeing my dad. We hold all the clothes and the blanket that we brought to give to my dad. But it is not the end yet; we got to the window where we can give the soldiers what we brought for the prisoners. I hold the clothes and stand in the row for hours. When the solider called me I ran to the window and put every single thing I have including the blanket. He told me, “NO PERMISSION FOR THE BLANKET.” I was shocked. I started asking WHY? He told me with anger, “NO PERMISSION FOR THE BLANKET!” I told him please, just this blanket. It’s cold inside. He said with blunt words: “NO PERMISSION FOR THE BLANKET!” I took everything and put them back inside my bag with a sad face. There is only one thing turning in my mind, I think how really precious this blanket is right now. It is the most precious thing for my dad.

Another huge door is opened and we enter to be checked now. They took our phones, wristwatches, and keys—everything that is related to the free life outside.

It is not the end yet. We go trough another small door in order to take off our shoes and jackets. Now we are told to pass through some big machine. My mom tries to tell the solider that children are not supposed to be exposed to this radiation machine. He says enter or leave. So we enter, all of us, including my baby sister.

After getting checked, they put us in a small room. We are around 50 people, children, women, and men. They closed the door and we are left together with just one small disgusting bathroom. Time is not moving. We are waiting in a room without a clock, no talking is allowed. A group of silent faces are just waiting and any sound of keys make us all stand up, thinking that it is the end of our wait. Hours are gone and we do not know the exact time. Finally, a solider came, but it was another one of their games to let us jump up again to think that it is time to enter. After few minutes, he went away. And here we are still WAITING, WAITING, WAITING.

Then, the door is open. Now every single person, young and old, are laughing running inside in order to use every single minute of the visit. The room is too small. I start looking around trying to find my dad, finally I saw him. He was smiling right at my face. My sister was dazzled, she starts kissing the glass between us and my dad. Between me and my dad are only a few centimeters. I can’t touch him or hug him. We pick up the phones that allow us to talk to him. There is no voice. The phones are still turned off. The stopwatch on the wall is at 00:00:00. Then the timer starts, we can start talking for 45 minutes, exactly, but this passes like seconds. I could not tell him everything I feel because every single thing we say is listened to by the soldiers. After 45 minutes, exactly, the phone goes silent again. Visiting time is over. The soldiers start pushing us outside of the room. Their words were, “go out, out!”

I still keep thinking about the blanket that I couldn’t give to my dad. I left, holding the blanket and looking back at the door of the prison. I was crying. My dad is going to sleep in the winter cold forever. All of you are sitting in your warm houses and my dad is locked up without a blanket.

Your daughter,

Mays Abu Rass

February 5, 2012

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