A continuing series by guest author Dr. Dahlia Wasfi
[See http://engagingpeace.com for the full series from Dr. Dahlia Wasfi. You can also learn more aboute her work by googling her.
I knew that Palestinians—and many other indigenous peoples for that matter—were dying every day in their struggles for justice. I didn’t want to be racist and mark Rachel Corrie’s death because she was American, while ignoring others who died because they were the “wrong” nationality.
There was actually another young man shot and killed by the Israeli Army that day in Gaza, within hours of Rachel’s murder. No news of the loss of his life broke in the papers of USA Today.
But there was something about Rachel and her story that mystified me and captured my attention the way no one else had before. The journey of the next few years would help me decipher why her courage, her life, and her death were so powerful to me. It would take a while for me to understand enough about myself to be able to comprehend why she touched my heart so.
In the short term, however, I considered the bizarre contrast of that day. The headline could have read, “23-year-old, all-American woman visited—and was murdered in—Rafah in Gaza, Palestine, while 31-year-old failed physician surfs the Internet at home.”
The incongruity made me wonder: if Rachel could travel thousands of miles to learn about people she didn’t even know, then maybe I should go see my family whom I hadn’t seen in almost 27 years.