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PA romanticizes the love between imprisoned ‎terrorist murderer of 8 and his fiancé, who he has ‎never met, but who loves him due to his “nobility‎

Op-ed by Algerian writer Wasini Al-A'araj ‎

‎"We do not write letters except when the space is ‎reduced and we wish to broaden it so they will ‎hear us, and they remind us of something warm ‎that is hiding within us and many times make us ‎forget the worries of life. ‎

This week I received a letter from Palestinian ‎prisoner Osama Al-Ashqar (i.e., terrorist, ‎responsible for at least 8 murders) and an ‎additional letter from his fiancée Manar Khalawi, ‎which I am publishing here after asking their ‎permission, along with my response to them, out ‎of devotion to them and to the Palestinian ‎cause…‎

The letter of his fiancée Manar Khalawi, who ‎acted as our middleman:‎

I met Osama through my cousin who was ‎Osama’s comrade in prison, and there was a ‎strong bond of friendship between them. I had ‎always heard of his nobility of soul and strong ‎personality in prison, as he was one of the leaders ‎of the prisoner movement in the occupation's ‎prisons. ‎

During this period, I made contact with my cousin ‎by radio, and Osama heard me and liked my ‎personality and way of thinking and asked of my ‎cousin to become engaged to me. However, he ‎asked Osama to forget the idea due to his ‎situation as a prisoner sentenced to 8 life ‎sentences and an additional 50 years, and ‎because the family would not agree to a ‎relationship between us. ‎
Afterwards, Osama moved to another prison and ‎obtained my cell phone number.‎

In the beginning, he thanked me for my interest in ‎the prisoners' cause, and after a while he ‎proposed the idea of us being in a relationship ‎and I agreed, as I truly greatly loved him and his ‎strong personality, and I had no problem ‎whatsoever with being in a relationship with a ‎person who the occupier of my country and land ‎had sentenced to die in the graveyard of the ‎living. Of course I raised the matter with my family. ‎It was not easy for them. At the beginning they ‎opposed the idea of me being in a relationship ‎with him, but due to my insistence they agreed to ‎my decision in the end and I became engaged to ‎him after 18 years of his imprisonment…‎

My letter to Osama and Manar: ‎

Dear beloved, beautiful Osama, what can I say in ‎the presence of your story and the theft of your ‎right to your land and your freedom, aside from ‎humbly bowing before you and before the ‎experience of imprisonment that has formed you, ‎undoubtedly changed your perception of life, and ‎given you new spaces for hope…‎

Osama, be sure that we will not forget you ‎‎[prisoners], regardless of how difficult the ‎conditions we are experiencing today are due to ‎death that has included the entire world. All of the ‎criminal deals against the Palestinian cause will ‎crumble on the threshold of the right that will ‎never die.‎

And you, Manar, what can I say to you in the ‎presence of the beautiful thing that you have ‎done for Osama? Nothing but to kiss your ‎forehead for this exceptional Palestinian nobility ‎of soul. With this nobility of yours you have given ‎Osama a second life, as there is no power equal to ‎the power of love in order to continue and break ‎the solitude. Only love gives us the ability to bear ‎what can never be borne and puts us into a great ‎dream in which the impossible becomes possible ‎despite the barbed wire fences, the rough walls, ‎and the intractable injustice. ‎

Your rooted faith in the resistance of Osama ‎and his comrades has caused you to deviate ‎from the norm and ascend so that love will turn ‎into nobility and devotion.‎

Manar, you followed your faith to the end and ‎realized it with loyalty to a fighter who has given ‎his life for the homeland on exactly the 18th ‎anniversary of his imprisonment, in order to break ‎the despair and continue living. ‎

You have connected yourself to a greater symbol ‎and not only to a prisoner, and out of your pure ‎soul and Osama’s pain of solitude you have given ‎this human trial the opportunity for its roots and ‎branches to grow beyond the captivity and ‎towards the sun."‎