A Farewell Letter from Prison to Daughter’s Funeral

Israel banned Khalida Jarrar, a prominent Palestinian activist, from attending her daughter’s funeral on Tuesday as they claim she is a security prisoner.

Israel banned Khalida Jarrar, a prominent Palestinian activist, from attending her daughter’s funeral on Tuesday as they claim she is a security prisoner. Despite campaigns calling for Khalida’s release to attend her daughter’s funeral, she was prevented from attending.

Khalida Jarrar 58, who is a member at the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was sentenced to two-year imprisonment for charges of incitement and political violence against the Israelis and for being a member of an “outlawed group”.

Khalida’s 30-year-old daughter, Suha Jarrar, who worked on gender and climate change issues at al-Haq human rights group, was found dead in her home in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. No reason for her death was deducted.

Campaigns and activist groups called for the release of Khalida on humanitarian grounds.

Online campaigns called for her release under the hashtag #freekhalidajarrar. An online petition drew more than 11,500 signatures.

“Deraining Khalida over her political activism violates her freedom of association,” said Omar Shakir, the group’s director for Israel and the Palestinian territories.

“Having repeatedly detained Khalida, in violation of her rights, Israeli authorities should at least allow her to say goodbye to her daughter.”

Khalida was prevented from seeing her daughter’s body for the last time and attending her funeral.

Hence, Khalida decided to write a farewell letter to her daughter expressing all her sentiments and internal sorrow in few words on a piece of paper in her prison cell.

The letter was published by her daughter Yara Jarrar via her Twitter account.

I am in so much pain, my child, only because I miss you

I am in so much pain, my child, only because I miss you,” said Khalida.

From the depth of my agony, I reached out and embraced the sky of our homeland through the window of my prison cell in Damon Prison, Haifa. Worry not, my child. I stand tall, and steadfast, despite the shackles and the jailer. I am a mother in sorrow yearning to see you, one last time,” she added.

Khalida asked for her daughter’s forgiveness for not being able to attend this final moment in her life. She said:

This doesn’t happen except in Palestine. All I wanted was to bid my daughter a final farewell, with a kiss on her forehead and to tell her I love her as much as I love Palestine. My daughter, forgive me for not attending the celebration of your life, that I was not beside you during this heartbreaking and final moment. My heart has reached the heights of the sky yearning to see you, to caress, and plant a kiss on your forehead through the small window of my prison cell.”

Khalida ended her farewell letter by expressing how her daughter’s absence is very painful:

Suha, my precious. They have stripped me from bidding you with a final goodbye kiss. I bid you farewell with a flower. Your absence is searingly painful, excruciatingly painful. But I remain steadfast and strong, like the mountains of beloved Palestine.”

Palestinian activist, Mohammed El-Kurd, said, “To lose one’s child is a tragedy. To lose a child while incarcerated, I cannot begin to imagine the agony.” He also called for signing the petition to free Khalida.

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