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A call to join the #SaltWaterChallenge

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Dear Humans,

I have been through the widely known spectrum of emotions throughout my life. Different moments lead me to feel different things some easy some difficult, but all overcome. However, there is something about the feeling of helplessness that is overpowering. It leaves you feeling like you’ve tightened the knot too hard and there is very few ways out, if any.

(Image: Carlos Latuff)

The Palestinian hunger strike taking place right now has left me utterly helpless. While the road for Palestinian self-determination and the conflict in its essence is rather complex leaving you with questions of love and hate, life and death, betrayals and false promises. It leaves you above all with questions about humanity. Over the past five decades 800,000 Palestinians (roughly 40% of Palestine’s male population and 20% of the overall population have been arrested). Many of those suffered from torture, degrading treatment, and medical negligence.

Over 1500 Palestinian political prisoners are currently on a hunger strike to demand basic human rights. These rights consist of installing a public telephone, reinstating bi-monthly family visits, allowing for adequate medical care, end open-ended solitary confinement, among many others. All of which are rights granted to prisoners worldwide under international law.

I could write a brief history recap on the conflict, but in all honesty, there is plenty out there for one to educate themselves about the topic without bias and with reason. This is why I will refrain from making a case for these prisoners simply because they already have the strongest case, the case of being human and wanting to be treated as one.

It is extremely dangerous that as a people we have reached a point where we are unable to set aside our ego and our internal and external biases to a degree where we cannot call out for humanity when it has been deeply compromised.

I therefore ask you to hold my hand and untie that knot with me. I ask you to please put aside 5 minutes to participate in the salt and water challenge and show solidarity with the prisoners on strike. I ask you that if life taught you anything, it would be that healing and peace can only begin with the acknowledgment of wrongs committed.

I ask you to make humanity no longer a road less traveled.

Thank you a million times again.

Yours truly,


About Zeena Ismail

Zeena Ismail is a Palestinian Jordanian born and raised in Jordan. Zeena completed her undergrad at McGill University in Economics and Operations Management followed by a post grad degree in Strategic Marketing in the U.K. A pseudo writer that has found an escape in writing over the past two years on her Facebook profile, Zeena seeks to shed light on issues that she feels get little attention. Her objective is to generate debate as she feels it’s always important to hear the other narrative.

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