Saturday, March 18, 2017

Salute to a Modern Martyr: Bullet-Riddled Resistance Activist Basil Al-Araj Finally Buried in West Bank

A Salute

by Mazin Qumsiyeh -

March 18, 2017

[Israeli occupation forces finally delivered the body of our friend Basil Al-Araj after 10 days and we buried him yesterday evening as fireworks lit the sky and thousands pledged to carry on the work of freedom in his honor. 

His body was riddled with 10 bullets including two to his head and one to his heart! It was the latter that killed him physically but it was the injury to his heart by betrayal that made me think of the Mel Gibson's movie Braveheart. I cried many times during those three hours in Al-Walaja especially when I got a glimpse of Basil's face and when his father saluted the body and when I saw a young girl (a mutual friend) crying in the corner just outside the door of the cemetery and I thought of consoling her and decided it might make things worse for both of us. I only decided to redouble my own efforts and call her later and reconnect with the living activists more.]

I will start this weekly message by saying we need your help. Dozens of volunteers work with us every week at the museum and botanical garden but the work is heavy especially in preparation for our opening ceremony mid April.

In the next three weeks, we are especially short-handed in the following areas which you might be able to help with:

- The botanical garden and agriculture area (this is manual labor but in a really beautiful setting with over 100 species of plants blooming now)
- Carpentry and general handicraft work
- Researching some items
- Graphic design
- Good drivers (valid licence)
- Field work
- Plant work (Herbarium)
- Translation
- Writing and copy-editing
- Video-making (including production/editing)
- Educational exhibit design
- Grant writing or to help us with contacts among people who can help

If you can help in any of these areas (or any others), please contact us at or me personally at

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Trump budget slashes foreign aid, but not for Israel

Donate: Defense for Children International - Palestine was recently selected by the GlobalGiving Foundation to participate in its Accelerator program, a three-week long crowd-funding campaign for NGOs around the world. Could you help reach our goal to raise at least 10,000 USD by 31 March by making a donation and helping us spread the word?

In particular, we hope that people will make a donation on 22 March, because it is a Bonus Day during which GlobalGiving will match each donation by 20%! that means your gift of, for example, 25 USD turns into 30 USD with the help of GlobalGiving.

Here is a link to the campaign:

[DCI provides expert, child-friendly legal services we offer Palestinian children arrested, detained, and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system. As you know, these children face severe ill-treatment and physical violence at the hands of Israeli forces.]

Stay Human

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
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