Thursday, July 24, 2014


Yazan is a sixteen year old Palestinian boy, who would be in the eleventh grade if he were to live in Canada. He works in a factory, or used to, before May 30th.

That day, Yazan was at the market at Bab E Zawiyeh, and buying sweets for his family. The market is often a place where rock throwing shabab and Israeli soldiers have their battles, although we don't know whether or not there were clashes that day. When they do happen, the clashes usually end up with Palestinians being hurt, sometimes killed. Almost always, some protesters are taken to the hospital. Of course, the rocks injure soldiers also when they hit them; although more often they miss, or are deflected by plexiglass shields.

Most of the Palestinians who are shot and injured or killed by the army during these clashes are shabab- kids, teens, and young women- who are confronting the soldiers.

Most, but not all.

According to Yazan's father, his son does not take part in clashes. He was in the market, getting food for his family.

He was shot with a rubber bullet, which destroyed his eye, as well as damaged bones in his cheek and eye socket- in addition to also having caused a neck injury. On the same day, Yazan went through two operations- one to remove his eye, the second to remove the rubber bullet. The family keeps it in a case, and shows it to visitors who come to the home.

Losing an eye must be a horrific experience, but Yazan's suffering did not end there.

Healthcare is free in some parts of the world, but not in most. After the two operations at the Palestinian hospital, Yazan's family received a bill for 40,000 shekels. In Canadian currency, this would be $12,584. A hefty price in Canada, the bill drove Yazan's family into debt.

Prior to being shot, Yazan used to work in a factory, which is owned by the Juneidi Company. His boss told him that with only one eye, he cannot work for them. He was laid off.

A boy's life has been changed forever, and that of his family, because of the violence and injustice that is part of everyday life for people living in Hebron.

Yazan and some of his brothers. His dad is in the red shirt with the black and grey stripes.

The family hosted us for several hours, treating us to black coffee and a cool almond drink. Despite what the family have gone through, their Dad also made sure to mention that there are Jews who come from Israel and other parts of the world to support the Palestinians. Hatred was something that was absent from his talk with us. He is a Muslim, and talked about how Muhammad forgave a man who was Jewish who used to abuse him, and that man then became a Muslim.

We had an interesting though short discussion on Christian and Muslim beliefs, discussing some of our similarities- not exploiting others, keeping from sex outside of marriage- as well as differences. The major difference between Christianity and Islam is how we view Jesus. According to the Quran, He was a prophet of God. We (Christians) believe the Bible's teaching that He is God incarnate, Who came down to earth as the Son. Islam teaches that Jesus was not crucified, but rescued by God and taken to Heaven. The Bible teaches He was crucified, and rose after three days, and that salvation is gained by believing in Him. 

The Bible teaches that while going through horrific pain on the cross, Jesus, who could have called down legions of angels to strike those who were torturing and murdering Him, instead chose to forgive His enemies. Forgiveness is something that Islam and Judaism strongly recommend and encourage. In Christianity, it is not only recommended and encouraged, but also mandatory. Jesus said very clearly that God will not forgive us if we do not forgive others.

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