2 June 2011

Is there still Hope?

Photograph by Sam Contis who also owns the cactus, which is a piece of art by Naomi Safran-Hon. The text in the image is by Hannah Safran. All rights reserved.

I received this photo today by email from a good friend of mine, Hannah Safran.
In the subject line, she wrote: "44 years against the occupation."
In the body of the email, she wrote: "the cactus grows inside the cement. is there still hope?"

The picture and the words can be interpreted in two contradicting ways.
When I first saw the picture and read the words, I felt sad. Something heavy settled in my stomach. Why? Because cement in this context connotes death for me - the solid end. And for a cactus to grow inside the cement - well, I thought to myself, it must have been out of desperation.

Then I closed the computer, went to bed, couldn't sleep, came back here, opened the email again, and read the words once again:
"the cactus grows inside the cement. is there still hope?"
I lingered on every word. The cactus is growing. It's growing. Yes, it's growing in the cement, but growing. Meaning that the cactus has not lost hope. On the contrary, this is one hell of a cactus! Won't give up! Life is so precious to it that it makes roots even in cement! It's rootedness - what we call SUMUD.

Then the other part of the sentence, "is there still hope?"
Well, let me tell you something! I have plans for a better tomorrow. If I didn't have dreams of a better tomorrow, then there would be no reason for me to be here.
And what is the alternative, anyway? To lose hope? Now that's the scary part. I don't even want to imagine what would happen if we do lose hope...

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