Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Arabs and Jews unite in fight to save baby 'Peace'|
|02/13/02 at 00:49:09|
I saw this article but was a bit hesitant to post it, because of the mention of the "honor killing" some people might view this and think of Islam in a very negative way. Yet Islam reject "honor killing" despite what people in the muslim world might think of this Jahily tradition and as one Sheykh puts it, people are amazing,they dont give Islam to their kidds and when they elope, they are punish for it.
Arabs and Jews unite in fight to save baby 'Peace'
By Phil Reeves in Bethlehem
09 February 2002
By all the unforgiving rules of war, religious prejudice and Middle East politics, the survival of Salaam Salaam, a baby girl whose name means "Peace", is a near-miracle.
She could so easily have died shortly after her birth when, ill and underweight, she was dumped on a rubbish tip in the West Bank last summer. Her ability to withstand open- heart surgery a fortnight ago was far from certain .
And yet she soldiered on, a miniature, scarred figure on a large bed in an Israeli hospital intensive care unit and living testimony that human decency survives in a region awash with hatred. For Salaam Salaam, who is Palestinian, owes her life to Muslims, Christians and Jews. At the height of a conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives, many of them children, both sides have come together to help her.
She was born about eight months ago. Why she was abandoned on a heap of rubbish beside the road that runs north from Ramallah to Nablus is unclear. But her mother was almost certainly unmarried, and feared for her own life.
Illegitimacy is taboo in much of the Arab world. Women who give birth out of wedlock risk being murdered by male relatives, enraged by what they see as an offence to family honour. The threat is so great that Palestinian police sometimes arrest women for their own safety. Several years ago a pregnant middle-aged widow from the West Bank was hunted down while in hiding by her brother, who fatally poisoned her and her unborn child.
Salaam Salaam was lucky. After being abandoned, she was rescued and taken to a hospital in Tulkarm, run by the Palestinian Authority. Several months later, she was transferred south to Bethlehem to the Creche of the Holy Family. This is an orphanage run by Catholic nuns, the Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, under the auspices of the Knights of Malta, an order dedicated to helping the poor that dates back to the Crusades.
When the nuns took her in, she weighed about 2kg (4.4lb). "She was very thin, just a little cabbage," said Sister Sophie, the orphanage's director. The nuns named her "Salaam".
She was clearly ill. They took her for X-rays, which revealed heart defects. As the Palestinians lack the facilities and expertise for complex heart surgery on infants, their children are sometimes sent to Israel for treatment. Arrangements were made for her to have an operation at Hadassah hospital in west Jerusalem.
Her bill – £390 for every day in intensive care – is being paid by foreign donors. Her Israeli surgeon, Dr Eli Milgalter, waived his operation fees. Foreign expatriates supplied her with blood, although offers from several Europeans were refused for fear of BSE contamination.
Salaam Salaam's story is full of the absurd contradictions of war. In October, as the nuns were feeding her up to make her strong enough to be operated on by Israeli doctors, the Israeli army invaded Bethlehem, killing more than a dozen Palestinians. Three tank shells landed within yards of the orphanage, which houses 90 small children. On one occasion, an Israeli tank opened up with its machine-gun on the maternity hospital next door.
When Sister Sophie, who is Lebanese, went to visit Salaam Salaam this week she was forced to wait more than an hour to pass through the Israeli military checkpoints between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
The children of the 16-month conflict have been treated with appalling brutality. Young lives are carelessly snuffed out with such frequency that their deaths nowadays often pass unreported. Palestinian children have been shot dead by Israeli troops, blown apart by booby-trap bombs and killed by shrapnel from tank shells and helicopter missiles.
Newborns have died at military checkpoints because the Israeli army refused to allow their mothers to get to hospital. When you include those maimed, the number of victims runs into many thousands.
Though the number of their dead is smaller than the Palestinians' by two-thirds, Israeli children have been attacked several times by Palestinian armed groups. In November 2000, guerrillas bombed a school bus in Gaza. Most of the 21 youngsters killed by a Hamas suicide bomber outside a Tel Aviv disco last June were still in their teens. So were most of the 10 people killed by two Hamas suicide bombers in Jerusalem in December.
For those treating Salaam Salaam, her case offers a flicker of light. "I hope this can do some good," said Noa Tuval, an Israeli nurse, "But that's not why I am doing this. I am doing it because she is a child, just like any other."
Yet it is no more than a flicker. While Salaam Salaam lay in her hospital bed on Thursday, with a nun from the orphanage at her side round-the-clock, an 11-year-old Israeli girl was being buried, having been shot by a gunman in the Jordan valley. And yet another Palestinian stone-thrower, a boy aged 14, was wounded by a rubber- coated metal bullet fired from close range by an Israeli soldier. And that was just one day.
The only thing which come to my mind was a young woman, deep at night, with her head on her pillow,being in turmoil and sorrow over her first born, maybe, who is far away and will be raised as a Christian, and who for the rest of her life will have to leave with that big secret burried deep in her.It's very sad. May He forgive her and bless her heart and soul.Amin
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