She stood singing in a low voice in her humble kitchen, making a cup of tea, putting it on the sitting-room table, assigning her mobile device to her knees, and logging into her account on the social networking site “Facebook”, in her nickname “Free Palestinian.”
The 27-year-youth activist Rana, from Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, chose for herself this fictitious name, escaping from a reality that forced her to do so, after she was summoned to the police station against the backdrop of the publication of the posts, describing her as “daring”.
“I worked as a volunteer in many institutions and associations, participated in activities, events and sit-ins, and was the most close to the issues on the Palestinian scene, and participated in many of the posts against Division, hoping to complete reconciliation”, she said.
It complements: “The Palestinian arena has been plagued by rival factions and parties, and the factional decline has reached a situation in which the Palestinian cause and the interests of the Palestinian people have been dwarfed, and the factional self has swelled, and the country has entered into a deep crisis due to the invocation of partisan politics”.
Rana and the likes of the Palestinian youth saw the need to rise up and participate through the virtual world and the ground, through sit-ins and the launching of the political and partisan relations and the split, and call for the unity of the Palestinian class, but was shocked in the silence of the mouths that say the word of truth.
Following in lump: “Fear of summons and arrest, is the reason for concealing a pseudonym, through which I express my thoughts, and the free and daring events around me”.
Rana is drawn around her. The fear began to look at her face, saying: “When I was summoned by security in the Gaza Strip, I went to investigate, and I was accused of having incited me to write and attack the government”.
She swallowed her saliva. “I defended myself and denied all the accusations that were leveled at me, and I came out of the reward for disappointment”.
Rana was astonished and surprised, when the investigator warned her about writing the posts, describing her family and father as the respectable one who smudged their good reputation with their diabolical actions – as he described it.
Hold on to the cup of tea and discover, with a sigh of succession: “My family has reprimanded me and warned me about writing about politics, and my father threatened me with depriving me of work, participating in community activities and sit-ins, and swore to make me trapped in the house, if it were rewritten and summoned for investigation”.
The weakness and helplessness crept into the same Rana, and began to collapse and to lose the ability to confront, when she was forced to sign a non-publication pledge against the government, in exchange for her release, where that pledge was prepared by the security officers after the investigation, and was not allowed to read it well and to reflect on its provisions.
Her fingers moved lightly on her laptop’s keyboard, and she stopped: “I faced many obstacles, from the closest people to me, I felt annoyed by their reaction to me, and I knew if I continued this way I would lose the rest of my positive energy and the negativity will be replaced, so I chose an alias to speak through”.
Activist Rana challenged parents and friends to write leaflets on social media sites, refrained from answering abusive comments, and ignored threatening messages by breaching her account.
“Rana” regrets the situation: “With this nickname I feel like I am in a masquerade, he is the one who is in need, and the evil of the enemies of the word who multiply to keep our mouths shut”.
It appears that the advance of “Rana”, to sit for a long time without movement, removed its mobile device from its stone, modified its session, and left the desire to share its true name with its followers, exercise its right to express its opinion without fear, and respect the accession of the State of Palestine to the International Covenant on Civil rights and political rights in 2014, article 19 of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to hold opinions without interference.
This story was released within the project “Young Women Advocate Their Rights as Human Rights” @ 2018