Words of Rani Burnat

I was born in the village of Bil’in in 1981. Bil’in is a small, poor Palestinian village in the West Bank. In the past there were less than one thousand inhabitants in the village. Most of them make their living from agriculture. Some work in Israel, some in Palestine and a few in the civil service.

I began to go to school in 1987 and completed primary school in Bil’in. I then proceeded to go to a high school in the neighboring village. Upon my completion of 10th grade I moved to a vocational school, El Kouds in Elram junction. I completed my high school studies with honors, majoring in electronics, which was my favorite since childhood.

I began to work while waiting to hear from one of the universities or colleges to receive higher education in my profession, but the occupation put an end to that.

On September 30th 2000 I participated in a parade to protest Sharon’s entrance to the Al Aqsa Mosque. While we approached area B, a vast number of soldiers were waiting for us in the surrounding buildings and started to shoot live ammunition. They wounded and killed us, protestors whose only ammunition was their will.

I was badly wounded and was announced as a martyr after a bullet hit my neck and my back, damaging the third and forth spinal vertebra. I w

Rani and Hanadi Burnat with their 3 children

as paralyzed, lost my memory and could not speak. After a year of treatment and rehabilitation I was forced to remain in a wheelchair.

I live in a wheelchair, but it does not limit me from saying NO to the occupation, saying NO to oppression, and saying NO to injustice, slavery and bloodshed. I continue to say YES to peace, freedom, liberty and independence. I still participate in the protests we organize with Israeli and foreign activists who come to express solidarity with us. We protest against the racist wall, land confiscation and settlement construction. I am in front of the parade with my camera, with which I capture photographs. These photos are a tool in my struggle against injustice and those who responsible for it. I have been wounded numerous times from rubber bullets and shock grenades.

My injury has not stopped me from continuing my life like other people. I decided to get married and I had the good fortune to find a suitable girl who was able to understand my situation and agreed to become engaged to me. Our marriage happened on 10/25/2008, and after one year God has blessed us and given us triplets (a boy and two daughters) on 28/10/2009. despite the harsh conditions and the increasing burdens of life, I’m still a believer in justice and determined to continue resistance until we gain our freedom and independence.

Together we all continue to struggle, with our writing and photography, to secure ourselves and our children lives full of love, peace, and safety.

Rani Bornat
raniab281@yahoo.com

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One Response to Words of Rani Burnat

  1. Mohamed says:

    Salam from Berlin,

    I am proud beeing a Palestinian when I see Palestinians with such a huge courage and will.
    Mohamed from Berlin

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