From Earth to Earth

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Sometimes I teach sumud but many times I learn more from the experienced women with whom I am working. Melvina ‘Awwad (80) was a cherished friend, a long-time member of the Bethlehem Sumud Choir, a song and poetry writer, and always active in the Sumud Story House, from the very start. Melvina taught us, women, a lot about sumudfrom her own experience. She passed away on Sunday 19 April. Many of you will remember her, if not personally, at least her very lively and smiling face.

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 Melvina on the right side

She narrated the following story the very last time she was at the Sumud Story House.

“Once at the House we were asked to go out of the room where we usually meet, and go into the garden. I was so surprised! When looking at the garden I thought about our lives and what we were passing through. I praised the Lord and thanked Him for all the good things He had created with wisdom. Then I tried to connect my life with God through all things He created. In the garden were some trees, and I told the women what these trees meant to me: ‘These trees are our roots, our history and our sumud. We can’t neglect and uproot our roots and our Palestinian history. It is impossible to leave this land as long as we still have sumud, faith and hope’. Trees pass through many stages, from seeds, to roots, the tree, the leaves, the fruits and... then back to earth. All human beings go from earth to earth. Peace and sumud to you, my beloved friends and sisters.”

That’s what she said.

Keep peace and hope in your heart.

Rania Murra


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