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Reflections on the Boston Social Forum

August 2004

When I first stood on the stage at the Boston Social Forum and saw the huge number of people who had come, all that was in my mind at that moment was: How can I deliver with my simple words the message of all the Palestinian people? How can I carry their pain, their suffering, the terrible situation they are living in, and the humiliation they go through in their everyday life? What does occupation really mean? What does it do to our lives, when no mercy is shown by the occupier to anyone, neither to our children nor to our old men?

I have to say too how flattered I felt when I saw the great number of panels and workshops at the Forum raising one of the main issues for us nowadays in Palestine, which is the existence of the Apartheid Wall and its illegality. That gave me a very warm feeling. It showed me that the world is waking up and becoming more aware of our case and of what is going on in Palestine.

The BSF was a very good chance to meet and communicate with different organizations and individuals from all over the world. There were people from many different backgrounds. Representing the Democracy and Workers Rights Center, speaking about its mission and the role it plays in supporting democracy and workers’ rights in Palestine, I caught the attention of many other organizations and donors who showed interest in knowing more about the DWRC. They also showed their will to stand beside us and support our mission.

The BSF gave participants the opportunity to get a wider look at events taking place around the world, and to learn how they could intervene in policy and decision making. This is especially true as the Forum coincided with the Democratic Convention for the U.S. presidential elections campaign. During the election, everyone in the U.S. has a role to play and a contribution to make in changing the situation not just in Palestine, but anywhere in this world where justice is not applied.

People who are struggling for a more just world need many different kind of support, be they political, moral, or financial. They are all vital in the struggle for a more peaceful and democratic world. Working together, making connections and strengthening those bonds are the keys to making that world a reality.

I really appreciate all the efforts and the support that was provided by Grassroots International. You showed again that you are real partners to us by allowing us to attend the Boston Social Forum and share our experiences with the world.


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