Qaanitah Hunter – June 29, 2012
A news briefing yesterday morning made me rethink my goals and morals drastically. Head of News in the Cii News room, Azhar Vadi, randomly said, “Your chances of going to Palestine are very slim,” as he continued the discussion about the upcoming events of the day. This made me think.
Over the last year during my tenure in the Cii newsroom, I focused a lot of my attention on Palestine. Obviously my colleagues have been at it for much longer, but particularly on the hunger strike issue I tried my best to expose the apartheid nature of Israel.
Hence when I typed my name into Google (not out of conceit of course) and I typed the word Israel, a score of articles popped up. So well even Google, who hasn’t even met me, knows that the Palestinian cause is close to my heart. Just to clarify, I am no altruistic saint but I have a strong inclination towards being part of the emancipation of Palestine.
So naturally it has been my ardent prayer to visit the 3rd Holiest Masjid and the first Qibla all my life and it is yet to materialise. I would love to prostrate in the place where all the Ambiyah (as) placed their blessed foreheads and witness the majestic remnants of history.
This Hadith rekindles my desire: Abdullah Ibn Umar (ra) relates, I asked the Prophet (saw), “Apostle of Allah, tell us the legal injunction about (visiting) Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem).” The Apostle of Allah (saw) said, “Go and pray there. If you cannot visit it and pray there, then send some oil to be used in the lamps”. (Al Bukhari)
Anyways my meager part in the call to free Palestine may jeopardise my chances of living a lifelong dream. The thought flashed past me that perhaps I should take a back seat now. Perhaps I should focus on other lesser important topics like Zuma or Helen Zille. “I need to stop writing articles that are inflammatory. I need to play it safe,” I told myself.
But at the Zionist march for Israel there was secret security officer shadowing me and a Zionist photographer taking keen interest in capturing me. “You are now profiled, they know who you are,” my colleagues joked.
So apparently it’s a little too late to turn back. But later in the day I began feeling guilty.
Was I prepared to give up my little, absolutely modest, contribution to the Palestinian struggle for a chance to visit Palestine? Was I being selfish? I felt that I was. There is a greater struggle and my visit to the holy lands can be compromised now towards a greater goal. Ultimately it is all in the hands of Allah and I have come to understand the risk I am taking. I also now understand that my sincerity is being tested.
I will visit the holy lands, with will of Allah. If I am hindered now, I believe one day Al Quds will be liberated and I will perform a prayer in the land of the prophets. I am just a minute piece of a bigger picture.
Tags: Israel, journalists, Palestine, Qaanitah Hunter