Lavinia Moore (SA) writes letter to the people in Gaza to be taken on US flotilla 2Jun11 June 2, 2011

Dear friends,

I want to tell you a story about myself that I shall attempt to make relevant for all of you in occupied Palestine.

My first memory of being aware of a place called Palestine was a fleeting reference to it when I was looking at photographs of my father at Aleppo during the Second World War. He talked of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. There were no explanations to me about why he was there, or who he was fighting for. In Australia we were just told that Australian soldiers fought for us. And for most people, that was an adequate explanation.

I, however, was a child who was not satisfied. I always asked why. And was told by my father- many times- “that’s the way things are”, or “that is the way the world is” and “you can’t do anything about it”.

Later my mother told me the story about when I was born. I was a breach birth baby, with crooked legs that didn’t seem to want to straighten. My mother was told that I would need iron callipers to walk. That I would be a cripple.

Many years later as a single mother with two small children and no money, and no profession with which to earn a living to support them, I was told that any thought of getting a University degree and a profession was an unrealistic dream. For someone like me who hadn’t finished high school, and who had no money, to go back to school and then to University was an impossibility.

The truth of my story is this.

Because a nurse at the hospital didn’t give up when she saw my mother’s distress and bound my crooked leg against the straight one, lo and behold the leg straightened enough for me to be able to walk- without those leg irons.

Because I ignored the “fact” that it would be impossible for me to matriculate and then graduate from University, I chose to walk miles at night to study high school and won a scholarship that permitted me to be able to attend the University. I graduated, and from then on was able to earn a reasonable income and support my children, one of whom now is a medical specialist.

And I have never lost the habit of asking why.

“Why Palestine?” is one of my most frequently asked questions.

Another question now that should be asked, with the so-called “Arab spring” still gathering momentum, is “Why not Palestine?”

And remember Spring comes to us EVERY YEAR.

I believe that Palestine’s spring will blossom, year after year, once the world recognises that Palestinians too should finally be permitted to be free.

My best wishes to all on the flotilla and to every brother and sister in Gaza.

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