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Palestinian Student's Heartfelt Letter to Obama

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Birzeit University, north of Ramallah. Photo: Pamela Olson

by Meryl Ann Butler

President Obama plans to visit Palestine in June in the quest for peace in the Middle East.  

An instructor at Birzeit University - the most prestigious university in Palestine - recently gave a class of English students an intriguing  assignment: after they had researched President Obama’s foreign policy on the Middle East, they were to compose a letter to him.

21-year old Salem Nazzal, who says he has been fascinated with the English language since he was a little child, took the assignment to heart in his letter, below:

Dear Mr. President:

First of all, I congratulate you on your new position. I congratulate you for the actualization of the American dream, the dream of black people and the dream of Martin Luther King Jr.

Sorry, Mr. President, I did not see the inauguration ceremony.  At that moment while you were being inaugurated, I was busy watching the war on Gaza and numbering the victims of children, mothers, and fathers.

You are one of the dreamers. You are the one who achieved the long held dream of the American black people who were suffering for hundreds of years ...

Palestinians also have a dream. I’m Palestinian.  I still have hope to get to my dream, to live in peace in an independent state as you have ...

But I wonder how to get that dream, knowing that you support Israel in everything — like the man who led America prior to you.  

During the war on Gaza you said, “Israel has the right to self-defense...”

What is the right you are talking about?

Is it the right to brutality or the right to kill children and steal lands in Gaza and the West Bank?

And you want more peace, but what kind of peace?

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing for over 25 years. She studied art with Harold Ransom Stevenson in Sea Cliff NY for seven years before opening her own art school. Stevenson had (more...)

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the authors letter states the wishes of all decent... by liberalsrock on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 9:37:26 AM
Very, very touching and sad.  Too bad Obama w... by Sister Begonia on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 3:17:34 PM
Please Please help these people who have persecute... by Barbara Mason on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 7:34:17 PM
WE NEED TO INFORM OUR GOVERNMENT, BECAUSE THEY APP... by bucketslogg on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 5:00:40 PM
Mr. Nazzal has my utmost respect and admiration.&n... by Bob on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 1:10:43 AM
to Op-Ed. Your first comment is excellent and sub... by Elizabeth Molchany on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 2:06:11 PM
I was gratified to receive this in an email from t... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 10:01:29 AM
Anyway that your contact at the university can pas... by Sister Begonia on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 1:34:02 PM
Yes, WOW, Thank you Meryl Ann for bringing this ou... by G Achin on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 2:07:03 PM
While our craven so-called leaders in congress. th... by bucketslogg on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 3:48:06 PM
The United States has become Israel's lap dog ... by Dave Kisor on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 8:22:51 PM
What a depiction of the state we are in.  The ins... by Danna on Friday, May 8, 2009 at 9:54:26 AM