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Arin the Lion - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Arin Ahmed Shaebat. Remember this name and let us always respect it. This young woman hated Israel and the Israeli occupation but she did not allow her hatred to fester to the extent that she would hate herself. This young lady put on an explosives belt intending to carry out a suicide bombing against the Israelis; however, she did not see it through.

Arin, which means ‘den’ in the Arabic language, justified her decision not to blow herself up in 2002 by saying that she saw a woman pushing a pram that was carrying an Israeli child and at that point, numerous questions flooded her mind, she told Asharq Al-Awsat. Arin is a Palestinian woman who witnesses Israeli oppression everyday with her own eyes, not through the television screen.

Arin said, “Many thoughts and questions [went through my mind] in less than a second…do I have the right to kill this child or anyone else? What kind of authority do I have? Who gave me such authority? What kind of religious authority has God given me to kill?”

But most importantly, Arin told one of our colleagues, “I hated the Jews because they killed innocent people, but I did not want to hate myself.” She added, “I told myself that [if I carried out the bombing] I would be a criminal just like the Israelis who killed Iman Hajju (a four-month old baby in Hebron). I would be just like them.”

This is the message that must reach the entire world. The Palestinians have rights and the Palestinian Cause; they are not terrorists as Israel seeks to portray them. However, it is regrettable that some people only want death from the Palestinians and have no rational limit to demands, all for the sake of agendas that have nothing to do with the Palestinian Cause.

The death of a Palestinian man or woman is an outright disgrace; it cannot be justified in any way. We must support the Palestinians to love life and education and to present their sincere message to the world. We should not cry about Palestinian deaths that have been caused only to return to our daily lives as normal and leave the Palestinians to face an unknown future.

Arin Ahmed Shaebat was not a coward nor was she weak. She has not changed her position on Palestinian rights and most importantly she is not a person who confined herself to narrow political motives; she has criticized both Hamas and Fatah.

For that reason, I call her Arin the Lion as who knows, in the future this woman might give birth to a girl or a boy who will the serve the Cause better than some fake people who talk and cry about Palestine and the Palestinians insincerely.

There is no doubt that the praise that Arin received from the former Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer who said, “You took [back] your life and gave other people theirs,’ will not please her nor will it change a thing, because if the Israelis were sincere they would have understood her noble message.

However, we, as Arabs, should appreciate and support Arin to make hers a voice for the defenseless Palestinians who believe in their noble cause and are aware of the importance of Palestinians having a strong education and dignity in order to reach that dream of a state. If we do not then that must mean that we want this rational, courageous, sincere voice to be drowned out by the screams and to be lost by those who trade in the Palestinian Cause and the blood of Palestinians. Wasn’t it Khaled Meshaal who said that Hamas was victorious [despite] the number of Palestinian victims?

When Arin Ahmed met a colleague from our newspaper for an interview, she said to him, “It looks like we’re going to get in trouble.” Of course what she meant was that many people would not like what she had to say. Shall we prove her wrong and show her support to make her one of the sincere voices in support of the Palestinian Cause or should we tell her that we’re only interested in those who corrupt the Palestinian Cause?

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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