Below is a letter written by an 11-year-old Palestinian student living in Qatar address to British Prime Minister Theresa May who is planning to attend a celebration of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
To Her Excellency Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Ms Theresa May
I hope you are well.
I have recently read about your British and Israel celebration of the one hundred years of the Balfour Declaration for Israel to occupy Palestine (which is not actually Balfour’s property). After that, an ocean of sadness and death flooded Palestine. To be completely honest, I do not understand why you would celebrate that day with pride. Are you proud of causing the Palestinians to be homeless? Are you proud of stealing peace from the Palestinians’ hearts, souls and minds without having the right to do that?
I live in Qatar, and I do have a lot of British friends, and I am in a British school. I am only eleven years old, but diving into the future, I realise that when my friends and I have graduated, they would all move back to their homeland. However, I would have no home to return to.
Although I have never set foot in Palestine due to Israel grabbing it away, my grandfather told me a lot of stories about what life in Palestine was like back then. He talked about the village that he used to live in; a village named Al-Burayj. It was a very pleasant village, but now it is a store full of weapons. It is not only about my grandfather and my village. It is also about the rest of the Palestinians that were kicked out of their own villages, and now many of them live in wretched, gloomy and miserable camps. I’m certain you know the agony that happens in Palestinian camps.
In fact, I feel that it is heavily confusing that you have refused to apologise, as even apologising is not enough. Palestine will not return to how it used to be by just doing that, because bringing it back would need a lot of effort from the international community.
Above all, you have placed a new obstacle in the road of peace because you are planning to celebrate a centenary that led to injustice for many people.
Nevertheless, the hope will always live inside us. Thus as an eleven-year-old, there is not much that I can do, but I will always seek a way to help Palestine. Therefore, that is why I am writing this letter to you. I would like to ask you on behalf of all oppressed Palestinians to cancel this shameful celebration.
I hope you take my request into thought and consideration
Sherborne Qatar School