By Al Qalam Reporter
A Palestinian girl, Ahed Tamimi (16) who became the poster child of the Palestinian resistance has arrived in South Africa – with four other children and their families – for a countrywide tour to promote “Palestine for Peace and Human Rights.”
They were warmly welcomed by their hosts and dozens of Palestine supporters, when they landed at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo Airport on Wednesday morning.
Bond-haired Ahed and her friend Janna Ayyad are featured in an award-winning documentary called “Radiance of Resistance” that captures their lives under Occupation. The pro-Israel media dubbed her “Shirley Temper” because of her fiery demeanor – and her resemblance to Shirley Temple, the famous 1940’s child actress. The docu-film will be screened at venues across South Africa wherever they make their appearance.
While growing up in her West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, she had taken on armed Israeli soldiers twice her size by shaking her fists to their faces.
A video of the teen biting and hitting a masked and armed Israeli soldier, who had gripped her then 12-year-old brother around the neck, went viral across the world. Her courage won her an award for bravery in Istanbul – and personally handed to her by Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The “Shamsaan Children of Palestine Peace Tour” is a collaborative initiative hosted by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Palestine Solidarity Alliance, South African Jews for a Free Palestine, Awqaf SA and a range of other groups.
Shamsaan (meaning 2 Suns in Arabic) is a project intended to promote arts and culture as a platform for dialogue and social change in view of the fact that children especially suffer trauma arising from the constant conflict that surrounds them. To highlight the plight of Palestinian children caught in the crosshairs of conflict, a special “Shamsaan Palestine’s Children Art Calendar” will also be launched during the month long tour.
It profiles 13 young Palestinians aged between 5 and 16 years old. Their triumph over adversity is reflected through artwork, photographic portraits and life stories are set against articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that should be protecting them. The 2017 Shamsaan Calendar has rallied international support and was translated into Italian, Turkish and Arabic enjoying good sales in several countries. A 2018 calendar will be launched in South Africa during their stay. Messages from renowned struggle stalwart Ahmed Kathrada and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights 2009 -2014 Navi Pillay are included.
The Palestinian children and their families will participate in a variety of activities that include tree planting, inter-faith activities, visit township schools, and art exhibitions.
To check the schedule of their tour to your area, visit www.freepalestine.co.za