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Story of Resistance


By Mohammed Matter

The apartheid wall art "To exist is to resist" reads in bold red letters

The apartheid wall art “To exist is to resist” reads in bold red letters

I still regularly keep in touch with people in Gaza. The talk is usually about the lack of electricity, bombs in the night, graduates with no job opportunities, the tight grip of the Hamas government, and walls that are nearly impossible to scale. Yes, mainly they talk about leaving. Leaving Gaza, leaving this prison and dumpster of the world. Many of my friends left like I did, and many more want to.

We wrote this manifesto because we wanted to live. Not because we wanted to be tortured, arrested and sacrificed. No, we are young enough to demand a future for ourselves, and we don’t see a future for us in Gaza right now.

My friends and I were forced to leave by a Gaza that has been made unbearable by violence and arrests through Hamas. A future in Gaza has been robbed from us by a siege that leaves us no jobs or opportunities. Nevertheless, even though we might be leagues apart and spread throughout the world, we will never cease to see a future for Gaza. Palestine, Gaza, that is our land, that is where we belong.

There’s an olive tree in my garden, and I have always dreamed of seeing my children playing under it. Wherever I might be now, one day my children will be playing under this olive tree, in a free Palestine, without fear for their lives, and that is what I will keep fighting for.

Yes, we are weary. But still, my story – and the stories of all the other amazing youth of Gaza – is and always will be a story of resistance, of resilience. Of always coming back to the land we belong to. We carry the hope of a free Gaza, a free Palestine and a future there for us in our hearts, and in our hands, in our daily work.

We struggle every day against our obstacles and for our dreams, and you can see that in all the amazing creativity coming out of Gaza, in our art, poems, writing, videos and songs, you can hear it and meet us in the talks we give all over the world.

Yes, we wrote a manifesto, and maybe that was just the bright and loud outcry of the beginning of a journey, whose path is hard and tiring, thorny and also often very quiet and dark. But it is always there.

So two years later, we say: We will be free. We will live. We will have peace. And we are always out there, fighting our daily struggle, full of the resistance we inherited from a long struggle for Palestine. We live and write and say and sing silent or load manifestos every day. Just listen to us.

—Saturday, October 20, 2012, 1:19 p.m

Matter since writing this story is back in Gaza, and he is being reporting every minute the updates of Gaza Massacre of the latest Israel bloody operations.
Matter also known as Abu Yazan, is  a young political activist from Gaza, founder of Youth Breaks Out (GYBO)  GYBO is a peaceful Palestinian youth movement in Gaza, which gained international attention after publishing a Manifesto in January. Abu Yazan is a leading voice in the movement that is representing a growing number of Gazan youth. The group raises, mainly through new social media like facebook, awareness about the situation under siege for young people in Gaza, and recently called for unity among the Palestinian factions with the aim to target the illegal Israeli occupation. Abu Yazan regularly takes part in demonstrations against the illegal Israeli occupation in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza.

Urgent Call From Gaza


The following letter was posted today by Abu Yazan in the community page Echoes and Voices of Palestine this morning appealing to the international community in general. A message to the world.. #Gaza #GazaUnderAttack
Mohammed Matter 'Abu Yazan'

Mohammed Matter ‘Abu Yazan’, from Gaza, Palestine is a political activist, writer and a member of Gaza Youth Breaks Out movement, known as GYBO (photo/aljazeera.com)

by Mohammed Matter ‘Abu Yazan’

“A message to the world,

Dearest Comrades, Brothers and Sisters, and free people of the world:

The Palestinian people are being exposed to another one of the Israeli occupations aggressions. The occupation offensive continues in Gaza, Palestine, while the blockade never ended. Not only so, settler crimes continue with impunity in the West Bank and Jerusalem, meanwhile land theft and settler expansion persists. An apartheid wall furthermore aids the Judaization of Jerusalem, as the occupation forces continue to arrest thousands of civilians. 6000 men and women have been arrested so far, they have been abused and their human rights violated. Not to mention the destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, and the Palestinian national economy.


The Israeli military occupation has committed and continues to commit a number of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the form of genocide. In doing so, the military occupation is violating the IV GENEVA CONVENTION RELATIVE TO THE PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS IN TIME OF WAR, and a number of other human rights agreements. To this point the Israeli aggression has led to 167 Palestinian civilian deaths, 39 of which are children, with a further 23 women. 1123 civilians have also been injured, the majority of which are women and children, while tens of houses have been destroyed and their occupants killed. Not only so, but a number of key institutions have also been targeted, including civil and government institutions, emergency vehicles, and holy sites.


Friends and Comrades, we urge you along with the rest of the international community, with all its institutions including regional ones, and the various civil society organizations, to go from calls for justice for the Palestinian struggle towards the acceptance of your responsibility as actors in this issue. We urge you to hold Israel legally accountable in both an individual and a collective context, to stop the aggression and alienate via boycotts the Israeli military occupation.
We urge you to collectively work on a global solidarity campaign, the biggest of its kind, to expose the Israeli military occupation and hold it accountable. The continued international silence and the lack of accountability gives the Israeli military occupation impunity and encourages it to commit more atrocities and massacres.

Dearest friends: We as a people people live under occupation, and an apartheid state, without any protections. We urge you to take to the streets, and to protest nonstop as we do, the screaming violations that are inflicted on the Palestinian people. We urge you to demand the end of the occupation and the aggression, and to scream in the face of injustice. We urge you to take a stance against the double standards of your governments and to urge them to commit to their legal and ethical obligations towards protecting civilians in Palestine. We need you and we need your urgent solidarity today, and everyday, to stop the occupations crimes and continued aggression. We urge you towards a serious movement and work and solidarity with our just struggle for justice, dignity and freedom. Finally, we hope that you commit yourself to this call as individuals and/or organizations, and to do so with urgency, for tomorrow maybe a day too late.” Abu Yazan

Mattar wrote in 2012 for Aljazeera his feeling regarding the Manifesto that he and other young bright minds wrote in 2010 exposing Israel, UN, US, and its own government Hamas. The frustration to live in an occupied Land, living under the military boot of Israel under the protection of the UN, US and in large by the international community-leaders- on top of that under the dictatorial hand of Hamas that tried to crashed the movement since the first day arresting and harassing its founders.

It has been almost two years now since we wrote our manifesto. We called it a manifesto, but in reality, I’m not sure what it was, he said.

“Was it a manifesto, or was it a cry for help? Perhaps, an accusation, or even perhaps a demand to the world and to ourselves; a demand for change from the outside and from within.” matter said.
Now he appeals again to the international community, but more that to the leaders to citizens of the world to help them, to raise voices of conscience throughout the world to help to stop the massacre.

Read more on Gaza Youth Breaks Out

From manifesto to reality: ‘Gaza Youth Breaks Out’ member tells his story
“My story is marked by violence, persecution, arrests, abuse and resistance,” writes Matter.

It is almost two years now since we wrote our manifesto. We called it manifesto, but in hindsight, I’m not sure what it was. Was it a manifesto, or was it a cry for help? Perhaps, an accusation. Perhaps, a demand to the world and to ourselves; a demand for change from within and from the outside.

It was before the uprisings began around us, and they have been roaring the last two years; in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Bahrain. But we had felt like shouting in the dark, and while this raging had brought light into the darkness of the dictatorships around us, the night around us has not thinned even a bit. No, if anything, it has only become darker.

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