Our Mission


Photo Album

Happy Birthday Shaden

By: Saed Abu-Hijleh (Nablus, Palestine)
February 15th, 2004

Today Nablus is covered with snow

A marked change from the color red

Yesterday was Valentine's Day

Up all night and I could not go to bed

Thinking of love lost

And words I shouldn't have said

But if it is cold Outside

I must stay warm Inside

And remind my soul of the goal ahead

A face I must meet at my journey's end

A paradise with nothing in disguise

Where true love is no more veiled

Shaden in the beginning and Shaden at the end

A wife, mother, grandmother, and a friend

The bullets of hate did not stop the birth

Of love on this planet

And the candle I will light

Will glow despite

The darkness of "their" souls

Illuminating the path of emancipation

For the wretched of the earth.

Forty Days

Forty days have passed since my soul left the land of Canaan on a Phoenician ship.

Forty days have passed since the start of this mystical trip.

When will you return?

Without you I will not know the road to the Land of Love.

When will you return?

Without you I cannot see my face in the mirror of pride and grace.

You left and left your leaving in me!

You left and left no one but you in me!

You left and asked me to stay,

"Goodbye my dear" you didn't say,

For the day we will meet everyday I pray.

Oh Allah creator of all, only you can return my soul.

Make me my Lord worthy of her return,

In the furnace of thy love my sins please burn.

Shaden, the youngest deer.

Shaden, the reason I am here.

Shaden, the music I hear.

Shaden, the death of fear.

Shaden, not far but near.

Shaden, my dearest dear.

Shaden, My Beloved Mom.

Shaden my den,

Mother of Lana & three young men.

Shaden the wife of Jamal,

Daughter of Um Nidal,

Grandmother of Zina, Nadia, and Yasmin,

Mother of the oppressed and the poor,

Your soul will remain free and pure.

With the blessing of Almighty the ship will reach,

To the desired safety of heaven's beach.

Saed Abu-Hijleh (Nablus, Palestine)
November 21, 2002


What remains of her are images
That have faded some with time.
One image, in particular
Is etched into my mind.

Even though I was not there with her
To watch the scene unfold,
The images are clear to me
From the stories I’ve been told.

She sits on steps on which I spent
Many evenings as a child;
Steps on which my family sang
And danced and talked and smiled.

The image of her smiling is, in fact, the one I see,
As my beloved aunt was murdered there
And taken away from me.

No longer will I hear her voice
In laughter or in song--
The image is more evidence
That things have gone so wrong.

And I never knew this heart of mine
Could ache without an end,
As if the love that it’s meant to feel
Might never come again.
I never knew how misery could tear our lives apart
Until I got the image
Of a bullet in her heart.

Although the pain has lost its edge
As I live another day,
The image of her dying there
Seems not to go away.

And I feel so helpless sitting here
And I don’t know what to do
And so I sing to release the pain
Of what we’ve all been through.

Because I don’t believe this heart of mine
Should ache until my end;
She didn’t live her life that way;
It’s not the message she would send.

In fact, I feel her smiling now
As she comforts me in light;
Her message sent so lovingly
To not give up the fight
As long as people live in fear
Of dying in their homes,
And all the world seems not to hear
The songs we sing alone.

by: Soha Al Jurf

Palestinian Superman!

You must be Superman to be a real man in Palestine...
You must use all your senses 24-hours a day in order to stay...
You must hear the gunfire, then the screams that fade away...
You must see the blood, again and again, and still see red...
You must hold the barbwires in your hand and smile for the elderly woman trying to bypass the Israeli checkpoint...
You must smell the teargas and cry as if there aren't enough tears in this "Holy Land'...
You must taste the humiliation and eat Nabulsi sweets all in the same day... And...
And still think of the olives and thyme...
And think of ways to end this endless crime...
Oh my beloved... do we still have time...
To hold hands and kiss... and raise our children in a cosmic bliss...

Saed J. Abu-Hijleh
Nablus, Occupied Palestine
January 2003


beauty came to rest its feet

on verdant, flowered soil
it called itself Shaden
and those she touched knew joy

she sheltered weak and strong alike
in cloaks of light and peace
and when the meek were wronged by might
she raised her voice in speech

then one fading day with a calm, gentle spirit
Shaden slipped away.
Shaden soared away.

above the heaving earth she soared
as it weeped for its beauty's passing.
but Shaden smiled from a loftier perch,
for she saw a new justice massing

Julie Ohlendorf
November 2002


To whom this poet shall read,
To whom shall he write?
To you? To I who is always shy?
To earth, to sky?
To the living lie?
To endless search for love lost?
To minuets and hours inside the belly of the beast? To West or East?
To friends who treaded this thorny path, bled and smiled and went away?
To secrets hidden and revealed, to visions across this lonely field?
To truth remaining after we die?

Ask not the bullets where they come from,
Watch them weep in the air,
They have seen his eyes, his smile, his hair.
He was all of life? But life after he fell remained!
Haunting those of us who silently watched.

Saed J. Abu-Hijleh
Nablus, Occupied Palestine
August 2002

My Fast Bike (El Boskolait Al Saree3ee)

I rode my bike,
He rode his F-16 and tank,
I sang my song,
He shot me and gained his rank.

I am the terrorist, he is the victim!
I am a martyr now and did not go to school,
He is the civilized one and I am the fool.

No matter what I say, his story is right,
Everyday he tells you "terrorism we fight."
My tree uprooted, my house blown,
My land confiscated, my grandmothers moan...
I am imprisoned, they cut my flesh, they break my bone...

Do not kill me today I have a better option,
Let us race and see who is faster,
The one who wins will become master,
You on your tank I on the bike,
He who reaches first to the Land of Love,
Will tell the story for the coming generation.

Saed J. Abu-Hijleh
Nablus, Occupied Palestine
September 2002


Beloved Sisters and Brothers,

Sixty five days and counting,
Anger in my being is mounting.

Sixty five days and counting,
The child in me is shouting:
I want to run, to fly, to sing, to cry,
To walk, talk, write on the blackboard with a chalk:
"End this bloody occupation..."

Sixty five days and counting,
Nablus the city of goodness,
A wounded witness to this “bloody occupation...”

No need for wake up calls,
The tanks come on time,
Go on time,
And leave you no time to plan your time…
But can these tanks kill the thyme… of Ebal and Jirzim?

Kneel to these monsters they tell us everyday,
But only to Allah we kneel when we pray,
Another sixty five thousand days will not change what I say.

Tanks do not grow on mountains but olives do.
Tanks do not grow on mountains but Palestinians do.
I am an olive and my blood is oil,
My flesh is this sacred soil,
My breath the wind of the Mediterranean,
My eyes make the sea blue.

Sixty five days and the fascist can go to hell,
The mosque will say Allah Akbar,
The Church will ring its bell.

Saed J. Abu-Hijleh
Nablus, Occupied Palestine
August 2002

My Beloved,

18,934,560 Minutes have passed since Sindbad started his worldly journey.

Sindbad did not reach his destination yet.
Sometimes he feels that he never left.
How many faces he met?
How many choices he made? How many bets he bet?
How many times was he caught in the enemy’s net?
How many times he won? How many times he lost?
How many candles he extinguished? How may candles he lit?
How many times they tried to convince him to take his rest?
How many times they told him to abandon his ship and build a palace like the rest?
How many times they told him: sell your soul and you will be the best?
How many times they told him: think of yourself and forget the rest?

My beloved,

For you I travel, your face I seek.
Your heart is my sea, your breath my wind;
Your eyes my gate to my soul.

For you I travel, your face I seek.
In you all journeys end; from you all journeys start.

Have I lost the blessing of your secret?

((315,576 Hours))

315,576 hours of searching for the unknown
I searched for you in you but I did not find you
I searched for me in you but I did not find me
I did not find you at the end of the road &
I did not find you at the beginning of the road . . .
But how and when did we meet?

I searched for your eyes everywhere
In the deserts of life
In the sea
On the train . . .
Inside my soul
"All in all, it is just another brick in the wall" . . .

But Sindbad is made to transcend all walls . . .
And, again, as my dear Bob Marley said:
"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,
Non but ourselves can free our minds" . . .

So, 315,576 hours of searching . . .
And the search continues ----------- >
Despite the curfew, the guns and tanks, the barbwires, and betrayal…!

Saed J. Abu-Hijleh
Nablus, Occupied Palestine
August 2002

Beloved Sisters and Brothers, Relatives, Friends, and Collegaues,
This is a poem by Jalal Al Din Al Rumi:

My heart, sit only with those
who know and understand you.
Sit only under a tree
that is full of blossoms.
In the bazaar of herbs and potions
don't wander aimlessly
find the shop with a potion that is sweet
If you don't have a measure
people will rob you in no time.
You will take counterfeit coins
thinking they are real.
Don't fill your bowl with food from
every boiling pot you see.
Not every joke is humorous, so don't search
for meaning where there isn't one.
Not every eye can see,
not every sea is full of pearls.
My heart, sing the song of longing
like nightingale.
The sound of your voice casts a spell
on every stone, on every thorn.
First, lay down your head
then one by one
let go of all distractions.
Embrace the light and let it guide you
beyond the winds of desire.
There you will find a spring and nourished by its waters
like a tree you will bear fruit forever.

Rumi: The Hidden Music
by Maryam Mafi & Azima Melita Kolin

Beloved Friends, Relatives, and Colleagues

In silence we live, and in silence we die,
Humanity is not even shy.
Curfew from the beginning of time,
Curfew till the end of time,
Curfew, and few care.
Curfew in my cup of coffee,
in drinking water, and in the air.

Twenty days and counting,
Twenty days and waiting,
Twenty days and no one came on a white horse,
Twenty days, yes, maybe, I suppose.

In these words I shall say what CNN,
ABC, CBS, won’t say.

In these words I shall document,
Three million souls in torment,
Six million eyes looking at the skies,
For salvation they pray.

The truth is here, love might come later!
But who am I to say! Are my words louder than tank shells?

Saed J. Abu-Hijleh
Nablus, Occupied Palestine
July 2002

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

In an endless search to understand the endless pain,
and the reasons why, Sindbad is still gathering pieces of the puzzel.

A voice from nowhere told him: "You cannot make a decision until the
picture is complete..."

"But what if I could not find all the pieces? Or if some pieces did not
exist in the first place?"

How would Sindbad know, and would his search last forever ?!

"Everything has a beginning and an end," the voice said.

"Where is the beginning of my soul, and where is its end?" Sindbad

This debate raged for a while inside his head...
Then he rose from his bed, and left the house... at least for a while...

Maybe he'll receive a clue from someone he knew,
Or from Yasmina, whom he did not see for a while,
Or from someone or something new...

The unknown is here till dawn,
Tomorrow is another day,
May we all pray that the sun will rise again,
that love conquers all,
that our shadows will remain,
on this White Paper,
on Olive Trees, on Land and Seas,
on Mediterranean Wind...

Saed J. Abu-Hijleh
Nablus, Occupied Palestine
May 2001

Dear Friends and Relatives,

I am writing to you after a long period of silence.... I could not write
for a while... The situation here is really depressing...We lost many of
our beloved ones...

Israel is death and nothing but death,
Israel is murder and nothing but murder,
Israel is the negation of humanity,
Israel is pain and blood,
Israel is a river of tears,
Israel is the manifestation of pure evil.

We will fight against all of this madness,
We will be steadfast in saying no to our jailers.

I do not know how long this nightmare will last,
but I hope that it will end before love will end,
I hope it will end before hate becomes the only human emotion in our
hearts. I hope this will end before hope itself ends....

From the love that is still in my heart I send you all a glimpse of light,
Please pray with me for the end of this long "Night."

Saed J. Abu-Hijleh
Nablus, Occupied Palestine
March 2001


by Saed J. Abu-Hijleh

October 11, 2007

(On the Fifth Anniversary of the Assassination of Martyr Shaden Abdel Qader Al Saleh Abu-Hijleh)

Five …

Fifteen bullets came out from the beehive

Stung me in the heart

Left me with an endless wound in open air

Five years and the pain is still there…

“Give me a Five” the killer told his partner

“We killed her….”

Blood dripping from his smile

“We killed her and killed her Five!”

“Will they survive?”

One husband and four children are still alive!

Death was not an option after her death

They had to tell her story to a world that is deaf:

If sounds of bullets were not enough

If screams of pain and anger

Mocked by Israeli soldiers’ laughter

Do not make the deaf hear

Then we will etch our souls on hearts made of stone

Hoping the marks will tell the story we want to tell

About a saintly woman who rang the bell

Against the oppression of Israeli hell

Five is the number of fingers on her hand

Each were pointing to the homeland

Five her senses were:

She saw the rainbow arching over our lives

She smelled the wind of the Mediterranean

She touched our souls with her kindness

She tasted her food so that we can enjoy the taste

She heard the voice coming from within and acted with grace

But her sixth was the strongest: she knew!

And her dreams & nightmares always came true!

The Ten Commandments of Israel are now Five:

Thou shall Kill, Kill, Kill, Kill, and Kill

Palestinian blood thou shall spill, spill, spill, spill, and spill

The Commandments of Shaden are now Five:

Thou shall Love, Love, Love, Love, and Love

Every year add more Love to my Love

The followers of Shaden are now more than Five

An army of lovers that shall strive

To liberate Earth from oppression

This is their sworn mission

A war of attrition

Israeli Apartheid will not survive

Five Salaams on your soul

Mama Shaden mother of all

Mama Shaden mother of all…

Nine Years!

by Saed J. Abu-Hijleh

October 11, 2011

(On the Ninth Anniversary of the Assassination of Martyr Shaden Abdel Qader Al Saleh Abu-Hijleh)

Nine years

Still travelling in a river of tears

Carrying your face

Your name

Trying to reach your heart

So the part can unite

with the whole…

Nine years

Holding the rope

So you won’t slip away

For death not to kill hope

Nine years

Of waging wars

On my soul

On my body

On enemies of love

Following your dream

Took me to lots of places

Hot and cold

Met many faces

Your story must be told…


A lighthouse

A compass

A road map

To the most beautiful place

To the Oasis

Full of love and grace

Brothers and sisters

Young and old

Content and happy

Thanking the Lord

October 11, 2011, Nablus, Palestine

(On the Ninth Anniversary of the Assassination & Martyrdom of our mother Shaden Abdel Qader Al Saleh Abu-Hijleh)


Last updated on 2011-11-22

Hit Counter