Jehan’s Speech*

Hanna Mikhail represents a distinguished role model, a man who did not debase himself or his people. Why? Because he lived his ideas, and died for them. Edward Said

We meet today on the street of the freedom fighter, Hanna Mikhail- Abu Omar son of Ramallah, son of Palestine- to inaugurate his street and the plate introducing him, to revive our memory, to introduce an outstanding activist, a role model who enriched our journey of Resistance with his thoughts and exemplary practice.

Abu Omar’s promising life ended early; however the gracious human values which he cherished and personified remained alive enriching the hope of Palestinian activists. Abu Omar was robustly determined to fight oppression in all its forms. Moreover, he was modest, democratic and with incredible human depth, thus combining the firmness of a freedom fighter and human gentleness!

Neither time nor the complications that accompanied Hanna’s disappearance can wipe away from our history his journey of struggle and sacrifices. This rich legacy must be revived, as well as the legacy of many of the revolutionaries, in order to pump some vividness into the veins of our long journey of struggle. These wonderful role models should be a vital part of our popular memory and an important landmark for our youth to promote our journey of struggle and to end the road of illusions and pain!

It is noticeable here what one Arab thinker said in this respect: “Fighting forgetfulness becomes our last line of defense (…) Memory is a necessary introduction for consciousness, and consciousness is where will lies, and this is a battle we can win(…) The doors of memory are the doors of the future!!

The bearers of the names of our streets are among the makers of our history and culture. They guard us and their eyes turn to us every day and every hour to see where we have reached in the journey of liberation and building of our country. If Abu Omar is watching us, he will be sad to see us marching after few minutes to commemorate the sixty second anniversary of the “Nakba” of our disspossession! However, we are reassured, for he taught us the “necessity of keeping the torch of hope alive”!

I thank the chairwoman of Ramallah Municipality Mrs. Janet Mikhail and the members of the Municipality for this important project. I thank all those who proposed to name this street near the historical house of Hanna’s parents.

All appreciation to our family and friends who participated with us today and contributed with excitement and love to keep alive the memory of Abu Omar!

* On the occasion of uncovering the Plate /Panel, that introduces the Hanna Mikhail-Abu Omar street.

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