‘Imprisoned But Free’: Letter from jailed Palestinian leader Khalida Jarrar to her late daughter, Suha

On Tuesday July 13th, the family and friends of Palestinian human rights advocate Suha Jarrar laid her to rest in the city of Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank. Missing from her funeral was Suha’s mother, Palestinian leader, feminist icon, and political prisoner Khalida Jarrar. Despite numerous appeals from Palestinian rights groups, the Israel Prison Service (IPS) denied the request for Khalida to be released from prison in order to attend her daughter’s funeral. The following letter was read at Suha’s funeral, and contains Khalida’s departing message to her daughter, as it was relayed verbally to her legal team.

Imprisoned But Free: Letter from the heart from jailed Palestinian leader Khalida Jarrar to her daughter, Suha, gone too soon

July 13th, 2021

I am in so much pain, my child, only because I miss you.
I am in so much pain, my child, only because I miss you.

From the depths of my agony, I reached out and
embraced the sky of our homeland through the window
of my prison cell in Damon Prison, Haifa.
Worry not, my child.
I stand tall, and steadfast, despite the shackles and the jailer.
I am a mother in sorrow, from yearning to see you one last time.

This doesn’t happen except in Palestine.
All I wanted was to bid my daughter a final farewell.
With a kiss on her forehead and to tell her I love her
as much as I love Palestine.

My daughter, forgive me for not attending the celebration of your life,
that i was not beside you during this heartbreaking and final moment.
My heart has reached the heights of the sky yearning to see you,
to caress and plant a kiss on your forehead through the
small window of my prison cell.

Suha, my precious.
They have stripped me from bidding you a final goodbye kiss.
I bid you farewell with a flower.
Your absence is searingly painful, excruciatingly painful.
But I remain steadfast and strong,
Like the mountains of beloved Palestine.

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