A heartfelt letter from prisoner Mahmoud al-Arida to his mother
The prisoner beautifully described his brief encounter with freedom.
Mahmoud al-Arida, one of the six heroic prisoners who snatched their freedom from the clutches of Israeli occupation, wrote a letter to his mother in which he described his time outside the Gilboa prison before being recaptured:
"I tried to go to you and embrace you dear mother before you leave this world, but God has decreed for us otherwise.
You are eternally present in my heart and spirit… I would love you to know that I ate figs, prickly pears, and pomegranates from all across Palestine. I have also eaten sumac and wild thyme. After 25 years of deprivation, I have finally eaten guava again, and in my sleeve, I bore a jar of honey as a gift for you. Please send my greetings to my beloved sisters Bassima, Rouba, Khitam, Sa’ida, and all the brothers whom I strongly miss.
I have breathed in the aroma of freedom, and I saw that the world has changed as I climbed Palestine’s mountains for lengthy hours, passed by the wide meadows, and realized that the plain of Arraba, my hometown, is a small part of Bissan and al-Nasira.
Send my greetings to all family members and friends: To my niece whom I wore her socks as I traversed the mountains... to Abdallah, Hadil, Youssef and Radad’s wife, and all the other family members, Sarah, Rahaf, Ghada, and Mohammad. Distinctive greetings to Hoda whom I miss terribly and to whom the full story will be epistolized."