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Bethlehem teen writes open letter to Ban Ki-moon

Sept. 18, 2011 7:12 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 18, 2011 7:12 P.M.)
An open letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, written by a student in Bethlehem.

Dear Mr. Ban Ki-moon,

Greetings from the city of peace,

My name is Jiana Jubrael George Shomali. I am 13 years old and a student at Latin Patriarchate school in Beit Sahour near Bethlehem.

I am from a Palestinian family which has suffered from Israel's occupation. My father spent eight years in Israeli jails, and all my uncles entered the prisons of the occupation. Even my grandmother was beaten and insulted by the soldiers of the occupation.

My father taught me that justice is stronger than injustice, the power of the right is stronger than the right of power, and love is stronger than hate. I like these beautiful words so much, so I don't hate Jews, but I really hate the Israeli occupation.

I don't ask you a lot. I just ask you to remove the occupation from our dreams, from our streets, from our air, from our hearts, and from our lives. We want to live like all the children of the world without occupation.

In several days our President Mahmoud Abbas will deliver a speech at your international organization, asking the members of the United Nations to recognize an independent Palestinian state. Please don't disappoint our president and our people.

I pray, and with me millions of Palestinian children, to see an independent Palestine, and to see Palestine as a full member of the United Nations.

After much suffering, the time has come for us to rejoice.

Please give us back our rights.

Jiana Jubrael George Shomali
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