Say Salam, say Shalom, make a change in the holy land… by Mohamed Sheriff, Gaza, Palestine


I will start wMohamed Sherif-Gazaith the words of the prophet Mohammed who once asked his followers: “Do you want me to tell you about something you can do to spread love among you?” He said, “Spread the Salam (Salutation) among you.”

I now have a new mission in my life thanks to a Jewish child and his mother, and this is how my mission story begins.

When traveling for the second time between the two separated parts of my country, Gaza Strip and the West Bank, all of my thoughts were centered on how to get back our freedom and our lands, and about the efforts that are made by my country to solve the conflict.

I was so deep in my thoughts that I did not even witness the wonderful views and the landscapes. One land and two names: Palestine and Israel, who has the right to live here on this land, and who should leave? I was dreaming of the day of victory, about the holy world war, about the dark period of the future that will be followed by the golden era for all of the survivors.

Suddenly, my daydreams ended when I noticed the car driving next to us. A mother was driving and her child was sitting next to her. The mother and her child reminded me of my mother and I. I used to sit beside her while she was driving whenever she came to pick me up from school. This child made me remember my childhood, and remember my dreams while I was his age. I had big dreams. I hoped to be a great man when I grew up, I hoped to invent in something useful and to help people and make them happy, but why do we have to kill this boy? Why should our freedom be at the expense of Israeli children? Why should Israel’s safety be at the expense of Palestinian children? All of these questions popped into my mind.

Islam orders its followers to never harm a tree, old man, woman or child. After of all these questions and deep thinking, I looked at the child sitting in the car next to his mother, I focused on his innocent face as well as his mother’s, and I thought about this family. I had to begin thinking of how to end this situation. I turned to our backseat and realized that they could see my female colleague who was wearing a yashmak and, thus, they could see that we were Palestinians. So I waved my hand and said “ Salam”. They were surprised. They looked at my female colleague for a brief moment and then they looked back at me with big smile on their faces. They waved their hands in happiness, saying “ Shalom”.
At that moment, I decided I had a new mission in life: to protect these innocent people. I began spreading peaceful messages on my Facebook page. I began posting photos and texts about Israeli children, while telling my Palestinian Resistance and Facebook friends to care about the innocent, to not believe every word people say about Israelis, and to always ask for proof; because killing innocents is not allowed in Islam.

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