Hind Kabawat | Proud Syrian Syria
June 1st, 2007

Re: ‘Syria's Occupied Golan Heights

To my dear Israeli friend:

Back in February 2002, in Tigne, France, we ended up in the same group together taking ski lessons. That was when our friendship began. We had all been introduced by our first names, and then off we went with our instructor and five others to ski in the beautiful Alps.

We hit it off from the first moment. We laughed, we failed, we encouraged each other, and finally we sat in a little restaurant somewhere overlooking the lovely Alps and drank hot chocolate, having our lunch. We started chatting and you introduced yourself: “I am Keren from Israel.” I replied, “I am Hind from Syria.” We looked each other curiously as this was the first time I had met an Israeli, and it was also your first time meeting a Syrian. But we were surprised and happy to find that we have nearly the same accent when we speak a foreign language, we have the same color eyes. We were almost cousins, yes, we were enemies back home, but definitely it was too late now we had already become friends.

I remember that we sat together and discussed politics every evening après ski, and we discussed together a peace plan. We were both suffering and in pain from the wars in our region, we were from the same generation, we vaguely remember the 1967 war, but we do remember the tragedy and suffering our people have to go through in the time of war. We remembered as adolescents the 1973 war, and the conflicts.

Then we got to talking about a plan for peace between our two countries, and how you could come and visit me in Damascus and we would go together and ski in the Golan, and I go to visit you with my family to see the holy sites of Jerusalem. We talked about real peace, with economic exchange, tourism and trade. We both want recognition, we both want stability and we both want security.

Days, month passed, we kept in touch, we wrote each other regularly, we both got hurt when Israel started building “The Wall”, we both felt pain when civilians on both sides were dying, we both felt pain during the Lebanese war, the missiles killing Israelis and Israel’s destruction of the infrastructure of Lebanon, not to mention cluster bombs. But your father’s letter to me at the end of last summer was so beautiful – full of hope to all our people, both Arabs and Israelis. He made me cry.

Well, my friend, the fortieth anniversary of the 1967 War is coming, almost our age, and we do need lastly to listen to our hearts and put pressure on our governments to bring to an end to war once and for all. We need to mount efforts together to make peace happen: security, recognition and stability for you, and the full Golan returned to Syria.

And in a beautiful ski lodge in the Golan Heights, après ski we can have the hot chocolate, or perhaps homos in beautiful old Damascus and in gorgeous old Jerusalem.

My love to you and to your family.

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61 Responses to the Article

LattakiaBoy Says:

I think we have wasted to much of our energy caring about the rest of the Arabs. I think Jordan did well with its Jordan First campaign and we should do the same. It should always be Syria First. If someone needs our support or help and asks, we should then evaluate whether it is in “our” interest to help. Like it or not we are still a developping country with limited resources that should not be wasted on arabs. These resources should benefit Syria and Syrians.

Matan Says:

I should probably clarify something-
the reason Albert’s earlier comments sent my blood boiling, is that I as an individual have been a peace activist until i went to the U.S. to study. I have been demonstrating, rallying, doing joint concerts with palestinians (I’m a musician) etc. I. and many others like me, were born well into this conflict. We had nothing to do with its beginning. I wasn’t even born in 73. And so, if we are to end this occupation, it is vital that we solve the CURRENT situation on the ground. I have many palestinian friends, both here in the U.S. and in Israel, and I would like being able to look them in the eye knowing they have equal rights to mine. I am simply realistic- most Israelis I know are deeply suspicious and resentful, stereotyping arabs left and right- a Bi national state could not be forced down their throat- it will end in more bloodshed. I consider the middle east my home, and, indeed, someone in this forum remarked about Israel’s strangeness, its incompatibility, if you will, with its neighbors. In the fullness of time, when Israel has properly and naturally assimilated into the region, I believe we could open the bi national question again.

Alex Says:

Welcome back Matan!

I am a musician too, but not a good one at all.

I almost felt the same way you did when a number of Likudists called me on other blogs “supporter of terror”… but this is online communication … it take time before everyone knows who you are and what you stand for.

robert Says:

Dear Albert,

i am wondering what have you to say about the recent developments at the Gaza strip.

i really hope that normallity will get to the place. and that hamas will stop killing their own brothers, not speaking about children and women.


robert Says:

after reading several posts on this blog, and while reading articles on the israeli news and TV, i learned that maybe unlike what we were told that the palastinians ran away to egypt (or other), our soldiers helped them.

on the other side, now when i hear that about hundred phatach members ran away to egypt after the HAMAS revolution in Gaza, i get the impression that it was truth.
when you love your land and believe in your ideas you dont run away. you fight till the end.
if you care about your people you dont kill children and not women, what the HAMAS do. however, the good thing in the HAMAS is that they claim to be less corupted and more for the people. we will see, i think that for us it will be easier to have a peace agreement with the HAMAS. since they dont have oposition and they seem to be more BRAVE!

robert Says:

Dear Hind,

Please accept my applolgies, as i feel like i was missunderstod.

as to being proud syrian. i dont see any problem with it, the oposite. i was just asking why are you mentioning this – isnt it obvious?
however, i just wanted to doesn it has any particular meaning.

since you wrote:”Robert, accusation and generalization is not a good way to start a peace my friend, or even to start a good dialogue among nation.”

my appologies again. moreover, i was happy to hear that you dont like to hear about any killings on any side, and i agree to you and hope it will end soon, unlike what happens recently in lebanon and Gaza.

i have to admit that the recent developments gives me the feeling that the palastinians dont want to take responsibility on their life and future.
quite amazing the killing the Hamas is making on the Phatach members, after all they are their people. i know that many here will say that this is because of the israelu pressure.
hmm,.. well we are not pressing Gaza for a long time..

anyway, wish all of us a sooner peace. ski in lebanon and syria, france and italia (go to the Dolomiti.. 😉


Hind Kabawat Says:

My friend Robert,

I do appreciate your apology, we all should apologize from each others in Middle East, and everyone has his own share in hurting others. But at least we have to wake up and smell the coffee and see that war can do only harms to us, and killing will bring killing.
Robert, it hurt me to see my Palestinian brothers killing each others, like it hurt me to see the fight in Lebanon, Israel and Iraq. After all, people die and suffer and the only one who benefit are the rich, famous and the people in power.
People like you and I need to take a stand to stop the violence.


Mr. Israeli Says:


The strength you find to be able to speak this way to Israelis (like myself) that have done, and continue to do, terrible things to your Arab brethren is indeed awe inspiring. I’ve had a number of exchanges with other commentators on this Blog, and found that very few, like yourself, can put the anger, hatred, and accusations aside just long enough to begin dialogue which will hopefully lead to peace. Here in Israel, most of us at least, are just as eager to put an end once and for all to the ongoing violence, cruelties and crimes, for the sake of our children and their future. It is because of people like yourself that we too will muster the strength to look deep into ourselves, and see the terrible wrongs we’ve done to others. True reconciliation will take a long time, especially as the immediate solutions do not seem to encompass complete justice (no right-of-return to most palestinians, etc.), but god-willing, our children will look forward to going to college, instead of the army, and of treating their neighbors as cousins, instead of as enemies. In’shalla!

robert Says:

Dear Hind,

can you elaborate on this?: “people die and suffer and the only one who benefit are the rich, famous and the people in power.
People like you and I need to take a stand to stop the violence. ”


Hind Kabawat Says:

Robert my friend:

The underprivileged are those that pay the price of war. Communities suffer and the poor die.
Look at the vast number of refugees; look at the death tolls in Iraq? Israel, Palestine or Lebanon. Are the so called political elite included among these dead? ( one exeption Hady Nassrallah).
Robert, it is we who will pay the price of war, your children and mine. Peace is therefore essential.
The rich who own the weapons factories will not like this idea of peace. The weapons dealers and all those who benefit from the war will attempt to stifle any progress towards peace.
Let??s all fight for Peace in Middle East, Hind Kabawat ??د ?ب?ات

robert Says:

hi again,

sorry for the late reply,..

i asked you to elaborate since this is an intersting issue, which i think is more relevant to the arab governers (i know you wouldnt like this distinction).
i guess it refers to democracy.

in israel i cant say that the rich are intersted in this fighting since this situation doesnt enable our industry (not weapon, but high-tech for example) to fullfill its potential.
actually, this is connected to what is written above by Michel Nahas, who explained the situation based on the interests of each side. what is Bashar’s interest?
remember Arafat? how much money he recieved from Europe, US, Arab world and Israel? where did it go? mainly to his wife pocket, who was out of Gaza.. and i am not speaking about other leaders who are less simple.

however, presonnaly i dont care how your system works (unlike others in israel who think that arab countries have to be democratic)

i just hope we will really want peace and good life for all of us.

all the best, PEACE, ש??ם

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