Stop the bombing Stop the rockets listen to the women by Celine Leduc
Bombs fly in the night sky. Bombs fly at dusk and dawn. It is raining It, is raining bombs and blood. The earth is soaked in the blood of the innocent and not so innocent. Men justify the war to bring peace, however the region is in pieces. Torn by the violence. Stop bombing! Stop the rockets! Lives are shattered, families torn apart, women and children suffer the loss they cry, their tears are real as they mourn the loss of life. For years women have asked, have demanded STOP the bombings! STOP the rockets! STOP the killing! Stop the violence! We, women, WANT PEACE for our children. No man listens, men say we are here to protect our women and children. Yet, they attack, send missiles to destroy a country, they refuse to recognize. No man sits to negotiate for peace. The men are too busy rocketing the other side forcing the hand of defense. Yes on the nightly sky rockets fly, birds no longer fly fearing death, children become orphans, women widows because men want to protect them. Women voices are heard around the world and no one seems to listen to them, why? Women all women want peace!
Women from the area have a very long tradition of saving the area, it is recorded in the Bible, Qur’an and Hadith and in oral history and legends. The knowledge is passed down from mother to daughter, in the saying: “behind every great man there is a woman”. A new version or tradition should be started: A man’s greatness is: his willingness to listen to women”. Let us not forget or remember that behind every name there is a story of glory, the name whispered in your ear has a history and tradition.
Women in the Hebrew Bible are fewer than men however their contribution matters, in Egypt, Sudan, Persia, Yemen or North Africa.
Egypt: From Mesopotamia they came Abraham and Sara to Egypt to buy land from Pharaoh. Pharaoh wanted Sarah as his wife thinking she was the sister of Abraham, however she was his wife. Pharaoh almost sinned and as a penance he gave Sara and Abraham Hagar. Hagar was a reminder of what happened in Egypt. Hagar was Sarah’s handmaiden and became Abraham concubine at the request of Sarah. Sarah was barren and Hagar gave him a son Ishmael. There was rivalry and enmity between the women, Sarah was unkind. Sarah told Abraham send her and her son away after giving birth to Isaac. Abraham did not listen and was told by the Lord, listen to Sarah, your wife. Sarah freed Hagar and Ishmael. The two sons of Abraham grew up they loved their mothers and gave them grandchildren, because they listened to their mothers they prospered and had a long lineage, they fought as brothers to be the first. We know Ishmael was Abraham’s first born however for Hagar and Sarah both were first born. Abraham foresaw the enslavement of his people and the birth of a liberator. They became slaves as predicted and bad Pharaoh was cruel to the Hebrew. He said first born Hebrew male were to be killed. His daughter (Bethia Judaism) wife (Assyah Islam) did not agree they rebelled and disobeyed Pharaoh. Miriam was told by her mom, make a basket and put my son in it, and watch what happens. Bethia or Assyah saw the basket with the child, he was adopted and raised in Pharaoh’s House, and his name was Moses/Musa. Civil disobedience by women saved lives. Moses said: Let my people go and they were let go. Bad Pharaoh decided to follow them and kill them, the Nile parted engulfed Pharaoh and his army, and they were saved. Out of Egypt (K’Met, Kush or Nubia modern day Sudan) we have Nefertiti who believed in monotheism, the one god ruled over her land. Her reign was prosperous, here people worked, ate lived at peace because they were no wars. She has a tomb in the desert and women from all religious background go and seek advice and inspiration, she inspired Dr. Ada Aharoni who founded IFLAC (International Forum of Literature and Peace). Leah Rabin and Jehan e-Sadat talked to their husbands and told them women want peace, peace was brokered, and the women went on to speak peace even after their husbands were killed. Romans came to conquer the land of Nubia/Kush Augustus Caesar a misogynist who thought women were not to rule, gave his word to the Queen I will not invade. Amanishakheto of Nubia/Kush signed and honored the peace treaty which was sealed with a bust of none other than Augustus. He plotted against her, lusted after her land, after defeating and killing Cleopatra VII and stealing her land and her treasure. Augustus did not respect the peace treaty, sent in an army only to be defeated. As his army fell so did his bust its pedestal. Amanishakheto left it at the entrance of her palace so everyone would walk in would walk on the Augustus head. She did not go to war, she did not invade other lands. She defended herself protected her people and put an end to aggression and invasion.
Persia: Jews lived in exile in Persia, the story of Esther is a lesson for a good marriage based n trust and respect between a man and a woman. King Ahasuerus had been married to Vashti who did not listen to her husband, when he asked her to come to him, she refused hence he divorced her. Esther is an example of courage and wisdom and listened to her uncle Mordecai when he overheard a plot. Haman and his wife were dishonest and plotted a war against Jews. Haman was appointed to be the greatness rank by Ahasuerus. Esther was told warn King Ahasuerus of this plot, she shivered as she had to convey her husband to her chambers. She knew what happened to Vashti. He was a good husband and came heard and listened to her concern as she told him of the plot of Haman. The Persian King Ahasuerus, had a decision to make, listen to Haman and go to war with the Jews (Hebrew) or seek peace and listen to his wife. He listened to Esther and war was averted. Haman the evil and his wife were defeated and disgraced.
War in the time of Judges. Deborah (bee) was a judge, a prophetess and a leader of men and women. Deborah a prophetess saw Barak defeat Sisera the general bent of killing Jews after a treaty had been signed by Jabin the Canaanite. She foresaw he would not stop. She predicted a woman would kill him and restore peace in a war torn area. Deborah thought it was her duty, however it was not to be. A woman from the other side Jael was the chosen one. She fed him, and then killed Sisera to restore peace in the area. At times a woman needs to kill the one whose heart is hard and so full of hate.
Later on Rome still wanted more land and they met again defeat at the hands of women, two sister lived in castles on each side of a river. Yes, Zainab and Zubeida went on defending their home, their land, their people, after their husbands fell at the hands of Romans. Fearless they took up the fight to save their kingdom, they won.
Saudi Arabia: Khadijah of Mecca was a widow and a prosperous business woman. She hired a young man named Mohammed and asked for his hand. This young man was known for his honesty and skills as a negotiator. He had a vision on mount Arafat that troubled him. An angel came to him and told him to read. She counselled him and encouraged him. She knew before him that he was a prophet. He listened to her, his fears melted away accepted his fate and he became the Seal of the prophet and Islam was born. He won the heart of millions as he was a fair and honest man who did much for the women of his time. He stopped infanticide, gave women the right to divorce, gave strict instruction to his Companions do not kill women and children at war. When his wife Khadija died he went to Medina, he married more than one woman many were war widows. He consulted women his wives.
North Africa: Tin Hinan the legend of the Berber a Queen, a mother of her people is the founder of the Berber, her legacy released by the desert her mummified body showed she wore: 7 gold, 7 silver bracelets adorn her arm two ring one silver one gold. Leader of men during the day and mother at night. Just like Kenza a legend loved by all, for some she is Jewish others Muslim some think she is Christian. She fought to keep her people free never attacked and yet her death is at times violent or peaceful, she is loved by all and a strong roe mode for women who are leaders. One story tells us she was Jewish fought against Muslims and yet is respected by Muslims today because she was honest and fought to have her people free. A statue stands tall in Algeria, she was a great Berber Queen.
Yemen: Remember Queen Sheba who wanted to meet Solomon because he was wise. She rules over Yemen traded all over the Arab world including Israel and Ethiopia. Arwa al-Sulayhi of Yemen was a malika (queen) who ruled over Yemen under Muslim rule. Women ruled in fairness and many were brilliant business women leaders of the armies and very much women who thought not only of saving the lives of their children but for all children to be safe. These women ruled with their husbands were respected by them and listen to. Some were widows and other may be single we do not know legends do not tell us, they only speak of their legacy of peace. They did not attack but defended themselves. The women lived in the dessert, in cities and were guided by the Northern star protected by the moon, shown the way when the sun rose in the east they prayed to the one God and Hawk spoke to them gave advice. A few years ago a young woman from Yemen sang old traditional songs Ofra Haza she was loved by Israeli and by Yemenite, she used her music to bring people together. She died a sad death yet she is a star every claims as their own, Yemen and Israel.
As I gaze at the nightly sky one bird flies, a lone hawk. He is not a hunter or the hunter’s guide. He is not the warrior he is a fearless bird. Hawk does not fear bombs, he is the night watchman who informs women by telling them what men are doing at war. Hawk has an all seeing eye. Hawk and women know men act badly when women are not around. Listen to hawk not the manmade symbol of hawk that symbolizes war and destruction but the hawk that flies fearless and free telling women and all children to be safe and hide. Hawk advises women to take a stand and be firm, men need to be reminded that to be strong a man MUST listen to the women, a strong man is a man who listens to his mother, his wife, his daughters and all women. STOP the rockets and bombs. Silence the sirens so we can hear the message from Hawk, the voices of women who want peace for their children and grandchildren. Are they not daughters of Hagar and SarahNefertiti, Kenza Tin Hinan as all come out of Adama (the earth)? Adama feeds all her children, however she cries tears of blood because of the blood shed?