[singlepic id=590 w=320 h=240 float=right]On the fifth anniversary of the passing of a great struggler for Palestine and a great healer of our people, Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, we re-post the tribute of the Front to Dr. Maslamani as well as the salutes of popular organizations in Palestine and around the world. Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and co-founder of the Health Work Committees of the West Bank, passed away on January 7, 2008. He remains for us a paradigmatic example of struggle, commitment to serving the people, and dedication to the liberation of Palestine.
Farewell, Comrade Leader Dr. Ahmad Maslamani
On Monday morning, January 7, 2008, Comrade Leader Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, member of the Central Committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, passed in a Ramallah hospital after suffering a heart attack. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine mourns the loss of a true leader who has been a servant of his people and his comrades since a very early age. Comrade Ahmad is the co-founder and director of the Health Work Committees in the West Bank. His death is a great loss for the Palestinian national movement, particularly in the field of health and public service.
Comrade Ahmad was arrested by the occupation forces on numerous occasions, spending a total of seven years in Israeli detention and prisons, and throughout, he demonstrated the utmost commitment and determination in confronting the occupation. Comrade Ahmad Maslamani belongs to the Maslamani family, who are widely known and respected in Jerusalem for their sacrifices for freedom of the Palestinian people.
Born in Jerusalem in 1958, Comrade Ahmad studied in al-Umma schools, before traveling to Romania, where he received his medical degree. In the mid-1980s, he returned to Palestine and was immediately detained. His role in the first and second intifada was very prominent, where he personally engaged in treatment of the injured and the establishment of health clinics throughout impoverished sectors, particularly in refugee camps. His last arrest was on September 9, 2005 and his detention continued until March 14, 2006. His many years of experience in detention and prison, where he suffered from torture and ill treatment, had lasting effects on his physical health.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine extends its deepest condolences to Comrade Dr. Nufuz Maslamani, his wife, and to Ahmad’s family and comrades, and its pledge to continue to be faithful to his path of resistance until the liberation of Palestine.
In Memoriam: Dr. Ahmad Maslamani by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
The morning of 7 January 2008, Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, a leading national figure in the Palestinian grassroots struggle against the occupation, passed away as a result of a heart attack. In 1985 he was a founder member of the Union of Health Work Committees, where he was director from 1992. From 2004, he was a member of the steering committee of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign. He was a member of the central committee of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
His passing is a great loss for the Palestinian people. As one who dedicated his life to our cause, he will remain a model for all of us in his steadfastness, determination and humanity. He remained faithful to the principles of our struggle, committed to every dunum of our land and to the return of our refugees. His strategic understanding of the cause helped him to focus on the core issues of our people.
He was imprisoned four times by the occupation, and repeated detention sharpened his sense of justice. In his quiet manner he kept his gentleness, generosity and humanity.
An active member of the Palestinian popular struggle throughout his life, he became a pillar of Palestinian civil society during the second intifada. Living in Jerusalem, the city of his birth, he campaigned for the rights of our people in the city and for the dignity of our capital. Before the 2006 legislative elections, the occupation imprisoned him for the last time and from June 2005 to March 2006 he was incarcerated in Ashkelon prison. Activists and organizations nationally and internationally joined in the campaign for his release. He was one of the most active members of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and he will be greatly missed in these difficult times of our struggle.
Dr. Ahmad Maslamani stood firm against normalization and his voice was influential among Palestinian civil society organizations. He was ready to defend the rights of our people even when he saw them sidelined by the Palestinian Authority.
The last few months were characterized by the same spirit of steadfastness and resistance which he carried with him throughout life. In November, he was a leading figure in the popular demonstration for Palestinian rights in opposition to the Annapolis conference. In December, in the face of immense pressure, he played a key role in preventing the Madrid Forum for a Just Peace from being hijacked and turned into an event for normalization with the occupation. When the Spanish Foreign ministry lost control, forcibly cleared the venue and while the participants were demonstrating outside the gates of the conference hall, he simply smiled and said: “People are protesting and fighting back — this is what we want.”
Dr. Ahmad, as we mourn your passing, we pledge to remain true to your vision and continue on the path of struggle until the wall falls, the refugees return and Palestine is free.
[singlepic id=591 w=320 h=240 float=left]The Black Monday: Death of Dr. Ahmad Maslamani by the Health Work Committees
The morning of Monday, January 7th 2008, a black morning in which we all were shocked by the sudden death of Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, the General Director of Health Work Committees. A black morning indeed, in which we as Health Work Committees team and as Palestinians have lost one of the most dedicated tireless leaders of the Palestinian just fight.
Dr. Ahmad Maslamani, a widely-known public advocate for the Palestinians’ rights, nationally and internationally, a great political leader against the illegal and inhuman Israeli occupation, imperialism, and hegemony, and a major referent to the Palestinian social movement has left us so suddenly and too soon.
Through his journey, Dr. Ahmad Maslamani devoted himself to give voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless, and to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians especially the poor and the marginalized. Dr. Ahmad Maslamani as a determinant fighter for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, a genuine defender of justice, equality, democracy, and freedom, is the true meaning of devotion, loyalty, and dignity.
We at Health Work Committees have lost our valued and committed leader, but his pure humanity, his love for his country and his people, and his commitment towards human rights will continue among us and in all of us.
Dr. Ahmad Maslamani left a legacy in our hearts enlightening our way with his intelligence and dedication. We will continue working in the same spirit and ethics he installed in all of us through our pursuit of freedom, equality, and justice.
Dr. Ahmad, your memory and legacy will remain with us in our hearts and minds. Your voice will be in our conscious encouraging us to continue your struggle. Your image will be our source of inspiration to continue your dream in creating a comprehensive organizational model serving the Palestinian people. The Knight has stepped down but he will always be in our hearts, minds, and souls.
Board of Directors
Health Work Committees
MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF DR. AHMAD MASLAMANI For the International League of Peoples’ Struggle By Prof. Jose Maria Sison, Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
The International Coordinating Committee (ICC) and all the member-organizations of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) express deep sorrow over the passing away of ICC member Dr. Ahmad Maslamani and convey sincerest condolences to his family, his comrades in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), his colleagues in the Union of Health Work Committees and in the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, all his friends and the entire Palestinian people whom he served with complete dedication and with utmost competence.
We salute him and honor him as a hero of the Palestinian people, an exemplary fighter for freedom and justice and an outstanding exponent of international revolutionary solidarity. He was a well-grounded national leader in the struggle against the Occupation, living and working closely with the people and sharing their weal and woe. He was a founding member of the Union of Health Work Committees in 1985 and became the director from 1992 onwards. He became a member of the steering committee of the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign in 2004. He was a member of the Central Committee of the PFLP.
We are proud of his participation in the Second International Assembly of the ILPS and his election as a member of the ICC in 2004. He has accorded honor to the ILPS by joining it and linking it to the just struggle of the Palestinian people. We were deeply moved when he was arrested and imprisoned by the Israeli Occupation in the Ashkelon prison from 2005 to 2006. We participated in the international campaign for his release. We admired him for having been detained as many as four times for extended periods and for always rejoining the struggle of his people and remaining steadfast.
We commend Comrade Maslamani for having been a militant in the Palestinian struggle for national liberation throughout his life. He was pillar of the Palestinian mass movement during the second Intifada. He fought for the Palestinian homeland and the return of the refugees. He campaigned for the rights of his people in Jerusalem and for the dignity of establishing the Palestinian capital in this sacred city of his birth. He stood for the Palestinian people against the drive of the Palestinian Authority to sideline them.
In the remaining months of his life, he was active in the struggle. He was a leading figure in the popular demonstration for Palestinian rights against the Annapolis conference in November. He also played a prominent role in defending the Madrid Forum for a Just Peace in December and in preventing the Spanish government from high jacking the forum and turning it into an event for “normalization” and submission to the Occupation. He was deeply pleased by the demonstration and resistance of the participants outside of the conference hall.
The death of Comrade Ahmad Maslamani is a great loss to all of us. But we are consoled by the fact that he lived a meaningful and fruitful life of struggle for the Palestinian people and the entire humankind. He leaves with us significant contributions to the struggle. He bequeaths to us a brilliant legacy. He remains an outstanding revolutionary model whom we can and must emulate. Thus, he continues to live in our hearts and minds and in the revolutionary movement.
Monday morning January 7 we, at the intal secretariat in Brussels, received the message about the sudden death of Dr. Ahmad Maslamani earlier that day. It left us in disbelief and shock.
Ahmad Maslamani was the director of the Health Work Committees, intal’s partner organization in Palestine. Our first thoughts went to his wife and three children, his colleagues in the Health Work Committees and his friends in Palestine. That very morning we sent them our sincere condolences by fax and e-mail.
After the first shock, we started to realize how big a loss this was for the Palestinian social movement. Only a couple of weeks ago we still consulted him through fax and e-mail about the Social Forum on the Middle East in Madrid. The Spanish ministry of foreign affairs was pressuring the organizers to reorient the conference from support to the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to dialog with the Israeli occupier. It was Ahmad who coordinated the reaction of the social movements: Eventually, the boycott of the forum was a resounding success.
We have known Dr. Ahmad Maslamani for more than ten years and have been working together to support the implementation of a large school health program for the Palestinian children of East Jerusalem. For him every child has the right to health, even if the Israeli occupier was trying to deny this right to the Palestian youth. Hence, he went all-out for this school health program.
He was our guest in Brussels several times for our partners’ meetings where he always defended his view on health passionately: “Health is not the absence of disease but it is a comprehensive quality of life that is the right of anyone. How can this be realized in a society that suffers from repression and exploitation?”
He talked to the Cuban partners about the alternatives that are taking shape in Cuba. He went to visit our Philippine partners in their country in order to learn from their experiences. He showed his appreciation for the tireless mass work of our partners from Congo. Ahmad was a Palestinian activist and a world citizen. He was likewise eager to share with intal members and sympathizers while he was in Belgium or during solidarity missions to Palestine.
Ahmad was arrested by Israeli security forces in June 2005 and was detained for nine months in inhumane conditions because he was playing a key role in the progressive people’s movement of Jerusalem. His health was badly affected while he was in prison, but not his militancy in defense of the Palestinian people’s rights. After his release he wrote: “In spite of the difficult conditions we are still able to denounce injustice, defend our identity, claim our rights and to condemn the inhumane practices of the Israeli occupation and express our incense about them.”
Ahmad was a doctor who was serving his patients tirelessly and an activist whose world was not limited to his clinic. He wrote about the Palestinian cause: “Our people need more than a government. They need more than elections. Our people need to revive their national dream for independence. The entrance for achieving this dream is the reconstruction of the Palestinian institution on popular and democratic basis, starting from the Palestinian Liberation Organization and ending in the smallest club in the most remote village in Palestine.”
As we are currently developing new plans and programs in cooperation with the Health Work Committees, we realize full well that we will miss his wisdom and leadership dearly. But his dedication calls on us to deepen our commitment to the liberation of the Palestinian people. We are sure that this is also the best tribute we could possibly pay to Ahmad.