In the winter of 1989, at the time of the first intifada, Hani Nassar’s family who was captured by the Israeli occupation forces, were decorating their home for Christmas, when a force of the Israeli occupation army surrounded the house and arrested his wife Maha, to force her into extracting a confession on her husband, who was in the cells of the occupation. She was taken away, leaving behind her seven year old daughter Hanin and her younger brother six year old Wadih, who were suffering from shock and fear after witnessing the traumatic images of their mother being taken away, while the soldiers did not allow their grandmother to enter the house and be with them until they left. They stayed with their grandmother for nearly a month until their mother was released.
Years have passed and Hanin grew up to become more attached and filled with love towards her homeland. Through the school and university student committees and unions, where she played an active role, she got acquainted with Rami Fadayel, who was four years older than her, a love story arose between them similar to their love for Palestine, challenging the pain and oppression of the occupation.
The occupation with all its oppression being present in all the details of our lives, preventing and hindering everything that is beautiful, began pursuing young Fadayel since 2000, until he was arrested in 2002, during this period Hanin was looking for him diligently until she heard the news of his arrest. The sufferings of Hanin began again when she was repeatedly prevented from visiting him in prisons and communicating with him. She rarely was successful in obtaining a permit to visit him. Amid all these harsh circumstances, they agreed on an eternal bond, but despite the intense love of the Hanin’s family for Rami, they initially opposed the marriage, fearing for their daughter from the instability of her life in the unknown future that is threatened by prison bars, but with the couple’s insistence, the parents gave their blessings.
On the 17th of April 2004, on the Palestinian Prisoners day, Hanin surprised Rami by proposing to him in prison to declare their love and defy the occupation. Under the circumstances they couldn’t celebrate their engagement party together for Ramy had to celebrate separately with his fellow prisoners and Hanin celebrated with her family and relatives at her home in Ramallah.
In 2005 after Ramy was released from prison they got married and by 2007, they had their joy and hope completed with the arrival of their baby daughter, Mays. Unfortunately their joy wasn’t for long, in 2009 Ramy was chased again, leaving behind a lonely wife and a child, who didn’t have the opportunity to get to know her father, only by short visits now and then.
No doubt these experiences affected the well-being of little Mays, where most of the time she was quiet and lonely or coming home from school in tears asking about her father and the reasons for his absence, crying for wanting to know the reason why she couldn’t get presents from her father like the other children of her age, not even having enough pictures with her father to look at. All these thoughts left her lost, looking for the warm embrace of her father to give her the family she dreamed of.
On the 2nd of February 2011, on Mays’s birthday, Ramy tried to surprise his little girl to bring joy to her heart and to accompany her to school to share her birthday celebration with her friends, but the hand of the occupation and the special forces were faster ,where he was arrested at the door of his house, which made the situation much worse for this little girl that was left with so much scars in her heart and soul that won’t heal. This situation wasn’t easier for young Hanin who was forced to face life’s difficulties alone and to act as a single parent to her child.
Ramy was in and out of prison repeatedly, where every time the soldiers stormed in the house and searched it in a brutal and violent manner until his last arrest in 1/11/2019, where he still languishes in the occupation’s prisons.
History repeated itself, this time, Hanin left her 14-year-old daughter Mays alone at home, just like her experience three decades ago. On 1/7/2020, at 4:30 a.m., while they were both sleeping quietly at home, Hanin heard a forceful knock on the door and as she went to open the door thinking it might be a dream, she realized the bitter reality and was faced with a force of female soldiers who searched and assaulted her and her daughter.
Signs of surprise and astonishment were obvious on Hanin’s face, but the soldier in cold nerves told her not to be surprised for she was always in their mind and was time to come and get her.
Hanin embraced her daughter and said “Don’t cry, my little girl, I will be fine, and their attempt to break us will never succeed”. The soldier looked at Mays and said sarcastically “History repeats itself”. They tried to prevent Mays from joining her mother, but to no avail, she was looking in her mother’s eyes searching for any hope that this might be a nightmare and she’ll wake up soon, until the occupation soldiers threw a stun grenade to stop her from fighting, but she did not care about the brutal practices of the occupation and she remained steadfast.
Mays returned home alone at dawn, her mother’s imprisonment was like a thunderbolt that destroyed what remained in her small heart of steadfastness, because she now was the mother, father and friend for herself, who confidently refused to move to her grandfather’s house, and with all perseverance she said that she did not want to leave her family’s home and insisted that the house remain open. on the other end Hanin did not care about the solitary confinement or the investigation to pressure her to extract any confession on her husband Ramy, all she thought about was getting back to her daughter , the little girl who grew up with patriotism and love to her country just like her family.
After a month in Al-Maskobiyya prison in occupied Jerusalem, which seemed like a lifetime for Hanin until she returned to her little girl’s embrace hoping she will never have to leave her daughter alone again.