CHAPTERS
    Personal stories Ahmed Helou
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    Ahmed Helou

    Jerico

    Ahmed was born in Jericho and at the age of 15 Ahmed joined the local Hamas movement, threw stones, and illegally hoisted Palestinian flags. In 1992 Ahmed was sentenced to seven months in prison. During family visits Ahmad first learnt of the Oslo agreements and was amazed to hear that the Palestinian flag could be flown freely. In prison Ahmed decided that there must be other ways to fight for liberation without risking death or lengthy prison sentences.
    After his incarceration Ahmed finished his studies and began volunteering in the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances. During the 1996 riots in East Jerusalem Ahmed provided medical attention to many of the wounded Palestinians. At one instance he ran to help an unconscious man and to his surprise discovered his close friend from Jericho, Firas. Ahmed immediately lifted his friend in his arms and began running towards the ambulance, but was shot in his back, and collapsed. On his way to the hospital Ahmed fell in and out of consciousness, at one instance hearing the doctor ordering the paramedic to cease the revival efforts of the second patient in the Ambulance. He later discovered that Firas has also died in that incident.
    After a six month rehabilitation Ahmed began to walk, though the bullet is still in his back to this very day. At the age of thirty Ahmed married Hiba, also originally from Gaza. Sixteen years have pasted since Hiba has been able to meet her family in Gaza. Their four children have never met their own grandparents.

     

    Ahmed met civilian Israelis for the first time in various dialogue groups during the second intifada and admits that up until then the only thing he knew about Israelis was check posts and soldiers. Even Though Ahmed and Hiba lost tens of relatives to the numerous Gaza wars, he thinks that binational cooperation is the only way to end the occupation and achieve peace.

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