Vittorio Arrigoni: Staying Human

23 May, 2012
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ACRPS publishes the Arabic translation of Vittorio Arrigoni's diaries

In January 2012, the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies has become the first publisher of the first Arabic translation of Vittorio Arrigoni's Gaza: Stay Human, a book that compiles the diaries of the international activist of Italian origin, Vittorio Arrigoni. Carrying as it does such a powerful force humanist sentiment and chronicling the suffering of the people of Gaza, the diaries have already been translated into a variety of European languages.

The book was translated into Arabic from an English version by the noted Syrian writer Malek Wannous, who has written widely on international social protest movements in Arabic, with a foreword from the Arabic edition provided by noted anti-Zionist historian Ilan Pappe. Pappe's foreward describes how, in 2004, the Israeli state built a complete simulacrum of an Arab city in the middle of the Negev Desert. By 2006, the correspondence between this make-believe town and Gaza was complete, which allowed the Israeli military to practice their killing techniques; in others words, the Israeli army was preparing for war in Gaza even after their 2005 withdrawal. In Pappe's words, Arrigoni's diaries provide a glimpse of this reality, opening up a window of hope for those who have been unconditionally, unwaveringly supportive of the Israeli state.

Arrigoni, assassinated by a shadowy, extremist Salafist group in April 2011 had been in Gaza since 2008, and was a representative of the internationalist solidarity movement, which allowed him to be an eyewitness to the Israeli aggression on Gaza during the 2008-2009 war, which he document in a series of 22 reports he had sent to Italy's Il Manifesto newspaper and posted on his blog, Guerilla Radio. In his own words, the reports were "made up of disturbing pages, soaked in blood and drenched in white phosphorus." As truth is the first casualty in any war, Arrigoni believed that it was his duty, as a human who saw what he did, to document the reality before him before the Israelis could kill it in Gaza.

This book is a truly shocking testament by a human who bore witness to one of the most brutal wars in history, waged by the Israelis against a defenseless population in Gaza.


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