Since my call to the officials of Germany and the PA did not actually work, I at this moment address my pleas to President Mahmoud Abbas. I do genuinely feel helpless. I usually wonder about those call for help for someone who is sick or arrested or needs help in a crucial matter. This matter for me is no different. This is a direct theft of our heritage. To my memories. To a culture of education that I continue to be proud in front of my children. To an identity that not only reflects me, shapes me but makes me. Schmidt’s has never been just a school. It is an essential component of Jerusalem’s heritage. I am not exaggerating when I say that it means to me what the holy sepulcher and the dome of the rock mean to me. An integral part of my being.
I would not say I felt disappointed by the reaction of the administration of the school, or those new people who seem to be working for the school now, or the passivity in responses of people. A passerby would think, why to care for some mummified animals when a whole village is destroyed a few kilometers afar. Why care when all the city is being Israelized. Why bother when the entire world is watching the killings, the violations, the theft of land, the expansions of settlements, the expulsion of people. Why care about a museum that no one outside your own memory knows about?
It is because it is part of my memory, my personal mind. The memory of a hundred years of successive students, graduates, families, educators, that took part in the building of the society through this school. Ambassadors, CEOs, Representatives, Ministers, Physicians, Scholars, Scientists came out of this school. Every single thing related to this place is part of our upbringing, our history, our heritage, our culture, our struggle, and our existence… an existence that we seek to maintain from extinction, from forgery, from expulsion, and from deformation.
The administration fo the school represented by its board of directors wrote an announcement saying the following shallow statement: “about the allegations that the school donated the collection of stuffed animals by father Schmidt to the Museum of Natural History at Tel Aviv University: Schmidt’s Girls College does not own this collection. IT thus could not donate or lease this collection to anyone. ”
So if the school does not own it, and I, of course, agree with this, because this is a school owned by us, its students and its graduates. Its families and its teachers. IT is us who created and continue to build this school. Unless it is one of us who donated these belongings, which of course did not happen, and the school who is not the owner as they claim to the belongings that resided for more than a hundred years inside its building, in a basement that was designed as a museum for decades and decades. Then who did this?
The museum contents were stolen? Where leaked? What happened?
Who gave whoever did this the authorization to move antiquities from the school’s museum. If this did not belong to the school and the locals, then it belongs to the Palestinian authority in the form of education offices, or archaeology to the least, which the school administration very much know about?
They could have consulted al Quds university who have an archaeology and tourism department, or their Environment and species-saving department, by the way, all these are in the campus of Jerusalem not in Abu dees only.
Dr. MAzen Qumsiyyeh has created a nature museum precisely like this kind of museum to preserve Palestinian environmental heritage, and the museum is in excellent coordination with Palestinian universities and is hosted by the coordination of Bethlehem University. We are not out of options.
The Palestinian Museum, the prominent centers for heritage through the country …
Donating the museum belongings to the Tel Aviv University is a violation to all norms that hold up to the Palestinian identity of this city.
If the school sees itself outside this part of representing Palestinian localities, then let us have an announcement about that.
This school has gained its reputation based on the generations of graduates that represent my generations. If the new administration of the school defines itself differently, it is our right as graduates and as current students, and thus as parents and as a community to know the truth about this new administration.
I still call for the German Representative and Officials to respond to my appeal.
Please sign and spread the petition … maybe we can all become part of pressuring the nonstoppable injustice befalling on this city.