Despite the oppressive measures, the social, cultural, and economical injustices against the residents of East Jerusalem in general and of Silwan in particular, the international silence, and the omission of the issue of Jerusalem from the concern of many—we, the residents of Wadi Hilwah in Silwan, have decided not to succumb to the agenda of the settlers associations which are on the rise and aim to Judaize the village of Silwan and Wadi Hilwa neighborhood, and to be effective in communicating the correct information that concerns us.
We, the residents of Wadi Hilwah, did not delegate anyone to convey the information on our behalf , and we do not allow any person to obscure our deep rooted identity which lies in the houses, stones, trees, gardens, springs, and sky of our village. Silwan, the core of the human history on this pure land, does not like the falsification of history that comes from the offices and platforms of the settlers association of right-extremist political agenda.
If the world was in fact a believer in peace, freedom and human dignity, it would not remain silent in the face of this brutal attack against Silwan and would not accept the trample of the lives of 55,000 people for a few hundreds of settlers.
We love this village as the baby loves its mother’s milk and as the green does not have life without water and sun. Are we committing a crime by this love? We are not dreaming of San Francisco nor Paris. The beauty of Silwan stimulates our bodies and souls, we do not accept a substitute for it.
So we, the residents of Wadi Hilwah, have decided to open an Information Center for those who wish to hear the voice of the indigenous people, to tell the stories of our forefathers and keep the light in the way of youth, and to keep the hope on the thresholds of doors.
We will tell the story and history of our village to all people without reservation, hesitation, intolerance, or racism. We are proud of the full history of our village and proud of being the owners of this beautiful legacy.
We acknowledge all the civilizations that have passed through the village, those who constructed the village or even those who destroyed it and wreaked havoc. It is part of the historical reality of the whole story; we do not have any story based on political agenda.
We see that it is our historical and humanitarian right to stay here, and no right for the stranger to claim. And if one wants to oppose reality, so may everyone have the right to do so: the Muslims would claim their right in Andalusia, the Macedonians in Alexandria, the Italians in the half of the world, and the red Indians in Australia and so no human will be in the place where he is now.
This is Silwan and here is Wadi Hilwah and that is “Wadi Hilwa street”, full of happy and sad stories and tales, cactuses hanging over the valley slopes, and the grandmother Hilwah, who the street carry her name, still in the adults minds is telling the stories about the children and the olive harvest season, and fig orchards; this love cannot be washed away from the memory as long as we have a story and history of which we are proud.
We welcome everyone in the village of Silwan and honor the guests as we honor the successive civilizations. The ruins and the story remains, and we are still in our homes and did not leave and will not leave.