She offered her own life as a price for her convictions. She believed in humanity as one family and she came to Palestine to protect people who were not able to protect themselves. Her deep convictions about our ugly world and the prevalence of injustice worldwide, where millions of innocent people suffer daily under a multitude of pressures and discrimination imposed upon them by one oppressor or another.
Rachel arrived in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip, where Israeli atrocities are committed daily against defenseless Palestinian civilians. Rachel and her colleagues became one with the people of Rafah. They suffered with them under the dreadful Israeli occupation.
Rachel loved the children of Rafah and deeply sensed their needs and their suffering too. She also had a deep, comprehensive and fair sense of the conflict and its impact on all kids including herself. She felt that “we are all kids”, some good and some bad. The Israeli kids inside the army tank and the Palestinian kids outside trying to get home safely from school. (This is how she explained the situation to her mother in an e-mail)
The Board of Directors of the Union of Health Work Committees has decided to name its new children and youth cultural center in the Rafah Refugee Camp after Rachel Corrie. It will be known as the Rachel Corrie Children and Youth Cultural Center. The center will provide Rafah kids (Rachel gave her life to protect them) with health care. It will also give them the opportunity to read in the new institution’s library, dance, use computers, play, paint, meet with their friends, learn drama, write and just be themselves in a place apart and aside from the miserable lives they currently live in refugee camps constantly watched and sniped upon by the Israeli soldiers in their occupation guard towers that overlook every corner of the camps.
The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center building is almost completed and will open its doors to the children within six months.
By naming the center after Rachel, this will provide a lasting outstanding memorial to our Palestinian kids so that they can know and keep in mind that they are not alone in this struggle. They are not abandoned and the human family acts and feels differently from governments. As an organization we are very concerned about our children understanding this concept. We don’t like our children growing up knowing nothing but shooting, killing injustice and, what seems to them as an uncaring world. Rachel’s memory will always remind them that someone cared.
I understand that at this time it is difficult for her immediate family in this time of their grief. However I want to invite Rachel’s friends and relatives, those who knew Rachel as a child or as a young adult to please provide UHWC with her biography. We would like to honor Rachel by having her life story fully documented and available for all Palestinian kids to read and learn from.
Help us to spread the word,
Help us to fight against injustice,
Work with us to put big smiles on the faces of all the children of the world including the children of Rafah, Palestine.
For more information please contact:
Letter to Rachel Corrie’s parents
21 March 2003
Dear Mr. & Mrs. Corrie,
As a Palestinian mother of three children, one of them the same age as Rachel, I can imagine how difficult for you to lose a daughter. No matter what I say I feel without words at those moments, however I would like to tell you that, we at the Union of Health Work Committees (UHWC) - Gaza - have the honor to name one of our children’s cultural center of Rachel. We would like it to be known as the Rachel Corrie Cultural Center.
We know that this can never replace your daughter, but we hope and pray as we honor Rachel like this, her memory will endure.
Dr. Mona Al-Farra
Union of Health Work Committees — Gaza