Sabeel Wave of Prayer: Week of Oct. 25, 2021
This week’s Kumi Now online gathering focused on the plight of women and children living through conflict under the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Next week’s Kumi Now on Tuesday, the 2nd of November, will consider the topic of Islamophobia. The Kumi Now community would like to establish the month of November as the month when issues about Islamophobia are thoroughly discussed. It is hoped that further education will lead to overcoming prejudice and will empower Muslims to contribute more confidently to their wider communities.
- Lord Jesus, our righteous Lord, help us ‘to seek goodness, not evil and to establish justice in the gate’, (Amos 5:15). Help us to encourage all members of our diverse communities to step forward and add their contributions to build more peaceful societies. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
Gaza’s first woman basketball referee has started to officiate at both men’s and women’s matches. Amira Ismail, 23, actually gained her international license three years ago but was prevented from attending matches by the pandemic and social pressures. She is the only female basketball referee among fifteen referees in Gaza. She also works as a hospital pharmacologist.
- Lord, we give thanks for Amira’s determination to gain her qualification to referee basketball matches in Gaza. We pray that she will inspire many other young women to pursue the sports they love, to grow in confidence and to keep fit and healthy. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
Netflix has announced that it has launched a new series of films, entitled ‘Palestinian Stories’. Initially, there will be 32 award-winning films either made by Palestinian directors or films telling Palestinian stories. Many of the films will expose the oppression suffered by Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation.
- Lord, we pray that the international community will challenge the Israeli government over its occupation and its excesses as they are exposed by Palestinian filmmakers. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
The Palestinian film called ‘The Stranger’, (Al Gharib), has been selected as a nominee film for the 2022 Oscars. The director, Ameer Fakker Eldin, who came from the occupied Syrian Golan, won the Edipe Re prize with this film at the recent Venice Film Festival. The film was made in the Golan Heights and follows an unlicensed doctor living in a small village and undergoing a time of personal crisis.
- Lord, we pray for the Syrian people living in the Golan Heights suffering from Israeli annexation and further threats of displacement from Israeli settlement expansion. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
On Thursday, the 21st of October, UN experts spoke out to express their grave concerns over the fate of five Palestinians currently on hunger strike in Israeli military prisons. The Israeli policy of administrative detention is driving Palestinians to desperate measures to draw attention to their plight. The hunger strikers are all men in their twenties and thirties and they have been refusing food for between 58-99 days. The lives of two men in particular, Kayed Al-Fasfous and Miqdad Al Qawasameh hang in the balance.
- Lord we pray for the lives of the five Palestinian prisoners, that they may be released from administrative detention before they die. We pray that the Israeli government would cease to impose administrative detention orders on more than five hundred Palestinian prisoners, including six Palestinian children. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
On Friday, the 22nd of October, the Israeli Defence Minister, Benny Gantz declared that six leading Palestinian human rights organizations are now deemed ‘terrorist organizations’. He claimed they all had a ‘secret link’ to the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The declaration could empower the Israeli authorities to close their offices, seize their assets and ban supporting their activities. The groups named are Addameer; al-Haq; Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P); the Union of Agricultural Work Committees; Bisan Centre for Research and Development and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have released a joint statement claiming that the announcement from the Israeli government is a ‘brazen attack on human rights’.
- Lord, we pray for all the Palestinians and Israelis working to protect the human rights of Palestinians struggling to survive under the Israeli occupation. We pray that international organizations and governments around the world will challenge the way the Israeli government abuses the human rights of the Palestinian people and that Israel rescind its decision. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
This month Heads of Missions and representatives from the EU, Scandinavia and the U.K. visited Qusra village in the Nablus district to take part in the olive harvest. The British Consulate organized this visit and liaised with two other villages which have been targeted with attacks from illegal Israeli settlers. The international presence is one way to deter the settlers from launching violent attacks at harvest time.
- Lord, we pray for protection for the thousands of Palestinian farmers who rely on the olive harvest to supplement their livelihood. We pray for an end to the violent attacks on these farmers by Israeli settlers. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
Nisreen Abu Kmeil, a 46-year-old Palestinian mother, was finally reunited with her husband and seven children in her home in Gaza on Wednesday, the 20th of October. She was released from prison in Israel after completing a six year sentence for resisting the occupation. However the authorities made her wait a further three days before allowing her to join her family, claiming she owed them unpaid tax on her television.
- Lord, we pray for Nisreen as she settles back home with her family and gets to know her children again, including the 8-month-old son she had to leave when she was arrested six years ago. We pray for the thirty-two other Palestinian women who remain in Israeli prisons for their resistance to the occupation. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.
- We join with the World Council of Churches in their prayers for the islands of the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.