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I heard a Palestinian man speak today, of his land still locked in Apartheid just like we once were. And he spoke as if only to me, that his words rang clear in my ears and straight to my heart. Papa he said he was proud of us, as South Africans, as a nation. He calls us the people of Nelson Mandela. He told us of the day we declared a democracy and the day we won the vote. He told me how proud he was when we were liberated, when we were granted our rights, when we ended our Apartheid. He remembered the day, papa. He remembered it so clearly that he remembered how he felt, and it was not just him papa. He told me that he and the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians bore witness to our success story and they too were proud papa. The Palestinians were proud of us, they were proud of you, because they too know the struggle of apartheid and they continue to bare its injustice. And that broke me. You see papa, we don’t know what’s in the hearts of others and when we go through our struggle, we think it’s ours alone. So when we achieve success we believe it’s ours alone. But our success was their success! Because we had proved, that it is indeed possible to overthrow an apartheid regime. And our pride was their pride! It is said that an injustice to one is an injustice to all, so is their struggle not ours as well? Is their apartheid not ours as well? Or did we simply forget. When we won the vote, when we achieved democracy and liberated ourselves, did our pride take over? Did we forget, papa? 21 years on and our Palestinian brothers and sisters have still not been liberated. Is this what freedom means? To forget.

“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”
Nelson Mandela

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