Ballad of Saed Bannoura

David Rovics
Language: English

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Saed Bannoura
Saed Bannoura

Saed Bannoura (b. 1973) is a Palestinian journalist working for the Bethlehem-based IMEMC ( Saed currently lives in the United States. He is confined to a wheelchair since 1991 after being shot repeatedly by an Israeli death squad, who had infiltrated a demonstration in Bethlehem. In his own words:

When the man noticed that I had realized their true identify he pulled a small automatic gun from under his shirt, and I ran away knowing that even if I surrendered to him then, I would have been immediately assassinated, as had happened to so many Palestinian martyrs before me.The man ran after me, along with the other undercover death squad members, until I came to an area were he was standing above me on a hill, just five meters away from me. When he shouted at me again, I began to turn, and I could see his eyes, or at least, what was visible of them from under his mask. It was at that moment that he started to shoot.After five or six rounds penetrated my chest and back, I fell to the ground, motionless, soaked with my own blood. I could not feel anything, I could not see clearly, and I could not hear anything.I fell down face first, injuring my face and breaking my teeth on the ground. Then the man approached me and kicked me in my chest, breaking four ribs, in order to flip me over onto my back.The last thing I heard before I passed out was that man who shot me saying, "After all that, and you're still alive!?"
Saed Bannoura is a friend of mine
But I'm lucky to know him, to be sure
He is from a land called Palestine
From the town of Beit Sahur
His house was a mile from where Jesus was born
And a mile from a military base
He grew up under occupation
Such a lovely town but such a terrifying place
When the First Intifada started
Saed was facing off with tanks
So many of the youth then became martyrs
And Saed almost joined their ranks
He was running from a death squad
Soldiers shot him in the chest and in the back
They shot him six times altogether
But Saed said you guys just don't have the knack

He wouldn't die, he wouldn't die
They tried hard to kill him
But he just spat in their eye
He wouldn't die, he wouldn't die, he wouldn't die

A soldier came and kicked him to turn him over
A blow that broke four of his bones
A local doctor ran to try to help him
The soldiers said you leave him alone
It was hours before they took him
To hospital where he got surgery
But after they cut out half his lung
And patched him back together most sloppily
To stop the intifada
They tried different strategies
First they tried packing the prisons
Then they tried brutalilty
Neither one of these things worked
So they tried assassination
But now he's sitting right in front of me
Working at his station
Yes they tried to kill Saed Bannoura
And they succeeded with so many more
But now Saed is a citizen of Portland
My neighbor, by the Willamette River shore
And now Saed is a journalist
Reporting from his wheelchair
Though twenty years ago he took six bullets
Which was quite a lot more than his share

Contributed by donquijote82 - 2014/1/27 - 12:35

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