Esta es una entrevista que hice hace 3 años a Sami Awad. Director de Holy Land Trust (www.holylandtrust.org) , una organización que promueve la Resistencia Pacífica en Palestina. Sami es líder del Movimiento no violento, nacido en Belén y cristiano de convicción. Co protagonista de la película documental Little Town of Bethlehem (http://littletownofbethlehem.org). Les comparto, en inglés, algunas de sus respuestas.
1. Do you have motives for being annoyed or hating someone?
The answer is no, i do not think i have a motive in me that lets me hate or to be annoyed by someone. I do think that people engage in actions and say things that would cause me to be annoyed by the actions and the words, but it is not against the person, it is the actions they do and the words they say and once we begin to differentiate between the actions of the person and the person then we begin to see new ways of dealing with each other.
2. Do you have enemies?
I believe that enemies exist again in the actions people do, words they speak, and more importantly the background and interpretations they come from. The problem we have is when we label someone as an enemy and when we seek to have enemies to achieve our own personal agendas and goals. For example, a country might create fear in the hearts of its community against a small ethnic group because the leaders have a certain political agenda they want to achieve. For me, i try to exist in that place where i try to see beyond the face of the enemy and to seek the question to the answer: what causes that person to see me as an enemy and address this interpretation and not the person as a human.
3. In your opinion, what is forgiveness?
One of my favorite quotes is this: «forgiveness is giving up hope for a better past.» This is what forgiveness is about for me, to create a clear and direct break between the past and the future. To declare that I will not allow my future to be a continued expression of my past but a future that is completely independent of the past. A future where trust, respect and love are the foundations of the new relationship that I establish with those that have done me wrong in the past.
4. Why people cant forgive?
I think people do not understand the liberating power of forgiveness. Society today shows forgiveness as the act of the weak and those who are powerless and has completely neglected the healing power that lies in such an act. If i do not forgive then i become an enemy to my own self. I live in pain, in hatred, in anger and that leads to self destruction on the physical, moral and spiritual levels. We have accepted that there are two places for humans to exist in: the macho-powerful world or the poor-victim world, and both are socially accepted. We need to liberate ourselves from both words. we can not forgive because our past expereinces have taught us not to trust others and we can only forgive once we are ready to put our past behind us and engage in actions that focus on a new future.
5. What do you think of what Jesus said about loving your enemies?
It is the most powerful statement for me as a follower of Jesus, because everything lies in love; forgiveness, healing and new creation. In this statement, Jesus orders me not only to reconcile with the enemy but to actually go deeper than that and become one with the enemy. This is what happens when two people fall in love, they become a new creation, a new being, a new entity. What Jesus is saying that if you want to end hatred, end violence, end war and end the notion of enemy, then you must engage in actions and words that open the heart of the other to see you in your purist humanity, as an expression of God’s love and power, to seek that future that is fully independent of the past and future in the spirit (even if that spirit was only in you) that will open the heart of the other to new and better opportunities.