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Apr-24-2011 16:24printcommentsVideo

Vik, You are Missed!

"My goodbye letter. For Vik, but also and especially to the people of Gaza, to his and to my friends. It was read at a commemoration service in Gaza.

Vittorio Arrigoni
Vittorio Arrigoni's funeral in Rome

(ROME ISM) - Vik, you wanted only happy farewell letters. Vik, we didn’t often agree on things. After some time, my friend, when it’s less painful.

You are missed with such an intensity that makes you even more present. In all of our minds, in all of our hearts. It's your absence that makes your strength, your kindness and your impressive dedication to people and to humanity so incredibly present.

You are missed as a symbol of the struggle for justice, and for the value of each individual, the value of especially those people who seem to have been forgotten.

You are missed in this world. Vik, I miss you in my world.

I miss you as my best friend, as the one who was always there in the last year, in good and bad times. You once told me I should smile, because my smile would light you. But Vik, it was you who made me laugh. Not only by your great sense of humor, but through your unique way to make the world around you a little brighter, just by being there. Everybody who knew you knows that, even those who met you even just once.

You cast a spell on people, through your charisma, through your personality, through your warmth. The world has become a bit darker without you, and it is also my own little world that has become a bit darker through your absence.

And Gaza of course, which I can’t imagine without you, probably no one here can imagine it without you yet. Your Arabic vocabulary of: Mushkile? Leeesh? Mish Mushkile! Yallah! was completely enough to brighten up the people around you, and to make everyone in Gaza your rafiq and your rafiqa.

And people in Gaza have loved you and appreciated you, you knew that and you would never have thought anything else. We were all touched and overwhelmed by the grief and sympathy your death has caused. A compassion that has helped all of us to overcome our initial shock, I want to heartily thank you all for that.

Adie, my friend and ISM colleague once said, being as ISM in Gaza doesn’t only mean to support the people here, but to be a bit of a Palestinian yourself, and to join carrying the burden for a little way. To not only feel with the pain of others, but to feel for yourself what it means to lose a loved one. Because being Palestinian means losing people you love.

Whoever is behind this senseless, cruel murder, he reached exactly the opposite of what he intended. Vik, through your death, we all have become Palestinians. We are more determined than ever. We will go on, and we will continue to fight, in the spirit of your humanity and with the strength and steadfastness of the Palestinians.

Not only because you would have wanted us to, but because we couldn’t do anything else. Not the people out there that you have inspired and woken up, and not us here, being united in the same dream, in the same goal for which we fight: a free Gaza, a free Palestine.

I remember one morning in autumn. The day before had been a black day for Gaza, and so we were all together the whole night, sitting in the ISM office and writing. Vik and I left at dawn. And just as we had walked a few steps, it started to rain. The first rain of the year. And we stood in the middle of the road, feeling the rain pouring down upon us, and laughed, and suddenly it was as if the whole sadness of the last hours was washed away. As if it was a new beginning, in which the world was pure and innocent and full of hope.

I will not grieve because I know that where you went, there was such a morning waiting for you. I will not grieve, in gratitude of having gotten to know you. Because people like you show us that also for our humanity there could be such a morning waiting for us."

Vik's service from today:

Story and pre-production by Tim King, Video post-production by Sean King.

__________________________________

End of the Road by Agron Belica

Dedicated to Vittorio Arrigoni

(Featuring Marka)

Produced by Kyle Hall

Co-Produced by Patrick Dreier, Tim King, Sean King and Agron Belica

_________________________________________________

When it comes down to what I’m doin’, What I’m doin’,
What I’m doin’ at the end of the road:
Pride in my words, and passion in my heart.
And ain’t a place that I’d rather start.
And if it comes down to what I’m doin’, What I’m doin’,
What I’m doin’, at the end of the road.
This path I chose you don’t see it, but believe it!
Just know that I’mma have a place to go, at the end of the road.

(Hook-Marka)

Life is sacred; it came from heaven up above;
A blessing from the Lord to be shared by everyone!
Freedom is God-given, something that we come to love;
It’s in the blood to defend it, yes! Our strongest passion!
The message goin’ out to those who transgress and violate,
When we’re overwhelmed, the Lord shakes the earth awake.
Everyone suffers; count the losses, check the death rate!
The ignorant surprised, as they watch the newsbreak.

The tears shed, man. for the ones that are sufferin’—
For the ones captive or dyin’ in the millions;
This one goes out to all my people in captivity:
Everyday we pray the Lord gives you all security!
Free you from the devil’s hand, those who oppress thee;
So you can enjoy your sacred life in the world free!
No one has the right to dictate your future, see?
The message goes out: mercy extends universally!
When it comes down to what I’m doin’, What I’m doin’,
What I’m doin’ at the end of the road:

Pride in my words, and passion in my heart.
And ain’t a place that I’d rather start.
And if it comes down to what I’m doin’,
What I’m doin’, What I’m doin’, at the end of the road.
This path I chose you don’t see it, but believe it!
Just know that I’mma have a place to go, at the end of the road.

(Hook-Marka)

____________________________________________

Most of us don’t want to take responsibility
Save a few brave hearts, inspired God-consciously
Not afraid to parade the doorsteps of authority;
Demand justice be served for the sake of humanity!
Going out to all the brave men and woman activists,
Who put their lives on the line to expose injustice;
Who exert their energy to see we live with dignity—
Your mission and your efforts are recorded in our history!
For all those who enjoin the good and forbid the evil:
Men, women, and children—everyone that is able;
Give a lending hand to stop all that are sinful;
Only with unity can we achieve and become forceful!

Those who left us never will be forgotten;
In our hearts you all will remain with lots of lovin’;
A place for you is set at the end of the road!
May the Lord give you peace and a heavenly abode!
When it comes down to what I’m doin’, What I’m doin’,
What I’m doin’ at the end of the road:
Pride in my words, and passion in my heart.
And ain’t a place that I’d rather start.
And if it comes down to what I’m doin’,
What I’m doin’, What I’m doin’, at the end of the road.
This path I chose you don’t see it, but believe it!
Just know that I’mma have a place to go, at the end of the road.

(Hook-Marka)

Articles regarding Vittorio's loss

Apr-20-2011: Men Die, Lions Rise - Jonathan Azaziah Special to Salem-News.com

Apr-17-2011: Vittorio Never Was as Much Alive as he is Now - By Egidia Beretta Arrigoni, Mother of Vittorio Arrigoni

Apr-17-2011: I Do Not Believe That A Palestinian Killed Vittorio Arrigoni - Gilad Atzmon Salem-News.com

Apr-17-2011: Vittorio and Israel's Attack on the Intellectual Intifada - Lauren Booth Salem-News.com

Apr-16-2011: Was Israel's Shin Bet Behind Vittorio Arrigoni's Brutal Murder? - Tim King Salem-News.com

Apr-15-2011: AMP expresses deep condolences to ISM and family of Vittorio Arrigoni - Salem-News.com

Apr-15-2011: We Mourn Another Friend... Vittorio Arrigoni - Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

Apr-14-2011: Hero of Gaza: Vittorio Arrigoni, Kidnapped and Murdered - Tim King and Bonnie King Salem-News.com

Apr-14-2011: Famed Activist Vittorio Arrigoni Kidnapped in Gaza - Feared Dead - Tim King Salem-News.com

Articles regarding the death of Juliano Mer Khamis:

April-05-2011: Losing Juliano - Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh Salem-News.com

April-04-2011: Filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis was Murdered Today in Jenin - Gilad Atzmon Salem-News.com

Articles by Vittorio on Salem-News.com:

Mar-23-2011: Israel's Attack on Civilians: Two Children Killed - Vittorio Arrigoni Special to Salem-News.com

Mar-18-2011: Gaza's Youth: Hopes Broken at 15 March End Of Division Demonstration - By Vittorio Arrigoni for Salem-News.com

Mar-04-2011: 15 March Palestine: End of Division - Vittorio Arrigoni for Salem-News.com

Nov-10-2010: The First Targeted US Killing in Gaza - Vittorio Arrigoni for Salem-News.com

Also:

Nov-30-2010: Israeli Soldiers Fire at Road to Hope Convoy Members - Tim King Salem-News.com

Advisory regarding comments: Comments on this story need to be of a respectful nature or they will not be approved.

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Fatima Radjaie April 24, 2011 4:42 pm (Pacific time)

Shahid Vittorio will always stay alive in our hearts, all our thoughts and actions and inspire us not to rest until Gaza and the entire Palestine will be free.
With his tireless struggle and efforts for freedom and his dedication to the rightless people in Palestine he really has deserved, now to be in the best and highest of the heavens, and it remains our duty and legacy, to take on the struggle, where he left and carry on the actions he did for a life in justice and dignity of all people in Palestine.
Ciao Vittorio, you wonderful angel, you will always be with us!

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