“Al-Aqsa Mosque: Ours not Theirs” was Palestinian children’s way to celebrate al-Aqsa 12th Child Festival held by the Palestinian Islamic Movement.
Thousands of Palestinian children headed to Occupied Jerusalem Saturday to celebrate the event. Several buses packed with children and their families from Arab communities nationwide arrived at the mosque at an early morning hour.
Different inspirational artistic competitions energized the festival, sporadically interrupted by speeches delivered by the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch’s Deputy Chairman, Sheikh Kamal Khatib, and Omar Kiswani, Director of Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The festival’s inaugural speech was delivered by Omar Kiswani who applauded the children’s loyalty to Al-Aqsa Mosque while insisting on their vital role as the nation’s liberators and the guardians of the sanctity of the holy mosque.
“We shall remind every person who dares violate the sacredness of al-Aqsa that our offspring will be shining everywhere there are violations of their nation’s rights. Our children shall never have a moment’s rest until every single stone in al-Aqsa becomes theirs.”
Sheikh Kamal Khatib’s speech boosted the attendants’ confidence and self-esteem while warning against any potential admission of defeat.
He insisted that Palestinians shall never throw in the towel. According to him, the present commemoration is a conclusive testimony that al-Aqsa is the nation’s eternal dream. “If you have been such an unyielding source of fear to the enemy it is because you have long heroically stood in the face of occupation. You shall be the nation’s knights in shining armor and al-Aqsa’s eternal saviors.”
Sheikh Khatib further stated that today, more than ever before, Palestinians are subject to a rising series of Israeli conspiracies against al-Aqsa, executed through brutal incursions and frequent approvals of settlement plans. The newly-discovered projected construction of a synagogue in Silwan along with the frequent calls for Aqsa assaults on 14 April under the pretext of Easter holidays, are living proofs of the occupation’s deceitful nature, he elaborated.
“Your dream shall never come true. Your provocations will never dampen our spirits. We will all be heading to Occupied Jerusalem and rally in the holy Aqsa on 14 April,” Khatib firmly declared addressing the Israeli occupiers, cautioning the occupation authorities against any potential exploitation of the current Arab circumstances to execute their prearranged plans to construct the alleged temple. “Victory looms on the horizon,” he firmly declared.
The audience was enthralled by inspirational live performances of chants and theatrical shows including “My eyes shedding nostalgia tears” song and Raed Salah’s poem: “Oh my Jerusalem! I will not settle in London.”
The festival’s closing speech was delivered by Sheikh Imad Younes who, thoughtfully, drew attention to children’s tragedy in other parts of the world, calling for an urgent need to lend a hand to the children of Egypt, Syria, Burma and other regions of Central Africa.