[아시아엔 특별기고] 베라 바분 베들레헴 시장 “내 조국 팔레스타인에 관심을···”

베라 바분 베들레헴 시장

이스라엘과 전투중 숨진 남편 “부당한 권력을 향한 진실의 외침 중단말라”

[아시아엔=베라 바분 베들레헴 시장] 우리의 조국 팔레스타인은 지금까지 해방과 자유를 얻어 다른 세상사람들처럼 당당한 삶을 살려고 노력해 왔다. 우리가 권력을 가진 자들을 향해 진실을 외치려고 할 때 늘 조건이 따른다. 그것은 우리 스스로에게 먼저 진실을 말하고 있는가 하는 점이다. 이는 아주 중요한 문제다. 우리 팔레스타인 사회에서 여자가 선거에 승리해 지도자가 되는 것은 결코 쉬운?일이 아니다. 그렇게 되기 위해 나는 스스로에게 항상 정직하려고 최선을 다했다.

우리는 지속가능한 발전이 가능하다고 믿는다. 물론 그것은 변화에 대한 신념이 전제될 때 가능하다. 개인의 태도에서부터 음성 그리고 사고(방식)에 이르기까지 스스로 변화한다면 마침내 우리 주위의 어떤 사람도 변화시킬 힘을 갖게 된다고 나는 굳게 믿는다.

여성들은 변화에 잘 적응하는 편이다. 나는 거기에 어떤 비밀이 있는 걸까 하고 종종 생각해 본다. 해답은 우리 자신이 먼저 변화하고, 우리가 이루고자 하는 변화 그 자체에서 힘과 지혜를 얻으려고 애쓰기 때문이라고 나는 믿는다.

나는 베들레헴 시장에 당선되기까지 개인적으로나 사회적으로 수많은 어려움을 겪었다. 남편은 이스라엘교도소에서 3년간 복역하며 병을 얻고 일자리도 빼앗겼다. 그런 남편이 내게 자신을 대신해서 불의에 맞서 싸우라고 용기를 주었다.

이스라엘 군과의 전투 중 숨진 남편과 나는, 우리의 자랑스런 팔레스타인 국민들의 희생 한 가운데서 희망의 메시지를 본다. 평화와 자유는 쟁취하는 것이다. 그것은 독점되거나 소수의 소유물이어서는 결코 안 되며 누구에게나 언제 어디서든 공유되어야 더욱 가치가 커진다. 그것은 일상의 삶 속에서 경험되고 확인되는 결코 변하지 않는 진리이다.

Speaking out Truth to Power

Vera Baboun

Mayor of Bethlehem City, Palestine

I believe this is very important in order to create a change; it is important if we are really on the track of addressing a change that women want to see globally, if we want to be the agents for that change.

My country, Palestine, has until now, strived to witness the final liberation, to gain liberty, and to live in dignity like the rest of humanity.

This is what I wanted to talk about. Everyone has dignity and humanity within themselves, and as people, we deserve to live in dignity as the rest of the world. Here comes the role of “speaking truth to power”. There is a prerequisite though; before we try to speak truth to power and in order to succeed, every woman needs to speak the truth to her own self. Without this it is impossible to speak to power. Here, I raise a question: Do you speak truth to yourself? This is very important. I spoke truth to myself. Now I give a very practical example.

Winning an election and being in a leadership position; these are not easy things in my culture. But before succeeding, the prerequisite for me for many years was to always be honest to myself.

This stems from another very important concept that relates to dignity. Around the world, we believe in sustainable development(which I agree with). But a prerequisite for sustainable development is the transformation of development. Every woman needs to believe that she owns the capacity to create change, and needs to use this capacity in order to realize and create sustainable development. Without transforming our attitudes and our own voices, capacities, and thoughts, it is impossible to create any change in the world around us.

Bill Nelson, an astronaut, when returning to the earth, as he was coming out of the stratosphere and towards the earth, a very big accident occurred. The astronauts were really terrified but Bill Nelson said “Guys, we are going back home.”

If we really considered the earth our home, we would not treat our earth with wars, with constant conflicts, as we do now. We, as the caretakers, have to consider the earth as our home, and make others see that the earth is our home. Imagine what would happen to us if we lost this earth?home.

Finally, I always think: “What is the secret behind a woman who is flexible to change?” The answer I would like you to reflect on for this moment is: “You, yourself be the change; the change that you want to witness.”

I am a woman who has gone through many of social difficulties. Let me share this personal situation with you. My husband was detained in 1990 and spent three years in an Israeli prison. I, mother to three children, suddenly found myself alone(I was still continuing my studies). Nevertheless, life went on; my husband came out of prison a very sick person. In 2002, a military decision came to demolish his place of work, and it became fully demolished! I remember when I accompanied my husband to the place, he said: “Vera, this is my sword and shield. Take it, I cannot anymore. Take my sword to fight, and take my shield to protect me.” A few years later, my husband couldn’t make it, and he passed away as a martyr.

I see in this journey of sacrifice, for me, like for any other Palestinian, like my husband, like the rest of the Palestinian martyrs, this is a message; it is a message for the world, that peace should be taken and given to be shared.