Thank you for writing about Riad’s Memorial. It made me laugh and cry. I wanted to go but it was impossibly expensive and I feel so bad. Your essay took us there. My friends were there so I could picture them in the audience and will call them next. It was wonderful to hear what his wife and children had to share.
I met all of these people online doing Palestine peace work. . . . I don’t know how he could have committed suicide knowing how much he loved his children. After listening to his principal give her press conference and finding about all the kids who loved him..it made even less sense.
I met him online too of course. Friends in California, in Gaza, and in Belfast all knew him. When I heard he was coming in 2005 to LA area for the Al Awda conference I offered him a place to stay in my home. I didn’t know he would have slept in his car! So he got to sleep on my very comfortable futon couch.
He stayed until Monday or so and we went all over to UCLA and to friends where he dropped off goods for people to sell. He’d say, “just take it and send me the money as you sell it.” Anticipating staying here he said, “I’m shipping stuff to your address.” Dozens of big boxes showed up from Jerusalem and other places.
I still have on can of oil and had honey to sell and use .. gave to another friend who sold some too and my friends from WIBLA bought some too.
He was funny. Very self deprecating.Talked about being an Arab a lot. I can’t find my picture of him. I loved reading his take on the pink shirt. Don’t remember if he wore pink here though. He was a whirlwind. How his family is surviving . . . how shocking to have his life end so abruptly.
Thanks for giving us this peek in Riad’s life.