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To Vik: Gaza Will Stay Human

April 15, 2011

Upon reading the updates from facebook friends in my news feed this morning that Vittorio Arrigoni, the kidnapped Italian journalist and beloved ISM worker, was found dead, my heart leapt! “Leapt” might not be the perfect word as it implies excitement and happiness but I truly felt it leaping!

When I realized it was true and everyone was linking Vittorio’s name to “R.I.P.”, I was so shocked that I could hardly contain my feelings – let alone identify them. Yet after reflecting on the news for few more minutes, my thoughts on the subject crystallized.

This is how I understood it: Vittorio was Gaza’s and Palestine’s latest “Shaheed”. He was brutally murdered by a bunch of lunatic criminals who are not in any way even remotely related to Palestine and what Palestinians feel for Vittorio.

Vik, as friends called him, was kidnapped yesterday by a Salafist Islamic group that, in a film on YouTube, threatened to kill him if within 30 hours, starting from 11:00 local time, the Hamas government did not liberate some Salafi detainees.

My conscious thinking kept telling me not to worry and that Vik will be released to safety soon; that I can start worrying on exceeding the 20-hours mark. My rationalization was fundamentally wrong; monsters who allow themselves to abduct such a hero are not governed by any sense of reason. Vittorio was killed without even half the time that the kidnappers stated as the limit having passed.

Vittorio was assassinated. We lost him.

The big, strong and handsome Italian man was a volunteer with the International solidarity movement and served as a human shield while working with the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances during the Israeli attack on Gaza strip. He was especially known for accompanying the fishermen as they tried to ply their trade despite almost daily shootings at them from the Israeli navy, who confined them to the fished-out, sewage-filled waters near the Gaza coast.

Vik received Palestinian citizenship and a passport when he sailed into Gaza port in August, 2008 and on his facebook page is written: “lives in Gaza”. That citizenship was a richly earned one; Vik was a dedicated Palestinian who shared the people of Gaza the three-week aggression on the Strip as he shared them the too-sweet tea, traditional dishes and Shisha!

In his book, Gaza: Stay Human, Vittorio documents his experiences among the people of Gaza during Israel’s attack in 2008-2009 and gives his first hand account of the inhuman actions the Gaza strip witnessed at that time.


Human you wanted Gaza to stay and in Gaza you were inhumanely murdered. 

For you, Rachel, Tristan, Tom and Juliano

Gaza will stay human and Palestine will be free… 



  1. انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون
    ‘Inna Lillahi wa ‘Inna ‘Ilayhi Raji’un

    Shocked and in tears we received all the message about the death of Vittorio Arrigoni: Vik. A man who dedicted so much to the Palestinian cause and people.

    I salute the Shaheed Vittorio Arrigoni, killed in Gaza on April 14, 2011 during his struggle for humanity and truth. May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shaheed Vittorio Jannatul Firdaus, ease it for his family, loved ones and friends. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil ‘ Alameen.

    I remember him, mourn him and in his honour we will continue his & our joint struggle: To “stay human” and fight injustice.

  2. its more than pain .. i’m feelings more than pain..
    i will miss you Vic..

  3. Vittorio, Vittorio, Vittorio, thou shalt be remembered. Thy light will never be forgotten or fade.

  4. echopal permalink

    i just feel so mad! at those who killed him! i just keep imagining the other detail .. how they caught him! how he struggled,maybe, to get away from them! it just makes me feel pain!
    i hope he didn’t beg them for his life .. and died as a man, as a Gazan 😦 😦

    RIP Vittorio

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Vittorio Arrigoni: a Friend, a Brother, a Humanist | Occupied Palestine | فلسطين
  2. Apr 15, 2011 PALESTINE NEWS | Occupied Palestine | فلسطين

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