Vittorio has been active in the Palestine cause for almost 10 years. For the past two and a half years, he has been in Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement, monitoring human rights violations by Israel, supporting the Palestinian popular resistance against the Israeli occupation and disseminating information about the situation in Gaza to his home country of Italy.
Vic was more than this to me; he was my Italian friend who has a Palestinian heart. The brother for all Palestinians. who would sacrifices himself to protect fishermen and farmers. Who would say words and prove them with actions. The captain of the ship . the pipe, beard, and koffia. The dude with big mussels and tattoos. The caring friend and brother. The supporter . the big hearted vic who would do anything to draw smiles on Palestinian people’s faces . with his smile you can feel faith. The believer. The ghazawi. The Palestinian. The hero . the martyr. Victor. Vittorio. I’m sorry . I miss you . and you will always be in my heart.
“One of his right hand’s tattoos was (resistance) المقــاومـــة! How sarcastic life is! He is a true believer“
today 15.4.2011 , we –the ones who knew Vittorio- gathered at the gallery café after the Friday prayer, most of us knew him in person some just saw his smile here and there. A lot of media coverage which is good so the whole world would know that not all Palestinians and gaza people like the gang which killed him , and also it was annoying bec. We needed some space to hold each other and be there for each other and remember him in peace.
I was talking to one of my ISM friends , Selvia , she’s also Italian and close friend to Vic , she said “ when they kidnapped him we didn’t believe it , when the news of his death came out we didn’t either, even when I saw his body and it was him Nalan it was him , but I just can’t believe it “
One of my questions to my friend, Nathan an American ISM activist, too, was: “what your plans now?” he answered powerfully: “if you’re asking if the ISM leaving, no we are Not . What happened to Vic give us more power to stand up by the Palestinian people“ I was amazed with his answer, I said in my mind you guys are such believers, and I know you are feeling scared but hell yes you are No cowards.
“our tears will never dry on you Vic”
We started managing for the march to al Jundi square – the Unknown Soldier sq. – where our sit-in was for couple of hours, and then we headed back to the gallery café, planning for the sit-in in front of the UNDP with candles later at night. Before the march to al Jundi, we prepared posters was talking mostly about victor, our pain for losing him and our demands for the government to punch the murderers!
we lightened these candels for you as you lightened our lives with your smile and belief.. we sang you your favorite song “onadikom” i’m calling you… we sang some other songs full of pain, lost, proud, faith, and much more tears within… we will never forget you Victor.. i will never forget you…
Last time I saw Vic was couple of days ago at the beach restaurant, we caught up, life, Gaza, work, study. We shacked hands, I said bye, he said keep in touch! Which is unusual for my Vic to say , he usually ciao or Salam or any other Italian word which could amaze me and make me laugh ! It rang in my head! But I ignored it as days would come and go and we will meet again. But days went and took him with it and didn’t bring him back. I didn’t know that some people mean what they say deeply sometimes. I’m sorry Vic I wasn’t there to protect you. Or to hold your hand as you always held ours in bad times before good times.
“He used to call me the most beautiful Palestinian journalist! And I call him now – if you can hear me – YOU ARE MY HERO! brother I will always miss you“