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Affidavit No. 1865/2004

Sworn Statement

After having been warned to tell the truth and nothing but the truth or else I shall be subjected topenal action, I the undersigned, Ahlam 'Adnan Hasan Abu-Faraj, holder of I.D. # 999603863,born on 17 May 1981, student at Al-Quds Open University and a resident of al-Doha, BethlehemGovernorate, would like to declare the following:

I am a resident of al-Dheisheh camp. In 1997 I married 'Isa Zikri Abu-Faraj and now have twochildren, 5-year-old Ihab and 3-year-old Shayma’. I lived with my husband in an apartment in abuilding owned by his family. My husband was a worker in the West Bank. During the Israeliincursions in Bethlehem on 8 March 2002, my husband was with me at home. But when helooked through the window, he was hit with two bullets shot by an Israeli sniper. He was shotwithout any justification, just because he looked through the window. My husband instantly died,and I remained in the apartment with my two children. Problems started with my 57-year-oldfather-in-law Zikri 'Atallah Abu-Faraj, because of the allowances and assistance given to themartyrs’ families. My father wanted to be in charge of everything and as a result my husband’sfamily tried to evict and my children me from the apartment. But I decided to stay at home.

This difficult situation continued, and my husband’s family severed their relations with me to theextent that my mother came from al-Doha to bring food for me. This situation continued, but itbecame aggravated when my 32-year-old brother-in-law Muhammad Zikri Abu-Faraj, proposedto marry me although he is married and has three children. It was clear that he wanted to marryme in order to control the martyrs’ family allowance. My father-in-law received a $4,000 grantfrom the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, as well as the President 'Arafat grant and thePilgrimage grant from Saudi Arabia, in addition to a part of my husband’s compensation (5,600shekels). It is worth noting that I do not receive anything of the monthly salary that the PNAallocated for the martyrs’ families, or the other assistance received by my husband’s family.Despite that, my mother and I support my family without receiving any assistance from myhusband’s family.

Of course, I refused the marriage proposal and the result was my eviction from the apartmenton 1 April 2004. I moved in with my mother (eight persons live in an 100 square meterapartment). This apartment is rented and not owned by my father. Moreover, my mother andfather are divorced, and my father lives abroad. So I burdened my mother all of my problemsand difficulties. She supports us from her savings that are going to run out while my father, wholives in the United States, supports us financially from time to time. The problem is that I am theeldest of my siblings — the males are still children, and the girls are students. Currently, there isno relation between my husband’s family and me and they do not give my children any support,and they rarely see the children. The few occasions they have seen the children, it happensthrough some relatives who take my children to visit their father’s family,As for me, I decided to restart my life by enrolling in al-Quds Open University, and I receivefinancial support from certain organizations to pay my tuition, while my mother helps mewhenever she can. I am confronting a problem because my father-in-law has obtained legalcustody of my children, which means that he is in charge of all their financial matters. Anotherproblem is that I contacted HaMoked to submit a case against the Israeli army for theunprovoked killing of my husband; my father-in-law cancelled the appointment and registered anew case at HaMoked in his name, in order to control any compensation given to us,I am a young widow with two children, and this greatly affects my psychological situation. Mytwo children suffer as well, especially Ihab, who saw how his father was killed and still suffersfrom nightmares, in addition to the impact of my husband’s family hatred of me. As for mydaughter Shayma’, who was 13 months when her father was killed, she is also suffering fromthe loss of her father. Consequently, I find difficulty in bringing up my children, who do notunderstand why they do not have a father. The most difficult consequence for me is that peoplelook at me with pity because I am widowed, and married men or old-aged men proposemarriage to me. This has often happened and I reject their proposals.

This is my declaration and hereby I sign, on 24 June 2004

Affidavit Details

  • Affidavit Number: 1865/2004
  • Field researcher: Ziad Hmeidan
  • Affidavit Date: 24 June 2004
  • Name: Ahlam 'Adnan Hasan Abu-Faraj
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