Read Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie by Rachel Corrie Free Online
Book Title: Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of Rachel Corrie|
The author of the book: Rachel Corrie
Edition: W. W. Norton Company
The size of the: 498 KB
City - Country: No data
Date of issue: March 3rd 2008
ISBN 13: 9780393065718
Format files: PDF
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Reader ratings: 7.4
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How do we find our way in the world? How do our actions affect others? What do we owe the rest of humanity? These are the timeless questions so eloquently posed by Rachel Corrie, a young American activist killed on March 16, 2003, as she tried to block the demolition of a Palestinian family’s home in the Gaza Strip. She was twenty-three years old. Let Me Stand Alone reveals Corrie’s striking gifts as a poet and writer while telling her story in her own words, from her earliest reflections to her final e-mails. Her writing brings to life all that it means to come of age—a dawning sense of self, a thirst for one’s own ideals, and an evolving connection to others, near and far. Corrie writes about the looming issues of her time as well as the ordinary angst of an American teen, all with breathtaking passion, compassion, insight, and humor. Her writing reverberates with conviction and echoes her long-held belief in the oneness of humanity: “We have got to understand that they dream our dreams, and we dream theirs.”
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Read information about the authorEarly life
Corrie was born on April 10, 1979, and raised in Olympia, Washington, United States. She was the youngest of the three children of Craig Corrie, an insurance executive, and Cindy Corrie. Cindy describes their family as "average Americans—politically liberal, economically conservative, middle class".
After graduating from Capital High School, Corrie went on to attend The Evergreen State College (TESC), also in Olympia, where she took a number of arts courses. She took one year off from her studies to work as a volunteer in the Washington State Conservation Corps; other volunteer work included making weekly visits to patients with mental disorders for three years. In her senior year, she proposed an independent-study program in which she would travel to Gaza, join protesters from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and initiate a "sister city" project between Olympia and Rafah. Before leaving, she also organized a pen-pal program between kids in Olympia and Rafah.
Activities in the West Bank and Gaza
See also: House demolition in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and Gaza Strip smuggling tunnels
After flying to Israel on January 22, 2003, Corrie underwent a two-day training course at ISM West Bank headquarters, before heading to Rafah to participate in ISM demonstrations. During her training, Corrie studied tactics of direct action. Basic rules about avoiding harm were given, which a later article on the Corrie incident summarized as: "Wear fluorescent jackets. Don't run. Don't frighten the army. Try to communicate by megaphone. Make your presence known." On January 27, 2003, Corrie and William Hewitt (also from Olympia), traveled to the Erez checkpoint and entered the Gaza Strip.
Corrie with Israeli bulldozers in background
While in Rafah, Corrie acted as a human shield in an attempt to impede house demolitions carried out by the IDF using armored bulldozers. On Corrie's first night there, she and two other ISM members set up camp inside Block J, often a target for Israeli gunfire. Israeli troops fired bullets over their tent and at the ground a few feet away. Deciding that their presence was provoking the Israeli soldiers, not deterring them, Corrie and her colleagues hurriedly dismantled their tent and left the area.
Qishta, a Palestinian who worked as an interpreter, noted that: "Late January and February was a very crazy time. There were house demolitions taking place all over the border strip and the activists had no time to do anything else." Qishta also stated of the ISM activists: "They were not only brave; they were crazy." The confrontations were not without harm to the activists; a British participant was wounded by shrapnel.
Palestinian militants expressed concern that the "internationals" staying in tents between the Israeli watchtowers and the residential neighborhoods would get caught in crossfire, while other residents were concerned that the young activists might be spies. Corrie worked hard to overcome this suspicion, learning a few words of Arabic, and participating in a mock trial denouncing the "crimes of the Bush Administration." With time, the ISM members were taken into Palestinian family homes, and provided with meals and beds. Even so, in the days before Corrie's death, a letter gained wide circulation in Rafah, casting suspicion again on the ISM members. "Who are they? Why are they here? Who asked them to come here?" it asked. The letter caused the activists to be preoccupied and frustrated, and on the morning of Corrie's death they planned ways to counteract its effects. According to one activist, "We all had a feeling that our role was too passive. We talked about how to engage the Israeli military."
On March 14, 2003, during an interview with the Middle East Broadcasting network, Corrie said:
"I feel like I'm witnessing the systematic destruction of a people's ability to survive ... Sometimes I sit dow
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