From the Darkness of the Khiam Detention Center, She Resisted and Triumphed
The 24-year-old was in her home in the southern Lebanese village of Mhaibib when it was overrun by a Zionist forces and she was taken to prison.
Rasmiya Jaber did not realize at the time what the darkness of the detention center had in store for her. 1/1/1990 is a date she remembers well. It was when she was forcibly taken from her parents' home following the detention of her father and brother. She was taken to the Khiam detention center. There an "Israeli" police officer opened the trunk of the car. She grabbed a sack and a blindfold. She put the sack on her [Rasmiya's] head and blindfolded her eyes. She handcuffed her. It was the beginning of Rasmiya's journey in the brutal world of captivity.
They took her around the prison blindfolded. They took her up and down in a place she did not know as part of the psychological pressure until she reached a place with three women and a man waiting to search her. In this room, she encountered the most difficult moments. The inspector asked her to remove the headscarf. She refused and was stubborn. But the "Israeli" policewoman was on guard. She forcefully removed the hijab from her head and stepped on it.
"I felt that all that I have in this world, my honor, my dignity, my true identity, was being stepped on," Rasmiya says about these moments. After the inspection, she was dragged to another place where the investigation began. The investigation at the Khiam detention center, as in all the Zionist detention centers, centered on torture. Questions and torture, electricity, pouring cold water and then hot water, handcuffing and beatings, as well as psychological torture: this is how Rasmiya summarizes the methods practiced by the Zionists during the investigation.
"The charge was cooperating with the resistance, and the focus during the investigating was on names," she said. Rasmiya gathered all her strength to remain steadfast in the face of the cruel and painful torture methods.
After this period, she was crammed into a small cell. Her hands and feet were tied. The policewoman put a plate of food in front of her and told her, "You will eat like a dog." In that empty, cold cell, the twenty-year-old sat weakened and cried with pain and fear, but she did not give up. "In the meantime, I remembered the prayer. I did not have a veil and no water for ablution. Water was entering the cell from all sides. I prayed as I could. Prayer was my only weapon," said Rasmiya.
These were the conditions she lived in for about 33 days until she heard voices near by. She knew that there were girls like her in the detention center. After this stage, she was taken to a room with six detainees. She had a strong desire to talk to anyone, but of course, caution is the name of the game in prison. The "Israelis" place their agents even inside the cells. Following the investigation, an investigator offered her to work as an agent through incitement, telling her: "If you work with us, you get out of prison and get privileges". The daughter of the South met the offer with contempt and ridicule, despite the pain of detention that she was suffering.
The memoirs of captivity were similar.
"We used to eat to live, so we can resist more". This is a saying that sums up the situation of resisting female detainees. "There you will know the meaning of resistance more. You will know your enemy better. You are deprived of everything, but you have to prove to the enemy that you are still strong," Rasmiya continues. Thus, the will was a power that God gave her as she called on him in the cell.
The freed detainee narrates some of the enemy's violations of the most basic human rights.
"Every time we went out under the sun for ten minutes. The seven of us were given only a bucket of water that should be enough for us to shower and wash our clothes. Despite of everything, we woke up in the morning and started exercising on a daily basis. From the tie of the bread bag we made a knitting hook. Then, we broke the comb, rubbed it, pierced it and made it into a needle. We did not have free time. We had our worship programs. We conducted political and cultural discussions between us." These are small details, but they speak volumes about the women who resisted the occupier with all their will and faith.
"We went through moments of pain and not despair. The interrogators told us that we brought you here to make you into ‘a burden' to your community. But we used to reply to them that all you can do is imprison this body, but we are already free," she explains.
After a year and six months, Rasmiya Jaber was released through a prisoner exchange deal. Today, she is the opposite of what the "Israeli" executioner wanted her to be. She is responsible for the file of the liberated women prisoners in Hezbollah. Rasmiya confirms that the Khiam detention center was a school she learned a lot from. She came out stronger and with clearer goals. She formed the gathering of the detainees of the Khiam detention center and occupied Palestine.
"We knocked on all doors for the sake of the detained. At the time, we were a group of liberated detainees. We visited the late President Elias Hrawi. It was shocking when he asked us ‘are there female detainees in the Khiam detention center?'" she adds. "When victory comes mixed with pain, it has a more beautiful taste."
So Rasmiya is among the most knowledgeable of the value of the Resistance and Liberation Day on May 25, 2000. She describes this date as "the strength, the victory and our new birth. It is the fruit that the martyrs, the prisoners and the wounded planted. Today we lift our heads high because we won over the "Israeli" enemy. The Islamic resistance, which started from nothing, was made precious by God because it has a sincere leadership and young people who sacrificed their lives for us to live in dignity and pride."