Riad ElSolh Hamad: 1952-2008


Riad Hamad, from a video interview with freespeech.org

The more you love, the more you have to lose. Riad loved children, and he loved a home he could only visit, Palestine. Riad taught middle school in Texas; he also put heart and soul into the Palestine Children’s Welfare Fund. I “met” him on the Internet in 2002, when we were trying to send books to Palestinian children. PCWF also helped the largest hospital in Gaza and the health worker’s union, both of which are run by embattled, dedicated people. In his communications, Riad was alway gracious and grateful. He bore the pain that every Palestinian I have ever met bears, but he also carried hope — in his hands as well as in his heart,

For his dedication, Riad was labeled a supporter of terrorists, and investigated extensively, by the government and others. The usual unspeakable websites defamed him.  Earlier this year his home was “tossed” for evidence.

I usually do not read much of the “news” from Israel and Palestine, because it is so grim. Yesterday I tried to visit the PCWF website, but it was down. I searched. Riad’s body, bound in duct tape, was found in a lake in April.

The material I found was from the time of the terrible news; the police appeared to be treating it as a suicide. I have no more current information, although I do not believe Riad Hamad would have killed himself.

Shalom. As-salaam-aleikem, ya akhee.

Go in peace, my brother; I stay awhile, inshallah, with the children.