Jihan Ajlouni, a 24-year-old university student, said, “This is a big loss for the Arab nation. Saddam was one of the great Arab leaders who supported the Palestinian people and many Arabs. We feel very sad today, and we say to all the traitors and collaborators: Don’t rush to celebrate because there are millions of Saddams in the Arab world.”
Fathi Salman, 50, a taxi driver, described the arrest of Saddam as a “black day” for the Palestinians. “This is a black day for all the Palestinians and all the Arabs and Muslims,” he said. “I still can’t believe that President Saddam has been captured by the Americans. Saddam was the only Arab leader who cared about us. He supported the Palestinian cause from the beginning. His arrest is a major setback for the Palestinians. It’s a pity that he didn’t fight.”
Khairiyeh Said, 43, a high-school teacher, said she wept when she watched Saddam in captivity. “I was sitting with my friends when we heard the bad news,” she added. “We all started crying because we love Saddam and we hate [US President George W.] Bush and [Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon. This is a big victory for Bush and Sharon and all the enemies of the Palestinian people. We hope the Iraqi resistance will now teach the American dogs a good lesson.”
Michael Hanna a 28-year-old engineer was one of the few Palestinians who said they were happy that Saddam was captured by the Americans. “Saddam is responsible for the killing of thousands of his own people and he deserves to die,” he said. “I have no sympathy for him or other Arab dictators. I hope he will be put on trial and executed. This should be a lesson for other corrupt and tyrant Arab leaders. I hope the Iraqi people will now be able to live in peace because they have suffered for a long time under Saddam and his sons.”
There’s at least a little bit of hope most everywhere.