I’m here for other children.
I’m here because I care.
I’m here because children everywhere are suffering and because forty thousand people die each day from hunger.
I’m here because those people are mostly children.
We have got to understand that the poor are all around us and we are ignoring them.
We have got to understand that these deaths are preventable.
We have got to understand that people in third world countries think and care and smile and cry just like us.
We have got to understand that they dream our dreams and we dream theirs.
We have got to understand that they are us. We are them.
My dream is to stop hunger by the year 2000.
My dream is to give the poor a chance.
My dream is to save the 40,000 people who die each day.
My dream can and will come true if we all look into the future and see the light that shines there.
If we ignore hunger, that light will go out.
If we all help and work together, it will grow and burn free with the potential of tomorrow.
—Rachel Corrie, aged ten, recorded at her school’s Fifth Grade Press Conference on World Hunger
Only those photos indicated with an asterisk * are by Skip Schiel
I find myself making more lists, partly because of Rachel Corrie, her penchant to do the same. With about 8 others from Friends Meeting at Cambridge, half youth, I saw the play, “My Name is Rachel Corrie,” yesterday [March 22, 2008] at the New Repertory in Watertown Massachusetts. Splendid as expected. One of the most wrenching parts was her writing her friend Chris after she or he had written her, Rachel saying, “Come, Chris, come here, join me!” This resonates with my wish to be there, and my frequently expressed desire for others to join me.
The killing was off stage, delivered by a first person observer (not Joe Carr who also was there, who made many of the more famous photos of her killing), in a matter of fact voice, after she’d said she was going to join some Palestinians for food (or something similar, equally inane). The play ended with the tape of her at age 11 giving a speech about ending global suffering.
Rachel Corrie & Caterpillar D9 bulldozer
Stacy Fischer, playing Rachel, embodied her perfectly, leading to 2 consequences for me, related: Rachel lives, as resurrected, good timing since Christ springs back to life today on Easter, and I fell in love thru Rachel with Stacy—or thru Stacy with Rachel.
Stacy Fisher as Rachel Corrie
I felt throughout the play that I was watching not the actor, but a reincarnated form of Rachel. I could alternate viewpoints—now Rachel, now Stacy—and the 2 flowed gracefully into each other. As if Rachel, dying, knew Stacy would bring her back. As if Stacy, preparing to be an actor, knew she would someday be tasked with enlivening Rachel.
During the Q&A with Stacy and the New Rep headman, Rick Lombardo, I asked about a scene near the end, while she was in Gaza, recounting an earlier episode when she worked or volunteered with a drop-in center and brought clients to the local Dairy Queen. “What was this all about?” I inquired. Stacy answered, looking directly at me, “We’re not sure, maybe to lighten the death presence in the last part of the play,” and then she seemed to glance at me from time to time during the rest of the discussion. As if she knew me from some other ethereal region.
I asked also about the absence of any reference to the tunnels, part of the justification Israel uses to explain demolishing homes in the Philadelphia corridor. Rick answered that there are many viewpoints about Rachel’s act and the context; we only presented from her point of view.
—Journal, March 23, 2008
*Near the killing site, Rafah, border with Egypt, January 2008
*Rachel Corrie Peace Center, Rafah, January 2008
“5 years on, we remember Rachel Corrie”
March 16th, 2008 | Posted in International Solidarity Movement
This article by was originally published in The Observer newspaper on the 2nd March 2008.
It is impossible to underestimate quite how much life for Rachel Corrie’s family has changed since she was killed by an Israeli army Caterpillar D9 bulldozer in the Gaza Strip on 16 March 2003. As Rachel’s elder sister Sarah puts it: ‘What was normal doesn’t exist for us now.’
“After Rachel was killed.” When I meet the Corries, it swiftly becomes clear that there is a great deal they want to speak out about, but it is these four words, heavy with loss, that they have repeated most over the past five years.
From a Democracy Now interview with Katherin Viner, one of the originators of the play:
And you can imagine, we were so excited about this [proposed opening in NYC in 2006, later cancelled], and we realized that we didn’t need to be playwrights. We just needed to edit Rachel’s words, that Rachel could tell her story all on her own. And so then, the patchwork was just moving around Rachel’s words, timings. And, in fact, the first third of the play is before she even goes to Gaza, and it’s her packing in her bedroom, finding old journals, telling stories about bumping into ex-boyfriends or her job or female friends or just being an ordinary teenager, before she made the big decision to go to Gaza.