Lawmakers, activists, and ordinary people took to Twitter on Saturday to share their love for their Palestinian grandmothers in a show of solidarity with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who refused to accept Israel's "oppressive" conditions for visiting her 90-year-old sitty—the Arabic name for grandmother—in the occupied West Bank.
The hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty quickly went viral as people flooded Twitter with stories and photos of their grandmothers:
In honor of @RashidaTlaib, here is my other #sitty, Mariam, for whom my daughter is named after. She was everything good in this world. Allah Yirhamitch sitty! #MyPalestinianSitty pic.twitter.com/k4PiTVqnAa
— Murad "DONT OPEN YOUR DOOR| لا تفتح الباب" Awawdeh (@HeyItsMurad) August 18, 2019
This is #MyPalestinianSitty who passed away 4 years ago in the West Bank because she was denied proper medical treatment under israeli apartheid and strict regulation of medical imports. Palestinians are humans too and we deserve full human rights no matter what anyone says. pic.twitter.com/Ts88gFP3k7
— Samer/سامر (@WaladShami) August 18, 2019
#MyPalestinianSitty my amazing grandmothers fled Palestine by pretty much walking to Jordan carrying anything they could, one of them raising 7 wonderful children. Missing them both everyday @RashidaTlaib pic.twitter.com/gTf13qpprJ
— Yanal دحدح (@YanalDahdah) August 18, 2019
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Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted Saturday that she was "overcome with emotions" as she watched the #MyPalestinianSitty hashtag go viral.
#MyPalestinianSitty is trending and I am overcome with emotions realizing how we are finally humanizing one of the world’s most dehumanized peoples.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 18, 2019
Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and the first Palestinian American woman ever elected to Congress, said in a statement Friday that accepting Israel's demand that she refrain from expressing support for boycott activities during her trip would have been "a disservice to all who live there, including my incredibly strong and loving grandmother."
"This type of oppression is painful for all humanity," said Tlaib, "but it is especially painful for me personally every time I hear my loving family members cry out for the freedom to live and the right to feel human."
Tlaib joined the chorus on Saturday with a #MyPalestinianSitty tweet of her own: