Mira Dabit, activist, dies at 27
|December 20, 2012||Posted by John Zangas under News|
Mira Dabit, 27, a co-manager of the Peace House and a long time activist, died on December 15, 2012 of a heart attack resulting from an acute illness. She is survived by her parents, Bishara and Vera Dabit, of Ramallah; her brothers, Rabir and Simon; a niece, Joy; many cousins; and an extended family of many friends.
She was born in East Jerusalem on September 11, 1985 and resided in the West Bank until she was 22. Her family was originally from the city of Al Lydd, but settled in East Jerusalem. She was educated at the Quaker Friends School in Ramallah, where her mother taught. She held a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Birzeit University.
After college she deferred her interest in arts and theater to travel to South Africa, where she worked on collective projects to help with homelessness and unemployment and attended the University of Stellenboch. She then went to Dublin, Ireland for three years for an internship at the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation.
In 2011, Dabit came to the United States under the sponsorship of Jewish Voice for Peace on the “Right to Education Tour,” for a multi-city visit to teach about about educational challenges in the occupied territories of Palestine. Afterwards she decided to remain in the US to work on activism.
She referred to herself as a “refugee of Palestine” and championed the cause of freedom for her people through education of others about life in the occupied territories. She attributed her belief in education as a means for “reaching to people” to her parents and her uncle. “Chanting does not work; yelling at empty buildings does not work—how do you reach people? Educate, educate, educate!” she said.
Dabit joined the Occupy movement at Freedom Plaza in November 2011, and organized, worked in the kitchen, and educated visitors at the information tent. She believed in the protests for economic and social justice which swept Washington and the country and she “lov[ed] the idea of American people taking to the streets and steering away from the concept of capitalism.”
Following the eviction of Occupy at Freedom Plaza in February 2012, she joined the Peace House, the residence which supports the 32 year-long anti-nuclear weapons vigil at the White House. She assumed a role as co-manager of the house and spearheaded a multitude of projects such as “Love Music, Reject Racism,” art shows, a People’s Media Center and fundraising for permanent Peace House ownership.
Memorial services will be held Friday, December 21st at 4:00 PM at the Peace House (1233 12th St NW) and Saturday, December 22nd, from 5:00-7:00 PM at Busboys and Poets (5th and K St NW). A candlelight vigil will also be held Saturday at Freedom Plaza (14th and Pennsylvania NW) at 8:00 PM.
Anne Meador contributed additional reporting.