A couple of nights ago, Noor Elashi introduced me to her Grandmother. Noor said her Grandmother is the bravest woman she knows. Born in Jaffa in Palestine, a refugee of the Nakba of 1948, a refugee for much of her life---the mother of Ghassan Elashi.
If Mrs. Elashi is the bravest woman Noor knows, bravery is a family trait. Noor has become something of an unofficial spokesperson for the families of the defendants in the Holy Land Foundation trial. At age 23, Noor has taken on responsibility that would cow the most mature and experienced American. Noor does not cower, but neither does she "think more highly of [herself] than [she] ought to think" (Romans 12:3). She is the strongest and most gracious 23-year-old I have ever known. Hyperbole? You might think so until you met her. She is a budding journalist (a reporter for the Ft. Worth Star Telegram until the trial last summer). She can face a crowd of hostile reporters with an assurance and grace that most likely neither you nor I could never attain.
She's also funny. A charming "kid" (sorry, Noor). I'd think I had landed in professor heaven if I had just one student of her maturity and intelligence in every class. I ask you to get to know Noor. Please look at her website, "Freedom to Give" http://www.freedomtogive.com/, and continue to keep track of it throughout the re-trial.
Dr. Harold Knight
First-Year Writing Faculty
Southern Methodist University, Dallas
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Farmers Branch