Governor Bryan Calls For Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza Strip; Announces USVI-Palestine Friendship Day

The Governor introduces Siri Hamad as liaison, highlights the Palestinian community's deep roots in the Virgin Islands

  • Janeka Simon
  • June 10, 2024

Governor Bryan, joined by leaders in the Arab community on St. Croix, call for a cease fire in Palestine. By. VIC

“I add my voice to other voices around the world calling for the immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,” said Governor Albert Bryan Jr, during Monday’s Government House press briefing.

The governor was speaking as he formally introduced Siri Hamad to the public. Mr. Hamad, currently serving as a liaison between the Middle Eastern community and Government House, is a former member of the Public Services Commission. According to Governor Bryan, he has “worked closely with several governors over the years – I think almost every governor over the years.”‌

Governor Bryan spoke of the integral role the Palestinian community has played in the development of the Virgin Islands. “We are on the fourth generation of Palestinian descendants,” he noted. “They are a critical cog in our business sector and part of the fabric of our community.”‌

Mr. Bryan recalled the iconic traveling salesmen “traversing the steps of the Savan and coming to my grandmother to sell different wares.” These pioneering businessmen were “the forebears of credit,” he said, extending convenient payment terms to their customers long before the establishment of credit cards or credit bureaus. After so many decades of integration into the community, “they are Virgin Islanders of Palestinian descent, not Palestinians who live in the Virgin Islands,” Governor Bryan declared.‌

He announced that this November 29, on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, the U.S. Virgin Islands will celebrate Palestinian Virgin Islands Friendship Day.‌

In calling for the immediate cessation of hostilities in Gaza, Governor Bryan noted that “as individuals regardless of our skin color, or origin, or religions. We should all want peace in this very tumultuous world.”

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