On the anniversary of the Nakba: Israeli Oppression Continues, Palestinian Suffering Continues
I do not have a personal history related to the Nakba, the great catastrophe of 1948 in Palestine. My grandparents were not kicked out of their homes, they don't have keys to a home in a village somewhere in Palestine, they don't have memories of being forcibly removed from their homes.
My grandparents are not Palestinian, I don't think I have any Palestinian blood, per se.
But in my heart, I somehow feel Palestinian. Somehow, some way, I feel a connection to this holy land. I feel connected to the suffering that occurs there everyday. I feel the sadness that many others feel on this 58th anniversary of the day when thousands were forcibly removed from their homes forever and others who died fighting the occupier.
I think about the millions of Palestinian refugees scattered across Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Europe, North America, and every corner of the earth...their dreams of returning to the land of their fathers and grandfathers. Many still live in refugee camps, unable to find a permanent home; many not wanting to find any home other than their own in Palestine.
Their right of return is constantly denied, questioned, and ridiculed. A cowboy from Texas thinks he can brush off this right with a simple statement on the White House lawn. He does not know or care to know what this "right" really means to millions across the globe. A rogue and racist government continues in the same path of its Zionist founders, denying the existence of the millions of Palestinians who are the true owners of the land which settlements are built upon.
This day is not just a remembrance for the events that occurred in 1948. The great catastrophe continues today as the occupation of Palestinian land continues, and the oppression of Palestinians continues on a daily basis. The Israeli government's efforts to kill off the Palestinians one by one is a reality, and their efforts to permanently separate Palestinians from their families and their homes is a law.
But why, why do I feel this pain for Palestine? Why does Palestine make me cry?
Maybe it is because I'm human. Or Muslim, Arab, or Jordanian. Maybe because somehow my parents raised me to love this land, to understand its significance. Maybe because injustice is something I can't accept. In the end, I don't think it matters as much why I love Palestine. What matters is how I love Palestine.
I dream of setting my foot in Jerusalem, sitting in the shade of the olive trees, praying in the Al-Aqsa mosque, smelling the holy air, walking in the old streets of al-Quds, and waving at the old man in the kafiyeh whose wrinkles tell the stories of a once peaceful yet currently miserable Palestine.
Ahh, Filasteen! Kulluna Filasteen. We are all Palestinian.
More on al-Nakba, the Great Catastrophe:
Al-Nakba Archive Project
Where is the global outcry at this continuing cruelty? (Guardian UK)
The great catastrophe (Guardian UK)
Electronic Intifada on al-Nakba