Thought about being Palestinian crossed my mind and I found myself saying: “ Being a Palestinian is a mission.” That thought crossed while my daughter Serena was telling me that she wants to contribute with half the money she collected from the Eid, and not all to the people of Gaza. I was proud that she thought about it. That she was still affected by what took place in Gaza and the effect of the Eid didn’t wash her memories away.
It is one of those times again when we think of what is just a standard action as an exception. It is just typical that she thought about it the way she did, without anyone pressuring her or giving her ideas.
However, this normality fell to broken pieces when I decided to apply my daughter’s plan on my nephews and nieces. My prophecy legacy doesn’t leave the boundaries of the six yeas old children in the family of course. The older ones think that I am the crazy aunt who is still funny!!!! I love it when I can convince someone, even a child. The only people I can convince, sometimes.
I proposed the same to my nephew who was buying a balloon, and I thought I could inspire the other buyers to do the same with their families. Of course, I did it modestly, because I already have this reputation of being a bit of mad to the adult version of the society as well.
I was just telling my poor little nephew how important it is to take away some of the money they received and to give it to the poor kids elsewhere especially in Gaza on this occasion when we have the opportunity to have what we have, and they don’t. The poor boy quickly gave me the money he had, and I said no, I don’t want it all; we will just take part of it, even though it is not a bad idea to give it all away. It was the balloon seller who blurted out in my face, and the little boy’s telling us nothing for Gaza, everything that was sent was stolen. The donation they received makes them richer than us. They are selling the food that was sent to them. It wasn’t a conversation or debate I wanted to enter, it was too loud to even respond, but of course I did, feeling myself lecturing in public (which was true) trying to tell her, that, what if this is true? People are still suffering, and we are sending this little money we have to particular people. We are not sending it to anonymous organizations or locations. It is correctly identified people from Gaza, why do you still have a problem? Of course, she didn’t want to hear that part. The crowd around her also didn’t want to listen that part. Except for my sister (a limited follower to my preaching) who was trying to rationalize with her on the legitimacy of donating to Gaza!!!
While this entire scene was a simple ridiculous probably un-meaningful scene. It was a scene that describes our state of minds as a nation precisely.
An absolute bystander, who never even bothered to send a cent to Gazans, but yet is convinced of all the negative tracks of the society and decides to fight it not just by not being part of it, but by fighting against it. The mob that watches with bold eyes and non-caring attitudes let them all kill each other, I want the balloon for my son who will enjoy the Eid, and I will enjoy his happy moment, and let God take care of whoever he wishes. And me, a clear vessel-ed voice whose simple words of being part of society are turned into preaching.
A state when what is obvious and right becomes hideous and pretentious this is how it all feels.
When I look at my daughters, who insist on continuing with boycotting as their own simple statement for occupation: The money I give you is the money you use to kill my people in Gaza. And they find themselves standing alone. Why does it look like what we do in our family is the exception, when it is just nothing, really nothing, a minimum of what should be done in every single Palestinian family.
I don’t know if I should be proud or worried. Rising up children who already represent the exception. The exception in taking the Palestinian cause as a mission.
When Yasmina insists on using the bus every day to go to school instead of taking the tram, that is easier, faster and drops her directly in front of her school. When she has to fight every single day the school canteen for selling Israeli juice and lecture every single colleague of why they are buying Israeli products when we can have other possibilities. This makes her become a weird nerd in a society that lost its direction.
When trying to rationalize with her on the “no harm” act of using the tram, instead of spending more than one hour each day to reach school when she can do it in 20 minutes. Trying to convince her that it is us who paid for this tram from our land and the taxes. She makes me a profound, simple statement that says it all: Mom, I don’t care what was it that you were obliged to pay or do. All that I know is that I, Yasmina, each time I step on that tram I pay 7 shekels, and these seven shekels are used partly or entirely to kill my people in Gaza.