Smuggling to our own lands
Last night was the 27th night of Ramadan. A night Muslims perceive the night of Isra’ and Mi’rajj (the event that marks the night that Prophet Mohammad took a journey in a single night to Al Aqsa Mosque where a spiritual journey that included ascending to heaven and receiving instructions on Islam.). It is the night that Muslims in general perceive as the holiest given its mentioning in a specific Sura that also carries the name (al Qadr) and another (Al Isra’). In Palestine, it gives a sparkle to Jerusalem in a night that doesn’t see darkness above the Aqsa surrounding until dawn sheds over its own light. Whether it is just a spiritual feeling or it is the natural illumination of the lights in the surrounding area of the mosque, it managed to capture people’s aspirations since the beginning of Islam.
I remember growing since childhood waiting for this night and sitting under the sky of the mosque with the list of my wishes wrapped in prayers feeling in my mind an open sky wit ha heaven for me. A feeling that grew with me and became real as I grew into an adult with probably unfulfilled dreams under an open sky. And as usual in life, as we grow, some places gets smaller with us. The over crowdedness of the place became too visible to an adult. When a child or a teenager, space didn’t make a difference, it was actually exciting to find ones space within the crowd. People tall and big somehow above a space they leave the emptiness under for the kids.
This is a night where we sleep all day to watch all what happens in the sky all night with prayers within Ramadan’s festivity that gives a unique flavor that mixes culture, tradition and religion and makes it one.
Of course, I grew too much, and my limitations increased, including surviving a crowd. But magically, children and teenagers never grow the aspirations of their own journey to the Aqsa on this night.
As journeys changed, and magic disappeared. What Prophet Mohammad did fifteen hundred years ago in what Muslims consider a miracle, seems practically more doable in todays life, thinking of an airplane that minimizes distances. What is a miracle today for an eighteen-year-old youth to cross the street less a kilometer away to reach al Aqsa on such a night?
The scene of last night young men being lined up and gathered as if caught inside a net after a hunting game was so heartbreaking and aching. That scene of tens of uniformed men, whether police or soldiers spreading throughout a mid of what has become a separation road that prohibits entry to those from across that street to the other side of the street … just somewhere too close to the Aqsa and impossible to reach.
Catching a dream seeking for a mystical fulfillment is prohibited in our existence as Palestinians in our very own home. A dream of raising a hand up to the sky and pray. Pray for a fulfillment of an aspiration in anything that can never be reached.
If not being able to reach your own home from within you own land. How can we ever aspire reaching a sky?
When people wonder why we value in our culture DEATH so much. It is as simple as this. It is easier to reach a dream of holding up to the sky in death than in life. Reaching a belief in a heaven up there is easier than crossing the road to the mosque.
A life that the owner of the land needs to smuggle into reaching his land.
A life of impossible abnormalities of injustices … that makes normal a far reached norm