Between the sentence and the next, Nabil (the owner of one of the houses threatened with eviction) wanted to convey a message greater than that which is limited to the issue of a home and a family. He wanted to confirm, or alert the hidden human conscience, that the issue is not one of a family or some families. It is the questionof Jerusalem since the beginning of occupation.
What we have lived over the past seven decades has not changed, nor has the occupation policy towards the people of this city changed. Displacement is one of the pillars of the Israeli presence on this land. Our displacement versus their presence.
And as we can not see from their plans, but the worst, because we are living it. They only see us as a surplus of this land, and by our demise, their existence will be.
I don’t know who invented the lie that we want to throw them into the sea? Because the truth is completely different. They won’t throw us at sea because they don’t need to. They will describe us until the last breath.
The issue of Sheikh Jarrah and its residents is the issue of all Jerusalemites …. This is an exaggerated phrase.
I witnessed the demolition of dozens of homes more than a decade and a half ago while working with ICAHD against home demolitions. I swallowed the pain of homeowners whose memories had just turned into waste. The following scene of every home demolition was followed in my imagination by a series of questioning thoughts: How did they sleep that night, where would they go, how would they endure, how much would relatives abide with them? How miserable it is to deprive a person away from his home.
This is what the occupation aims for us… to be deported and expelled … in addition to all the abuse, incapacitation and persecution it can take over the counts of each breath we take … until we leave.
Yesterday, while I was sitting with this resilient man over the affliction that he lives, I watched from afar his young daughter vigorously defend her right in a press interview. I try as much as I can to support, even with a word, even by sitting next to him on that couch filled with the scent of wastewater and sewage since last night.
Waiting, without appeasement, with persistence full of strength to exist. With the insistence of the right holder not to submit or to be submissive.
My daughters, on the other hand, insist on being present in the evenings with families in a solidarity stand.
I avoid to see the pictures circulating everywhere each night on the violence practiced on the youth standing in support from the occupation forces.
Each night I wait for them to come home with utmost patience and anxiety.
I repeat aloud in the empty space of words for my daughters: The homeland needs you alive, healthy, free.
And I fully understand the blood flow in the veins of young men and women.
They feel the need to express the static oppression that internalized in their minds.
They do not understand from the occupation except what they see. They only understand the need to fight back on not reliving the same misery that withered our lives as a nation.
Between the mother’s anxiety and the youth, I left my command to God.
Give advice like idiots: Be careful, do not approach the soldiers, do not do anything reckless, observe the rules of the sit-in so that you are not arrested.
My daughters, remind me , while rehearsing this conversation of the saying of Gibran Khalil Gibran when he said: Your children are not your children .. they are the children of life that thirsts for its existence.
This phrase sums it all up.
I hear and understand its meanings when I stand in front of my children, the difference in understanding that is separated by the generations. I am trying in vain to convince them that it is wise not to engage in lost confrontations.
However, I did not object to the issue of Sheikh Jarrah, or I have given up. The truth is that I actually offered to go with them.
My acceptance to this is related to the phrase, “They are children of a life that thirsts for itself.”
This is how they grow up
This is how they understand
Thus, they free themselves from the cuffing chains that we adults have lived in trying to avoid risks while waiting for our liberation from the outside.
Waiting for the arrival of Saladin
And Abu Mazen
Any liberator is expected ….
This generation is not waiting for the next liberator.
They want to say their own words.
They don’t care about the results
They don’t care about liberation
They don’t care about repression
All they want to say is their own words.
Their words that set them free
Their own way
The way they feel
Yesterday I left my two daughters to go out again, hoping that it would not be a night when the wastewater is splintered again, and that the occupation forces and their repressive mechanisms would not allow their violence and barbarism against the gathering supporters.
They sing, chant, line up with families with the faintest of faith and mouths … defying their fear of oppressive tyranny.
Their going there became a protection for each other. A group of young people joined forces and unified for an obvious right for a home .. housing. Basic security for a human being.
Perhaps inside them they fear deportation that they did not live. A deportation they lived hearing about. A deportation that threatens in front and behind them, and shapes their identity as Palestinians. Like a necklace that carries a map of the historical Palestine around the necks, a reminder that stretches back each time you forget.
I warned my daughter as every day …
I wished that this ordeal of these residents would end and my daughter would return to her life as a young woman.
To worry about a lesson,her weight, and the piece of clothing she wants to buy.
I wished that this ordeal would end and we would return to discuss our daily affairs, including opinions on which we disagree and personal stances that heat up the debate.
I wished my biggest concern was coming back from work, getting angry because the house is not clean and the things are not in the order I want to see.
I left her to go and made her swear that she will pay attention. To keep away from any possibility of any interaction with the occupation forces.
How much we fear anyone touching them …
How frightened, concerned we are for them …
How impossible a dialogue like this is when your opponent is an occupying power that only sees you as a target that fulfills their repressive force.
God spared my daughter ….thankfully
She was not spared by a passing kick in the midst of the aggression against the supporters.
Itcannot be more difficult than the moment you answer the phone to be told not to worry everything is fine
We are in the hospital
everything is fine
Just an injury in the head
Just a stitch, two, three, four, don’t worry
everything is fine
That moment while you think that you are still in the middle of a dream during which you picked up the phone … You do not know if you are awake or asleep.
Just a Moment….
All you wish was that the voice trying to calm you down on the other side was honest and not lying to you.
A moment the tears could not find a place out of your eyes.
The world stops.
And it begins to spin with you.
A moment you raise yourself to heaven in search of God, begging for His protection.
And He protects you.
O Lord …. Don’t test a mother’s heart on her children.
Sheikh Jarrah is wounded as his name … a wound in his name …. cannot be disposed of ….
But may God protect our youth from the despise of the occupation.
Right is a force of prejudice …. as the Elderly (sheikh) Jarrah.