Not Only Had They Occupied The Lands,
But Also The Tongues,
A few days ago, a conference under the title of THE ARAB LEADERSHIP took place in Van Leer Institute.
As one of my exquisite friends was supposed to make a presentation of a paper he prepared for the event and a journalist friend of mine who wanted to go and do interviews and try to find contacts for her references urged me to go, I went.
I was hesitant about the fact that the language that will be used in the Conference is Hebrew; in spite, the fact that most of the speakers were Arabs except for very few Israelis from the Van Leer Institute personnel.
My friend told me that it was in Hebrew because the audience that was addressed were mostly Israelis.
I hummed something inside myself and thought, maybe right, in the end, it is an Israeli institute, and regretfully it is Israelis who come and listen most of the time.
I was besieged with the ingenuity of the institute as I entered. I appreciated the way they used the three languages, Arabic, English, and Hebrew all the way as anyone enters the premises.
It reminded me of the beautiful, welcoming words as we cross the threshold to the Bethlehem checkpoint, with peace words all around us in the three languages, as if we enter a peaceful patch, and right above those words a soldier is sitting inside his stall on top with his weapon intended and ready to stroke at any instant. I felt iniquitous as I associated the two prospects to each other. I am inflowing a research center that endorses peace, and its staff is all leftists, and many reverential Arab intellectuals work there.
Inside the hall, fastidious quotes all over a full wall, all in English and Hebrew, not a single word in Arabic inside. I tried to focus on the articulate quotes, very powerful words, but frankly, something inside me didn’t buy it.
Inside the conference room, spacious room, with the best equipment, out of the 300 settings, only half of them were occupied, I felt glowing as my friend was expecting not more than 40, so it would be at least motivating.
I sat between my friend and another appealing looking man, my eyes crept into his papers, and I glimpsed his name, and he was a government economic consultant, I wanted to hate him, but my friend was talking to him as a friend, so I told myself, listen, girl, we are inside the Israeli premises, Palestinians, whatever they might call them or call themselves there are part of this whole system, so it is ok to be an economic consultant, but my curiosity didn’t stop there, I waited for the break to ask him “financial expert for whom” for the Arabs? He smiled and didn’t answer my naïve question.
Maybe at that point, I seemed to be too good looking to be smart, so he took me with this naivety smile.
Inside the conference, all speakers were respectful, holding first status from where they are coming from, sturdy, eloquent speakers, and researchers. And speaking Hebrew.
The audience, however, was over 80 percent Arabs, for the irony of the situation most of the girls there were wearing veils.
Honestly, each time I looked at the speakers, speaking in Hebrew and looked around the audience most Arabs, I felt irritated, and the topic was about Arabs.
I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t be judgmental, and maybe all those Arab veils will disappear at the next session as my friend predicted, they even moved us to a smaller room, searching for more intimacy in the topic.
My friend’s and the coordinator prediction failed as the room was filled with everyone, and all the veiled youngsters were still there.
I wanted the veils to fade away so that I would induce myself that the use of Hebrew in that event was justifiable. I wanted to see all the other Arabs who were there were not Arabs; I wanted to see a 90 percent Hebrew audience.
It is true that it was a hundred percent Hebrew speaking people, though.
The second part was tedious, one of the speakers even allowed himself to talk about the PA. Luckily, another friend of mine joined and helped me survive that part.
I was wedged there because my friend who was supposed to speak was the last to make his presentation, and yes, it is true, that he broke the monotony that was occupying the place and his appeal won.
But nothing rallied around what was already marching into my mind,
swiftly, I was some less than thirty years ago in a history class, with that sentence that might be the only sentence that I got out of from history in all my life, CULTURAL OCCUPATION, there was this small paragraph in our history book in 3rd grade that explained about how when occupiers invade lands, they occupy it not just through arm invasions but through cultural and social facets too.
I was seeing before me the Algerian and Moroccan occurrence, how these people until this day suffer from being unable to exploit their language efficiently.
I was gazing at those sophisticated intellectuals, my friend among them, sitting around that table before the audience, and I could only envision research white mice inside white uniformed thick eyeglasses scientist’s labs.
I imagined a staff of scientists bringing their mice experiments into a conduct show.
I sincerely detest what I am saying, but the verify that you have Arabs, coming and make a representation for researchers that they did about their cases within their societies and correspond to it in Hebrew before mostly Arabic speaking audience was more than upsetting.
These people came with a serious study of the status of education and the obstacles for better leadership inside the Arab communities.
Why couldn’t they do it under an Arab forum with the sponsoring of an institute like Van Leer? (If the fact is that Israelis only have source of money)
I am someone who actually believes in mutual assistance between Israelis and Palestinians on diverse levels in order to attain a just solution at the end; But as I grew up hearing the word normalization and attacking it without understanding what it meant, and each day I get involved with Israeli-Palestinian (a word I shouldn’t be using, ARABS) forums I come to a closer perceptive of the danger of the word normalization in our case.
I don’t know what the word that suits what I deem is, but it is positioned there close to those thin lines between normalization and demoralization.
I believe if any decent Israeli institute exists, it would at least help mobilize the Arabic as a mother language for these people.
Another thing I realized while I was sometimes listening to what these intellectual representing, something I always thought that I was making up, and somehow, I always thought who I am to believe that this way, I have no knowledge or experience in the political indulgence, and my theories come from very personal things that I aged in my life ever since I was a child.
In the past years, I have been watching the situation in Jerusalem with great fear, and the only thing I was seeing is the previous experience of the 48 occupations inside the green line.
I am seeing Jerusalem being Judaism(ized) in every aspect, streets, signs, people’s absolute indifference, everyone entrapped into his problems and benefits. I haven’t been them during the 48 time, but what is happening today in Jerusalem makes it a living experience of the past, but what alerts me is the augmentation of lack of awareness among people. During the 48, people didn’t have a prior experience, model, but today, we know what it means to try to uproot our identities. The uprising that is happening inside those people intellectual generation in trying to re-root their identities doesn’t come from outer space. It comes out of a mental suffering that was passed from one generation to another.
As those people were discussing the voluntary, planned process of uprooting their identities, their nationalities through the educational system, I understood what it meant to stay steadfast. I knew the great thing those in Jerusalem did by refusing to submit to the Israeli laws after 67, especially when it came to education.
In the end, there was a real movement of resistance that I never understood or appreciated, (I was too young for both). We were saved by not allowing the Israeli system to evolve in our education.
No matter how wrong or how I disagree with the Jordanian and the Palestinian educational system ( too tight, and doesn’t promote thinking ), but it kept our identities, I understand how important it was to refuse to teach Hebrew or to allow it in our schools.
And I see it today, as one school after another is diminishing in the trap of judaizing our minds, into enforcing their schools, in pretending to give better circumstances, in feeding those schools with money per HEAD, in forcing people in registering to these schools to prove their private rights inside the city.
If the poorest and the least given person among us saw those sophisticated intellectuals discussing their sufferings and obstacles in Hebrew the other day, they would understand the virtue of living inside our roots.
Commemorating Nakba…. celebrating independence…
I am taken I could say with some enraged feelings ,quiet from inside though ,for some Israeli leftist zionists who seem to seriously sail with the notion of a Palestinian state and peace and freedom … And so on and on …
I still believe that my tolerance to the other ( in this case the Israelis ) is some high level one . However, as much as I recognize them on a human level, as well on their strive for existence , trying often to ignore my own and just get in their shoes and try to reach out somewhere . It takes me with anguish to hear and read the ruthlessness and pride in declared announcement of an independence that was built on our misery .
You cannot ask me for peace ,when you fail to admit to yourself that you occupied me
And, expelled half of my people , killed many, orphaned families, destroyed trees, and built your existence on my catastrophe .
Me , Palestinians, trying to live and share under the compliance of your power ,doesn’t legitimize you more , and it doesn’t take my right in my homeland any less.
If you want legitimacy , and independence … Start by ADMITTING the catastrophe you cause to us.
You celebrate independence of a millennia of diaspora …yes you deserve it …. But you are celebrating on our misery , and we are still there , and we still remember ….
Colonies can be built on destruction of nations , but not homelands..
A thought on the day
I am trying to write something that my pen doesn’t grasp…. Somewhere in my head it’s not ready yet… But so many things are happening around .. So much focus on prisoners hunger strike, Israeli apartheid , a prisoner that was martyred, a wounded demonstrator that joined in martyrdom rally , the consul general of Britain kicked out from Bizet university for blaming him for occupation … For god’s sake!!!!! Al quds university
Closes after clashes between abu dees and sawahreh people. I have to remind myself that despite the high technology calls in the ads in the streets of Jawwal and wataniyyeh and different banks and some empowering dreamy idea here and there, the timeline of life here is still occupied somewhere in clans from the last centuries. as for Aqu , it is closed anyway, waiting one month after the other to the amount of salary of the already declined salary that might appear in our bank accounts.
Oh .. No more villages to be set up and removed game for this time …love in time of apartheid instead.. Activists becoming creative moving from khoury to Marquese, when we live Kafka and Orwell.
A minister resigns, the prime minister accepts, the president declines.
Reconciliation again and again and again . Amid it verbal clashes between the reconciliating masters.
A declaration here ,another there . Aziz Dweik is denouncing women ,Mahmoud Abbas empowers women . UNRWA cancels Marathon because Hamas decides women participation is haram and Rujoub organizes a women football match.
Chavez dies, Morsi running egypt like a head of clan . Bashar is back , no the opposition is in . Emirates capture attempted coup .Prince Talal objects Forbes calculation of his wealth . Obama is coming, Netanyahu is forming a government, damn !! Another two weeks and he still didn’t succeed… Corrupt, unorganized Israelis!!! We are still discussing reconciliation , and the president refuses the new temporarily transitional minister resignation ( at least someone with dignity) , and rallies in Gaza yes for fateh ,and others in west bank yes for Hamas .., and the nation is still waiting , no we are not waiting anymore …
And yes…. My thoughts are still distracted, and there is really nothing to write about…
Oh… Happy women’s day… At least we get something to be sold under our names !!
Gaza and the Sea
Is it just a new-fangled scenario that add to our grieve? Is it an added collection of martyrs ? Should we rejoice the joining of International martyrs to the flock of Palestinian Martyrdom ?
Israel once again ….preparing itself since the morning to criminalize the victims and spreading salt on the dead bodies and hindering injuries and again and again diffusing its devilish face this time in frontage of the world..
How many crimes are still left for Israel to commit .
Observing its terror army movement all week long , it was so obvious that the thirst to blood was urgent.
Is this arrogance ? violating not just humanitarian laws , international laws, attacking on international waters , killing deliberately innocent people , shots directly in the heads.
Or is it simply the real face of a criminal existence.. is it Fascism or Despotism or is it merely Israelism ?
Should we applaud to the world of what is left of humanity their joining to the world of Palestinianism?
A world where bloodshed doesn’t count up …where human beings are degraded and lives do not reckon.
And another decent Palestinian ,Sheikh Raed Salah, next to all those innocents who joined the mass of Palestinian Martyrdom ,might be joining the mass, with an unknown destiny if he is still alive struggling for his life or he is already there in that apparently spacious pace of martyrs ……..
In a place where there is no meaning for life , maybe … a path of death is a real salvation …
Maybe now the whole world can understand ,why we Palestinians value death more than life ….
Maybe now the world can join us in our grievance to what used to be humanity…..the world can feel the bitterness of our deaths , our aspiration towards the unknown, our longing for bereavement …..
May all those souls have existent rest in another world where justice could be deployed.
Bye Bye Peace?????
It is one of those funny days …. It felt really good to look into the headlines and for the very first time maybe I was gazing into a good news .. Palestinians reach an agreement to reconciliation . And suddenly headlines were flashing with opposition , “Netanyahu: PA must choose between peace with us, Hamas”.”U.S. Congressmen call for cutting aid to a Fatah-Hamas government”.”Lieberman: Palestinian unity deal will lead to Hamas West Bank takeover””Hamas has taken over the Palestinian nationalist movement”.
Well……Peace? Maybe it is good to finally realize that peace in the terms of Israel and others starts with Palestinian definite No Peace .
However … nothing is new in this to us Palestinians ..even though we got so used to bad news , but today is a day with a great news …
In a life full of such different same creatures, a copy paste of the same form of imitated ideas that can not reach to a level of a decent or any ideology, people who have some tendency to think will definitely feel pushed away towards an alienated space.
As we grasp the different levels of the past, of time that there lived in its days and years people who marked history with the change that forms what is set as ideologies of today, it also seems that things are blown out with the winds of new forms of ignorance.
Ignorance is a virtue in a life where nations cannot set their minds to think . in countries where information is based on propagandist news and baseless, while all sources are open full and available.
Intolerance becomes a culture, while openness to other civilizations is so exchanged and merged.
Has it always been so dark and tasteless, or is it all just temporarily?
Each moment passes by with more strangeness in what once was home.
By each word of wisdom or a teaching …… a deeper gap is opened inside the world that is filled with shallowness ……..