Reflections on Occupation : My dog and the President


My dog and the president ( a confused title for a confused situation)

My search for Brownie (the dog), reminded me of our failure as a nation. I was wondering like a fool probing for a “stolen” dog, that seemed appealing in the eyes of those youngsters inside a society, those eyes you with strange pathetic looks for looking for a dog.

I couldn’t but stop and think of how much of a schizophrenic nation we are. The same filches who crept it, come from the same people whose kids are probably hiding it in their house or neighborhood and feel disgusted seeing someone looking for a dog.

I don’t know if it is a total state of perplexity, or it’s the rush of jittered energy in my nerves that is making me connect this with Mr. Abbas interview with the Israeli TV, and saying his unflustered ’goodwill’ pledges and assertions to the Israeli audience.

He didn’t bother to come out to his nation on the municipality elections ( which is nonetheless a gravestone for our nationhood) and at least comfort us with anything . Or was he so assured, that the only audience that could have a real elections and he can address are the Israelis and that is why he addressed them?

I really wish to understand, what kind of consultation is he receiving and from whom???

One day he goes to the united nation and exploit Israel, and the next, maybe same day, he goes to the Israelis and he tries to get their sympathy and support??? For what?

Why would he think that the Israeli voters even think of him? Why would he ponder that whoever he is or whatever he says would assume the Israeli public opinion?

Or maybe , his consultants are affected with the American elections heat, and cogitate that his words will make any variance for the Israelis? And if so. For whom and against who? Who is our President in favor for? He wants to support the Israeli radical right or right right wings?

And he guaranteed that there would be no intifada during his time???? Of course he will do his best to avoid any intifada, because the only intifada will be against him.

It is such a calamity, that this so called leadership, not only has ragged us away from our land, but abolished what is left from the Palestinian Cause.

And right of return , and his right as a refugee … so what does he exactly mean , that as a leader he gives up the right of return , and as an individual he will claim this right as a refugee ?????

Seriously Mr. President … even the young burglar of my poor dog gave a more convincing alibi …

I can only pray for Brownie some Divine protection …. Like us Palestinians ….


Reflection on Occupation : Back from Abroad through the Allenby Bridge

Coming back to the same time zone and twilight zone as well … as if all my feelings and sensations that I left right here on this border of the bridge when I left Jerusalem a week ago are back waiting all jamming like those people I have been around for the last few hours to get out.

I found myself crying on the bus, not for myself, but for who I am. It is almost impossible to stop the flow of my sad sensations. Looking at this, and seeing myself, knowing I am part of it all, and knowing as well that I am not like them. Total feelings of sadness on them and on me and questioning myself for a million time who am I. maybe it is as everything else in my life total alliance from everything. The only place where I feel home is nowhere. Maybe the kids and I, but I don’t know … sometimes I don’t even know if I can be a mother to them.

I have been experiencing non-stop feeling of being unclear about my human side if it really exists. If me, us, Palestinians are real human beings or not. . It is not about how people behave towards us, it is also about how we behave towards ourselves.

I keep remembering people like Luciano saying that I am not like them, about them, and it only makes me feel worse, it is such an overwhelming feeling of sadness.

I feel that I don’t want to be anywhere but home, and not because I feel home, but maybe it is the only safe place for me. I was thinking of Luciano waiting to see me, and I feel I don’t want to see him, I am afraid to be touched by him or anyone like him any

More, I feel like a species that is different from him, it makes me feel sadder as I think about it. It makes me feel weird to the world outside me, maybe crazy and weird to them, and to all. But I can’t stop crying, I feel my tears flowing like a river that cannot stop. And I don’t know why, why now, and why should I.

Is it a destiny of being total delineated from this life?

But I feel my belonging to here, I was longing to come back after only a week with humans, with those who should be the normal world. But here is not the world, and here is not a place where we r inhabiting as humans. We cannot be humans. There cannot be such a consensus on our existence in this category and we cannot recognize until now.

I feel ridiculously ridiculous.

I was looking at the people. All lined up in all forms of lines. A level a bit higher than lining donkeys.just because donkeys wouldn’t be able to talk. One line after the other. Strange looks and features. Unfriendly and nervous expressions. Suddenly I realized that we shouldn’t be classified as humans, we cannot actually. And then going the Israeli side, maybe it is a better form. Feeling dehumanized there. Another form of a process created just for us. Semi human, semi animal. Semi tribal, semi cattle.

Oh … and the VIP. Some semi humans, mostly of a level with a well-fed donkey. God I am so frustrated and tired of al this life.

I am tired of being on this life. It is not mine…


On Naksa : excerpts from Prisoner of Love

Today is 48 years of Naksa , our loss of whatever left of Palestine to what became Israel beyond the partition plan of 1947…

As words will repeat themselves… A paragraph that I find ” amusing ” and self descriptive to our ongoing Palestinian real Naqsa.. the Naqsa bigger than occupation from the immortal Jean Genet in his masterpiece Prisoner of love continues to describe Palestinian leadership and identity the way it was 20, 30, 40 years ago …

Prisoner of love

I found the manners of almost all the ordinary Palestinians ,men and women ,delightful. But their leaders were a pain in the neck.

Most of them surrounded themselves with ceremonial that needed no help from marble and chandeliers. The main object was to stretch out to infinity the distance between the door and the official the visitor wanted to see. Before you got to him with a simple problem that he could have solved with a couple of minutes length and a few words, you first had to explain your errand at length to the sentries. Then : “wait here. I’ll go and see.” …”come this way” …. next i would be ushered in to a second official who before anything else insisted on hearing the whole story over again , though he had no authority whatsoever to deal with it .he’d have me taken to a third official, then to a fourth , and so on in a kind of snakes and ladders that at long last brought me to the official I’d come to see.

He was speaking into a field telephone. What was he saying to the unseen? ‘If God’s wilL …His toothache will be quite better tomorrow,I assure you…if God wills…No ,don’t worry,…if God wills….” He put down the receiver.

” oh I wasn’t expecting you .How are you ? Good news from France? Are they wRIting about us in Le Figaro? ”

“I’d like …”

“Coffee or tea”

…….It had taken me rather more than three quarters of an hour to reach the official ,and he had kept me for two minutes.


A diary on Occupation : Humanitarian Tourism

Humanitarian Tourism…

Living in a life full of contradictions.

Injustices and integrity. Prejudice and gender equality.

Regimes being destroyed,

autonomies being occupied under liberation notions and emancipation.

Dictatorship supported under the rule of law conceptions and shadows of democracy.

Men, women, children… dead bodies spread all over the world,

Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan, Palestine …..and a long list of victims granted to notions of liberation and oppression.

A blended identity between the defender and the oppressor.

Those who are supposed to protect in daylight kill at night and vice versa…

and then,

at the end of each day or night,

connecting with our virtual world,

we sit behind those screens and start recreation.

The tyrant becomes a liberator.

The dictator becomes the Democrat.

The thief becomes a preacher.


A diary on Occupation: A story of a nation

A story of a nation in two people .

A Palestinian loss

A cause thrashing

An ongoing Diaspora

A continuous expatriation

An identity that remains …solid , humane , pure

Though covered with burdens of miseries and mixtures of blended sorrows and difficulties

A story of a Palestinian lost cause , and a shattered dream of two souls .

An attempt of collecting two souls in one story of a nation ,

Though taking place sometimes at a refugee camp or a city .

A forced expulsion or a voluntarily exile …

Both living in an inner exile among people ,beyond space and regions.

Sorrow of a long history of a nation , filled with agony and despair

And yet

Powerful and determined as a deeply rooted olive tree

Filled with humanity of a whole universe

Surrounded with a spirit of a holy creation.

Two hearts that bond jointly beyond Space and Place

Beyond Darkness and Shadows

Ahead of culture and evolution

Further than History and Past

Nurtured with a hope for a present

And a dream of a tomorrow that remained

For long , a dream of a nation

A dream of a lost nation for liberation and freedom


A diary on Occupation : Erasing Memories

Erasing memories

I couldn’t avoid watching this series on TV Palestine, for Maher Shalabi from Palestinian Refugee Camps and bypass it from my mind like any tv show. From the first day, of Ramadan, the show was broadcasting, reflecting a harsh reality that only continues to get bitter and sour.

Maybe the host’s immediate response to what he is witnessing makes it easier for us to watch and react, because we distinguish him reacting, even when attempting to keep pragmatic, we can’t but undergo his bitterness.

Palestinian Refugees are a continuous transgression for humanity. For more than sixty years, our leaderships, governments, aid organizations, peace, and political activists and organizations rushed to try to find a solution for these people and often if not always soliciting on their accounts. Each is prospering on his way ………on the back and lives of these people.

And they ; stripped from not just a town or a village, a home or a shelter, but from identity.

I look into those faces and observe their thrash about refreshing that memory for what once was a dream of a home, of a homeland.

Besieged to remember a name of a city or a town or a neighboring village. An older generation of traumatized and shattered down dreams and constant nightmares of a nonending wretchedness. A younger generation who scarcely apprehend that a Palestine exists … knowing only the despondent HERE they live in. In a situation likely portrayed as something coming from a dusk division of an ancient past, where the sixty years never moved.

Memories of a past erased with an unfortunate reality existed for a little survival for instances. Memories of a nation that would rather not exist …

Because to those faces, if it existed they wouldn’t be living in this uncomfortable reality.

Nadia Harhash


A diary on Occupation : Feeling Nakba

I look around and wonder if it is just a foggy day or month or year or decades of my life as a Palestinian … holding up tight within myself waiting desperately for a clear day … just an average day when I will wake up and look at the sky and see it bright. Look at the sun and see it shine…look at the trees, the flowers and watch them moving in their destinies lively dance. Waking up one day to the Palestine I grew up thriving to have… to the Palestinian cause that was injected into our veins. To join the rally of humanity .. to feel normal.. to feel human .. to feel belonging to the human race…

But instead. I wake up not knowing if it is another dusty day .. if the sun that shines in the morning will keep its warmth to the night…

An ugly reality of our lives.. a nation that has been so fragmented when each one of us became a nation of his own. Palestine became a single unit for each. Each one of us has his own Palestine, with its people, its government, its ministers. It is not the Palestine we were raised to have.. it is not the Palestine we thrived to liberate…

It is a Palestine that is injected with egocentric needs and personal interests, and anything else is the enemy…

A day, a month, a year, six decades… of crying over a loss of a land, of a diaspora of a nation, of imprisonment of a population, of occupation…. And yet… we fail to have a single voice for reconciliation … we carry on to a black fog of authority that exists on personal interests and draining every single vein of its people … a mist that certifies.. each single moment the death of Palestine.

Yes… this is Nakba.


A diary on Occupation : Forbidden Reflection

I was listening to some news about the Israelis renewed the attempt to demolish the Mughrabi Gate and the installation of the new bridge, in preparation to create a museum or whatever…under the tunnels… and somehow behind all the political games of occupation and attempts of seizing more control over Jerusalem and AL-Aqsa and everything else. And somehow behind the reality that Israel wants to shake the grounds under the Aqsa. And somehow also that Israel works within a matrix of control as well in the surrounding of the old city, and this attempt would increase the possibilities of seizing the area at any needed time. There lies a good thing behind the current excavations and tunnels that are unveiling what the Israeli calls as the Torah city. And that what disturbs me when I hear our closed circle defense and shallow calls for defending the Place. The fact that there is a Torah city that existed thousands of years ago is only a complement to the greatness and authenticity of this town. The ignorance of the Israelis in trying to make a myth about their history and forcing it into a new reality that denies our existence is a mere act of ignorance and panic. And the fact that we Muslims deny the existence of a two or three thousand years of history where Jewish people lived, and that life was under the earth of the modern Jerusalem is also ignorance.

I really cannot understand that we have to fight against the findings of the city under the current city. It is part of our history as people of this land. It is part of our history of monotheists. It is part of our history as human civilization as well.

And admitting, recognizing, acknowledging, whatever term we might use, the presence of these people (the Israelis) in this land, doesn’t take our rights in it. The Islamic Jerusalem (Christian as well) cannot be denied. It is all there standing up high and proud, and deeply rooted and evolved despite three thousand years of history of various people who lived , resided or existed and continued to live on this land.

Paulo Freire says in the pedagogy of the oppressed: “It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free their oppressors. The latter, as an oppressive class, can free neither others nor themselves. It is, therefore, essential that the oppressed wage the struggle to resolve the contradiction in which they are caught; and the opposition will he determined by the appearance of the new man: neither oppressor nor oppressed, but the man in the process of liberation. If the goal of the oppressed is to become fully human, they will not achieve their aim by merely reversing the terms of the contradiction, by just changing poles.”

When would it be time, when we rise for who we truly are, and just acknowledge our existence without denial of the others? When we get there, we can end our vicious occupation, or at least can manage it as human beings, not as dehumanized people.


A diary on Occupation : Israeli Permits

Permits to Israel

Israeli government allowing Palestinians from the West Bank to enter Israel in the last weeks, seemed like an appalling out of the ordinary phenomena to both Palestinians in and out the borders of permits.

I don’t know why are we surprised that people from the West Bank are dashing to the sea, or shopping in the malls. There is a whole Palestinian generation that doesn’t know how the sea looks like.

Unless you’re wealthy enough to travel to the East Bank and the West. Lest you are privileged enough to belong the PA VIP category of magnetic permits to Israel, or you are lucky enough to work on a project with an international NGO and can get a free training and trip here and there; you are among the two million and so Palestinians (excluding Gaza of course) in the West Bank who don’t know how life outside the wire fences, concrete walls and delimited checkpoints look like. Any life behind that border became a fantasy.

It doesn’t matter why the Israeli government issued such unprecedented numbers of permits. Whether it was to get more benefits as usual; such as the economic cash flow that such a movement of people allowed or any kind of maneuver Israel as usual as good ploys. What is definitely true is that Israel’s economics will not improve because of this month money that was spent by Palestinians in Israel. Israel’s plans and moves are sad to say, are far from what we see or want to know. Israel has transformed us into passive reactionaries instead of being not active planners, but merely ordinary observers, who lost the capacity of seeing beyond our moment. We even miss the moment.

I have been reading and hearing about “their” substantial passageway towards Jerusalem (Israel). We already became “us” and ‘them,” another sub-category of the “we “ and “them,” which makes “them” sub-category of “ we,” because we originally have a whole category of “them” relating to the Israelis.

Why do we find it so absurd, that people are flowing on the sea-shore of the Mediterranean? What do we want from “them” and “them” (the sub-category of one of the categories)?

Do we want “them” to stay roaming inside the barbed wires and cemented walls?

Do we want “them” to keep “them” locked up in what looks like ghettos?

We want everyone or boycott Israel, except us. Israel is as much vital to “them” as much as it is to “us.” Among us, as well, those who would boycott Israel, if they exist, are only those who are extremely tolerant, aware, educated and productive. IF you are not someone with such a characteristic, then you cannot boycott Israel, because otherwise, you are entirely dependent on “them.”

Boycotting need a clear strategy with a clear, viable vision, with achievable objectives and sustainable goals and a work plan that can be accomplished. People are not just things that can be controlled by a remote control, with on and off buttons.

What should we expect from people who watch their operating government drowning in dysfunctional apparatus, stinking with corruption, totally bankrupted?

One day the whole nation is set for boycotting, on the evening of the very same day, whoever announced boycotting announces meetings for negotiations.

Those patriots who call for boycott, have the privilege of making their announcements from coffee shops in Ramallah who sell coffee for $5 and attend seminars in Europe every next month or week sometimes. And have magnetic permits that allow them to enter Israel whenever they wanted.

And “Israel” who always benefits from our continuous failures, I sincerely thank “them” for allowing “them” to have a breeze out of the ghettos, even if “they” spent their year savings, or took loans in Israeli markets …


today is histor…

today is history , and tomorrow is mystery ….and we are amateurs in fate’s planned destinations…

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