liberation

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.

17-5-2012

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.

18-4-2012

Daughters of Palestine: Not a Review

Before I even put a sentence into this, I am definite this will not be a review.

The title of the book, as much as the content is so personal in its real perspective, that it makes it impossible to study. But yet, I wanted to do that, because I believe the book provides a critical stage, bringing Palestinian women into the front line of the Palestinian National movement.

The book brings over thirty women into the spotlight in a study that attempts to track the Palestinian women movement through two groups, that of the Diaspora and led the General Union of Palestinian women, and that of the west bank and Gaza with the ladies who led various women organizations. She categorizes the movement into three generations, the Pre 48, the 60-70s, and the 80s until the 90s. Of course, each wave is motivated by a period of time that led to the kind of growth they encountered, the first generation was anti- colonialists and protested the British colonization and were awakened by the two successive Palestinian revolts in ’29 and ’36.   The second generation of women leaders was energized by the Arab nationalism led by Abdel Nasser, and the communist revolutions that marked the decades. The third generation is an outcome mainly of the first intifada.

The book’s chapters move from one city to another in a significant account that describes the Palestinian national movement as well. Amman, Beirut, Tunis and Jerusalem.

The book is a fascinating journey of Palestinian women leadership that somehow seems like metamorphoses. It is very close with the Palestinian struggle, and somehow it is impossible to detach it from it. From the very first day of any movement, the plight for liberation and for justice always came first. It is a long journey of ongoing sacrifice. A role women always tend to take it be a choice, whereas, the land comes before the personal rights.

It definitely grew and varied from one generation and school of thinking to the other. Whereas, that period where several schools entered with the rise of communism and socialism marks the most productive time. A period that followed a total devastation that is still lived today is the moment when the Women Union became part of the PLO. Or when the PLO institutionalized all the activities.

From that moment on, everything became political and factional. The women became daughters of the PLO. And not long after, the domination went to those who were the daughters of Fateh.

Reading the book held me with many similar emotions, of the whole identity issue that a Palestinian always holds within. The plight, the strive to an individual dignity in living free. Resilience and steadfastness. Feelings that became behaviors and later slogans with real political reflections, and now only words that fly through the air of every protest or public discourse.

What is sure in the journey of the Palestinian exodus is that men and women genuinely carried on their shoulders the liberation dream of Palestine. As there exodus continued from the Nakba to the Naksa. The plight became a fight for finding a place to resist from, so from Jordan, to Syria, to Lebanon until Tunisia. With each devastating closure to status in one city, the plight was taking another form. More power to the structure of the Fateh part of the PLO and Palestine was minimized gradually in the map and in the hearts until, in the mid-eighties, the cause became not just institutionalized but personalized. It was a moment the purpose transformed into a state of personalization, and it all became about one person.

Whether that person was one or a body that formed what shaped the current situation of Palestinians today is not really the most crucial part. What really stopped me is the fact that people devotion to the cause diverted. While in the 60s-70s those leaders, (females when they existed) dedicated their lives to the freedom of Palestine. The resistance took the form of an armed struggle. Women sacrificed their families in a society that is patriarchal and traditional in all its basic concepts, especially when it comes to women, and those women and men gave themselves to the plight of Palestine. How their discourse changed and their plight itself took a different focus, while it is still taking me by surprise, explains a lot about our failures as a nation.

It could be true, that after being washed out of countries, every few years to another. Having to fight your allies instead of your enemies. Or conspire against those who hosted you and vice versa instead of teaming up to liberate the land was an exhausting work after three decades of struggle and resistance. By that time there was a lot of money and power, but no land to settle. Maybe a bitterness and an aspiration anyone who didn’t taste displacement feel.

But yet, we are talking about more than a half displaced population here .. the decision to leave Beirut with hundreds of thousands of refugees behind what persisted in remaining a dark destiny of injustices and despair seems to be that of an eccentric choice, not different from that of signing a peace agreement for the sake of just coming back home .

What stirred me again, was having the two sides of the reality of the Palestinian cause come closer to me. While we were here dreaming for freedom, fighting for our own souls as well in the first intifada for an aspire dream . while the dream was for once touchable, even if it was just in our own imagination. The leadership in Algeria has already reduced the demands of a nation in an interest of a few thousand. And those among them who still held the plight for liberation and equality remained dispersed.

How a nation has been reduced to a person. How a movement of liberation became a move towards luxury where secured (almost) promises of not being displaced . and women movement became hero-fired by internal political factional loyalties, not women’s rights or lights . …. Such as everything in Palestine …

It became a Palestine of Fateh … a Fateh with no strategy or agenda except that concerns each concerned influential figure among them …

Arab Idol is bringing the Arab world and the world again with a Palestinian voice that challenges life.
A challenge that goes from South to North.
A challenge that started last year from Gaza in Mohammad Assaf and went up North to Deir Al-Asad in Manal Mousa.
A challenge to Occupation by its very and every meaning.
A challenge to Oslo
A challenge to Geography and Segregation
A challenge to separation and barriers
A challenge to the identity that remained despite the will of occupation in Israelization
A challenge to the fragmentation of a nation
Palestinians continue to prove to the world …
today in the voice of this beautiful young woman .. Manal Mousa,
That Palestine can be occupied in geography and even minds
But it cannot be held in the Heart
Palestine is not about a piece of land that belongs to this and that
to this ethnicity and that religion
Palestine is the Identity of its People
North and South
East and West
From Gaza to Ramallah
Jenin to Hebron
Bethlehem to Nazareth
Jerusalem to Akka
Palestine is in the heart of its people
despite the weakness of its leaders
notwithstanding the fascism of its occupier
despite the eternal attempt of cleansing it from all what represents its.
Palestine will remain the voice of its people …

The language I use is the language I feel. Sometimes there is no place left for making it softer.

Today I received this from an Israeli friend responding to my post about the Israeli invasion of Palestine TV program Good Morning Jerusalem:

“I think this piece (as well as some others) would be far more credible if the strong language would be toned down a little bit. It seems a bit “too” extreme and, while I certainly understand the sentiment, winds up only appealing to those that already hold similar beliefs and ideology. To explain your reality to those that see it differently, the words need to be more measured and less provocative.”

I just found myself answering him without hesitation: “The language I use is the language I feel. Sometimes there is no place left for making it softer.”

As we continued with a quiet debate, I thought of how impossible somehow ever to satisfy the occupier… well, there is more than one issue here; I don’t write to convince the occupant or anyone. I write to reflect on my very own feelings as a Palestinian. A sense that only Palestinians can feel. Only oppressed, occupied can touch down. There is not attempt to convince anyone. Just to make our case clear. For what it is. From us, people. Regular human beings who are striving to live … just live.

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.

BUT THE ONES WHO MADE YOU RUN AN OBSTACLES RACE WEREN’T THE MOST DANGEROUS.THE WORST WERE THE ONES WHOSE HEADS WERE FULL OF NEAT BUT CRUDE SLOGANS THAT THEY UNLOADED ON YOU LIKE A TON OF BRICKS.”

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.

7-7-2012

whatever

 

 

For the past almost two weeks , everything was overwhelmingly surprising on the political bubble. Suddenly growing and growing and at a pin point splashing into enormous ridiculous drops .

I was so furious , to express my rage in Arabic. It happened to me when I decided to get a divorce. For the first time in years , I wrote my reflections in Arabic . writing in English makes me keep a certain balance between my sanity and what is left from my common sense .

But now , words seem to be endlessly unnecessary . life on our daily grounds seems to have really switched upside down . there is no real sense of anything . failures and scandals are greeted with claps and ceremonies . Traitors are received as heroes in university Campuses . eternal rivals are sitting in public forums making jokes and strategizing for a future nation set up . sin is becoming a virtue . treason is becoming a laudable achievement . and people applauding once and cursing on other occasions.

Truth is so clear . so blindingly appealing , to such a level where we stopped recognizing or differentiating .

I have been feeling so alienated , but now , I give up … it is not alienation only .

It is true that everything has been sold out . sold out with our blood, with our land ,and now for sure with what was left from our dignity .

It must be time, to raise up , and look directly in the eye of the sun ,and allow it to blind us , so that we can wonder without seeing what was once a belief . what was once a struggle for a cause that we believed so much in its right ot exist .

There is nothing called a Palestinian cause . there is no fight for any liberation ,because we have extensively been occupied .

As long as we allow such people to be our leaders . we don’t have any right to be .

16-10-2009

It is just heartrending to watch this all.

I do not know what funny, what sarcastic, what ironic, or what simply too sad is.

It is all too sad to watch and live.

I am still reflecting on your words of yesterday, now on TV, another Egyptian analyst was saying your exact words about a state and a group; he was firing all his anger on Nasrallah, and one more time it is all the same story. He was accusing Nasrallah of being a gangster and killing Lebanese, precisely the way you mentioned Hamas stripping Palestinians and throwing them from the 17th floor.

After this crisis is over, all diplomatic engagement will go back; no one will tell anyone that he did or said this or that.

Israel is there continuing its attacks, increasing them, mobilizing its troops and people, and we are fighting.

In the past, individuals and rumors used to be sneaked from behind the scenes of the Arab discretion, which is anything but discreet. The difference between the past and today is that we are watching it all live.

I can scribble into any of those books written yesterday or 50 years ago, or 100 years ago, and I will see what is happening today written by a pen by an Arab scholar.

It is so sad to see it, not just to hear it.

There is nothing more we can justify. It is all there in front of us, and we are still reacting, offending and not doing anything.

I feel in a strange situation. In a way, one more time, being forced to hear you, to go deep inside those words I hear on TV screens. It is stranger, it is people versus governments, and you represent a state, I am sure our whole interaction would have been different if you were just people.

As I try to fight within myself, my emotions that are so blunt and rigid in front of me, I cannot ignore what you say or feel. I can blame you for being senseless and unyielding,

However, I cannot but stop and hear you. It hurts not being able to reach out somewhere. Somewhere where we actually can bend and see through the ground. See the real damages.

Behind every human shed, is a human story, like mine and yours? Those five sisters killed today, that child died in the targeting of the four activists, those children rushing away from schools, those people begging on the borders, all those people killed, all those injured in those hospitals. All have stories not different than ours, and we fail to see.

Why would be Shalit safety more important, why are his mother and family are closer for us to be seen than all those poor victims?

Why is the panic of that Israeli woman in Sderot greater than the fear of these people under the fire?

What more do we need?

Why can’t we see them? Why can’t we see the virtue of those lost lives?

While we are fighting, while we are blaming each other, while you are playing machos in refusing to open the borders. It is true, what did the Palestinians give you in return. Why would you sacrifice Egyptians lives for a Palestinian lost cause, but why would you think opening borders would do to these people. In any regular part of a world, in times of wars and attacks, people tend to run, to run for their lives, maybe if the borders are opened the losses will be reduced. Maybe it will give the enemy a reason to stop or reevaluate his move.

I could understand that your standpoint as a government is pressed to be different from that of a person like me, I know there is no way that Israel will be the ally, but this attitude is not healthy, and only increases our fractions.

Our anger and frustration are healthy, but we need to be wise, in concentrating on our mutual enemy, even if this enemy disguises in different faces, it is all so obvious, we do not need to learn from the past, we need to learn from the present.

Yesterday, while we were arguing, I was seeing my uncle, whom I consider as a fundamentalist in his thinking, meaning one-sided, totally blocked despite his wisdom.

However, then you reminded me of my fight with zafer. This battle that occupied us so much to a level that we forgot that the victims are those children, our children. This egoistic look and attitude, ignoring the core issue and getting hooked with the CARROT.

We need to be wise in the way we calculate our moves and attacking our targets.

Our problem, your problem, is the occupation, the Israeli attacks, not who provoked and why.

Gaza is not Hamas, Gaza is 1.5 million mother, father, husband, sister, brother, wife, son, daughter, elderly, and others. Gaza is a chain of human beings, who need to be treated like regular people; their lives should be dealt with in your life and mine. Moreover, our fight should be for the people, not for the system because at this moment it is individuals who are paying the price, not a system.

With the many pieces of wisdom, I received from you yesterday, was that Hamas cannot be uprooted, the only way Hamas will go out is with a national consensus through the election. These attacks, exactly like your other words of wisdom about how the people in Egypt who could hate their state, would defend it with all that they have if anyone touches its sovereignty. So are the people in Gaza and the States and everywhere. This is how people like Hamas are rooted, through such coercions, people feel urged to believe in these people, because they are all now standing in one line facing the same compulsion, not watching and bullying them.

Our people are in need, not because they are the demanding spoilt Palestinians, but because they are a nation under occupation.

Palestinians are the sacrifice that was given to the western colonization with creating Israel, Israel, who defeated all the Arab troops gathered in many forces in six days.

Israel who is not a colonial settlement only, it is a factual setting occupation. Don’t blame us for this occupation.

It is there, and it is a whole history of an entire nation defeat.

Ever since I knew you, my whole perception of the Egyptian status here changed, in many ways on a more humanistic level, despite all my reservations, honestly, never even wanted to know what you are doing, because it is not my kind of ideologies of what I want as a Palestinian. Part of me understood your striving to make a difference, part of me wanted to see that difference, but a part of me was terrified of solutions based on defeat.

In your world, and views. In the whole world’s views, we are stupid to think of resistance; we are nothing but current and future terrorist foundations. We are stupid to believe that we can defeat Israel . all this …

Yes, Israel is with the power of force. Israel is the modernity in comparison to our backwardness.

Israel is the opportunity, and we are the darkness.

However, Israel is built on our ashes, our bones.

We are the people of this land. Our fight is just. Because our cause is just.

In the past, your people fought to kick out the British despite the tyranny of the monarchy, and you consider it and me as a heroic time in your history.

Don’t blame my people for wanting to live with dignity.

Whatever your efforts lead us is nothing but more oppression and disgrace. Because you stopped seeing Israel as an enemy . and you see us as your spoilt drunk little brother.

It is again like my fight with my ex

When I was fought for doing this and that and forcing me to give up the kids, to the man they all knew was incompatible and untrustable, but can afford what I cannot afford. Instead of backing me up and supporting me I was jut pushed towards the edges of anything. I was denied my inherent right of being a mother, and blamed for leaving an abusive husband, and condemned for not bearing more, and everyone forgot what the origin of all this was, to some extent I did too.

I am too tired again,

Moreover, maybe our debate will never meet at any point because we both are on different parallels of this whole path, you are a government, and I am a community.

To be continued….

Apparently, this tragedy is just at its beginning …

Nadia

29-12-08

(this is an email I must have sent to one of my diplomat friends ( it is embarrassing that I do not remember )))

Reality of Illusion

In a start up of a year , that all its realities are nothing but a continued illusion . I feel myself forced to stop and allude myself with a reality that continues to force itself into an illusion .

Of course this must be the effect of philosophy studies on me . At least I can philosophize the illusion of this reality within context now !!!

How cynical it is , to sit around your dining table with your kids, to discuss issues that confuses the norms and principles of what you grew up to believe as solid sets of behaviors and realize that your principles are nothing but phantoms of illusion in a reality that is invaded by a whole new set of illusion .

You switch on the tv , and you shock yourself with the new reality of what looked like an illusion some months ago , and the transformation of each ones reality into an illusion of the other side . sisi’s Egypt or mursi’s ? who is the reality and who is the illusion ?

Getting closer to the news of the center of the universe US . it is US not U.S of course!!!

So there is a Kerry’s plan , still a secret ? well the secret is the illusion and the context is the reality of the illusion .

The different officials announcement , seriously , are they reality or illusions ? what is reality , what is illusion ?

Abbas talks to jewish students , the international boycott movement against Israel ?

No more refugees question ? or we will solve some of the issue later . But for sure, Safad was officially dropped from the map . that is not an illusion .

Mr Abbas illusion of peace or of a state ? what is the reality of his continuous disastrous conclusions?

Akkkkh ya watan , this is the remaining real feeling of an owe to a homeland that the only reality is that it became an illusion .

I can go back to the illusion of the reality that my surrounding forces on me and continue to pretend a reality of my insanity with an illusion to be sane …

22-2-2014