Thursday, February 13, 2014


Living in a liberated free society was a dream that was
nurtured up with us as we had our first gasp of air on this existence.

Living in the historical Palestine was what I sought to attain, and was what I wanted my children grow up in the future.

When the first Intifada ruptured, I was besieged with the determination of my people, for the resistance, for the supremacy of the confrontation , the power of the stone .
I was around 15 then, to my mother’s luck, what should have been the explosion of a teen nightmare, thinking of boys, turned into a nationalist cause.
I remember sensations of liberation of Palestine and ending the occupation through a spirit that was so expectant, prevailing, so genuine that we were ready to sacrifice our souls for that national cause.

For all my life I was longing to say to the world without being scared that I am Palestinian, that I am from a place called Palestine without having to explain what and where is Palestine ,and why I am holding a different temporarily travel document .
My dreams as a Palestinian youth were as uncomplicated as saying loud I BELONG TO THIS NATIONALITY . I am not Jordanian, not Israeli, not Egyptian, not Lebanese, I am a Palestinian .

But the simplest dream , was and is still so hard to achieve.
As those years of adolescence moved to adulthood, so was the trance of liberation.

As a grown-up, my utmost disenchantment was Oslo, even though ,I was proud that lastly my delusion of seeing my own flag in my country, even not in my own home in Jerusalem, but over there so close in Jericho, finally , I could say I am Palestinian and the world would comprehend .

But I was so petrified of those accords, Palestine for me wasn’t the green line borders, Palestine for me starts in Gaza and ends in the Galilee,.
I was so concerned with those agreements, those negotiations about the refugees and Jerusalem ,the settlements. about what to give up and what to keep .
I was always adage so as to ,encompassing a peace treaty is fine, to take something back is also good, to have Arafat inside Palestine was far beyond my best imaginings, but I didn’t want them to give up what the future generation may be able to take back . I sought that the next generation would be able to assert its rights if it determined to .

It wasn’t Arafat or anyone’s right to decide what to give up,to make a decision for what is Palestine, to decide for the refugees .
I wanted my children to be able to have a ground, a foundation , a cause just enough to claim back .
But things never go as we aspire.

As a teenager, all what I bear in mind were those days that we were implicated in dreaming of our liberation, it reflected our behaviors, actions, our clothes , our lifestyle,
Life inside the Palestinian life would start every day at 9 and ends at 1 noon. One could hear the clicks of the doors as they collectively open and close up at the same instance each day for years to come .
I had no idea if there was a life different from that of the intifada, whatever the older people recalled seemed to be a part of an Egyptian black and white movie.

When started ,the intifada brought together seemingly incompatible components of Palestinian society, charging them with creating an alternative social, political, and national order , free of deformations of the Israeli occupation.
There was the rise of this human spirit that rejects intimidation and defeat.
It was only when we refused dehumanization that we placed the occupiers on a course of recognition. We hoped that ultimately it would understand that its freedom lay in affording ours.

Despite the pain, the anguish, the breaking of bones, the beating , and the killing that was endured by the intifada, there was a sense of high spirits that charged the atmosphere. We relished our power the strength of our will, which drew us together .
The intifada,uprising, or a shaking off, as if all of a sudden one wakes up and shakes something off. This massive and spontaneous popular uprising released our hidden or suppressed resources and energies and transformed them.

Women reconverged from all directions, teenage girls , middle –aged women, middle class women, professional women , older white-haired, all formed a chain of resistance in one voice, each from her own place.

The woman proved to be a powerful component, and asset in resolving the conflict.
She proved to have the power, capability ,charisma, eloquence that once man only took charge of .

When the Palestinian Israeli dialogue was developed in 1988, when communication inside a dialogue was absent , when each side brought his insulating bubble to the meetings to make sure that their voices were garbled and that they never make any human contact ,it was a woman who by exercising her option for directness and honesty, bringing with her an aspect of innocence of the intifada, its willingness to confront ,to take the initiative ,to assert itself, and not to succumb to intimidation, but most of all, bringing to the encounter ,and subsequently to all others, that one essential component that was to become the most salient quality of Palestinian political discourse:the human dimension.

A woman was the creator and speaker of the new language of the Palestinians.

Women would have the vision and courage to take the first step as well as the will and temerity to make a difference.
The Palestinian women at that time were in the midst of an internal debate and transition-an inevitable outcome of the intifada and the new modes of perceptions ,attitudes, and priorities that were superseding behavioral and work patterns of the traditional women’s organizations. the older and previously undisputed leaders of women’s charitable organizations were being challenged by upstarts, the younger women who were emerging on the political and feminist scene seemed with a political agenda and gender agenda, eager to lay claim to their territory and power.

Palestinian women both form the diaspora and the inside, shared an enormous experience of revelation, women from inside have been deprived of the tremendously rich human resource and experience of the exiles Palestinians. they embodied the historical dimension and the trauma of displacement .and they in turn remarked on the degree of awareness and sisterhood displayed by those form the inside.
the inside provided not only witness account but also the moral and contemporary context fro the Palestinian women movement , constantly evolving within occupied Palestinian land . and from another side the concrete dilemma and paradox of the Israeli Palestinians who in their ancestral homeland, found themselves bearing the citizenship of a state that not only was established on their own land, but denied their very existence .with all the layers of occupation, exile, and national alienation, the quest continued. how do you join together what man has torn us under?
The establishment of the p-I womens network.

Women decided then that , In order to build peace, what is needed is not that every single Israeli and Palestinian trust and recognize one another , but a mind set, a commitment, and a political will to take the necessary and painful decisions ,and to make the inevitable and critical compromise.
1990. marked the year of peace, were the two most memorable events took place the women’s march and the human chain. women form all over the world linked arms and marched through Jerusalem, chanting international songs of empowerment ,freedom, justice and peace
A bond of sisterhood and instinctive recognition that defies history and national boundaries,
All the while, palestinian and Israeli women decision to explore uncharted terrain, armed with a map of joint gender concerns and a dedication to save, rather than to sacrifice,lives.

I was growing up walking on the same track my life in the intifada set me on .
I was completely intolerant about the other side, I hated the jews, I refused to acknowledge them , I thought they were only temporarily in our life. And our national struggle would take some time , but our cause is so just , we will win at the end .

Oslo, and the pna, normalized our realities,
Suddenly, the enemies of just yesterday, became our partners in the casino, Israelis were dining in ramallah, and Palestinian cars were driving in Israeli dominated cities, life was becoming in such a harmony that we were about to forget all those miseries we went through .
As I became a mother , and my children were starting to grow ,
I started looking back at my childhood, my sisters who were younger than me were experiencing different kind of adolescence I didn’t know it existed .
For me their behavior seemed too explicit, their clothes, their hang outs, everything was bizarre to what was normal to me .
I was seeing a whole life ahead of me , different from how I thought it was .
I was starting to raise up my children on the same intolerance I lived in , when I stopped suddenly at that angle where I faced myself with a new reality.
Those other non existing people are getting closer and closer to my life, how can I keep ignoring them, we go to the mall, we exchange business with them, my children were dealing with them in the swimming , that mother was talking to me, she was even agreeing with me on the oppression and inhuman acts against my people from hers. Many interactions that made me see things differently .
I couldn’t be a hypocrite, I couldn’t pretend they dont exist and deal with them at the same time, it wasn’t just business anymore, it was humanistic . it was humane like those old times when I used to play with tali and Sharon my father's friend daughters from tel aviv..
I was thinking about how much motherhood is such a unruly and keen act of subjugation that it takes my breath away at times. how else could such an unhampered and unconditional loving and giving exist? Our fear for our children makes us brave, and daring .and their vulnerability is our cowardice. when they hurt we suffer beyond reason and their joy is our delight.
I wanted my children ot live in a better place. I wanted to provide them with safety and security couldn’t come with denial.

So many things passed by,
Dreams turned into nightmares by the realities we turned out to be living in .
After Oslo, and the break of the peace talks,, the presence of what they called the Palestinian authorities gave Israel all the reasons to do what it means to be occupying .
Massive destruction, closures, killing, severe blockade , separation, oppression, all came face to face to what it means to live under occupation . as they say, we saw the real face of occupation in the past seven years , with the start of the second intifada.
As with every concept used in this conflict, all those stunning words are so consumed that they get deprived from their attractive meaning , like the word peace , so is the word intifada.
The second intifada was a consumed concept . that no longer stood for the same exquisiteness .
As years passed by, and as I saw my children growing up, I was getting closer to understand my behaviors, my dysfunctionality as a mother .
Part of it is how much I want to save my children from facing the same life, from pampering them ,from providing them with tolerance .
I suddenly saw things differently, I realized that the intifada wasn’t as good as it seemed to be then . the intifada stole away what was supposed to be the best years of our lives .
I look at myself as a mother of a teenager , and I really don’t know how to deal with her , and I really cant remember how I behaved as a teenager ,and the reason is simple, I was never a teenager .
The intifada created a gap between us and between what was happening out there in the whole universe . I have been moving around myself to come to what is happening today in the Palestinian street .
In one single day the whole Palestinian struggle, cause, fight for liberation ,and ending occupation went to ashes , when fateh and hamas struggle came to a bloody shed.
For me it wasn’t about analyzing the the ys and wheres , it was about what happened, it was all beyond justification and explanation.
We are a nation who only lived under occupation . we already know the occupation schemes ,their plans to destroy us, it is part of their mission, it is their mission .
And it was obnoxious and intolerable to blame the occupation for what was happening .
It can never be justified that we kill each other in cold blood, that we use the same tools the occupation has been using against us for decades, to do all what we resent and bring the world to witness its brutality.
It is true that it could be a very expected act .
What would the world expect from imprisoning a whole nation, boycotting a whole government, closing borders, proscribing a whole economy .
And yet it is unjustifiable.
Maybe , if hamas wants to prove its good intentions, the best thing it should do is accepting the resignation that was announced.
It is true that the Dahlan issue has been raised now, and everyone know that the man was the source of all the fraud and corruption that was taking place , however , having ot working prime ministers, and functioning from gaza, would isolate it exactly according to the Israeli plan.
When Sharon withdrew from gaza in his unilateral procedure, it was obvious that his plan was to isolate gaza.
Fragmenting the Palestinian land and hence fragmenting the people is the policy that any occupation would adopt to keep winning .
Gaza was already fragmented , completely isolated, and the now the fragmentation between fateh and hamas made everything clear. Now they will try to implement the rest of their plan towards other cities, maybe the next place will be jeneen or tulkarem, the more troublesome area.
Would we keep falling in the same traps . I believe we will..
This is what happens when we really don’t have leadership.
Abbas is nothing but a passive pragmatic American idol. He behaves as a shepherd ,nothing more ,nothing less. Maybe less.
We are so aware of what Israel is planning and we still follow its lead .
And on all sides there is no real leadership, they are all nothing but power mongers . who the last one on their agenda is the people

After the second intifada, women role was remarkably held back. And took its old role of being behind the shadow of the society .
The same resisting woman was home being submissive to a patriarchal system that starts with a husband and ends in a five year old boy .
The once strong woman who faced a bulldozer and an army was driven back home with absolute weakness.
Women on political level, were held back, the once leading politicians whose views and words were striking tv screens ,became another political echo of a once again patriarchal autonomy/
Even though more women voices and roles are taking more places ,but nevertheless their effectiveness is disappearing .like every other effect in the society.

Being a woman is so similar to being a Palestinian it is accompanied with pain, suppression and injustice,
We as Palestinians have always felt that we are simultaneously shapers and victims of history.. interchangeably the affliction and the cure. …palestinians have always been excessively prone to tragedy and dark nights of the soul, never beyond a bit of mischief making .

Women can understand easily what it is like not to be free. they understand how it is possible to put on a brave face for the outside world when u are screaming for help inside.

No comments:

Post a Comment