63 Years Later, Palestine

source: google images

source: google images

63 years later, Palestine,
I see you waiting, with a tear that refuses to come down, waiting for the return of your child … waiting for the return of the son, the return of the daughter… waiting for the child who refused to remain inactive, refused to watch while your blood is being shed… waiting for the child who refused to remain occupied, refused to remain oppressed … I see you waiting for your child… and when he/she does return, carried on the shoulders of the comrades, you watch your children celebrate another Palestinian wedding. I see you welcome the bride, I see you welcome the bridegroom. I see the pain in your eyes, I feel the pain in your heart. I see you hug your child to you… you kiss your child’s forehead, wipe away the blood stain and smile in your child’s face… for your child has come home.

63 years later, Palestine,
I see you waiting, in patience, waiting for the return of your child… waiting for the return of the son… the return of the daughter… waiting for the child who refused to remain inactive, refused to watch while you are held captive… waiting for the child who wanted to break the chains of captivity, touch your sacred soil, breath in freedom … I see your heart bleeding every time your child is tortured in the interrogation cells. I feel your heart aching every time your child is thrown into isolation cells. I hear you sing songs of love to your child, I hear you count the days till he/she free of the captivity … for no freedom without the freedom of all your children and no freedom without your freedom.

63 years later, Palestine,
I see you there, sitting on the hilltops of Jerusalem, Nablus, Hebron and Al-Jalil, watching us, waiting for us to rise, waiting for us to wipe away your tear, waiting for us to heal your wounds. I feel ashamed, for we are busy with everything else except defending you. I feel ashamed, for we are busy with everything else except freeing you from your usurper. I feel ashamed, for we are busy with everything else, everything… except you. We congratulate ourselves on the few protests carried out once a week and leave you to fend for yourself the rest of the week … we congratulate ourselves on the few actions carried out here and there every couple of months and go back to “life as usual” in between … we congratulate ourselves on the “donations” we send, on the charity functions we organize in your name and ignore that what your children steadfast on your soil need is one people everywhere united in action against occupation and oppression… we congratulate ourselves on lecturing your children steadfast on your soil on “resistance” and how to “deal with the occupation”, how to “co-exist” with the colonizers usurping your soil, and pretend that we, with our fancy passports and fancy life on Mars, know better how your children should think and act… we congratulate ourselves on the much talk we do, on how often we mention the words: Palestine, Right of Return, Jerusalem, Resistance … and ignore our state of inaction, our submission to the status quo, our apathy … we comfort ourselves that we are doing something, when we are doing so little, when we are doing nothing…

63 years later, Palestine,
I see your face wherever I go, wherever I look. I hear your voice calling us, asking us: when will we wake up again? When will we rise up again? I see your wounds, still bleeding from 63 years. I feel your pain, and it overwhelms me. I cry and you comfort me, you remind me of your other children; you remind me of Ghassan, Taghreed, Nidal, Dalal, Mohammad and Ayat. I look at you and you show me Jrash, Deir Aban, Al-Majdal, Yafa and Bisan. I want to apologize and you shake your head and show me the graves of the martyrs, you show me the children of the martyrs, you show me the road paved by the martyrs. You remind me of the revolt of 1936, of the first Intifada, of the second Intifada and all the small revolts, all the tiny intifadas in between. You remind me of the time when Palestinians from River to the Sea, when Palestinians from Haifa, An-Naqb and Bisan, from Jenin, Hebron and Al-Jalil stood as one for Jerusalem, stood as one for you. You remind me of the time when resistance was the priority of every one of your children, when resistance was the means to ease your suffering, to free you from your usurpers. You show me the houses of your children, the hills and the valleys, the almond trees and the olive fields… you remind me of a people that never sleeps … a people that never gives up… a people that dreams of the return, of the villages from which they were expelled, of the homes that were demolished… a people steadfast despite all Zionist terror, despite collaborators, despite oppression, despite world apathy and indifference … a people that believes in justice, yearns for freedom and sings only for Palestine.

63 years later, Palestine,
I complain to you about those who sold us, sold our rights, sold you … I complain to you about those who in the name of preserving their own interests, their own power and their own bank accounts, have signed the deeds for the sell-out of 80% of your sacred body, have signed your death warrant, have killed you another time and killed every martyred child of yours a second time.
I complain to you about those who claim to be your children, those who sold you… They sold you a thousand times over, Palestine, and still do …
They sell you in the name of “resistance”, when they declare that no resistance will be allowed except their “concept” of resistance, only their understanding of “resistance”, which is: talk about the occupation, swear to liberate your homeland from the occupier, but don’t translate words into action, don’t defy the occupier, don’t fight for your freedom, accept the occupation, accept the oppression and call it “liberation”.
They sell you in the name of “peace”, when they declare that the only way to confront the on-going zionist terror, the on-going colonization, ethnic cleansing, massacres, home demolitions, land theft, the only “logical” way to confront occupation and oppression and colonization is to “negotiate, negotiate and negotiate a little bit more”.
They sell you in the name of a “state”, when they sign away our rights, sign away our home deeds, give up 80% of our historical homeland, our haven, our paradise, exchange our ancestral homes and lands for Bantustans, for a double occupation, for prisons within prisons.

And then they sell you in the name of a “unity”;
They sell you in the name of “unity” to preserve an authority that serves the occupation, that divides the people… an authority that has no authority, that is not real, that does not exist beyond the “yes” and “no” of the occupier…
They sell you in the name of “unity” and say: the Palestinian people want a unity …
And the Palestinian people want a unity … but a different kind of unity …
The Palestinian people want a unity that places Palestine above all personal interests…
The Palestinian people want a unity that safeguards the Palestinian constants…
The Palestinian people want a unity that embodies their aspirations …
The Palestinian people want a unity that leads the way to liberation…
The Palestinian people want a unity; a unity that brings an end to collaboration, to concessions in the form of negotiations, to concessions in the name of “peace”, in the name of a tiny prison called “state”…
The Palestinian people want a unity that will unite the Palestinian people, in the homeland and in the Diaspora, unite them in one goal: total liberation.
The Palestinian people want a unity that will draw Palestine’s map; as it was, as it is and as it always will be: Palestine: one from the River to the Sea.

And 63 years later, Palestine,
I want to wipe away your tear, but you wipe away mine… I want to hug you, but you hug me… I want to comfort you, but you comfort me… I want to swear to you that we won’t rest until you are free from the zionist occupation and colonization, that the collaborators don’t represent us, that the opportunists don’t represent us … and you tell me that injustice never lasts, that the colonists will have no peace on your soil, that collaborators and opportunists will pass away like the dust off a table, they will be forgotten, erased from history except as a warning and a reminder to all those who think of betraying their homeland and their people…. And you tell me that only your name and that of your loyal children will remain forever carved in the stones of Nablus and Acca, that only your name and that of your loyal children will be engraved on the stems of olive trees, that only your name and that of your loyal children will be sung by morning birds, whispered by almond trees, drawn in the sand of the beaches of Haifa, Yafa, Akka and Gaza, sung by the farmers as they replant the meadows of Bisan, sung by the workers as they rebuild every village and every house…. Palestine, it is your name that will forever be there… and the names of the colonizers, the occupiers and the collaborators will be forgotten, deleted, wiped out…. Because, Palestine, it is only with you complete and one, that we are complete and one; it is only with you Palestine that we are Palestinians, for you are us and we are Palestine.

And 63 years late, Palestine,
You show me the land and the people…. And you whisper: as long as the land runs in your veins, as long as your hearts whisper “the land” with every heart beat, as long as the people are one with the land, I will always be alive, I shall never be defeated, I shall never be conquered. And you point to the green hills in the distance, to the Mediterranean waves hugging the sunset, to the villages steadfast, to the ruins refusing to disappear and whisper: look at Palestine.

And I look at Palestine…..
I pass the old houses, beautiful stone houses darkened with years, standing steadfast, surrounded by alien houses, standing steadfast and refusing to leave. I see these Palestinian houses and I see your face. I see the hands that built these houses so many generations ago and I hear the laughter of those who live them and I feel the love they have for you. I see these houses, their stones darkened with age, clutching the almond and apple trees around them and standing tall on your soil. I hear them whisper to the wind and to the sun and the rain: we are here to stay, we are Palestinian.

I run down the hill tops, along the fields and the groves…. I collect poppies and give a silent prayer to the martyrs. I wander in the meadows and touch every sacred stone. I walk among the fields and take in the smell of the ripe fruits. I run with the sheep and the goats up and down the stony hills. I see your face in the almond flowers, in the butterflies that flutter around, in the green leaves of the grapevine… I hear your voice in the songs of the birds in the distance, in the songs of the villagers during the harvest, in the songs of the fishermen in the middle of the sea, in the songs of the workers, the teachers and the nurses… I see the land clad in red, green, white and black, celebrating a home that is steadfast, celebrating a people that are steadfast… I hear you say: the land is me and I am the land; love the land, protect the land, liberate the land.

I walk in the narrow alleys of the old city of Jerusalem, smell the spices coming from every direction, watch the wedding of colors as I walk from one alley to the other, I listen to the songs of love to a woman called Palestine, more beautiful than any, more noble than any. I pass the elderly chatting at the cafes and at the side roads, I smile and they smile back. I play with the children running along the narrow streets of your capital, your heart, Jerusalem. I join the women at the balconies, watering the flower pots and singing of a woman who sits on a hilltop, waits for a hero, wearing a kuffiyeh and carrying a Palestinian flag, to come and liberate her from the usurpers.

I pick the olives with my mother, look at her beautiful face as it shines under the blue sky of Palestine… I feel her warmth and her love as she tells tales of her childhood, as she tells me of a life in a refugee camp, as she tells me of the life of refugees denied their heritage, their legacy, their home, their land…. I listen to my father tell me of children standing up to fully-armed soldiers, confronting fully-armed settlers come from afar to steal the land, to kill the land, and I see hope in his eyes and I see you Palestine, alive, forever…. I touch the soil near my grandmother’s grave, I place my hand on the stone and feel her warmth, I feel your warmth, your love, Palestine. I watch my grandfather plant an olive tree in the over-crowded refugee camp, I see him shed a tear over the thousands of trees he planted as a young man back home, I watch his eyes wander, and I feel his soul yearning to that place, to the paradise from which he was expelled… . I pass those working in the fields and planting olive trees, I pass those teaching the children about one Palestine from the river to the sea, I pass those rebuilding their demolished homes, I pass those confronting the occupier, the colonizer. I pass those steadfast on their land despite 63 years of on-going terror. I see those who dream of their homes in Jrash, Zakariya, Deir Aban, Haifa and Bisan, those who refuse to be called anything but Palestinians. I see them … I see their steadfastness… I see those who cherish one atom of your soil than all the riches of the world…. I see those who prefer a tiny house in Um Il-Fahim to a villa in Il-Masyoon. I see those who refuse to give up the right to return to their homes, those who refuse to accept less than a Palestine from the River to the Sea, I see those who know the only way to be free is through resistance. I see those who love you, as you are, not as colonizers want you, not as occupiers want you, not as collaborators want you, not as imperialists want. I pass these people, my people, the Palestinians…

I look at the map and I see my homeland… I see the homeland we learned to draw as children, I see the homeland we carved into tree stems, we drew on our copybooks, we stitched into our kuffiyehs…. I see the homeland we carved in stone …. I see the homeland we drew on the waves of the Mediterranean … I see the homeland we painted against the blue sky…. I see a homeland compete, not missing one inch… And I see a people whose minds are directed towards only one place, whose hearts are beating for only one place…. I see a people marching in hundreds, in thousands, in millions towards one place….. I see Palestinians crossing the seas, crossing the skies, crossing the lands to reach you Palestine …. I see Palestinians breaking the borders, confronting the occupiers to be one with you Palestine… I see Palestine opening her heart and welcoming the millions…I see Palestine swimming in a sea of green, red, white and black…. I see Palestine free…

And 63 years, Palestine,
I see your children, their hearts beating only for you … after 63 years, their hearts only beating for you…. and I know, the countdown has begun and the march has started and you won’t have to wait much longer now, dear Palestine ….

© https://avoicefrompalestine.wordpress.com

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2 Responses to 63 Years Later, Palestine

  1. Bbeautiful says:

    Soo touching! read it over and over again.. beautiful to read.. sad but beautiful..

  2. shifaa says:

    I love you palestine
    inma alummamu alakhlaku ma baqyat
    eth humu thahbu akhlakuhum thahbat

    elya abu ma

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