In the Nakbah’s 50th ‘anniversary’ a twin were born in a hospital in
Jerusalem, ‘ East Jerusalem’ as some of you would like to call it. Me and my twin sister were born. Mohammed & Muna… or should I say Muna & Mohammed? She was born 10 minutes before me. She also knew how to crawl before me. She knew how to walk before me. She knew how to run before me. While I on the other hand was expected to be born with Dawn Syndrome and my mother was advised to abort me (but this is common for any Palestinian mother-to-be. When one is told she is going to deliver a male baby she is told that her baby has a mental/physical illness/disability. This is a strategy used be Israelis to stop the men population from growing. –as if Palestinian women are not strong enough to fight the occupation. Ever heard of Dalal Moghraby, Leila Khaled & Hind El-Hussieni?.... in fact, have you ever heard of Palestinian women?) and I was born with a hole in my very own heart, literally. So, this was a sign that getting out of the womb was a pretty bad idea.
It meant a great deal being born in Israel’s 50th ‘independence’ month. I don’t like to think of it as a sad thing, I’d rather think of it as maybe it was a sign that I was going to be a person with such an urge for change and such a rebellion nature. Plus I get to make jokes about it (that sounds terrible) but for my last birthday I went to a demonstration for the Nakbah’s 66th anniversary. They had music, and so, so many black balloons. They kind of made the sky look black, so it felt like a birthday party to me. I even posted a picture of the manifestation on Facebook with the caption “Aw, they’re so sweet they threw me a surprise party.” So that’s pretty the bright side of the dark side of being born on the day when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lost their lives, their children, their homes & their saftey… funny right?
I never really got to celebrate my birthday… because why would I? Do you expect me to light a candle, put it on a cupcake and march through a manifestation? Every birthday of mine I’ve spent either in a manifestation or on the couch watching documentaries about the Nakbah or watching the manifestations (that my father wouldn’t let me go to) being reported on TV and tear gas and rubber bullets and all of that mess. So the situation was exactly: my family and friends saying Happy Birthday to me and to my sister, the whole world saying Happy Birthday to the so-called ‘Israel’.
I was born into a life where everything which is normal in the world is abnormal here. Example: sleeping with a police car next to your window: normal. Sleeping with a bird singing on your window and having sweet dreams (abnormal). Having to cross many checkpoint to go from city to city to visit relatives or even from village to village (normal) going from village to village easily without it taking hours of sweat and humiliation (abnormal) Thinking the police man is the evilest person you’ll ever meet (Normal) The police person being a person that want to help you and not demolish your house (abnormal) Going to school having 50 blank pages in your school book because they talk about fighting back and resistance (normal) going to school and actually learning to love your country and fight back for it (abnormal). Not being able to enter Al Aqsa mosque to pray because you’re still under 65 (normal) having access to your church/mosque/temple (abnormal). Knowing that at least one member of your family had died because of the occupation (normal) everyone’s safe & sound (abnormal). Seeing your big brother whose in jail as a hero (normal). Actual criminals who did actual crimes going to jail (abnormal). So when I finally saw the world and realized that the life that me and every other Palestinian are living is so unfair, I was furious. I wanted to slap the world, again. I deserve to sleep with no siren. I deserve to go see my aunt in Nablus without having to spend 3 hours on the checkpoint. I deserve a police man that doesn’t want to arrest my father for his denied identity; being Palestinian. I deserve an educational system that waters the seeds of resistance inside of me. I deserve my right to pray and practice my beliefs. I deserve a picture of my family tree to stay the way it is for a while. I deserve knowing that the heroes are outside while the real criminals are inside prison and not the other way around. I deserve to live actual logic, justice & freedom. I deserve life.
But at what price? Blood? We’ve had enough martyrs and victims. Money? What do you do when you’re fighting a country who’s supported financially but mostly the whole world? Law? Do we need law to win this case? I think not, because as the Palestinian saying say: “If your enemy is the judge and the jury to whom do you complain?” it seems like there’s no way out of this circle called Israel. It really drives us back to the concept of Tomorrow’s Never Coming: there’s no light in the end of this tunnel. The grass is not greener on the other side. All the laws are against us. So is destiny. So unless we fight this damned destiny and break those laws, we’ll go nowhere.
Let’s get back to subject: being born on the day of The Great Catastrophe is like a scar, everyday there’s a reminder that The Great Catastrophe is still ongoing. There’s a new Nakbah every day, people see it as a memory that happened in 1948, but it’s not a memory. It is our everyday reality… it never stopped. If you look at it that way; everyone is born on the day of The Catastrophe (sigh, the only thing that made me feel special is now in public use). Look at your life, everyday people die because of this ugly military occupation. Every day they suffocate the air we breathe, they kill the spirit we inhale and they deceive our eyes into think that going back home might be impossible. Everyday Israel commits another crime and is not punished for it. The great catastrophe was never over, the oppression, the ethnic cleansing and the hatred is still around, in big amounts.