A Journey To The Back Cover

Jerusalem, Palestine – “A Palestinian’s story” this is what I tell people when they ask me about my story. Our story is the story of a struggle followed by a story of treason. And then it is just like a scratched CD in my car. The story keeps repeating. And we anxiously work on cleaning the scratches to listen to the end of the song, looking forward for a happy ending.

My grandparents fought the Zionists in 1948. My grandfather in the village of Salama, along with the whole village, held up arms to defend their small village near Yafa from a Zionist invasion. For months they fought bravely with heads held up high. Until one day, they ran out of bullets, the residents sent a letter to the Arab leadership asking for ammunition to carry on their defense. Simple words from the Arab leadership shattered their hopes, “give up Salama, we cannot help”. With tears in their eyes and bloody hearts, my mother’s family was forced to leave their homes. They are now refugees, from Salma to Amaari refugee camp in Ramallah to Amman.

The story of my hometown BeitSafafa was stained with the same Arab treason as well. Safafians defended the village from continuous Zionist attacks especially from Ramat Rahil settlement. Months of bloody battles ended with a victory to the village. Zionists failed in occupying BeitSafafa. The spring of 1949, witnessed the signing of the so-called truce between the Zionists and Jordan. But the story was far from an end for BeitSafafa. The Zionists demanded the control over the railway that cuts BeitSafafa in half. And they got behind closed doors what they failed to get in war. My great grandfather refused to give up. He left his family in the house that became under the Jordanian control, and he remained in his factory in the Zionist controlled side of BeitSafafa. Soon after in 1950, the Zionist state forcibly hijacked all his property and expelled him to the Jordanian-controlled side of BeitSafafa. And we were granted a refugee status.

The second generation after the Nakba was my parents’ generation. They decided to struggle to retain back what was stolen from their parents in 1948. They met in the Soviet Union both studying medicine. That is where I was born. And their struggle ended in the first Intifada with treason from the Palestinian leadership. And the winds took us to Dubai. At an age of four I had no say in that decision.

I am the third generation of the Nakba. I was destined to grow up far from home, despite the annual visits back home. I grew up on the stories of struggle of my people. In a comfortable society far from home, I grew up with despair. I grew with roots above the ground waiting for the day I go back home and implant those roots in its right place. In 2007, I graduated from the American University in Dubai. I left my past behind me and returned to where my heart belong, Palestine. And all I was hoping for is to find my place in the next cycle of struggle. And day after day I feel that I am getting close to take the spin. I took an oath on myself; this would and should be the last cycle of struggle. And it will be.

This is a Palestinian’s story in short. It is filled with details of despair and hope, sadness and joy. But we have not reached the back cover of the book. Few pages remains and my generation will write the ending of this story.

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