Ours It Shall Return

Saudi- Hi, my name is Hadeel. My house has never been demolished. My family members have never been imprisoned or killed. I have never been stopped and searched at a checkpoint. I sleep at night without F-16s waking me up and go to university in the morning without fear of being shot at. Clearly, I have never been to Palestine!

Actually, except for Sedo and Teita (my grandparents), none of my family has ever been to Palestine. We have ever seen Yafa, the city my family comes from. We have neither walked on its beautiful beach nor sat at its shore to watch the boats sail. We have not stepped foot in Martyrs’ Square. We have not tasted its famous oranges. But believe it or not, we do miss it, long for it, dream of it, and get nostalgic whenever Yafa is mentioned.

When the Nakba happened, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes and run for their lives. My family was among them. They had to migrate from Yafa; they took refuge in Jordan. Later on, they were given Jordanian citizenship.

My grandfather was still a child at that time. Years later, my grandfather came to work in Saudi Arabia. He was offered Saudi citizenship; he refused to take it because he thought he would go back to Palestine soon. Grandfather died 9 years ago, before returning to Palestine, but that will not happen to us. So much for “the old will die and the young will forget,” right Gurion?

I guess this is my main point: we did not forget… and we did not forgive. Palestine is ours, and ours it will be again, but it is important we realize it is not only about remembering. Memory alone will not get us our land back. It is about working for it. When it comes to causes, no deed is ever too small. “We don’t have to engage in grand heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world” (Howard Zinn).

When I was younger, I loved it when friends of Teita would visit us. I would sit with them the entire time, listen to their stories about Palestine and weep. I don’t weep anymore. I’m too strong and capable to weep. I write, I speak, I advocate for the BDS movement, and I go on solidarity hunger strikes.

Yasir Tineh said it in an earlier piece: “If you write, then write to free Palestine. If you paint, then paint to free Palestine. If you speak, then speak to free Palestine. Make everything you do a call to steadfastness.”

Mark our words: Palestine is ours, and ours it shall return.

 Hadeel Mohammad.

Hadeel is Half Palestinian/ Half Saudi. Radical. Rebellious. Sarcastic. Semi-communist. Semi-activist. She longs for justice and freedom to ALL people. Guevara and Mahmoud Darwish are inspiration to her. Hadeel blogs here & tweets here.


  1. Like any Palestinian you tell a very, very similar story most of us live. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Reem Fahad says:

    Do you advocate for the BDS movement in KSA? It would be great if KSA boycotts companies like Alstom and HP.

    • Derfner-The Palestinians will NOT win by limiting their terrsriom to firebombs and heavy stone blocks. Israel will use whatever force is necessary to stop it and the world will not change its view of the Arab-Israeli conflict because of it. Those who hate Israel will still hate it and those who support it will support it. Israel’s supporters will view this as simply another round of Arab violence, one more drop in the ocean of Arab violence that is tearing their countries apart .remember most Arab violence is directed at their brothers .The David and Goliath paradigm only works with some people. In World War II the Allies were the big, powerful party, and the Axis (Germany and Japan) were the underdogs. There is no way they could win a war against the combined forces of the US, USSR and British Empire. Did this make the Axis the good guys . Well, lots of people in the world don’t think of the Palestinians with their blood-stained history and fratricidal violence are the good guys either. Remember that non-Jews don’t carry around the liberal Jewish guilt feelings that the Jewish Left has. So don’t expect any salvation from another round of violence it will only set the Palestinians further and further back.

  3. My ancestors were forced to leave Europe… however, there was nowhere to go. Canada’s policy regarding allowing Jewish refugees to enter was… “None is too many.” Six million of our people were systematically slaughtered. Yet… we don’t want to go back to Europe/Germany/Russia/Poland because it is impractical & unrealistic. Times change & we have to accept that.

    I know that Palestinians want to destroy Israel & wipe out the Jewish people. Perhaps they will achieve their dream; our history is unspeakably tragic…. Until that day comes… we will continue to strive in positive ways in the areas of science, medicine & the arts & we pray that the Palestinians will accept a state beside the Jewish state.

    • Hashim Noor says:

      Palestinians want justice. They want their land. They want to end this ugly occupation.
      The occupiers keep stealing more Palestinian lands, destroying more Palestinian homes, bulldozing more Palestinian graveyards, polluting more Palestinian water resources, arresting more Palestinians without any charge, torturing Palestinian prisoners, raiding Palestinian houses and assassinating more Palestinian people…
      Who would live in peace with such criminals? Who would live in peace with a border-less country? Who would live in peace with hundreds of checkpoints in their way to school, work and friends?
      How would Palestinians accept a state that does not allow Palestinians to visit their holy places? How would Palestinians accept a state that does not allow Palestinians in Gaza to visit Jerusalem or West Bank? How would Palestinians accept a state that have war criminals as ministers? How would Palestinians accept occupation, apartheid, blockade, walls and no-man’s zones?

  4. Fida: Thank u very much. I appreciate it 🙂
    Reem: I wish Saudi would boycott many companies. Mac & Starbucks are very popular here :/ I’ll try to make that happen.
    Ann: I think Hashim sayed it all, but I just want to add that we don’t want to wipe out the jewish people. We want our land back. All of Palestine & no Israel. Jewish people lived in Palestine long before Israel. They can live in Palestine after Israel as far as I’m concerned as Palestinians citizines not Israelis.
    And it’s funny that u just mentioned everything Europeans have done to u to justify your “country” doing it to us!
    Hitler killed your people, not us!

  5. Reblogged this on THE HADEEL.

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