All in History & Remembrance

Nakba: Palestine in Our Blood and Memory

Living in Palestine is a privilege.  I did not choose to live here, but I was born here, as my mother and father before me, and their mothers and fathers before them, and the land and its history are in our blood and memory.  When visitors ask my father, “How long has your family been living in the country?” he always replies, “My grandfathers played chess with the shepherds who received the good news about the birth of Jesus Christ.”

A New Jerusalem Day

I am an East Jerusalemite.

For those who are not familiar with Jerusalem’s recent history, in 1948 my family, along with thousands others who lived in West Jerusalem, fled the city to Jordan after hearing about the gruesome Deir Yasin massacre. The city was divided in the Nakba (1948 War); 

Living the Nakba

“But that was before. Before…”

A heavy silence filled the bare-walled room in East Amman where I sat with three generations of Palestinian refugees. A moment before, we had sat rapt as Abu Nizar, a broad-shouldered man of eighty-five, shared animated tales of growing up on an olive farm outside Jerusalem. As a young boy, he’d tended to the groves with his father, mother, and siblings, learning the rich lore of the ancient crops.

One Jew’s Reflection on Nakba Day

This month has three major events and when I considered what I wanted to write about, for some unknown reasonI found myself resonating strongly with Nakba Day. No, I am not a displaced Palestinian. I’m close to being the polar opposite – I’m an Israeli Jew who freely immigrated to this land several decades ago.  

Contradiction and 8 Things I Love about Israel

Today is a day of memories. They’re mixed memories. History has led us to the present where I can live as an equal citizen, free and secure; where I can immigrate to Israel and express my Jewish identity openly as I see fit. Yet this same history has displaced one of my dearest friends who lives minutes away from me, robbing her of her equality, freedom and security. We live different realities side by side, and they only intersect when we make an effort for them to. 

A Celebration of Loss: Israeli Palestinians on Israel's Independence Day

I want to try to explain how this day feels for me as an Israeli-Palestinian. Israel’s independence day is a hard day because on that day, 67 years ago, my people lost their state. As a Palestinian citizen of Israel, I am part of the Palestinian people by heritage, and part of the Israeli people by citizenship. On the day my country celebrates its birth, I grieve the loss of my nation. On days like these, the contradiction between my country and my people is highlighted.