We are Palestinian, we say …

It amazes me how much Palestinians are connected to their land, their heritage, their culture. Generation after generation born outside Palestine and the majority of us have never stepped a foot on this holy land, yet we are connected to it emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. We are attached to it through stories passed on from generation to generation, we are attracted to its beauty and most importantly we need to feel that we have a home and an identity.

We are Palestinian, we say … But what does that really mean to someone who has never seen that land? What does it mean to someone who hasn’t lived the real true struggle of a Palestinian living there? What does it mean to someone who has lived in several countries and has had several places to call ‘home’. Who are we really? I was born in Kuwait, raised in Australia and now residing in Canada. I hold nothing that says ‘Palestinian’ on it. I am Kuwaiti by birth, Australian and Canadian by citizenship. My parents escaped Palestine for a better life in Kuwait, only to escape again to Australia for yet another better life. Our fellow Muslim Arab countries treated us like aliens on the place we called home, on the only home we knew…

We are Palestinian, we say … We represent a different struggle than those living on the holy land. We are the true definition of ‘identity crisis’ The reality is most of us will go through life not knowing who we really are or why we live so far away from our ‘home’. We will go through life never knowing how it feels to belong, how it feels to have a land.

We are Palestinian, we say … A nationality that has a curse tagged to it, you are immediately looked down upon, you are immediately treated differently by your own people. Unless you are lucky enough to spend years in the West to get a citizenship, then your curse is removed and you become as worthy and human as others.

We are Palestinian, we say … Yet we live thousands of miles away from this land, some of us don’t speak the language and some of us cant even point to a village on the map where we ‘originally’ came from, for the simple fact that it doesn’t exist anymore! Yet we still call ourselves Palestinian, we still love this part of our crushed identity.

We are Palestinian …

 

Photo credit: Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com) / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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I am Palestinian

A poem I wrote back in 2002

Handala Facing the Sea

A child without a home,
A bird without wings,
A human being with a lost soul,
I am the one that doesn’t belong and the battle cry of freedom echoes through my corridors and every fiber in my being.
I stand against those who stole my beautiful land with a few rocks and stones in my hand,
Not afraid – for truth is with me and God is on my side.
I face tanks, guns and bombs every single day of my life.
I feel so lonely in this cruel, harsh world that has labelled me a “terrorist” and labelled the killer a “Freedom fighter”.
They came and stole my land, kicked me out and killed my mother and father.
They took away my hopes and dreams and made me an orphan, an orphan that has been rejected out of every spot in the world.
A rejected human I am, who has been silent for the last 54 years of my life.
I’ve seen my parents dead, my three sons tortured and shot dead in front of my own eyes,
Their blood has filled my hands and my tears have never stopped,
Yet when I finally decide to respond to this cruelty, the world labels me a terrorist.
I wait for the death angels to come and take me every single second of the day,
While people of this world run away from death, I run to death with my own two feet.
And when I die, a choir of angels will honor me.
I am the footsteps of our beloved prophets walking through Bethlehem & Jerusalem & praying in Al-Aqsa mosque
I am the tears of mothers weeping over their dead sons.
I am the thirsty one and nothing will quench my thirst except the return of Palestine.
I am the desperate cry of liberty,
And no matter what you take away from me Israel, you will never, ever, ever take away my identity or my love for my country.

“While people of this world have a home to live in, my home lives in me”

Photo credit: Mαzen from Hadhramout / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/programmer/2297324529/”>Mαzen from Hadhramout</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/re/3e3965″>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-SA</a>