RAMADAN IN JERUSALEM. FIVE YEARS AGO.
“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” – Nelson Mandela
Don’t ask me why, because I just don’t know. I don’t know why I’ve never written a word on this blog about my short but deeply moving trip to Palestine (not to Gaza unfortunately) five years ago during Ramadan. Back then, I was in the midst of some life changing decisions and experiences, not sure what to make of these memories, how to handle them. What to say, what to write. Even now, I’m struggling. This time for different reasons though. I’m drowning in the sea of words that will not leave my mouth, that my fingers won’t type. There is anger, desperate anger. And I know, me writing down these words will most likely help no one but me and my conscience. Nothing I will write, will save a life. Nothing I write, will stop the terror that is happening in Gazza right now. And as I write, bombs are being dropped on civilians. And as I write a mother is loosing her child, a brother his sister, a daughter her father, a loved a loved one. With every heart that stops, another one is wounded.
And as I write, I feel foolish for taking up space and time, when I’ve got actually nothing to say. Nothing in comparison to people in Gaza. Nothing in comparison to those whose hearts have witnessed the ugliest face of our kind. I feel shame.
Five years ago on Laylat al-Qadr I asked Amal, a Palestinian girl I met when we – once again – had been locked up in the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli soldiers over night (which we actually didn’t mind. This way we got to spend more time in the mosque praying), what I could do, she smiled and said: “Don’t forget us. Pray for us. Come visit us.”
I don’t want you to be forgotten. I don’t want these images to be lost. I want Palestine and Palestinians to be seen. I want them to be part of our collective memory. Hence our collective future.
Want, want, want…
Back to prayers…
Mandela also said:
“As a movement, we recognize the legitimacy of Palestinian nationalism just as we recognize the legitimacy of Zionism as a Jewish nationalism” (1993)