Friday, 15 May 2009

On The Palestine in Mind (BAPD)

This is my first Blog about Palestine Day post, and as I honor it, I honor the memory of past generations of my family: those who lived and died in Palestine, and those who despite leaving it forever physically; never really did, nor did she leave them.

My Palestine is a promised land; to me, not to those who claim it by divine intervention or historic precedence proven with systemic ethnic cleansing, it's a promise I bear in my blood cells, in my genes, despite the time and space between us, the borders and soldiers that separate us, and despite her forced estrangement from her offspring. But like all mothers, she instinctively recognizes her children; from their gaze, their smile, and their ancient pride, even if they never saw her face; the one made to wear a hundred and one masks of foreign identities, to hide her angelic beauty.

I've always felt, even believed in a romantic mythological way, that my father's family, like all families upon their forced mass exodus from Palestine, had their collective baptism in the Jordan as they crossed East, an accidental but none the less willed blessing from a God whose compassion and wisdom surpasses our own comprehension and understanding, He blessed them in their time of misery, and in their patient hope of eventual return, promising them inner peace; a peace I saw in the eyes of my grandparents, as they grew older, wiser, and more patient.

My Palestine never was a political game of affinity, but rather a loyalty of blood, like mine to Jordan, as the blood that runs through me is like the River Jordan, running through one land. I never saw myself as one or the other, I'm both, and they unite in me, like they do in millions, and any chauvinistic attempt to separate me from myself, from one side or the other, is an attempt to kill me, as I'll never split in two, even if some among us have split personalities, making foes of family, and warriors of windmills, chasing shadows of imaginary enemies that only exist within them, neither side belongs to them, nor they to either.

As I mark this day of displacement, I honor people who died in their fight to prevent the replacement of peace with peril, and right with might; young and old: Palestinians, Jordanians, Arabs, Muslims and Christians, who believed that this Holy Land is where the heart should lay, where the head should rest; Forever. And where their lives began as they ended, surrounded by angels in flight and prophets in worship, confirming that Palestine is not a relic of a distant past; but a Future as certain as sunrise after darkness and sunshine after rain, and declaring with heavenly praise, that the noun "Palestinian"; will never refer to an extinct existence, but one as constant and enduring as time itself.

And as I mark this day of displacement, I remember those who witnessed it, and lived it until they passed: the little girl who was old enough to be my grandmother, and her rock; my grandfather. And for them both, and with them, their Palestine and mine; I recite a prayer.