May 22, 2015
In Blog News
A Diaspora Series: The Journey of Endless Suffering
When I asked him what happened next, my grandfather Hassan said:
“The international community was busy supporting Israel to become a strong nation after it declared its independence and destroyed five hundred Palestinian village. While we walked grieving the refugee path wherever our feet took us, the UN promised of a fair solution soon, but sixty year have gone by and we are still waiting.”
The suffering of seven hundred thousand Palestinians didn’t end the day they left their homes and spread around a cruel world. It was just the beginning of a long journey of agony.
In 1948, my Grandfather was exiled to Shate’e camp for refugees, in Gaza, where one came across the most heartbreaking stories of poverty and loss. But also an ideal place to meet incomparably courageous people who were still standing bravely, like lions, in spite of their hard life. They just needed someone to believe in them.
Hassan grew a fig tree in his new humble “built-of-asbestos” house. He then started building a suitable house, stone by stone and brick by brick…
My uncles, as well as many Palestinians, were resisting the occupation with the Arab Nationalist Movement, while my father spent his childhood hiding his brother’s rifles, moving them from one place to another, when Israeli inspection campaigns started.
Fifteen years later, and their life was still the same, cruel, hard, full of risks, and nothing was changing at all, so all the family members had to work, including my 10-year-old father. It didn’t take so long till Israel cruelly demolished their house in 1967, and exiled them once again to Egypt,
As a foreigner, Hassan lived his hardest times there climbing on the rough wall of life. After 10 years of hard working, he could afford to buy land and started happily farming it in my grandmother’s village east of Egypt. He did his best to raise five educated dependable men who inherited his immovable love for Palestine.
Life took them up and down till 1994, when Oslo was signed. We thought the conflict was over, and finally we could have our independent state that we wished for, but my family had a conversation that day full of anger.
“We regained only 22 percent of our lands. It will decrease with time because we accepted that shame,” my grandfather said.
“I will not participate in that crime, this betrays everything we stood and fought for,” my uncle said.
“If we accept that, then we merely justify every crime Israel has done, and that won’t stop them,” my father said.
They made a consensual decision to stay in Egypt, but they missed severely their land.