April 23 2015
As soon as I told my mother that I will be in Palestine during the day the Israelis celebrate their independence day, she replied to me saying, “Independence from who or what?”. Seriously. What independence are they celebrating? Our Nakba? The Palestinian occupation? Are they celebrating winning over a land that was never theirs? For those who are not aware of what Nakba is: In 1948 750,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homes along with 31 massacres, and 531 Palestinian villages destroyed. Unfortunately house demolishing, village destroying and more Palestinians are being forced to leave until today. And this is what Israel is celebrating.
Oh well, there are so many things in this country that just sound crazy, to those who are well exposed to the truth of it all. Anyway, on that very same day, Palestinians who are in occupied Palestine “known as Israel” join a protest in one of the 1948 destroyed villages, demanding the rights of all the Palestinian around the world to return home. Not only do most Palestinians around the world have no rights to return home, but yet worse than all of that, most Palestinians around the world (including the West Bank) are not allowed to even visit their own home. And this is a fact. So Palestinians in the West Bank are unable to join the protest, unless they have permission from Israel.
I was unable to make it all the way to where the protest took place, but I did go half way, and I was very much touched to see children and elders join the protest. A woman who was in her late 70’s said, “I have joined this protest since they started 18 years ago, and I will join it every year until we get our rights to return home.”
Besides the storming politics of my day, I had a wonderful Palestinian breakfast prepared by one of the most generous and warm Palestinian mother who lives in occupied Palestine. She made me a dish called “Shakshoka” and it is just like “Alayet Bandoura with eggs”. Delicious. I was very lucky to meet such a warm family.
Later in the evening, we headed to Haifa, one of my favorite cities in Palestine. I had a walk around the neighborhood and was invited for dinner: a great dish of Kofta with Tahini at the German Street.