April 26,27 2015
Wow, I am blessed to be here. I think everyone around the world deserves to visit this beautiful occupied land of Palestine. I feel we need to work together to give the freedom to all the Palestinians who have no rights to see their land.
This is Yafa to the Arabs, Yafo to the Jews, and Jaffa to the rest of the world. It is sad that the Jews decided to eliminate themselves from the Arabs and the rest of the world. Jewish is the definition of a religion, and not a nation, but they have formed it into a nation. Arabs are the people from the Middle East area, Palestine “Known to some as Israel” is in the heart of the Middle East, Europeans are the people from Europe, Africans are from Africa, Asian are from Asia, so what is the deal with Israel?
Spending a day in Yafa was not enough, I had to go again the very next day. This city is filled with wonders, filled with beautiful things to do and see. I finally got to meet Yafa. I finally got to see her soul, in Arabic they call her “عروست فلسطين – Arouset Filisteen” which stands for the Bride of Palestine. She really is. Her streets, her beach, her sea, her houses, her trees, her nature, they all speak to you. And when you connect with Yafa you can hear her laughter and her cries.
I started my first day in the Ajami area or what is also known as “Old Yafa”. This is where all the Palestinians in Yafa were surrounded in during the Israeli force attacks in 1948. Many people fled out of fear and out of force, the people who remained were dragged out of their houses and locked inside Old Yafa with no freedom to leave the neighborhood without permission from the Israeli forces. It is true, look it up and do your research. All the houses around old Yafa were confiscated and announced empty and abandoned. But who would abandon a beautiful bride on her wedding day? Yafa is supposed to be the bride everyday. But since 1948, Yafa has been jailed. She has been jailed and can no longer celebrate with the people who want to celebrate with her. Yafa is restricted today, she is not free to enjoy her wedding days anymore. The people who left their homes by force are never welcome back, the people who were locked inside old Yafa have no rights to return to their homes. Yafa has been raped and abused by the Israeli army.
Besides the ugly truth and politics, Old Yafa carries a flear market. A flea market filled with Jews and Arabs both selling antiques, gifts and food. It is so much fun to go around there and walk its streets. You can walk a triangle and inside the triangle. Head towards Yefet, Yehuda Meragoza, Yehuda Hayamit, Oley Zion. They don’t sound so Arab, they are still under the occupation. Must try Hummus at Abu Hassan, go for a walk by the port, tab by the beach, coffee at Basma’s coffee shop, and dinner by the flea market that turns into a dinning street.
روحت على يافا، و ما شبعت منها بيوم، فرجعت روحت بعد بيوم. ما احلا يافا، مش عادي شو حيلوة يافا. عروست فلسطين عل اكيد. كل شي بيافا حيلو، من البحر، للشوارع، للمباني، الطبيعا… كل شي بيافا غير.
انا بلشيت رحلتي في يافا بمنطقت العجمي، هاي المنطقة القديمة و الي معروفة ب اسم يافا القديمة. تاريخها بيحكي عن سنة النكبة و الاحتلال الصهيوني الي بعد ما تهجر جزء كبير من المدينة، حاصروا الجيش الصهيوني العرب الي ضلوا في يافا بمنطقت العجمي. و افلوا عليهم. و صار الي بدوا يطلع من المنطقة يطلب تصريح. هل تصاريح الي من اول يوم احتلال و همه بيشتغلو فينا. المشكلة منطقت ياقا صغيرة، و عل اكيد في ١٩٤٨ كانت اصغر. و العجمي، عبارا عن اكمن شارع، فل حصار كان خانق. و بوقت الحصار، اخدوا اليهود البيوت الي حولين المنطقة. و طلعت قرار انو البيوت اتهجرت و انتركت فاضية، . و لما فتحوا و اعطوا الحرية للفلسطنية الي بل عجمي، راحوا صحاب البيوت الي حولين العجمي غبيوتها، و كانت بيوتها مسكونة بيهود، و لليوم ما رجعت البيوت لحادا. فرح تلقو انو كل العجمي للعرب.
غير هيك، احلا شي المشي بين الشوارع القديمة، دراسة المعمار و التاريخ في يافا. بنصح بل حمص عند ابو حسن، و القهوة عند بسمة و المشي عن المنارة، و شويت تشميس و سباحا. و ما رح تشبعوا من يافا.