My last day in Haifa… آخر يوم الي في حيفا

May 12, 2015

My trip is about to end, I have a week left and I feel like I still haven’t seen anything. I decided to spend few more days in Haifa to really get my eyes enough of it. I must admit that Haifa is one of my very favorite cities in Palestine.

This side of the world feels like a dream. People refer to it differently now a days… Palestine, the occupied areas, the 1948 areas, Israel. Palestinians who live here are living the real occupation. It feels like living on a land that is literally raped. All the architecture and the houses are so Arabic, Oriental , Arabesque, it screams the Arabian culture, with Arabic calligraphy, and design that dates back to the 1800’s, yet you see Israeli flags decorated around the entrance, and Europeans coming out of the door. Europeans and Americans who refer to themselves as Jewish Israelis and when they see the Palestinians, they are only known as the Arabs.

I find it hilarious how inside the occupied areas you are either a Jew or an Arab. When all the Jews are from all over the world, and all the Arabs are Palestinian. I also find it hilarious how the Jews go by their religion for being Jewish, and the Arabs can be of any religion except Jewish. For all Jewish Arabs are no longer Arabs but are only refereed to as Jews. And what is wrong with being a Jewish Arab? or A Palestinian Jew? Too much of a privilege to the Jews or to the Arabs?

Since when is freedom jailed. Freedom to express who you truly are? Since when are all the Palestinians only Arabs? Since when is being Jewish a nationality? I last checked it was a religion. Since when have the Palestinians lost their identity and freedom to express that they are Palestinians? It is like telling a little boy, “don’t tell them your real name, or they will find out what we did to you, and then we will have to kick you out of your home again like we have kicked your parents”.

And how much do you know about the Palestinians? They are Arabs from the Middle East living in a land that has been chopped up into many little scattered Israeli settlements. Practicing any religion, with the churches and the mosques lined one next to the other, even the synagogue were once lined next to them before their own people decided to isolate them and conquer. The Palestinians, both Christian popes and Muslim sheikhs walk side by side as they go to pray. The Palestinians, who make hummus for breakfast and mjadara for lunch and shakshuka for dinner. They listen to the sound of Arabian oud, and they smoke shesha during their free time. They are known to have great farmers, love everything organic and self-made, from olive trees, to cactus, fig and roses. Small carriages of ka’ek and zaatar, turkish coffee and tea with mint and lots of sugar. They love to play chess and bargees, welcoming every stranger and guest as they pass them by, friendly is within their nature. Warmth and security is what they like to transmit from their energy. And this is all just a glimpse of the Palestinians.

But today, what have the Israelis done to our Palestine? And what are they continuing to do? And how long will the world allow them to? When will it end?

My visit to unfamiliar parts and life of the occupied territories of Palestine “Northern Israel” | زيارتي إلى مناطق الشمال من فلسطين المحتلة وتعرفي على ما نجهله عن فلسطينية ١٩٤٨

May 8th 2015,

This is a visit that changed my whole perspective upon persistence, hope and the Palestinians in the 1948 occupied territories.

Have you ever heard of a village in Al Jallil “Galilee” region called Iqret or Iqreth? Well let me tell you a little bit more on Iqret. Iqret is a one of the villages that was occupied by Israel along with many more in 1948. It was a Christian village, at the very northern part of Palestine, close to Akka “Acre” border of Lebanon, and all the villagers were forced to leave out like most Palestinians experienced during the occupation by Israel. Most of whom left to Lebanon and other villages in Palestine. In 1951, the villagers of Iqret went to the Israeli supreme court to plead their return back to their village. They won the case. But of-course, the Israeli military government was not happy about it and found a new way to prevent the villagers from returning. On Christmas day in 1951, the IDF “Israeli Defense Forces” entered the village and blew up one house after the other. The worst part is, the Israeli forces have asked the villagers of Iqret who were scattered around, sleeping over neighboring villages, to attend the act of terror and destroying of their village from a far away hill that overlooked Iqret as a christmas gift for them.

Believe it or not there is a beautiful side to the story, the side that made me look at life differently, now of course the Israelis as usual, built settlements around Iqret. Today, if you visit Iqret you will find the only building standing “a catholic church”. You will also find 5 heroic guys who have decided 4 years ago to take their belongings and reside in Iqret. In a place where there is nothing other than a church and a view that over looks both Palestine and Lebanon. Those men have left their jobs to find work near by. They take turns to supervise the empty village to avoid Israeli army from sneaking in and taking all their belongings, which has previously happened. And what are their belongings? Their necessities. Bed sheets, clothing, food, heaters, they built their own showers and toilette. They plant their own trees and plants. This place is a must visit, and these Palestinian men who decided to just move there without anything, must be supported, and taken as an example and idols. They have inspired me, and moved me, and I believe that one day, with more people like them, Palestine will be free again.

Coincidentally, I received a message yesterday from a friend who informed me that Iqret was attacked yesterday by the IDF Israeli forces to collect all their belongings to help evacuate them back out. They ruined and removed their plants and trees, they broke their accessories, kitchen plates and glasses, they took away mattresses and chairs from both their rooms and church. Feel free to visit their facebook page to show them support, read more on this, visit them or join them and support their rights and the rights of all the Palestinian to return.

In my album below, you will find photos not only of Iqret, but of our visit to Al-Basa, which today in hebrew is known as Betzet. And this is yet another village that has witnessed the evil doing of Israeli forces. Villagers were killed inside churches and on the streets to help evacuate all the villagers back in 1948. Look up Operation Ben-Ami. The village was also completely destroyed with only few buildings left to see today. A church, a mosque and the mokhtars house.

We then ended our life changing trip in Az-Zeeb, which is by the sea and is very poetic. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to tour around inside, but this village today is known as Sa’ar and Gasher HaZiv. The only standing buildings again are a Mosque that has been restored for tourism, and the Mukhtars house, turned into a museum.

And this is how you get to see Israel from the Palestinians. Hope you all visit and you all find people who can tell you the real stories behind all the ruins and remains. It will change your whole perspective upon life. Thanks to my friends ” Adam & Tarek” whom helped me around. You can check out Tarek Bakri’s Facebook page for more on the history behind Palestine/Israel.

Also visit Haifa, Jaffa, Nablus, Jerusalem.

في قرية بفلسطين باسم إقرث. وهي القرية بس إتعرفت عليها وعلى قصتها غيرتلي كل حياتي. هي وحدة من القرى اللي طبعاً تهجرت زي الباقي، موقعها على حدود لبنان شمال فلسطين في ضواحي الجليل، هجّروا أهلها بسنة ١٩٤٨. بس اللي بميزها هو إنو أهل القرية أخدوا القضية للمحكمة الإسرائيلية بسنة ١٩٥١ و ربحوا أهل القرية القضية للعودة الى بيوتهم في إقرث، لكن الحكومة العسكرية الإسرائيلية ما عجبها، فراحت أخدت قرار بيوم عيد الميلاد المجيد سنة ١٩٥١ إنهم يفوتوا و يفجروا بيوت إقرث واحد ورا الثاني. و كانوا باعتين لأهالي القرية إنهم يحضروا التدمير من التلة اللي بتطل عليها، هدية عيد الميلاد.

شباب إقرث اليوم مثال أعلى لكل شخص فلسطيني. فيهم أكم من شاب و شابة أخذوا القرار إنهم يرجعوا على أرض إقرث عام ٢٠١٢. اللي بس ضل فيها كنيسة على أرضها. و زي ما بيقولوا: “نكبة ولا مش نكبة، قرار تقسيم ولا مش قرار تقسيم، مع موافقة إسرائيل أو بدونها… إحنا رجعنا” و فعلاً هم رجعوا “مجموعة من الشبيبة، أبناء وبنات قرية إقرث المهجرة، إتخذنا قرار… قرارنا عودتنا، قرارنا حياتنا، وتحقيقها وتطبيقها- أرضاً وواقع. وبالفعل، أبناء وبنات قرية إقرث متواجدين على أرض الأجداد إبتداءً  من 5.8.2012 وحتى هذه اللحظة يحرسون، يصونون، يرممون، يزرعون، ويعيشون على أرض إقرث كي يهيئوا عودة كاملة بكافة تراب الوطن، لتصبح إقرث أول قرية فلسطينة تحقق قرار العوده إن شاء من شاء وإن أبى من أبى”

وللصدفة وأنا عم بكتب هالمقال، وصلني الخبر التالي: “موظفو دائرة أراضي إسرائيل برفقة قوة من الشرطة صباح اليوم الإثنين في قرية إقرث المهجرة، قامت القوات بتخريب واقتلاع الأشجار وتحطيم الأواني المنزلية ومصادرة بعض الممتلكات مثل الكراسي والفرشات ومقاعد الكنيسة”. هدول شباب مناضلين، فلسطنية بعلمونا الإصرار وبنموا الحب و الإنتماء لفلسطين. كان نفسي أترك حياتي وأنضم إلهم، وإن شاء الله أقدر أساهم بنصف اللي عم يعملوا. تواصلوا معهم عبر الفيسبوك، شجعوهم، وساهموا معهم أو بس زوروهم. حب فلسطين حب غير عادي.

أما باقي صوري، فهي تكملة رحلتي إلى قريةالبصة، اللي كمان قصتها بتجرح القلب، لإنها لا تصدق. وأهلها كلهم مهجرين. و العصابات الصهيونية الإسرائيلية قامت بقتل أهل البلد في الكنيسة و الشوارع العامة عام ١٩٤٨. اليوم يوجد كنيسة، مسجد و بيت المختار كآثار.

أما آخر محطة كانت في قرية الزيب المهجرة أيضاً. فجمالها على البحر، لكن جرحها في المسجد المرمم ليكون معلم سياحي محتل. أما بيت المختار فهو متحف. للأسف، ما استطعنا إنو نشوفها مزبوط، لكن إن شاء الله رح أرجع و كلنا رح نرجع لأراضينا، الأراضي الفلسطينية العربية.

شكرا لاصدقاءي الي عرفوني على هل مناطق من فلسطين “آدم و طارق” و فيكم تزوروا صفحت طارق عبر الفيسبوك لتتعرفوا اكثر عن المعالم الجميلة لفلسطين.

زوروا ايضا حيفا، يافا، نابلس، القدس.

“صامدون هنا .. قرب هذا الدمار العظيم”
– محمود درويش

Morning Diary: Visiting Hebron | اليوم الثالث عشر: زيارتي إلى الخليل

May 4th 2015,

Politics: Do you really want to know what is going on in Palestine? Then head to Hebron. As soon as you can, go, visit, and see with your own eyes. A city that screams constraint. It is located in the West Bank supposedly under the umbrella of the State of Palestine which no one recognizes yet, and is surrounded and is under complete supervision by the Israeli army. Yes, this city is supposed to be free from the Israelis, but every corner I walked in, every street I visited, there he was, an armed Israeli man standing closing one area or another, and if there was no Israeli armed person then just look above your head and there it is, a moving video camera that covers the whole city.

Imagine. Imagine yourself living under complete control of a state that denies your recognition even. Hebron is aching. Hebron is locked up and is wrapped in iron wires. The old streets of Hebron is filled with elderly men who wake up every morning to go to work. Most of them have a very upset frown look that is hard to break. They are living in their own little supervised jail. Every move they make is watched, every word they say is heard, and every breath they take is counted.

Israeli Jewish families are settling there. They burn houses, and literally kick people out of their homes, to live there in between all the Palestinians. And you can not say a word. If you speak, complain, or try to go back to your house, you are taken to jail. It is horrific.

Culture: Besides the Politics, Hebron is a gem. It is filled with culture. You find hope in between all the agony. You find a way to bring the frowns into a little bit of laughter. You see the Palestinian flag everywhere, along with few Israeli flags here and there. Like a flag fight. This piece is mine and this piece is yours. Ridiculous. You will find everything that has to do with the Arabian culture and Art, from the food, to embroidery, wardrobe, carpet, coffee shops, pottery, turkish delight, ceramics, glass art, Islamic art and much more.

People are very friendly, you feel protected, even though you feel watched everywhere you go, but you still feel protected by the people who are living every day as it comes. They live today, they have no expectations or even a thrill to know about what tomorrow will bring. The thrill is gone, because the chances are what is coming is another tragic story of a new house being occupied, or a new street being closed, or a new Palestinian child being killed.

Yes. If only, we can free Hebron from the Israeli army. If only we can free Palestine from the Israeli army. What a wonderful world it will be. To each his own life, his own freedom, and his drive to live for tomorrow.

Visit: When you head to Hebron, visit the Ibrahim Mosque or what is also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs. It is split into two. The Muslims can enter the Muslim side, and the Jewish can enter the Jewish side. It is a mosque for God’s sake, a mosque which is a temple made for Muslims to go and pray in. But because some of the Prophets were buried under the mosque, and some of the prophets were Jewish, the Israel State thinks they have the right to split it in half and deny entry to any Muslim into the Jewish side of the mosque. The Muslims cherish all prophets, Muslims or non. To the Muslims, Jewish prophets are as holly as any other prophet. And I have no idea why the Jews feel the need to occupy any area that has a Jew buried in. Do they know how many Muslims & Christians are buried all throughout Palestine, both occupied areas by Israel or the West Bank. Or is this not so important?

Also ask about the glass company in Hebron, where they make glass and pottery and decorate them to sell all across Palestine. A beautiful experience to go watch and learn and maybe try to make your own. You can also ask for a customized one made just for you.

I tried to be positive as much as I can in this post, but it is just very hard not to share what the eyes see and what the heart feels. And in such situations, words are never enough. It is hard to find the right words to express. So since I am sharing this post during the Holly month of Ramadan, then let us dedicate some of our prayers today and everyday to the people living in Hebron, to the people living in Palestine, to all the people around the world who are still living under occupation, racism, and are limited from freedom. Let us pray that the good in this world outcomes the bad, that the good is much stronger than the evil, for the good to grow in big numbers and help free this world from the power of selfishness.

زيارتي إلى الخليل كانت من أصعب الرحلات في فلسطين. فالخليل تحت الاحتلال مع إنها تعتبر تحت حمية السلطة الفلسطنية. وللأسف في زيارتي شفت الاحتلال في الخليل واضح بكل مكان. ففي كل زقاق و كل شارع يوجد جندي عسكري إسرائيلي يمنعك من الدخول إلى مناطق أو شوارع معينة. وإذا ما في جندي، ففي كاميرا تصوير فوق راسك بتذكرك بالاحتلال.

وهادا إشي مؤسف لإنو الخليل بتجنن، جمالها رائع وأصوله عربية فبتلاقي التراث العربي واضح فيها. البلد القديمة جميلة جداً. الناس اللي من الخليل قلبهم صافي ومتعاونين. اليأس و الغضب واضح على وجوههم، بس اذا بتحاول تمزح معهم بتفاعلوا معك وبعبروا عن سعادتهم. الحياة فعلاً صعبة بالخليل، و الناس معنوياتها تعبانة و همه بحاجة لوجودنا ودعمنا واهتمامنا.

زيارة الخليل ما بتكمل من غير زيارة المسجد الإبراهيمي، اللي اليوم مقسوم إلى قسمين، قسم لليهود و قسم للمسلمين. العنصرية ضد الإسلام واضحة جداً، فأول سؤال بيسأله الجندي “إنت مسلم؟” قبل أي شي و في أي مكان بتلتقي فيهم. و بس تجاوب إنك مسلم بمنعوك تمر أو تفوت المناطق اللي مسكرينها عن المسلمين لأنو عايشين فيها يهود فطبعاً هم تحت الحماية المسلحة. إذا كنت مسيحي، فتاني سؤال بكون “من وين؟” و إذا كنت عربي فبتصير زيك زي المسلم.

غريبة الحياة مرات لما الواحد بمر بمواقف ما عمره فكر إنها ممكن تصير. و الأغرب من هيك، إنك تتخيل الناس اللي عايشة هيك، تحت الذل و الاحتلال و العنصرية. و اللي كتير مؤلم، هو إنك تعرف صلتك في للشخص اللي بمر بالمعاناة، إن كان قريب إلك أو من نفس الديانة أو الدولة أو الجنسية أو المجتمع. أو إذا كنت إنت شخص إنساني، فبكل إنسان بتلاقي صلة الإنسانية اللي بتربطه فيك. فليش خلفيته أو ديانته بتفرق معك؟

بس تيجوا عالخليل لازم تمرقوا على مصنع الزجاج، و الفخار. فالخليل معروفة بشهرتها بالفن والشغل اليدوي اللي فيها. و ممكن تشكلوا فخار او زجاج خاص فيكم. زيارة الخليل مؤلمة لكن جمالها بخليك تحس بمدى الألم اللي فلسطين بتمر فيه.

أنا حاولت ما أكون كتير سلبية، بس صعب ما أكتب اللي شفتو واللي شعرت في. إحنا هلأ بأيام فضيلة من أيام رمضان المبارك فخلينا نتذكر أهل الخليل في صلاتنا، وأهل فلسطين، و نتذكر كل الناس اللي لسه لليوم بعانوا من العنصرية و عدم الحرية في أي مكان بالعالم. و ندعي انو الله يقوي الناس اللي بدهم الخير، وتزيد أعداد أهل الخير عن الناس اللي بدها الشر، ونطلب إنو الله يساعدنا و يساعد الناس إنها تميز بين الغلط و الصح والخير والشر.

Morning Diary: Visiting Jerusalem, the Old city & Al Aqsa | اليوم الثاني عشر: زيارتي في القدس، البلد القديمة و الاقصى

May 3rd 2015,

On a beautiful morning, I decided to take myself to Jerusalem. To spend my whole day inside Jerusalem, and precisely inside the old city of Jerusalem. Being in Jerusalem, nowadays feel like a dream to most Arabs. Since most of them are denied entry. A place that was built for all human kind. With many visible Arabian architecture and essence. With Islamic, Christian and Judaism monuments. This land is historic and symbolic to people from all over the world.

Politics: The Arabian architecture is everywhere. In both the West and the East of Jerusalem. The Arabs foot prints are everywhere. The Arabs have lived in Jerusalem since forever. To each Arab, there is a thread of belonging and curiosity to what “Al Quds” Jerusalem is all about.

So why is it so restricted to visit Jerusalem today? Today, it is still under the control and occupation of the Jewish State of Israel. Worst of all, the restrictions are mostly on the Arabs, and on mostly, the Palestinians. The Palestinians, who are the natives of the Holly Land.

If you are in the West Bank, and to those who don’t know so much about the West Bank; it is a small zone inside of Palestine, or what is known as Israel. This small part is surrounded by an ugly wall of barrier. Worst than what used to be the Berlin Wall. It separates the land of Palestine from what is under control of the State of Israel, and the other part “West Bank & Gaza” that is supposedly not.

Back to the point, that if you are in the West Bank, and wish to visit Jerusalem, that is literally 15 minutes away by car, then you need permission. Of course from the state of Israel. And the chances are for you to wait days, for denial. Arabs who are around Palestine, and are half an hour away by car, for example from Jordan, then you also have no right or freedom to enter Jerusalem. You also need a permission. Chances are, you wait for weeks to receive denial of access. As for Gaza which is probably around an hour and a half away by car, thinking about visiting Jerusalem is prohibited, imagine visiting!!!

I was in Ramallah, and I decided to go to Jerusalem. I have a VISA that allows me access. I was lucky not to receive a deny of entry. But since I came into Jerusalem from the West Bank, I had to go through the Wall of Barrier and I had to go through a very ugly racist humiliating Kalania checkpoint. With Israeli armed boys and girls the age of 18 years old treating everyone coming down from the bus including both elderly and children with complete disrespect and discrimination. As if everyone coming from the West Bank is an animal and not human. “The ugly truth”

My experience: Getting to the story of my trip, I ran with all the thirst I have in me for myself, for my family and my friends to the old city of Jerusalem “Al Balad al Qadima”. Walked towards the walled area, the Jerusalem Gate. I walked inside the famous “Bab al Amod” Damascus gate, as I felt my smile glow inside and outside my body. I was in zen. I couldn’t stop my senses from drifting to space as I was listening to the Arabs, to the Adan, to the people yelling out what they are selling in their tiny shops, looking at the Ka’ek, colorful garments and sweets, smelling the fresh falafel being fried, the hummus on the tables, the men in red tarboush, the turkish coffee as you walk by, walking the old rustic streets and arched doors, and then your eyes are hit by a very ironic view of armed Israeli young soldiers walk in between what all looked like a very old Arabian film, and some Israeli flags on top of an old Palestinian man who is chanting in Arabic his love for Palestine, and then you wake up from your zen and remember that freedom has been taken away from you. I feel so dramatic, but it is emotional once you are there.

As I was back to my senses, I realized the “Duhur Adan” the call for prayers was on from the Al Aqsa mosque. Al Aqsa mosque is one of the most holly mosques for Muslims. And since it is in an occupied area, it is like a dream reaching it. So I literally hurried up to walk between the old tiny streets of the old city of Jerusalem heading towards Al Aqsa mosque. I arrived to dream land. I started thinking of how my parents would feel and what my mother would be saying if she was right there beside me. I thought about all my friends who are still dreaming of making it once to pray in Al Aqsa mosque, I couldn’t help but cry from both inner happiness, and inner guilt. I felt guilty for being able to make it without them.

I entered the Mosque and prayed, meditated, and sent prayers to free this beautiful land from the cruelty of the zionists, and i prayed for my loved ones who are dreaming to come here to have a chance in this lifetime. I then walked out and walked between the old monuments there, and walked the gate from the inside, walking each door gate, and I headed towards the Golden Dome Mosque which keeps attracting the corner of your eyes as you walk around it. If you notice the architecture on these mosques you will notice the resemblance of the same architecture you will see on all the houses all around occupied Palestine “Israel” and this is how you know that it belonged to the Arabs.

I then went to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which takes your breath away before entering. Just looking at it’s ancient walls, and ancient door. You feel some sort of serene energy just enter your soul. It is so rustic and beautiful. You can smell it’s ancient history and you can feel the unmemorable amount of people who stepped foot into it. It was too dark and too packed for me to take so many photos, but being inside makes you feel you have entered a space between life and death. A space where all your senses are shut and only your third eye is open. Silence will come upon you from the load of wonder.

I then ended my trip by meeting my friend who took me to walk the gate from above to see the whole city of Jerusalem. I can not express the happiness I felt. I felt open hearted, I felt like a bird with wings to fly, I felt like I was freed from something I didn’t know I was hold hostage in, and I felt the drive to free millions of others who feel just the same.

I was then invited for dinner, for a Palestinian dish made by a Palestinian, Maqoubeh. Delicious.

اليوم أخدت القرار إني أروح أقضي يوم كامل في القدس. و بالأخص، البلد القديمة.

 أول ما وصلت، ركضت باتجاه البلد القديمة. كان عندي عطش أشوفها مرة ثانية، وشعرت إني بدي أشوفها عن حالي و عن أهلي وأصدقائي اللي مش قادرين يزوروها. وصلت البلد القديمة، و دخلت من باب العمود، وأنا عم بمشي، إجاني شعور فرح لا يوصف، حسيتو طالع من روحي. بطلت حاسة بوجود جسمي على الأرض، حسيت حالي دخلت حلم بين صوت العرب و الأذان و اللي بنادي للبيع من محله الصغير، عشت بخيال بين شكل الكعك و ألوان السكريات، ريحة الفلافل الطازا و الحمص اللي عالطاولات، الختايرة اللي لابسين طرابيش حمرا و ريحة القهوة اللي بتتوزع بكل مكان، شعور المشي على الأرض اللي حجارها عتيقة و البواب و المداخل اللي من أقواس منحوت بزواياها تراث وتاريخ هالأرض المقدسة. و فجأة، بشوف جنود إسرائيلية بيمشوا بنص اللي كنت مفكرته حلم، و بشوف علم إسرائيل فوق زلمة ختيار بغني عن حبه و عشقه لأراضي فلسطين. و هيك بصحى و بتذكر إني مش بحلم أو فيلم عربي وبرجع للواقع البشع بإنو حريتي و حرية أهلي مسروقة.

بس رجعت لحواسي، رجعت أسمع تكملة الأذان، آذان الظهر، فاستعجلت للوصول إلى الأقصى.  بس وصلت و شفت الأقصى و قبة الصخرة من بعيد إتذكرت أهلي وأصدقائي اللي نفسهم بهالزيارة، بلشت أتخيل أهلي معي وأسمع شو ممكن إمي تكون بتقلي، فما قدرت أمسك دموعي و صرت أبكي. بكى فرح و شكر لوصولي و بكى من شعور الذنب إني من غير حبايبي.

فتت المسجد الأقصى و بلشت أصلي و أدعي ليتحقق اليوم اللي بتحرر فلسطين من بشاعة الصهاينة، و دعيت إنو كل اللي بنفسه يزور الأقصى تيجي الفرصة ويقدر يعيش هاللحظات اللي أنا عشتها. كملت بعدين حوالين جدار المسجد و روحت على قبة الصخرة اللي بتشد عينك كل ما كنت حواليها.

روحت بعدها على كنيسة القيامة، اللي من أول ما توصل بتحس بتاريخها من حجارها العتيقة و بوابها التاريخية. الشعور لا يوصف، فالتاريخ اللي فيها بيقضي عليك بشعور الروحانية و الهدوء الداخلي. حسيت حالي بعالم تاني وأنا في داخل الكنيسة، زي كأني لا عايشة و لا ميتة. كل الحواس بتسكر و السكوت و السكون بسير بداخلك.

خلصت رحلتي بلقاء صديق، أخدني فوق السور تبع البلد القديمة. مشينا عالسور و قعدنا نتفرج على كل القدس. كان الشعور روعة، حسيت حالي أسعد إنسانة، و حسيت حالي بقدر أطير من شعور الحرية، حسيت و كأنو في شي بداخلي كان مسكر علي و انطلق وحسيت بدي  أساعد الناس لتحس بهي الحرية اللي حسيت فيها.

كان يوم فلسطيني رائع حتى عشاي كان مقلوبة فلسطنية من إيدين و بيت فلسطيني.

Morning Diary: Ethnically Cleansed Villages of Jerusalem and why I believe the state of Israel is a terrorist State | اليوم الحادي عشر: في قرى القدس المهجرة و المدمرة

May 1st 2015,

I spent a beautiful week in the Central and North side of occupied Palestine. And then decided to head back to Jerusalem and the West Bank areas for the following week. Here I am now with a friend who knows way too much about ethnic cleansed villages, destroyed villages and occupied houses. And I feel the urge of sharing with you just a little something of what most Palestinians had to go through in 1948; for the sake of the immigrants of Israel and the establishment of the state of Israel. What you will read below might be very disturbing, but it is the honest fact of what has happened in the lands of Palestine or to what most of you today like to call it Israel.

Our first stop was in an ethnically cleansed and destroyed village of Zakaria that was part of the Hebron Subdistrict, which today is known as Moshav Zekharia. Moshav Zekharia was established in 1950 by immigrants from Kurdistan to Israel. The village of Zakaria was able to sustain itself from evacuation until the year 1950, when Ben-Gurion, Sharett and Weitz decided to force its villagers to evacuate, having most of them end up in what are still refugee camps today. While visiting the destroyed village of Zakaria, we were able to find the Zakaria mosque and a school building that takes you back to 415 C.E. in between modern houses that were built around and over all the destroyed houses of the evacuated Palestinians.

As we were driving around, thoughts of the people who live in these houses kept coming through our minds. Do these people know what they have been part of? Do these people know that the kids of the owners of this land are now starving in one of the refugee camps? Jailed in the refugee camp? Have no right to even visit their lands? Do these people ask about those refugees at all? Do they question their rights of return? Do they care at all or sleep at night? Do they believe that life will just go on?

Our next stop was in Suba of Jerusalem. Another village that was depopulated and destroyed in 1948. Suba has many ruins remains, and as you walk inside the destroyed village and in between its ruins you can not avoid feeling of heat & sadness that just grows inside your body. You will find ruins of the Belmont Castle, that dates back to the 1986. Suba was attacked several times by the Haganah and then conquered by the Palmach. And like all the villages, many Palestinians were killed and the rest were forced out of the village and later all the houses were destroyed. Today you will find a Tzova Kibutz that was established right after the evacuation and destroying of Suba Village. If you notice the names of the villages have minor changes from Arabic to Hebrew. And all established Kibutz or Moshav was established right next to or over the Palestinian ruins.

Our third and last stop happened to be in one of the most wonderful occupied villages of Jerusalem “Ein Karem”. Again this village was also depopulated in July of the 1948. And what is so special yet heart aching about Ein Karem, is that it is one of the very few villages that survived with its houses. Of course they are houses of Palestinians who were killed or forced out and today, all the houses are lived by immigrants of the state of Israel. Many houses have Arabic calligraphy, quotes from the Quran engraved into its walls, yet an Israeli flag and name is printed on its door. It is said that John the Baptist was born in Ein Karem, which many beautiful churches are found in the village. A village with multiple churches, Arabian architected houses, arabic scripture engraved, yet only lived by Jewish Israelis. And they never think about it, and they still sleep at night. So how do you feel about all this? And this is just 1% of the story.

**You will see many cactus trees as you enter most of the settlements and Moshav’s in occupied Palestine “Israel” which indicates that this used to be a Palestinians village. Palestinians are known to have planted and surrounded each of their villages with cactus trees. And it is very hard to get rid of those cactus trees, so they stay for evidence.

To learn more about Destroyed villages in Palestine visit Tarek Bakri.

من وين بدي أبلش! قعدت أسبوع بأجمل مناطق فلسطين المحتلة في المثلث و الشمال. و بعدين أخدت قرار للذهاب إلى مناطق القدس و الضفة. أخدني صديق بيعرف كثير عن القرى المهجرة وأصحاب البيوت اللي أخدوها اليهود وقت الاحتلال.

فبلشنا أول زيارة في قرية زكريا، اللي بتقع في محافظة الخليل. و التي قاومت الاحتلال بمساعدة الجيوش العربية خلال سنة ١٩٤٨. و للأسف الصهاينة نجحوا باحتلال القرية في عام ١٩٥٠. و قاموا بقتل و تهجير أهل القرية و هدموا بيوتها، و ما ضل إلا آثار أكم من بيت ساكن فيها يهود، و مسجد زكريا اللي ما حدا بزوره ولا بقام فيه الأذان. وكمان مدرسة لسه معالمها واضحة. للأسف هالقريك الحلوة اليوم صارت مستوطنة إسرائيلية باسم موشاف زكاريا.

القرية التانية الي زرناها اسمها صوبا. اللي بتكون من ضواحي القدس. و اللي اليوم اذا بتزوروها بتلاقوا آثار كثيرة لسه موجودة. القرية تهجرت و دمرت بـ ١٩٤٨. و اليوم في مستوطنة باسم تزوفا بدل صوبا.  و همه معروفين بسعيهم لتغير الأسامي العربية بأسامي عبرية شبيهة.

و آخر قرية زرناها كانت من أجمل القرى اللي بشوفها “عين كارم” و اللي بتتميز بوجود بيوتها الأصلية اللي ما تدمرت. البيوت موجودة بس مشتاقة لأهلها اللي تهجروا وسكنها اليهود. معالم البيوت عربية وحيطانها محفورة بآيات قرآنية وأقوال عربية بتعكس عروبتها، وكنائس كتيرة بتدل على أصل قرية عين كارم و مع هيك سكانها اليوم كلهم يهود و علم إسرائيل برفرف عبيوتها الحزينة.

خلصنا هاليوم في القدس الجميلة و يا ريت بتمنى كل العرب اللي بقدروا يزورا فلسطين يروحوا حتى و لو هي تحت الاحتلال. خلي اليهود يشوفونا و يتعرفوا علينا و يعرفوا إصرارنا لحق العودة و حق أهلينا الي تعذبوا و تهجروا وتشتتوا بالعالم عشان تقام دولة عنصرية لليهود.

للمعرفة عن المزيد عن القرى المهجرا زورا صفحت طارق البكري