Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Mariam Abukwaik | 03-09-2018

 

View of Palestine from al-Karak castle

Gravel in my sandals,
Sunburnt shoulders,
Squinty eyes.
I must see her:
Her sheep,
Her hills,
Her trees;
Our land

Zayt, zaytoon, zaatar.
She is what pushes me to the top of al-Karak.
Bassal, thawm, m3 rooz.
Some say you can smell her zarb all the way at the top of the castle.

Step by step over the ancient rock just to feel your heartbeat with mine.

Finally.
Your image is hazy as my eyes try to absorb all of you.

I am across from you in Amman, ya hurriyati. I cannot go to you. A trip to you takes too long. My first look at you is through a border. My gaze shifts for a second, thinking of my brothers and sisters who try to hold you from afar due to their refugee status. You are not forgotten. I hear your grazing sheep. I reach out to your rolling hills. I feel the breeze of your olive trees.

Our land.

 

Notes:
zayt and za'atar: oil and a blend of Middle Eastern herbs common in Palestinian foods, into which bread often is dipped.
al-Karak: ancient Crusaders' castle in Amman, Jordan, overlooking the West Bank, Palestine.
bassal, thawm, m3 rooz: onion, garlic, with rice
zarb: meat cooked under the ground.
hurriyati: my freedom.

Posted: September 2, 2018


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