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

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

The ghosts of divisions past

Hanin Alyan Elholy | 07-11-2017


The gray clouds creep slowly across the sky, while the sun bleeds its way westward. Two withered ghosts are side-by-side among the lingering shadows of once-vanished olive trees in addition to red oranges stained with dry blood were spread out. Hamas speaks.

Do you remember how exhausting my birthday was? It was 1987, and I never imagined that birthdays and funerals could be two sides of the same coin. But what doubled my misery was how you treated me! I wanted to feel like we were one, even though you were 22 years old older. I was an outcast deprived of the feeling of belonging, always seeking love. But hatred and accusations of terrorism were my only rewards.
The main reasons for our conflict were our differences in beliefs and actions on our journey toward liberty. I was a burning resistance, exactly as you used to be. Why did you abandon it and let me fight alone

We were similar in that we both were burning while alive. My burning falsely reminded you of ashes and destruction. But I always wondered, can’t this also be a rebirth, a time to breathe deeply again? Your health deteriorated, especially after 2007 when we fought for the first time. That cancerous battle separated us even further, dividing my Gaza and your West Bank. Parts of my vivid forest died as a result of three devastating attacks by the devil, who took gleeful advantage of our spat. Nothing was left--not the fish in my sea nor the sparrows in my sky. Nothing was left except remains--of homes, bodies, hearts, souls...  
Your decision to partner with that same devil, enforcing his security, led to my own defensive attacks. Your empty claims of support fed my eloquent warnings. I fought back once but was forced to escape twice; I burned the land of the devil once but drowned twice. I had faith and strength, but there was something missing, making me hesitate and fidget with restlessness.
I no longer could cope with the worsening situation around me.I witnessed my people's misery; I was both helpful and helpless. What do you do when all you hear are curses, grievances and groans? How do you deal with those who find relief in suicide because they felt they were dying every second? What do you say to the poor who steal to keep their kids alive? How do you deal with those who are lost in the maze of drugs after they lost their way as humans? Even my citizens wanted to escape. Some wanted a chance, any chance--only to be banished to hell.  My flesh was rotting and my body was hemorrhaging. There was no choice but to make a Jesus-like sacrifice.
So, I agreed to reconcile with you. We both know our unity means our death, because we symbolize division. We are division itself! Here we go, with our trembling hands; we will hold the rope of Allah firmly, together. Our death will allow a new life. A phoenix rises from the most calamitous place--hot  ashes, broken dreams and carcasses.
The Qur’an (30:19) says, ”Glory be to Allah; it is He who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and who gives life to the earth after it is dead: and thus shall ye be brought out from the dead.” Let red, green, black and white balloons fly and the smell of musakhan and maftool* permeate the air. Let our women ululate and our young people dance the dabka, chanting adhan and takbir**. It is time to celebrate our unification.
*Ceremonial and traditional food
**Islamic prayers


Posted: November 6, 2017

Mentor: Zeina Azzam

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