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 terminal, Gaza style

Basman Derawi | 21-10-2019

It took more than 48 hours for me to travel from Gaza to the Cairo airport, on the way to the We Are Not Numbers book tour in Germany and Swizterland. Much of that time was spent in the "limbo land" of Rafah, the crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Tom Hanks playing Viktor in The Terminal

I am the Palestinian version
of Viktor Navorski*.
I find myself stateless;
my little Krakozhia
has been erased
from the world map.
Now, I am stuck on the border,
caged in a terminal,
dreaming of the other side,
the destination of my journey.

Will my ending be the same as Viktor’s?
Must I learn to sleep and live here,
watering my patience like a plant,
training my back and legs
to withstand the pain
of unyielding chairs and long queues?
Must I wait 18 years for one day
in which I can live my dream?


*From the film "The Terminal": When Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), a tourist from the Eastern European country of Krakozhia, arrives at the JFK airport in New York, war breaks out in his country and he finds himself caught up in international politics. Because of the war, the Department of Homeland Security won't let him enter or exit the United States. He's trapped at JFK—indefinitely. It is only after years (the real-life man on whom the film was based stayed for 18) that he makes it out, for one day.

Posted: October 20, 2019

Mentor: Pam Bailey

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