Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Ramadan

A sigh of guilt hovers over me whenever i do anything I enjoy. This includes writing on my blog. This is one of the many many drawbacks of IGCSE. I'm finishing up the last of the three dreadful months of exam which were more than enough to turn me into a psycho. But now I've convinced myself to write although i feel like i dont deserve it.

My school offers options that no other school offers. When entering high school you could either enroll in the IGCSE stream (if your grades permit) or just do Tawjihi tests. These are the standardized testing over here. They are done in 11th and 12th grade. They are so hard, so nerve-racking that people actually commit suicide because of them. Afterwards marks are spat out on a local TV channel. Oh, you screwed up in ur exam and failed dont worry not just your relatives and your classmates will know about it but the whole Palestinian community too ;) good luck. 
Thus in an attempt of running away of all the baggage that comes with Tawjihi i got into that IG-thing. Now i'm starting to feel the drawbacks. This stream is much more serious than Tawjihi. We start doing officials two years before normal Palestinian students. So while my friends are out partying i'm staying in my bed studying (which i strongly prefer).

The British obviously didn't notice that June is the holy month of ramadan when they scheduled the tests. Either that or they meant it and i cant make myself believe the later. We fast from sun break till sundown. Ramadan includes exceptional ultimate laziness from before iftar (the meal we eat at sun break) and after iftar. After my first meal I am just so heavy i can barely breathe. 

Surprisingly to everyone, I fast. I enjoy fasting I've been doing it ever since i was seven. Its a way to share the same feeling with your family. A way to honor the same sick feelings of torture i had when i was a kid. I especially love the feeling I get when water moves through my oesophagus after a desert appeared there. I guess I've alway been a psycho.

I ignore the raised eyebrows and doubtful tone people shoot at me when they ask if i fast. As if fasting is only a privilege to Religious folks. I fast because i want to fast. I want to feel hungry. I want to feel unable like the unfortunate. I challenge myself in ramadan. I know how strong i am because i had real rough days while fasting. You see, ramadan is not just about food its about morals too. Its about behavior and giving back. Its obvious that i am very fond of it.

As a tradition my family and i vist the Aqsa mosque every year to have iftar right beside thousands of muslim families. All joined up together on one table on the holy ground of the Aqsa. 

I don't think this will be possible this year. Two days ago two Palestinians in two suits sat in two seats in a cafe in tel aviv pulled two guns and killed 5 Israeli civilians. I frown at this not because they were civilians but because what i know about ramadan is that it brings peace. Peace of mind and soul. How can somebody do such a foul act in Ramadan? How can they KILL in the holiest month of the year ? Don't underestimate the word kill. Its a word we've gotten used to but still the truth doesn't tarnish when it comes to the word kill. 
This act doesnt just affect all the poeple who walked or couldve walked there it also greatly affects us Palestinian people. Palestinians applying for permssion to get into jerusalem from the west bank are going to be refused as a punishment not allowig thousands of muslims from reaching the holy mosque. The mosque and the old city won't light up like every year.

I visited the old city tonight. It has always been a place of tension but this act tightened the tension hundreds nay thousands of teenagers hovered around the old city tonight provoking the Israeli soldiers and police. In any minute a fight could and probably eventually will break out. The teenagers sang provocative patriotic songs aloud. In my eyes they dont appear to do this because they are driven by the love for their country, they think the rifles that are with the 17 year soldiers and plastic toys. Nothing more fun than an angry soldier. Most markets are closed. Police are everywhere asking everybody if they are muslim. Ramadan is not the same. There are no lights. I cant feel that warm feeling inside me anymore. I dont see kids running around. There are no food kiosks. I just see men provoking everybody including me. Giving me looks asking how dare I reach the old city ?

I try hard to get that fuzzy feeling of ramadan but with these continous disappoints and attacks that is not possible but the moon is not going anywhere any time soon. Its always going to stay up and we'll always have ramadan light glowing around us i hope that one day peace will prevail the old city. Peace i've never seen there before.