Monday, February 20, 2017

What is your passport ?

Hey guyees,

Ive complained to many people about how horrible it feels to have a temporary passport. Jeruslamites don't have a Palestinian passport nor an israel one, unless they ask for one, so great Jordan gave us a temporary passport. I hate the idea that its been temporary for over 40 years but still appreciate Jordan for this.

I've only renewed my passport once. It's much worse than the interior municipality in jerusalem. I've made a comparison because in Jerusalem they make us wait in a line outside of the building in a heat wave, exposed to the sun for hours. Hugged by fat, sweat and boobs. In Jordan they do that plus make us move up and down a 4 story building while the employees patronize us but we accept it wholeheartedly at least it wasn't done by an Israeli but by an arab brother.

So I've never been truly proud of holding such a passport because when it comes down to serious business I'm almost identity-less so I've been trying to catch an american dude here or there.

What brought this up is that around 5 days ago the kingdom announced that it would raise the cost of renewing passports for everybody which sounds fair. My Jordanian friend told me that everything is getting more expensive there including cooking gas and food.

The thing is while they raised the price from 20 to 50 JOD for Jordanians with the national number they raises it from 50 to 200 JOD which is around 280 dollars for temporary passports meaning for Palestinians.

I was enraged. Palestianians truly dont have the money for this. Are Palestinians to pay for fixing roads they wont drive ? or make gardens they wont see ? After all these Palestinians like me live in the west bank and Jerusalem and barely visit jordan.

I truly ask what is the aim behind this ? Is there a justification ? And if there is I'd like to hear it.
I thought about it and you how my head is filled with conspiracies and I came up with this:
Maybe they make the experience of renewing the passport repulsive and expensive Palestinians would refrain from renewing their passports and might even apply for an Israeli passport instead.

My search for a British or an American husband is getting serious.

Good night

Thursday, February 9, 2017

The normal

Growing up as a Palestinian has its own complications. I started realizing who I am and what it implies to be born on the most important mountain in the world at the age of 10 (Quite late compared to my other classmates). I first understood that I was affected by my nationality when I was at a school event and the headmaster said "Inshallah next year we'll have this event again and Palestine will be free". I got this exhilarating feeling of hope that flowed just like adrenaline through my body. I believed him, promising that next year I will attend this event and Palestine will be free.

Two years later I kinda felt how cliche this sentence is. Its repeated many times in all types of events. I dont get the same intense feelings anymore but yet a spark of hope does ignite as a respnse in the space between my abdomen and chest when it is said as if suddenly Palestine will be freed like poof.

At the age of twelve I understood how lucky I was. In Palestine the place were you're born in truly identifies who you are. Essentially 10 kilometers can ruin your life (Im actually exaggerating a bit, being born in the west bank does affect your life,in some cases making it better, but won't ruin it). My parents were jerusalemites so I was born in Jerusalem. Sometimes I feel like my family in the west bank envies this small privilege that I had no effort in and it makes sense. I could arrogantly leave and enter the west bank while they stood behind the wall waiting for permits.

Jerusalemites are not involved with the west bank. This wall had a true effect on people which is alienating us from each other. Some of my classmates call people behind the wall "Them". Check points turn a family visit into a brutal battle between cars in a never ending traffic while the smell of rotten egg is produced from their exhausts, not mentioning the days when soldiers throw tear gas at us. On these occasions my easily affected mom keeps on sneezing all day till she sleeps. I see my friends hasitate when I mention going to the west bank because we have to go through the wall.

I myself dont see the wall. Its just something that exists. This concrete wall doesn't stop me from reaching the west bank. The west bank is very different than Jerusalem. The mere fact that I will be walking down the street knowing that I will hear no hebrew makes me feel much safer. Its as if whenever I cross the wall I can truly breathe. I can truly be an Arab around my people.

What brought this up is what happened last week.
My family and I planned to go to Ramallah after school. Normally theres lots of traffic on the checkpoint around that time, but we just considered it as something that we had to go through. My brother was in the front and I in the backseat but sitting in the middle so I can be more involved in the conversation. We reached the roundabout that was just before the checkpoint and drove through it. Now the wall was on my right. Just like always grey, hideous with many footballs caught in it, but then my mother turned around and drove back.

She said" I heard theres this opening in the wall where you can reach ElRam". ElRam is next to Ramallah and is concidered in the west bank so its behind the wall. She drove away from the wall then took a right and there the wall was right infront of us.
My mother drove slowly as three Israeli soldiers pointed their guns at us. I stooped a little as we passed the gate then jumped out of my seat pulling my body forward and trying to get a better look.

The wall was different. It was somehow less gloomy. There was graffiti drawn all over it and advertisements on it. The roads and the air were different, somehow less clean and then i realized that i was in ElRam. I was in the west bank.

I asked aloud "Are we really here?". I was astonished because truly I never thought that I was affected by the wall. I truly believed that Jerusalem and the west bank were separated. There was a wall to prove that ! I was born in 2000 and the wall was built around 2004. Ever since I was a little girl the wall existed for me. I didnt know "The Golden times" where we could just walk to Ramallah.

I hate myself for thinking that it is normal to have that stinking wall. They turned a peaceful 3 minute drive into a chaos of cars bumping each other and people hating each other. I hate that they made jeruslamites seem a bit better than my friends in the west bank or gaza just because they have a blue card and can move around. I hate that people in the west bank sometimes make me feel like I am not one of them. I hate that they gave us a prison cell bounded by a wall and called it ours.

That was the moment when I truly realized that the Israeli occupation can never be called friendly. These monsters have turned peaceful Ramallah into a dreadful experience. They created a wall between my life and the ease of chest I feel when I reach Rukab street surrounded by stranger that I trust. How they fooled me and fooled many others to believe that these two places were different.

All of these emotions rose at once. I sat back and cried and I am still crying till now while writing this because I realized that I have also been avoiding Ramallah too.

Mr. Drumph said that we should ask Israel wether walls work or not. There is no need for that. I know about walls. And Yes, They do work magnificently. I assure you, Mexicans will fight for a while but then they'll clam down eventually. Their kids will also call it the normal.