Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The essay that got me into Georgetown University

As I was filling out this application, I read "Israel" "West Bank" or "other." I panicked while looking at my options because they did not seem like options to me. They appeared more like statements: I would never call myself Israeli, I do not carry a Palestinian Id, and well I am too patriotic to say other. Even my "Temporary" Jordanian passport cannot help me at this point. Being stateless is grueling.
I've experienced this many times throughout my life. Trying to fit the politically complex situation into a seemingly incomplex question. Where are you from?

President Donald trumps declaration of Jerusalem, my home, as the capital of Israel only erases me and every Palestinian Jerusalemite off of the map. This eliminates every shred of the existence of these Palestinians including their and my ancestors' DNA which lies in the soil of almost every cemetery. The organic material of what is left from their bodies does not only keep the world's ecosystem in balance but Jerusalem too.

 The situation for Palestinians is only getting worse. Unlike in the times of the first Intifada, Arab countries are less inclined to support the Palestinian cause. The conflict between brother countries and the manipulations of other countries have diverted our Arab allies from the cause they were so ready to die for forty years ago. The international community has created an image of Palestine as a troublesome aunt that nobody invites to Thanksgiving dinner because she won't stop waling about her horrible relationship with her neighbor.

In between these agendas are simple Palestinians fighting for their daily wage in a psychologically challenging, unnatural situation. From the inability to see the sea that so many of their great-grandparents swam in, to the electricity cuts that Gazans go through. These people are trapped by walls of a prison cell and are shushed whenever they argue otherwise.

The Palestinian conflict is the longest ongoing military occupation. The Israeli separation wall that divides Palestinians only reminds me of concentration camps where the Jewish people waited for the international community to fight for their justice. Israeli zionists now are the reason Palestinians ask for the international community to fight for their rights.

When I was younger, I thought that interbreeding and talking could solve the Israeli Palestinian conflict. However, now as I am getting older and have interacted more with the Palestinian people I have realized that it is difficult to negotiate when a needle is pocking one side of the two negotiators. The joining of Arab countries and their aid to Palestine can make both sides of the negotiation table equal. Furthermore, the political situation in Palestine can be improved by letting the new generation take part in the Palestinian's political strategy when it comes to negotiations.

 I fear the day in which I won't even have the option to say that I am a Palestinian. The day my people will be mentioned in history books among the many others that have passed by Jerusalem. But that is the beautiful thing about Jerusalem, isn't it? It has and will always be a generous host of anybody from the world. I know that Jerusalem can accommodate the Palestinians, the Israels and their conflict. I see that every day and when I do, I know I am home.