By Tasneem Ayman Khader.
I will start off by asking, how is your summer going? Did you visit your family? Have you walked on the land of your own country? Have you breathed in the air of your history and heritage?
These would be reasonable questions to ask…unless of course you are a Palestinian.
My name is Tasneem Ayman Khader. I am an 18 year old Palestinian who has visited about 10 different countries but, sadly, none of them of have been my homeland.
The irony of the situation does not escape me – a Palestinian who has never visited Palestine!
How many times has an American never visited America or a British person never visited Britain? Because they CAN’T visit their country! A visit is all I’m asking for, a few weeks, not forever, but I can’t even have that. Who cares? Our devastation means nothing!
The only way I can see my country is through images, or videos on the news. That is all.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to research my homeland since it has been wiped off the international map. Instead of the results being about Palestine, they are about Israel. The least that could have been done would be to recognise the state, or at least the people of Palestine alongside the State of Israel but that seems to be a privilege we are not afforded.
Upon the request of a Palestinian State people often appear perplexed that we are requesting one piece of land to have two names. Maybe we should talk them back in time. How can a land have two names? The summarised history of the issue is that the Palestinian land was gifted to the Jews in 1942 by Britain under the Balfour contract which officially created the Israeli state. Since then, it seems their main purpose has been to destroy all traces of the Palestinian people and our culture. They even went so far as to claim our culture as their own.
The inescapable irony is that Israel is still asking Germany for compensation for the holocaust, while they’re creating a new holocaust for the indigenous people of Palestine. The expression “The victim becomes the bully” fits perfectly here.
How can someone justify the actions of a state that kills children, bulldozes houses and destroys families? Discussions are being made concerning a peace treaty; but meanwhile the Israeli army is maiming a young boy and orphaning another.
If you want to create an independent state then you should ask the people who live there, that’s the only moral way to establish a new state. Has a referendum been hosted that I’m not aware of? Let’s put it this way; what if Saudi Arabia gathered all the Palestinian people, gifted them the land of Britain? Not only that, but what if the Palestinians took it as their homeland? Killing whoever gets in their way… killing thousands of innocent people, wiping Britain’s name off the maps and calling it their own state?
I see nothing but unserved justice….. You can tell me about all the rights you don’t get in your country but I would just remind you that I haven’t got the right to step into mine.
I sob when I think about of how I can’t visit my country.
I sob when looking at pictures of my homeland, trying to commit them to my memory, scared that I’ll one day forget what it looks like.
I sob when I think of family members who I can never see, stranded and plagued by bombs.
I sob when I hear my friends say how they enjoyed their time back in their homelands; when I’m still defending the existence of mine.
I sob while I argue with my father about how we are unable to enter Palestine, and blame him for not trying hard enough.
I sob because my hopes of praying in Al masjid al-Aqsa have disappeared, and my heart desires are broken.
But tears do not bring back the past or fix broken hearts.
I dream of the day I will finally live, study, work, get married and raise my children in Palestine. I dream of the day when Palestine is one state and will no longer have to face the insufferable reality that occupies it.
We, the Palestinian people have wishes for the future. But we cannot forget the strong power that’s controlling our country’s destiny; destroying our homes and killing our families. Despite that, we know in our hearts that Allah is more powerful and is the fairest judge of all. May Allah answer our prayers and wishes, and give the Palestinian people both at home and overseas, the strength to handle this daily injustice.