Sunday, 15 May 2011
The West Bank has reportedly been sealed off and there's heavy army presence on check points.
There was so much tear gas at Qalandia that the inhabitants of a neighboring village had to stay indoors.
Today is the day referred to as the The Nakba or "disaster". The day that marks the anniversary of the establishment of Israel in 1948.
It often feels like there are many Nakbas in Palestine.
Over lunch with the parents of one of our school's prospective scholarship students the father joked:
The real Nakba happened when the Palestinian Authority came to power.
A taxi driver recently said to me:
We do not do ourselves justice. We cheat each other, we don't treat each other right, we don't stick together. I'm bringing up daughters and I'm teaching them not to have faith in this land. Not to trust this earth.
There are millions of Palestinians in diaspora. Millions still in refugee camps - living between the cracks. Citizens of nothing, protected by no one... wanted nowhere.
Still they wait. Hoping to return. Demanding to return.
A friend from a nearby refugee camp:
If we leave the camps then we give up our status as refugees. If that happens our birthright will be lost. Our true origins forgotten. Ignored. Removed from the political process. A part of it is pride. I am a refugee because I believe in my right to the land that was mine and my right to return to it. I cannot trust the politicians to fight on my behalf so I will remain a thorn in their side until they do.
*an image by Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al Ali
**image from Google