Guest contribution by Mohammad Horreya
This is long overdue, I’ve meaning to put my visit to Palestine, which has been sitting heavily on my mind, into a post since I got back. It’s not an easy thing to do, to find words for a 14-day-long trip that I’ve been dreaming of since I was eleven. I don’t even think I have the words for it, but I will try.
I’m 23 years old now, so Palestine has been permeating my mind for twelve years. Each year that passed saw more books that I consumed, more poems that I drank, and more pictures I dreamt about. But I think I should first start off with a bit of background. Contrary to what a lot of people believe about me, Palestine in my household was more of a centerpiece than the topic of discussion at the breakfast table. The only discussions I remember hearing of Palestine growing up were ones my parents had with each other or with old guests who would come over with pipes as thinking props in hand and vocal chords as megaphones.
The first time I asked my mom about Palestine was when I was ten. I had just come back from school and was sitting at the dining room table, excitedly pointing to flags in a book and asking my mom to which countries they belonged to. My teacher had assigned the class a national identity project. I reached a blue and white flag with a star in the middle and asked my mom about that one. My older brother, who was sitting with me, interjected with a teasing laugh and told me that’s where I’m from. My mom gave him a well-deserved smack on the head and confidently retorted, “inta falasteeni” — you’re Palestinian. [Read more...]