Guest contribution by Dena Elian
If Palestine were a human body, its women would be the heart. Although sometimes we forget how hard it works, it operates 24 hours a day, pumping the blood and oxygen necessary for us to live. And like generations, each heartbeat relies on the one before it in order to continue. It’s a sequence that will make us stronger if we maintain it.
Today marks the 101st anniversary of Women’s Day. While the woman of today may be a different woman than her grandmother, let us remember that we owe the achievements of the present to the steadfastness of the past. Take today to honor the she-roes of yesterday, without whom today’s Palestinian resistance would cease to exist.
My grandmother, Tamam Sbaih, was 19 years old when Israel waged war on Palestine on June 5, 1967. She and my grandfather lived atop the Mountain of Olives; a region quickly flooded with Israeli tanks and soldiers due to its close proximity to Jerusalem’s Old City. On the first day of six when the war cries had reached the mountain, residents took hold of their children and whatever valuables they fit in their pockets. In a panic, they hastily fled by foot as they sought refuge while they still had the chance.
An expecting mother at the time, my grandmother worried that choosing to stay or to go could likely end in the same fate. She was 7 months along and had there been a criteria for physical suitability to evade your home with the desperate anticipation of seeing another day, she surely wouldn’t have met the requirement. [Read more...]