It is a time of peace.

Peacefully, you wake up every morning with the most peaceful intentions of leading a peaceful day in your already chaotic life.

Whether you intended or it was predestined, the voice of Fairouz with which you prefer to sip your morning coffee, peacefully, avoiding all sort of news of conflicts, death, or pain on other radio stations turns into an agonizing pain with the “bells of return” triggering in your mind, you who were destined to chant for Palestine as long as you’re forced to live elsewhere.

Peacefully, you get into the taxi while your mind is so full with the most peaceful thoughts of how to peacefully resolve the argument that might take place with your boss. You take your mind of those aggressive thoughts, and prefer to stare out of the car window longing for peace. Only there, your eyes meet with fixed eyes of hundreds of faces hanging on the walls of the streets. You might recognize one or two or even tens; you who have lost so many who once have been the joy of your life. They used to be the joy of your life till they were killed, shot, shelled, torn, burned, or buried under rubbles. Now, they have turned into some temporarily memorials on the walls who would soon be replaced by others.

Peacefully, you go shopping for the Eid the day before with the most peaceful intention of a usual shopping day where all you think about is whether you’d find that red blouse. The only act of aggression would be directed towards the salesman with whom you argue, peacefully. The rising clamour of people around you is suddenly replaced by screams of terror as a bombing shakes the place. In seconds, you resume your enthusiastic argument with the salesman, peacefully; you who learned how to estimate possible danger. You no longer need a media coverage that would assure you the bombing was carried out by an F16 in a place far away. You already know, and continue shopping, peacefully

Wait a minute,

Your understanding of the word “peace” is mistaken. Peace is no longer a “state” of mind. It is rather a process. Please be informed that for peace to be processed, certain acts are obligatory:

Forget:

Forget about the word freedom. Freedom is a relative term invented by absolute idealistic people. Freedom should always be put under extreme supervision and restriction or else it would go beyond control. You should learn to live under some absolutely not harmful restrictions. Checkpoints are only there for safety reasons and hundreds of them dotted along the road of the West bank, though would restrict your movement for a short while that might cost you the life of a human being, are put there for the sake of ensuring the Peace process.

Forget about your history. Your history is worth nothing. It should start by the year 1967 where all what was left for you was the West Bank, partially and the Gaza Strip. A history of thousands of years should be erased of your memory and you should learn to accept that Palestine is only the pieces of land scattered around the borders of 1967.

Forget about the word Return. This is a term preserved only for Jews who claim to be displaced all around the world thousands of years ago. Palestinians who were tragically dispersed all around the world sixty two years ago should learn to just live where they are.

Forgive:

Be tolerant and learn to forgive. Forgive them the wars they wage, the massacres they commit, the blood they shed, the children they slaughter, the women they rape, the lands they erase, the trees they uproot, the torture they enjoy, and the humiliation they cause. Forgive them anything, and learn to live in Peace.

Forgive them and shake their dirty hands stained with your people’s blood and draw a smile upon your face before the camera for a shameful photograph.

Forgive them and smile to them while you ask your people to lay down arms and bid them farewell. Barehanded you stand before them, with not even a branch of olive, for you already lost that.

As long as you choose to live that peace, then our prayers to you to “Rest In Peace”.

Sameeha Elwan

17th September, 2010

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