My Dear Stateless Palestinian,
They say that the soft wind of September would blow us a State. A Palestinian State. Amongst the fuss, the debates, the arguments, the pleas, my heart cannot but wonder, “Would we be finally brought together by a state?” You, who were born elsewhere and forced to live there; I, who was born and confined here within the borders, within the walls, within the barber wires.
Do you still remember that benevolent smile of yours that mocked my naivety when I wrote to you that I finally got my passport? My Palestinian Passport. You said you are not eligible for one. Held in my hands, my Palestinian Passport was turned into a curse with the words, ” This Passport/ Travel document is issued pursuant to the Palestinian Self Government agreement according to Oslo agreement signed in Washington on 13/9/1993″ inscribed. Oslo. Damn Oslo! How could they strip you out of what is yours and turn you into a final status negotiations. How could I, a seven-year old swinging in a white dress celebrating their return, not then realize that they would one day bring upon me, upon you, our eternal separation. I could then forgive all of your insults that you’ve never spared when the PA or Arafat were mentioned. I have even enjoyed your polite eloquent offense of a man I once considered a symbol. But, alas, no more.
Could September separate us even more?
Could borders confine us even more?
They say that by September I might no longer spend the night cursing the ever-roaring drones. It would be our air then. With no drones of our own. Not even a plane that might take me to you. They say that I won’t have to calm my sister down every time she wakes screaming in the midnight, for the bombing would stop. Her nightmares won’t. Her memories won’t.
They say we would be an independent people. My mother would no longer be a refugee. She would have to give up every dream of going back to Aqer. My grandmother would stop telling us of her tales of the lost village near Ghazza from which they fled in 1948. She would forget this history. It is no longer hers. She would have to stop telling the story every now and then. She’d eventually die; we would eventually forget, wouldn’t we?
And you would forget about your village. It was called Sandala, wasn’t it ? After all, it is out of the boundaries of your State where you cannot belong.
They also say we would have a president. An anthem. A flag, again. A map. And when I teach my students to draw the map of the State of Palestine, I would have to explain to them why it is fragmented into tens of pieces. Why does it not sound like the Gold Palestine their mothers wear on their chests, embroider with their hands. I would have to explain to them why the State of Palestine is surrounded everywhere by another state called Israel.
Amongst this mess, I wonder if they would remember that you exist somewhere. That you exist everywhere. But not home. Not in the “State”. Would they see you the way I do?
You are my realization of the Palestine that resides beyond the borders; of the millions of the Palestinians I’ve never seen, of the experiences I’ve never felt. The exile. The Diaspora. The hymns of return. The hope.
You are my realization that there could be no “Palestinian State” without you. For this, Stateless we shall both remain.
Another Stateless Palestinian.