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Don’t talk about Palestine

Categories: Midd Blogosphere
Jerusalem old city by Maggie Nazer

Jerusalem old city by Maggie Nazer

I have visited Jerusalem 6 times so far in the past 2 months: more than my Palestinian friends will be allowed to enter it in a lifetime.

For the first time so far the old city of Jerusalem was empty today. I walked alone and people stopped me and gave me gifts for simply being here.

It’s getting more and more dangerous and people are afraid to come. the danger is not only physical. It’s holistic. Your comfort is endangered. Your faith in humanity is endangered. Your ability to live life as you have before, to trust the news, respect your political leaders and rest in your ignorance are all endangered.

So, don’t come to Jerusalem if you can’T bear the truth about all the killed and all the oppressed. Don’t talk about Palestine from the position of a “first world” intellectual while all you know is what your country’s media has told you.

But be aware that you are not safe anywhere. Not anymore. Images will find their way to you, stories will be told even if you try to avoid them. Ignorance is not a choice when it’s responsible for the death of innocent. We will not keep silent.

The suffering of one nation is not limited by its boarders. My stolen childhood is my example. But there are many.

Where to now? Maggie Nazer at the closed Shuhada street in Hebron, west Bank

Where to now?
Maggie Nazer at the closed Shuhada street in Hebron, west Bank

My father didn’t know how to love us because he learned how to defend himself through the means of aggression before he could learn to love. He learned to throw stones before he learned to give roses, or hugs, or kisses. He didn’t feel worthy of love because he learned that as a Palestinian he could have either his life or his freedom and dignity. Never both.

Today I prayed on the grave of Jesus Christ that we will hear of no more death, no matter who’s on the receiving end. I prayed that all people’s dignity, mobility and rights will be respected.

See you soon, Jerusalem; Hebron, don’t forget what we shared; Palestine, we met at last and you are part of me.


Ajami: when life bears no value

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Ajami is a skillfully produced movie with an intense plot developed through the use of exciting cinematographic approaches.

The narrator of the tragic Israeli-Palestinian tale about human suffering is a young boy called Nasri whose family is deeply troubled. His uncle gets into a conflict with a local gang which then attempts to kill him and his family. Nasri’s older brother Omar (19) becomes the oldest man in the family and is, thus, responsible to resolve the issue according to the popular scripts of the culture he comes from. Aiming to kill Omar, the gang members kill his cousin instead. When the local respected restaurateur Abu Elias helps to solve the conflict, Omar’s family is asked to pay a huge amount of money to ensure its protection. Together with 16-years old illegal Palestinian worker Melek whose mother needs to be operated, Omar decides to sell drugs in order to provide for the payment. When the two are caught by police members Nasri shoots at a policemen in order to protect them and gets killed.

Ajami is an insightful, encapsulating the senses movie presenting the realities of life in Israel and Palestine. Violence, corruption, and revenge create the all-consuming feeling of powerlessness shared by characters and public alike.

The characters in the movie are left to struggle alone in a world which does not value the life of others’. A world in which people lack moral limits and do not feel remorse as they advance at the expense of others’ wellbeing. The ties and empathy depicted in the movie lack transcendence beyond the realms of nationality, religion, culture and family.

The society presented in the movie operates on the principle of the wilderness. The stronger the better. Survival of the fittest. But being “strong” or “fittest” in the context of the world drawn by the movie does not include being ethical or moral. In fact, all characters in the movie respond to the challenges of their environment by compromising their values in one way or another.