Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Shattered Dreams: Leaving Jerusalem

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Shattered Dreams: Leaving Jerusalem

Article excerpt

THERE WAS no catastrophe like the Palestinian catastrophe, and so it became known that when you say catastrophe it means the Palestinian displacement and refugees from 1948, when the armed Jews of Palestine were shooting at the Arabs, displacing them and creating the Israeli nation atop our bodies.

Who can forget the time the day and the year we were driven out of our homes and became homeless overnight, leaving our belongings and losing our identity and our basic human needs and income. I remember distinctly how we had to collect ourselves quickly, packing only the necessary items and clothes, to just run for our lives under a shower of bullets, fearing one of us might be shot and killed, because we did pick from the pole in front of him a live bullet aimed at my father. We hid our valuables in the attic, thinking, we have the key, we can always come back-but we never did.

There were 10 of us in the family, my parents and eight children ranging from 5 to 18 years old. The middle child, I was 14 then, and I remember throwing stones at the Jewish buses that passed by, which eventually were secured like tanks. …

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