There are Palestinian who have left, migrated, and live peaceful lives outside of Palestine. I would like to share a story about my family home that would shed some light on why some of us choose to stay.
Today I decided to share with you something about my family home that carries with it the story of a nation. A story that people have become numb to. It is about my family home.
Perched on a hilltop like a paradise in the most unlikely place. Surrounded by olive, almonds, jujube trees, and many types of roses, that have been uprooted by the occupation. These are trees planted by mother Fatima and my grandmother Halima who took great care of them as if there were their own daughters.
Home in A War Zone
If you were to come to my family home you’ll be welcomed by an iron green gate at the entrance of the house with bright colour but comfortable to the visitor’s eye. If you look beyond the house, sadly you no longer can see the breathtaking horizontal line that is blocked by the apartheid wall that inspired Donald Trump.
Despite the soul strangling apartheid wall that stood intimidatingly, the innocent trees were still uprooted as if they were a lethal security threat. Now let’s get back to my home, if you look to the ground, you will see a family of cats with their own Kingdom.
More than Just A Home
But this is not just any ordinary house, my home is a veteran who lived through many eras from the first intifada to the return of Abu Ammar (late Yasser Arafat) and the second intifada. If the house can speak, the stone would tell you countless stories.
Six Children Martyred
In the front yard while in many countries may use it to celebrate weddings and memorable events. My front yard also has unforgettable memories. Six children were martyred in the midst of the second intifada.
In the same yard, my family helped an Israeli family, was lost during the intifada and found themselves in the Qalandia camp, and the stone warriors (resistance members armed with stone) led them to the courtyards of the house.
My father, a doctor, was able to communicate with them in English and ensure their safety. But in the same yard, my mother was almost hit by a bullet had she not moved at the right moment.
Mother & Daughter
From the courtyard, we can see aircraft bombers, bombing our beloved city of Ramallah from the sky. Our house is witnessed to that too. While other mothers and daughters in the world have conversations about food and clothes or where they want to go for a vacation. We too had a mother-daughter conversation only it sounded a little different.
“It sounded like a bomb,” said my mother. “No, it sounded like bullets from heavy artillery,” I responded. This how we exchange our conversation in the house at prime time in the collision between the children of stones and the weapons of the occupation army in the vicinity of my house
At this time my father would make sure that all the windows are shut tightly, so the tear gas would not ooze in. We would continue making conversation and jokes to ease the pressure that we are facing.
The truth is my father and my family have endured a lot for this house. It makes people wonder, why would we risk our lives like that/ why don’t we just move to a new place which is more peaceful and with less severe conditions?
The answer is simple, the world has become numb with our plight all they can do is just give useless UN resolutions. Now even this passive once in blue moon support has dissipated. Our family home is more than just stones, trees and birds, our home is the tragic story of a nation.
It is, for this reason, we can’t leave.
Rawan Asaad is a Senior TV Presenter & Producer at Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation. She is also the host of Ana Falasteeni” – a Tv show that aims on enriching the Palestinian identity through culture & art, history & future. https://youtu.be/Ogh0up-dwso