“Our story is not yet over. Our case is not yet solved. Are we still here? Have we still not returned to our homes and villages?” Their gazes brim with memories of something lost, of their youth. Everything in this old taxicab references their past, even the black leather seats that coordinate with the two men’s matching clothes. The kafiyya and ’iqal, or black band used to hold the kafiyya in place, represent our heritage. Even though the two men are not looking at each other, or even in the same direction, I sense they are in a deep conversation about a topic familiar to both of them. It is as if they are saying to each other: “We have traveled together, you and I—we dreamed of return, to spend one night of our many nights, full of singing and dabka dancing, with our family and neighbors. Or to spend a day in the fields, taking care of our land, the land that offered us the most delicious olives and olive oil. Will we ever taste a za’tar like that za’tar again? A journey, we have lived, but here we are, right now.”
Our memories accompany us. They wound us every day. But our hopes of return will not be diminished, our dream to spend a treasured night on our land.
Aida Camp, Occupied Palestine, 2004. By Alessandra Sanguinetti.
A strange fruit.
I’ve grown accustomed to distance.
Lonesome like hidden waterfalls.
A family tree with its branches cut.
Planted seeds in foreign soil.
A strange fruit for strangers.
Sudden urges for rain.
Etched the routes on my skin.
Scars of forced travel.
Made to gamble with my presence.
Till my present is built on fragments of the past.
Passed flags wanting to burn them all.
Yet my flames only burned bridges.
Till I’m left to my own, in a burnt down prison.
…and you drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, ‘That was fine’. And your life is a long line of fine.
— Flynn, Gillian. Gone Girl. (via fckn12yearold)