Palestinian-families

coralhouse  asked:

what is your heritage/family background and what is it that you love the most about it?

I’m Palestinian American. My family is from Jerusalem. I’m Arabic and what I love about where we come from is the way of life. Jerusalem is the holy land…and the way I was raised…love is the way of life. Everything I represent is love. Family-wise too…we really stick together as a family. 

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Book photo via hmhbooks.tumblr.com

At the very start of Hala Alyan’s novel Salt Houses, a woman buys a coffee set — a dozen cups, a coffee pot, a tray. It’s a simple act that unexpectedly becomes painful. The woman is Palestinian — part of a family displaced after the founding of Israel — and the tray reminds her of an old one she lost in one of the family’s many moves.

Alyan builds her story on little moments like that — a peek into the lives of several generations, forced to relocate and resettle. Her characters are lost and looking for a home

She spoke to NPR’s Steve Inskeep about the book – find their conversation here.

– Petra

Days Lost But Not Forgotten: My Family’s Account of Nakba Day

Nakba day is a significant day for the Palestinian people. Almost every family has a story to tell about that day in 1948 when many Palestinians were forced to leave their homes to seek refuge in less troubled lands. For the Sabella family, Nakba day is a day of reflection. Today, I visited my aunt Hilda and uncle Maurice in the Old City of Jerusalem along with a friend and asked them to share more about their memories of Nakba day.

My aunt takes a sip of her sweetened Arabic coffee and looks at me with somber eyes: “I still have the paper and the key, you know,” she says. Aunt Hilda was talking about the piece of paper that proved my grandfather’s ownership of his home in Katamon in West Jerusalem in the year 1936. I ask her to tell me more about that house. “Your grandfather purchased the estate from the Latin Patriarchate in 1936 and our family lived in it until 1948 when the war broke out,” she says. “It was a beautiful home with many empty fields around it,” my aunt recalls. “I still remember the view from our front door.”

asked her about what happened in 1948. She shakes her head, takes a puff from her cigarette and takes me back. “Your grandfather used to love this home, but when the Hagana bombed Katamon’s Semiramis Hotel killing 26 people in the process, he decided it was time to leave.” The Hagana was the Jewish underground militia which was active at the time and later formed the core of the Israeli military. My grandfather was worried that the neighborhood, which was the only Arab neighborhood between two Jewish ones, would continue to be targeted by the notorious Jewish militia. He chose safety first, as did many others who were forced to flee in search of safer grounds.

My grandfather Zacharia, my grandmother Margaret, my father Bernard, my uncles Abdallah and Maurice, and my aunts Hilda and Bernadette packed their bags and made their way towards Lebanon where they sought refuge in the small town of Ghazir. They stayed there for nine months until they decided to return to Jerusalem and settle in the Old City, which was under Jordanian rule at that time. This is the very home where we were sitting drinking our Arabic coffee and talking today. It is the very home where my family meets for holidays like Easter and Christmas and where we honor and keep alive the many traditions that were celebrated by my grandparents. Back in 1948, this house in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem was a one room flat. There was no kitchen, no toilet, and no running water. The seven members of the Sabella family lived there in these dire conditions for seventeen years. “But we managed,” says my aunt Hilda.

In 1965, the house was renovated and for the first time, the Sabella family, which by then consisted of ten members with the addition of my uncle Tony, my aunt Therese and my uncle David, was able to enjoy a home with running water and an en-suite toilet. In 1972, my family went back to the place where their Katamon home once stood. “We went back there to visit our home but found that it had been destroyed and in its place was a sixteen-apartment building complex,” my aunt Hilda recalls. My aunt tells me that my family stood there in silence for a while reminiscing about their childhoods and the surrounding empty fields where they used to play and wander.

We, the Palestinians, commemorate Nakba day not because we hate our neighbors, but because while our neighbors celebrated, we suffered. Each Palestinian family has a story to tell which it holds dear to its heart about that day. How can anyone ask my father, my aunts or my uncles to forget the memory of Katamon, to bury their childhood memories of that place, or the empty fields that surrounded their home? We commemorate Nakba day because in a way our Nakba is still ongoing to this very day. Whether it’s a family eviction in Silwan, or the seizing of land in Beit Jala, or a destruction of a Bedouin village in the Jordan Valley, or the stripping of residency rights for Palestinians in Jerusalem, the suffering of our people continues and all we have is our memories to hang on to. We will never forget our past, but perhaps when our people are free, independent, and lead a dignified life, we can start looking for the future rather than mourn our past. But until that day happens, our people will continue to go back in time to commemorate our Nakba.

Dispatch from Cecilie Surasky: “On Monday, Nawal H Musleh, (on the left in photo) a US citizen of Palestinian descent on the Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation, was detained at the airport and held for 7 hours. Her colleague at AFSC, Katie Huerter went through passport control in one minute, but came back for Nawal and was then also detained for 7 hours. After extensive questioning and a search through Nawal’s phone, they were both denied entry. Only after high-level UN involvement, were they allowed in. Nawal has been working for Palestinian children’s rights for 2 years. In marked contrast, although I’ve been with Jewish Voice for Peace for 14 years–a group that supports BDS and has protested the Israeli Prime Minister–, I walked through passport control in under one minute. I should note that unlike Nawal, my parents and grandparents have never lived in Israel/Palestine. Nawal notes that the detention room was filled mostly with Palestinian American families with children.

anonymous asked:

Hey, can you explain why you don't like the idea of turkey supporting Palestine? I thought their PM was decent.. (I genuinely would like to know to understand the situation I'm not trying to be rude or judgmental about your stance)

I’m not a huge fan of Turkey for what it has done/has been doing to the Kurds, Armenians, and Assyrians, and what they’re doing in Syria. Because Turkey claims it supports us, doesn’t mean I’m going to turn a blind eye for their wrongdoings. 

But anyways, Turkey and Erdogan haven’t really done much for us, all what have been done was use our suffering and cause to bolster its image throughout the Islamic world as the ‘custodian/leader of the Muslim world’ if Turkey really cared it would of at least severed economic ties with Israel (like those energy deals Erdogan has been signing left and right with Israel) 

Plus Turkey has done atrocious acts during its Ottoman times in Palestine, for example, they struck a deal with the Empire of Brazil to emigrate Palestinian and Lebanese Christians to Brazil/Latin America in the 19th century, the deal was to ease immigration to Latin America (by providing transportation) and increase discrimination against them in Palestine and Lebanon so they would leave. This is why we have a huge Palestinian population in Chile (5% of the Chilean population is Palestinian) 

And they worked on to ‘Turkish-ify’ the region and erasing the identity of the region, for example many Palestinian, Syrian, Lebanese families have been given Turkish surnames as part of their attempts to ‘Turkish-ify’ the region. 

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This September will be the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Sabra-Shatila Massacre in West Beirut. Three thousand unarmed refugees were killed from 15-18 September 1982.

I was then a young orthopedic trainee who had resigned from St Thomas Hospital to join the Christian Aid Lebanon medical team to help those wounded by Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. That invasion, named “Peace for Galilee”, and launched on 6 June 1982, mercilessly bombarded Lebanon by air, sea, and land. Water, food, electricity, and medicines were blockaded. This resulted in untold wounded and deaths, with 100,000 made suddenly homeless.

I was summoned to the Palestine Red Crescent Society to take charge of the orthopedic department in Gaza Hospital in Sabra-Shatila Palestinian refugee camp, West Beirut. I met Palestinian refugees in their bombed out homes and learned how they became refugees in one of the 12 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Before this encounter, I had never heard of Palestinians.

They recounted stories of being driven out of their homes in Palestine in 1948, often fleeing massacres at gunpoint. They fled with whatever possessions they could carry and found themselves in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

The United Nations put them in tents while the world promised they would return home soon. That expectation never materialized. Since then the 750,000 refugees, comprising half of the population of Palestine in 1948, continued to live in refugee camps in the neighboring countries. It was 69 years ago that this refugee crisis started. The initial 750,000 has since grown to 5 million. Palestine was erased from the map of the world and is now called Israel.

Soon after my arrival, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation) evacuated. It was the price demanded by Israel to stop the further relentless bombardment of Lebanon and to lift the ten-week military blockade. Fourteen thousand able-bodied men and women from the PLO evacuated with the guarantee by Western powers that their families left behind would be protected by a multinational peacekeeping force.

Those leaving were soldiers, civil servants, doctors, nurses, lecturers, unionists, journalists, engineers, and technicians. The PLO was the Palestinians’ government in exile and the largest employer. Through evacuation, fourteen thousand Palestinian families lost their breadwinner, often the father or the eldest brother, in addition to those killed by the bombs.

That ceasefire lasted only three weeks. The multinational peacekeeping force, entrusted by the ceasefire agreement to protect the civilians left behind, abruptly withdrew. On September 15, several hundred Israeli tanks drove into West Beirut. Some of them ringed and sealed off Sabra-Shatila to prevent the inhabitants from fleeing. The Israelis sent their allies; a group of Christian militiamen trained and armed by them, into the camp. When the tanks withdrew from the perimeter of the camp on the 18 September, they left behind 3,000 dead civilians. Another seventeen thousand were abducted and disappeared.

Our hospital team, who had worked non-stop for 72 hours, was ordered to leave our patients at machine-gun point and marched out of the camp. As I emerged from the basement operating theatre, I learned the painful truth. While we were struggling to save a few dozen lives, people were being butchered by the thousands. Some of the bodies were already rotting in the hot Beirut sun. The images of the massacre are deeply seared into my memory: dead and mutilated bodies lining the camp alleys.

Only a few days before, they were human beings full of hope and life, rebuilding their homes, talking to me, trusting that they would be left in peace to raise their young ones after the evacuation of the PLO. These were people who welcomed me into their broken homes. They served me Arabic coffee and whatever food they found; simple fare but given with warmth and generosity. They shared their lives with me. They showed me faded photographs of their homes and families in Palestine before 1948 and the large house keys they still kept with them. The women showed me their beautiful embroidery, each with motifs of the villages they left behind. Many of these villages were destroyed after they left.

Some of these people became patients we failed to save. Others died on arrival. They left behind orphans and widows. A wounded mother begged us to take down the hospital’s last unit of blood from her to give to her child. She died shortly afterward. Children witnessed their mothers and sisters being raped and killed.

The terrified faces of families rounded up by gunmen while awaiting death; the desperate young mother who tried to give me her baby to take to safety; the stench of decaying bodies as mass graves continued to be uncovered will never leave me. The piercing cries of women who discovered the remains of their loved ones from bits of clothes, refugee identity cards, as more bodies were found continue to haunt me.

The people of Sabra-Shatila returned to live in those very homes where their families and neighbors were massacred. They are a courageous people and there was nowhere else to go. Afterwards, other refugee camps were also blockaded, attacked and more people were killed. Today, Palestinian refugees are denied work permits in 30 professions and 40 artisan trades outside their camps. They have no passports. They are prohibited from owning and inheriting property. Denied the right of return to their homes in Palestine, they are not only born refugees, they will also die refugees and so will their children.

But for me, painful questions need to be answered. Not why they died, but why were they massacred as refugees? After 69 years, has the world already forgotten? How can we allow a situation where a person’s only claim to humanity is a refugee identity card? These questions have haunted me and they have yet to receive answers.

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That scarf around my neck is called a keffiyeh, and this one was given to me by a Palestinian family in Bethlehem. Palestinians live under an apartheid rule by the state of Israel, and are denied many of the rights and privileges given to their Israeli counterparts. Their situation is very similar to the plight of black people and I believe if I’m fighting for my rights and my freedom it is only right I fight for theirs as well.

So here’s a smile and a laugh for Palestine, hoping one day they can do the same.

Happy Blackout.

in fact the genetic ties of ashkenazim to mizrahim (and ethiopians and ex-USSR olim) is weaponized against us. let’s forget about their horrifying crimes, we’re all jewish after all! & i don’t think i have to elaborate how their supposed ‘indigenety’ is weaponized against palestinians. hell my family lived in morocco for hundreds if not thousand of years so any claim to my indigeneity to the land of palestine and is just as strong as theirs. does it justify creating a society in which i benefit from the continuous nakba? no it fucking doesn’t. i don’t get to talk about palestinians being my cousins in this reality. if you’re really so committed to building a new society in which palestinians are equal the first step is to recognize what’s happening here. and you’re doing the opposite of that with your bullshit rhetoric

I feel like I’m being ripped apart reading about the Palestinian family who had their home overtaken by Israeli settlers in Hebron.

I’ve lost my home due to Israeli bombardment 3 years ago, and it’s a feeling I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but I still cannot imagine having it overtaken by someone. I would choose my own home to be bombed to rubble over and over again rather than having it overtaken by some ill-minded Israeli settlers.

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Jerusalem: Hitting Home
In East Jerusalem, Palestinians whose houses are declared illegal by Israel are being forced to raze their own homes.

The city of Jerusalem lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and property, housing and Israeli settlements are burning issues.
The Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem has forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes and created a serious housing shortage. Since 1967, the Palestinian population has quadrupled, climbing to over 300,000 - nearly 40 percent of the population. Yet the Israeli municipal authorities in East Jerusalem deem that Palestinians can build property on only nine percent of the land.

For Palestinians, construction permits are prohibitively expensive and bureaucratic processes make them difficult to obtain. Many Palestinians have had no choice but to build their own homes without permits, even with the threat of demolition hanging over their heads.
Israel has now declared around 20,000 of these buildings to be illegal and has ordered their demolition
Rather than paying the high costs of fighting demolition orders in court, or paying the fines for getting Israeli crews to pull down their homes, Palestinian families are making the difficult choice to bring them down themselves. Forced to demolish their own homes, many have been made homeless, or pushed away from the city centre. Others have chosen to remain in the ruins of the properties they themselves have pulled down.
Jerusalem: Hitting Home examines how these demolitions are not just changing the face of the city but also the lives of the people who live there.
The film follows three families who have been forced to take hammers to their own homes. It traces the events that led to the demolitions, where the families have gone afterwards, and the emotional and economic impact it has had on them. The filmmaker also charts how city planning and municipal policies have led to a set of building rules that many argue are pushing Palestinians towards the outskirts of the city, disrupting their lives and shifting the city’s demographics in favour of the Israeli majority.

The real problem is that Israel has chosen occupation over peace, and used negotiations as a smokescreen to advance its colonial project. Every government across the globe knows this simple fact and yet so many of them pretend that returning to the failed recipes of the past could achieve freedom and peace. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

There can be no negotiations without a clear Israeli commitment to fully withdraw from the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem; a complete end to all colonial policies; a recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people including their right to self-determination and return; and the release of all Palestinian prisoners. We cannot coexist with the occupation, and we will not surrender to it.

We were called upon to be patient, and we were, giving chance after chance to reach a peace agreement. Maybe it is useful to remind the world that our dispossession, forced exile and transfer, and oppression have now lasted for nearly 70 years. We are the only item to have stood on the UN’s agenda since its inception. We were told that by resorting to peaceful means and to diplomatic channels we would garner the support of the international community to end the occupation. And yet, as in 1999 at the close of the interim period, that community failed yet again to undertake any meaningful steps, neither setting up an international framework to implement international law and UN resolutions, nor enacting measures to ensure accountability, including boycott, divestment and sanctions, which played a crucial role in ridding the world of the apartheid regime.

So, in the absence of international action to end Israeli occupation and impunity or even provide protection, what are we asked to do? Stand by and wait for the next Palestinian family to be burned, for the next Palestinian child to be killed or arrested, for the next settlement to be built?

— 

Marwan Barghouti, “There will be no peace until Israel’s occupation of Palestine ends

The Guardian op-ed, October 11, 2015.

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A ‪Palestinian‬ wins a Gold Medal for the first time in Olympics history at ‪‎Rio2016‬ :)
The Taekwondo player ‪‎Ahmad Abu Ghoush‬ who holds the Jordanian nationality has just won a gold medal after winning the final match against a Russian player. Although he holds Jordanian nationality, Ahmad is Palestinian refugee; his family was forced to flee the country and his village, ‪Imwas‬, was demolished by “Israel” in 1967.
Congratulations!!! ‪‎Long Live Palestine‬