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Waking up under foreign occupation is a loss beyond description

13 9 0

A friend of mine has a very peculiar gift: he can relate any incident in his life, be it his marriage, his children’s birthdays, his graduation date, the time he lost his job; he can even remember many painful incidents in Palestinian history. For example, he will tell you that his daughter was born on the same day that Mahmoud Abu Hannoud was assassinated by the Israeli occupation authorities; or that he did not want to start his new business on a certain date because it was the anniversary of the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, or the demise of Yasser Arafat, and that would not be appropriate.

It sometimes crosses my mind to list all of the wars in our region in my lifetime, but it is a tiresome task. I am not sure which is the earliest that I can remember; perhaps the 1973 October War with Israel, or the Lebanese civil war which started in 1976, or maybe Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. There are many to choose from, but it is those incidents which affect one’s life directly which usually figure more prominently in the memory. It is the personal aspects which give the occupation its worse face, and my problem with the Israeli occupation is indeed personal, as the well-known Palestinian poet Samih Al-Qasim used to say.

Earlier this month, I celebrated my fiftieth birthday. A few days after I was born, the third holiest place in Islam and the holiest place in Palestine, Al-Aqsa Mosque, was set........

© Middle East Monitor