While enrolled at THINK Global School, students are encouraged to be creative during the course of their studies and travels. When the students document these thoughts, we are often delighted with the results. In her essay, “I will not hate,” 11th grade student Anat A. draws upon her volatile childhood growing up in the occupied Palestinian territories as she asks the question, “I am Palestine’s, but am I mine?”
PALESTINE IS WHERE I GREW UP. It is where I woke to the sounds of F-16 fighter jets and mothers crying. It’s where I learnt that history is what is left. It is where you could smell the freshly baked pita bread from 500 meters. The smell of mint tea. It’s where the beautiful soft fingers dipped with Henna are. Where seeing the funeral of a martyr every day is the norm. It is where I learnt what a key meant, what suffocating from tear gases feels like and what a cage is. It’s not being able to sleep at night due to the fear of not waking up the next morning.
Palestine: where it is very close to God’s words. Where Jesus Christ was born and where Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven from. Where dignity keeps us alive. Where IDs are just words written on transparent paper. Where silence says everything. Where lives are a burden on the historians. Where lives are a burden on the generals. Where children play in empty tanks. Where a 12 year old is old enough to go to prison. Where the invaders are scared of memories. It’s what “On this land what’s worth living?” means. Where Mahmoud Darwish is better known than the president. When a wall can mean more than the accumulation of stones separating families. When barriers deprive lovers of each other. It’s what being born in a jail cell means. When my uncle spends a decade in prison. When resisting becomes terrorism. When in one minute the life of a house ends and tents become homes. It is where the house that once belonged to my grandmother now belongs to a stranger. When you hear the shrill of a mother for the death of her son. When the big dark brown eyes of a five year old tell the story of 64 years. When the fetus croons the National Anthem. Where olive trees resist the hands of the usurpers. Where bullets penetrate my childish dreams straight to my father’s thigh. Where bombs come down on us more than rain. It is where prisoners teach life. Where freedom means more than just freeing a body. Where there are enough dead bodies and broken bones to cover the sun. It is when being deaf becomes a wish. It is where the sea is mine. The mosque is mine. The church is mine. The land is mine. Palestine is mine…
Am I mine?