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Yousef M. Aljamal: She Will Visit Her Parents’ Graves First

She Will Visit Her Parents’ Graves First
by Yousef M. Aljamal

With the help of Gisha, a human rights organization based in what is now Israel, my mother got a permit to visit her family in the West Bank, 12 years after being locked in Gaza. “Your permit has been issued”, said Dina, from Gisha to my mother via mobile. “What! what!what!”, my mother unconsciously replied to this unexpected, yet 12-year awaited call. I wounder, who was happier, Dina or my mother.

Tomorrow, my mother along with my youngest brother, Omer, named after my eldest brother, will summarize the tragedy of being away for 12 years forcibly in a 2-hour drive to the West Bank city of Jericho. She will get to know all places she used to pass at times when she was allowed to travel there.

Tomorrow, part of justice will prevail. My mother would cry hard once she sees her brothers and sisters. She would cry harder when she sees her many nieces and nephews, who were born sometime in her absence. Tomorrow, she will cry even harder before her parents’ graves, who were buried with her held in Gaza.

She will tell them the story of her longing. She will describe it all: The day her Dad passed away in peace. The very day she asked the guys there to let her talk to him via telephone while dead. The day she wanted to say goodbye for she was not able to be there just like others. She will tell her mother how much she loves her. Her parents will listen carefully to the story, not because she is a good story-teller, but rather because her story needs to be told. Tomorrow, my mother will speak her mind. She will tell ‘the invented story of the historical injustice committed against us- the invented people’.

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She will remember it all: The way to her childhood school, the snow-man she used to make somewhere in Bethlehem, and the hand-made school bag her mum used to weave, for they were very poor. Her childhood’s friends will be in her list to visit, I claim.

This time, she will ask one of her sisters to prepare Huwirni dish for her, the dish she never got tired of mentioning while having lunch.

Tomorrow, rivers of tears will be shed. Countless smiles will be drowned. Tomorrow, the paradox of the Palestinian equation will be experienced. Tomorrow, my mother will see the better tomorrow she used to tell us about tirelessly each time she used to go through a misery. Tomorrow, the entire family once being shaken by scattering, will live a better day.

Not being far away, I will feel her happy among her family members. I will feel her feet getting more rooted, where she was born, years after her parents were ethnically cleansed.

Tomorrow, the way to the city of the moon will be shorter than what some people want it to be.


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