Journey through Thorns: A Palestinian’s Story

Born in 1973, a Gazan boy turns into a man and studies to become an expert in trauma therapy. He has his own family and is separated from them. He tells us about his long journey to make a life for himself and his family, and for the Gazans he has left behind.

I am a Palestinian. My family lived for generations in the village of Al-Maghar. In 1948, my grandparents and their whole family were expelled from Al-Maghar, uprooted and sent to the huts and narrow streets of a refugee camp 100 km. away. This was our Nakbah, or catastrophe. After sixty years, still they taste the bitterness of that loss and watch as the flames of that tragedy continue to burn. As a child I was used to living in one of the huts of the refugee camp, but as I got older and became aware of the discontent inside the family, I would pester my father with questions:

Why do all ten of us sleep in one room?

Why does the roof always leak in winter?

Why do we go to school without having a breakfast or pocket money?

Why is our classroom crowded with 50 students in one small space?

Why do we not have a playground?

Where can I get clean water?

Why do we not travel anywhere?

Why do we hear booming all through the night?

Will the roar of the bulldozer come towards us today?

Who has been killed today?

Why do you let the soldiers humiliate you at the checkpoints?

Often he would answer me with tears in his eyes.

“We are the victims of a violent occupation. Like a cancer, it spreads over all aspects of our lives. Oh, my son, be careful! Do not provoke the violence to fall upon you.”

I was born in 1973 and gradually became aware of all this suffering in the narrow alleys of the camp. By the time I was fourteen years old, I had learned to hate the occupying soldiers for destroying my homeland. I would ignore my father’s warnings and seek revenge for our humiliation.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

If you are interested to understand more of this, you may watch HERE the documentary Occupation 101 (thanks to my friends AlexN for this link)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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