Stranger in My Homeland

29 Apr 1999

THameen Derbi <thameen@rocketmail.com>

Today I've been on a trip to Haifa ana Akka. The trip was arranged by our school and included students and doctors, all palestinians.

In such trips my friends get crazy, the bus was about to explode by their wild singing and dancing. After being exhausted by their energetic party, I escaped to the front of the bus where my doctors were trying to enjoy the hardly heard fayrooze from the bus stereo. The landscape was very beautiful. We went through Al-Quds - Tel Aviv road. It is spring and nature is in its utmost beauty in Palestine. The fields are green and every beautiful plant is seen at the sides of the road. groups of Sonono birds were flying in the blue sky. and as we were getting near the coast, I felt smelling a familiar aroma, like I'm going to meet an old dear friend, and in my heart I shouted: Palestine.

Amongst all the surrounding beauty, my soul was at the edge of tears. In my deepest I felt I don't have the right to enjoy this beauty. The remnants of the destroyed Palestinian villages at the sides of the road opened the doors of my memory to the fact that I'm still a refugee in my homeland. I could no more recognize the beautiful colors around me, every thing turned into black and white. The huge cotton fields turned into wheat and barley fields, with delighted Palestinian farmers working there. THe beautiful houses turned into simple Palestinian homes, and from among the ruins, the Palestinian villages were arising and spreading in the fields like a beautiful bride laying in her green bed.

How can a Palestinian young man stand at the Al-Karmil mountain and not like to cry? My grandfather used to have a piece of land and a home in Haifa. I don't know where they are now, may be a supermarket or beautiful villa was built over them. How can I enjoy walking in Akka streets while I see thousands of small eyes of refugee children printed on the buildings, streets and trees.

As we were going back home, the bus was very quiet. "Are they exhausted" I asked my self, " or just struck by the painful contrast as I am". The sunset over our lost paradise was marvelous. and my mind could hardly concentrate of Fayrooze singing:" Sanarji3o Yawman Ela ayyina.......", while configuring how we gonna pass the check point since we had no permission to enter.

THameen

29 Apr 1999 11:48:25 -0700 (PDT) THameen Derbi <thameen@rocketmail.com>