On our birthday this year I turned 31 and you turned 78. Even the dead grow old without a homeland.
Do you know that we live and die in diaspora now? Do you know that Palestinian refugee camps are swollen with Iraqis and Syrians now?
Too many Jihadi songs end with the refrain “ForFalasteen”, but Baba says terrorists can’t read maps.
The march to Jerusalem doesn’t start fromKunduz. And I definitely cannot see Haifa from Cairoya “Ansar Beit el Maqdis”.
Last week in Beirut I went to the races for the first time and bet 5$ on a horse named Thawra.
But I met a little boy who said he was from Sabra.
In Jordan, Syrian children say they come from Zaatariand Azraq not anymore Homs or Hama.
Little boys shouldn’t come from refugee camps.
I’ve been thinking a lot about whether it’s easier to start and stay with nothing than to lose everything from one day to the next.
“Always already” – without. 66 years expelled.
Pain is fresh in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya but our story is old.
I was nine when I first realized I shared my birthday with someone else. On the 9th of April each year the public library ran dotty black and white reels of your life, and afterwards we had cake.
I was always curious why you were not showing up at our birthday party. Only years later I realized it was a commemoration not a celebration, or a little bit of both.
I feel the same way about the Nakba. EverydayNakba. Each year marks death, dispossession and occupation but also birth, and the celebration of memory and resistance.
15 May 2014
– Jehan Bseiso is a Palestinian poet, researcher and aid-worker currently based in Cairo. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Jordan and studied in Lebanon. Bseiso is currently working on a collection of poems entitled “Conversations Continued”. It is a compilation of real, misheard, and misremembered conversations—always interrupted, never really complete or closed. There’s a chapter dedicated to Palestine, titled Conversations Homeland. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Follow her @jehanbseiso. Contact her at: Jehan.firstname.lastname@example.org.