By Ramona Wadi
What we have not seen of Khan al-Ahmar are the narratives we should be searching for.
Khan al-Ahmar is a reminder of how our memory differs without the experience of the Nakba. It is also a moment of reflection as I paint this impression.
If we look at Khan al-Ahmar without remembrance of the Nakba, our wasted time is complicit in the maiming of Palestinian lives. Looking beyond, and looking back, would enable our consciousness to expand the imagination. And the village would pulsate in our being – no longer tethered to reports which prioritize demolition and the purported concern of the international community.
If the community is a manifestation of earlier forced displacement, why is there a collective insistence to define Khan al-Ahmar within the framework of the impending demolition?
Khan al-Ahmar has been fragmented into specific instances of human rights violations, so that activist efforts are incarcerated by a premeditated agenda determined by urgency. The result is dissociation from the Palestinian cause and an excessive reliance upon human rights terminology which has failed to provide Palestinians with the space to articulate their own trauma and disseminate their story free from obstructive parameters.
The world speaks of war crimes and Palestinians speak of land. Perhaps we have spoken of war crimes and ignored the Palestinian right to land – the latter seemingly ambiguous if lacking the narratives of the colonized. Yet the discrepancy is far more painful to bear, once the reality sinks in. The categorization of atrocities into a detached observance is easier to comprehend than the laceration between the people and their territory.
How do we understand land when we are not deprived of it?
– Ramona Wadi is an accomplished writer and an artist. She contributed this article to PalesineChronicle.com.