On A Day Like This

As I look outside of my grandfather’s baranda, remembering what date it is and the billboards that are around Ramallah, my mind drifts off. Eight years ago on a day just like this, Occupia* lost a person it held close to heart. Whether the man did ‘anything’ or not, no one could argue with the fact that he was a very charismatic person. When he addressed the U.N., he made his stnad clear. He was not about to surrender to anyone, saying,  “I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter’s gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.”

It had been a year and a half since I have lived in Occupia at that time. I remember waking up to the television saying that the Occupied’s president just died. I looked out of the window, and it was gloomy, just like it was today, eight years later, minus the rain. I could hear my mother talking to my Aunt on the phone, watching her eyes well up. For a moment there, my eyes welled up. The atmosphere was gloomy, it was during the holiday break and an important figure that represented the Occupied had just died. Why wouldn’t I shed tears?

The helicopter that brought him to Occupia flew over my house. I opened the window, despite the cold and the rain and looked up at the sky. I can’t even elaborate more on that day. It was just….sad.

For the past week or so while coming home from school, I have seen billboards with a picture of Yasser Arafat, the late president of Occupia*, everywhere, calling on people to commemorate him. I’ve watched these commemorations on television for the past eight years. It doesn’t make me sad more than it makes me angry…more than it makes me wonder. If he were to be here, what would he say? Would he meet up with the Occupier’s prime minister? He probably would. Would he have been able to stop the seige on Gaza in 2009-2010? Probably not. Would he threaten to back down when things don’t go his way? I don’t think so. Would he make a comment going along the lines of ‘Palestine, to me, is 1967 borders and East Jerusalem as its capital’? I highly doubt it.

This isn’t like my usual posts only because I am furious. I am furious at all the injustices in this world. You’re right. Thinking about these things will only make a person mad. Nothing more.

Maybe he didn’t do “anything” as people would argue, but at least he didn’t shoot down the dream of more than a million Occupied’s refugees in less than a minute.

On a last note, I’ll offer a little prayer – whether you believe in God or not.

May Yasser Arafat rest in peace. May the people of Gaza and Syria be saved. May the martyrs of Occupia and elsewhere have their justice served. May the people who cause pain to the world feel the pain they are causing.

And that is all I want to say today.



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