I Am Not 194. I Am Palestine.

I recieved my driver’s license at the beginning of this week so I could have went out and followed the parade of cars and people at two in the morning, beeping and beaming in happiness for Occupia’s* recognition as a non-member state in the United Nations, but I did not. As I waited eagerly in front of the television for the Occupied’s president to give his speech, I began to have mixed feelings. Should I be happy as the people (that are pictured on the television) that are clearly filled with euphoria in Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Hebron? Should I be sad that the Occupied need recognition from countries who have to vote to see whether or not we can be a “state”? Because their lives are a gamble and a game so they need votes to see if they are worthy of life or not.

To be honest, I had a sore throat and felt like I was running down with the flu that I could not even keep my eyes open past Sudan’s represntative’s speech. (So even if I did want to want to go beep around in my neighborhood, that would be the stupidest thing a person getting a flu would do…especially if that person is having mixed feelings about the deal to begin with).

My friend, before you read the rest of the post, I do not want you to mistake me for being a pessimist. I am neither that nor an optimist. I am a realist just like everyone else that shares my opinion.

I woke up to a replay of the cheers given after the Occupied’s president’s speech. I woke up to Facebook statuses expressing anger and many expressing happiness. I also woke up to an Occupier settlement that is still overlooking the city I live in.

It was when I heard the cheers on television that I realized I did not feel happiness or joy. I love Occupia, but I did not feel euphoria at the news of recognition by a great deal of the General Assembly at the United Nations last night. I felt offended, and here’s why.

Today, a part of me, a part of Palestine, was recognized. (I am breaking my own rule when I mentioned in my second post that I will only call Palestine Occupia* in my posts). It is frustrating and insulting that it took 138 countries 65 years to recognize us…only a part of us. Nevertheless, you tell me that we are recognized. People say, “Well, at least now more countries are on our side.” It took the murder of how many people in the name of Occupia for them to do so? It took the exile and refuge of how many people in the name of Occupia for them to do so? It took the imprisonment of how many people in the name of Occupia for them to do so? It took the stealing of how many people’s basic human rights for them to do so? But, thanks, anyways. You “recognized” us…with a number.

What is more offending is this. ‘At least I can now say I am Palestinian and feel it. Now, my Palestinian identity card means something,’ some say. My Occupied friend, if at this moment you finally realized and “felt” that you were Palestinian and felt the worth of your identity, then you do not know where you stand. What about when Mahmoud Darwish, the Occupied poet, said, “Record! I am an Arab!”?  I, for one, do not need the United Nations, and a bunch of people in suits giving long speeches to tell me I am Palestinian. I was born that way.

Yet, there are others that say, ‘We will now be on the map!’ I, for one, do not want to be on a map consisting of Ramallah, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip only. I want the villages that were ethnically cleansed on there. I want the demolished homes on there. I love Jerusalem without discriminating between East and West. What about precious Haifa and Yaffa? What about the villages, towns, and cities whose names were changed, but where our ancestors lived? I want that to be recognized…not 20% of that.

And last, but definitely not least, there are people that say, “It’s a start.” My friend, my dear friend, we, the Occupied, “started” a long time ago. We started the day the first person fell to the ground as a martyr in the name of Occupia. We started the day the first family was exiled and sent off to a refugee camp. We started the day the first person was imprisoned and tortured in the name of Occupia. We started the moment a rock was picked up in the face of a racing bullet. Today is only a mere recognition of that start.

I, for one, will not be happy until I see the occupation out. I won’t be happy until the Occupier is tried in the ICC. I won’t be happy until Occupia, the Occupia my ancestors fought for, worked for, wrote about, went to prison for, cried for, and died for, gets recognized.

I am not 194. I am Palestine.

I hope one day, you’ll recognize me as that.


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