I Don’t See A Number Only

When I go to any store, I have become paranoid -I’m not sure that’s the word- over the past few months. I take whatever I have in hand, turn it over and over until I find a label. Sometimes from the corner of my eye, I see the store owner or the shopkeeper looking at me, questioningly, as if wanting to ask, ‘Do you really think I would cheat you?’
It stopped being about that. Of course I look for the expiration date as usual for the sake of food safety, and I look at the nutrition label for the sake of health, but I look at the product barcode, too.
For a while now, I stopped seeing 729 only -729 being the start of an Occupier product barcode. I do not see those three digits alone anymore. I see the face of Saji Darwish who I did not get to know or pass by until it was the day of his funeral. Saji was killed in the start of the spring 2014 semester by the occupiers. I see the face of Nadeem Nowara whose face is printed on posters all over the city. I see the face of Mohammad Aldurra who was killed along with his father in the year 2000. I see shackels of prisoners that are on hunger strike in prisons. I see the face of Mohammad AbuKhdeir who was burned alive by the occupiers…by 729.
I do not want to see any more faces for me to realize it is time to ignore that 729 product and move along to a different thing…something that will not go for inhumane purposes like the illegal colonization and occupation of a people whom have never seen freedom.

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