I would say that a good deal of my over decade long stay in Palestine was spent around my grandparents homes. Some of my favorite memories growing up in Palestine revolve around my maternal grandparents’ home. I especially enjoyed my grandmother’s conversations with her daughters – my mother and her sisters – and her friends and neighbors. I loved going there in the afternoon and listening to the current gossip in the “grandmothers’ clan” and hear the plot of the story change with each person adding to the conversation.
I also loved when the conversations get political. The comments were not based on any specific ideology or analysis, but it was based on what they truly thought…with no filter, if I made add.
So naturally, when President Donald Trump was running for president, I wanted my grandmother’s and her friends’ inputs on it. So, I would ask, “What if he starts kicking us (Muslims, Arabs, etc.) out?”
One of my grandmother’s friends, who has never left the country, would say, “Good. Everyone in the [Palestinian] diaspora would come back here, then.”
My grandmother, who is a U.S. citizen, would agree and add, “I only go to America for medical check-ups.”
Shortly after Trump won the election, I was visiting my grandmother, and I falsely told her that Trump is kicking all of us (Muslims, Arabs, etc.) out, even those with U.S. citizenship. (Yes, my grandmother and I analyze false scenarios). What did she tell me?
“I have a U.S. passport. He can’t.”
For my grandmother and myself, the conversation ends there until we are told otherwise…until another executive order arises adding more characteristics to the community that should be “banned from entering.” However, to so many others – to green card holders, to visa holders, to refugees – the conversation continues.