Israeli border police officers detain a Palestinian youth on his way to pray at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem at the Qalandiya checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Ramallah, 26 September. (Rami Swidan/MaanImages)
Once again, the holy month of Ramadan comes to end. Once more people are preparing for the Eid holiday, the feast of breaking the fast. Once more, people think how can they celebrate this Eid.
Once more, we ask the same questions: how many checkpoints and roads will be open so that Palestinians can be able to circulate freely from place to place to visit their family and friends? How many will be able to enjoy a vacation at a green space or on a sea shore, or outside the country? How many people will be able to fly over the illegal separation wall to visit the holy places in Jerusalem? How many will be able to imagine how their families are living on the other shattered side of Palestine, whether they are in the West Bank or imprisoned in Gaza? How many people will be able to celebrate this feast with their family? How many Palestinian prisoners will be inside Israeli prisons during this time? How many people will be able to go to visit their relatives with a gift in their hands?
How many people will be able to hold their daughters and sons in their arms, and to print a kiss on their forehead? How many mothers will be able to smile or laugh with their child? How many dreams and hopes will be fulfilled, and how many others will be shattered? How many people will be able to return to their homes and villages, stolen and violated from them by the Zionist bandits in 1947, 1948 or 1949 and after? How many people will die while dreaming of this return?
But despite all of these questions, despite all this agony and frustration, despite all this suffering, we keep up the hope that tomorrow will be better than today, and that the future generations will have something to struggle for and a humanity to defend against all the ugliness of this occupation and violations of human rights and international law. We keep up the hope that we still know our priorities and ignore those that are dictated to us by the occupation state or complicit international community. Our priority is still and remains that Israeli occupation ends. That our land, and that above and below, our air, and sea are free, and are ours, not under the control of any occupier.
We keep up the hope that this Eid will bring happiness to sad houses, hope to broken wills, strength to tortured spirits, and restore human values to the world in which we all live.
We keep up hope that our children and the generations to come will feel, live and practice their humanity on all levels and be equal partners for making a beautiful change in this world.
Enjoy as long as you have time to enjoy and be the change you want to see so that one day, near or far, you may close your eyes and know that you were able to plant a seed of positive change in this world that will continue to grow and flourish after you are gone.
May your days and moments be more beautiful and filled with happiness and joy. May you remember us in these moments, in this holy, tortured, punished, cursed, occupied land of Palestine. May the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and every city, village and refugee camp fuse in one, and become a land were dreams come true. May all this world be one, where every human is equal so that we can all live together in joy.
Dr. AbdelFattah Abusrour is the director of Al-Rowwad cultural and theater training center in the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.