I am no longer confined to my apartment. I am now confined to parts of one single city; Ramallah. The army is still present in those other parts, in those other cities, in those other roads surrounding every Palestinian town. But, for now, I can go to work everyday. I am employed again. Logically, therefore, my short lived writing career must come to an abrupt end.
I asked myself how to end the “Under Siege” soliloquy. Maybe an emotional outburst would set a dramatic finish. Or how about a suave political analysis?
I know! I’ll end with a final plead for the international community to come to our rescue. No, no, no. All those sentiments are far too abundant, especially on Jazeera Satellite Channel. So, I believe, the best way to end is to communicate what I learned from this experience (other than rationalized cooking, of course).
I learned that my mother is god’s most valuable gift. I learned that I work for a great company. I learned that I work with great people. I learned that wetting the candle doesn’t make it burn any slower. I learned that resilience is Palestine’s most precious asset. I learned that dignity can never be forced out of the Palestinian psyche.
I learned that Palestinians and Israelis are each other’s predicament.
I learned that us Arabs still lack the freedom to create, the will to democratize and the courage to be critical of our way of life.
I learned that only war brings the Israelis together. I learned that racism is a part of the Israeli mindset. I learned that Israelis, unfortunately, like many terrorists around the world, still believe that killing civilians is something that is “forced” upon them.
But the most genuine lesson I learned is that Life Is Good. I am happy to be alive, I am happy to still be able to breathe, to still be able to walk and to still be able to love. Life in Palestine is not dead. We shall overcome. And yes, indeed, I know, we will be free. We will be free.
Hakam Kanafani is CEO of Palestine Cellular Communications (JAWWAL), the first Palestinian Cellular Network, and is based in Al-Bireh, occupied Palestine