Raja Shehadeh

Hope for Palestine's hills

For the past decade and a half, as I stood at the roof of my house in the morning enjoying the sunrise over the Ramallah hills, a few meters down the hill the Jewish settlers were watching the sun rise over the same hills and planning their next move to make them their own. Raja Shehadeh writes from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. 

Really living here

Aware of the dangers now facing hikers like me, I have, of late, been careful to restrict my walks to tracks which avoid any contact with the settlements. Two recent incidents I have experienced personally I believe illustrate what routine life is now like for us Palestinians in the occupied territories. Raja Shehadeh recounts for The Electronic Intifada. 

Acknowledging the tragedy

I grew up hearing about what my own family lost in Jaffa, the coastal city from which Jewish militias drove them in 1948. There were occasional references to Deir Yassin — where more than 100 unarmed Palestinian villagers were massacred — and the role it played in the psychological war against the Palestinians, who fled fearing for their lives. Raja Shehadeh writes from Ramallah. 

In memory of Esther: Cinema Dunia

When I think of cinema in Ramallah, I think of Esther Jallad. She and her family were expelled from their wealthy home in the port city of Jaffa in 1948 and found themselves in the hilly village of Ramallah. In her displacement, Esther carried one passion with her: she loved to go to the movies. She lived conveniently, next to one of the three cinemas in Ramallah, Cinema Dunia. Raja Shehadeh remembers a woman whose life imitated art, and a lost Palestinian past.