Not Reviewed, Not Edited… Straight from my chaotic thoughts to keyboard strokes! (Typos Alert)…
I have spent the last two hours abstaining from texting two of my best friends. For some reason I did not approve what they did. Although by continuing to read this you would realize I have no right whatsoever to be mad at them. Specially that all they did is visiting my home country – Palestine or Israel, let’s call it the Holy Land to avoid conflicting interests and pissing people off. I was scrolling down my Instagram thread till my eyes landed on my friends’ Instagram posted pics dated today and Geo-located to Tel-Aviv, Israel. My first reaction was an internal scream saying: “You made it home”. As if I am the one who managed to find a way to be there after all these years. I was happy for the fact that my friends made it to my home country where since 1948, our peaceful days were few to be counted. Then there was that patriotic tickle in me that in so many ways did not approve the Geo-tag. The sadness of the fact that I am not allowed to visit my own country slowed my reaction, kept me gazing at that location tag of Tel-Aviv, Israel for a couple of minutes, clicking on it and seeing what other people posted in that place (Stalker Mood that we all do). Eventually it took me some guts to write what was about to be a “very emotional” comment on their posts. Instead I wrote this:
“Woaaaah you’re visiting my home! Happy that you got the chance to, but sad I can never see it even if I wanted to” HASHTAGED with #PalestineorIsrael #ThisShitIsTooSad
Although it was not their fault, part of me was angry at my friends that they even used the Geo-tag with the name of the country which replaced my country; the same country which denies me the right to go back even for a visit. In my head I had all the legitimate reasons to be mad at the situation, and even to blame my friends. As if their use of the occupier’s name of the city or the country legitimized, one way or another its existence, its validity and its replacement of Palestine. They are two of my closest friends, very well-rounded, educated and both avid travelers. I felt so mad at myself blaming it for not telling the story and informing my friends of the history of my own home country. “How can they visit my own home country and not tell me about it” I told myself. Turns out they did not even know. Amidst all of this inside, I went out of my bubble and texted my friends, and this is how it went;
Me: Where are you?
Friend: Tel-Aviv Moe, so close to your home!
Me: It is my home, my dad was born in Tel-Aviv.
Friend: really! I didn’t know. It is so cool here, we’re all being sad bears because of your Insta comments! Enjoying for you here!
Me: Please do, I can never visit, my whole life. and please take lots of pics, my dad was born in Tel-Aviv and my mom was born in Ashkelon, which is not far from where you guys are.
Friend: will do. We’re going to Jerusalem tomorrow, and apparently we can go to Bethlehem easily.
Excited Me: Yessssssssss you can, go to Dome of the Rock, Al Aqsa Mosque.
Emotional (Bit**) me again: God! you’re going to Jerusalem! I am sorry am getting a bit emotional but it’s unbelievable! you’re the first of my friends to vising my home country and its so easy! whilst I can even dream of being there for one hour. I can only say one thing… enjoy.
My Friend: I really sincerely hope you’ll be able to visit one day ❤ ❤ ❤