If The Zookeeper’s Wife was Palestinian!

Not Reviewed, Not Edited. Straight chaotic thoughts to keyboard strokes! (Typos Alert)

I am setting in front of the screen with a jar of strawberries on my right, trying my best to keep it together. Now that I found something to start with as I struggle to translate the emotional storm inside me into words, let me give it a second shot…

I just got out from the movies after watching 120 minutes of memories of the Second World War, The Zookeeper’s Wife, the movie portrayed life in Poland before the start of the war from 1939 to the end of it in 1945. A far intense experience and a harsh memory of what happened to Jews who lived in Poland back then. A Real-life story of a wife who became a hero to hundreds during WWII. Antonina Żabińska and her Husband Dr. Jan Żabiński, living in Warsaw running a zoo of their own, till one day, the German army took ownership of the Polish people and their land. A quick sequence of events: war started and The German Army reaches Poland, by order from their command, they gather all Jews in Poland to live in a ghetto neighborhood where they lived in extreme oppression in a besieged small neighborhood without no food, no shelter from the cold of Europe, and no connection to the outside world. I shed a tear… Antonina and Jan are forced to close the zoo, and decide to secretly join the resistance movement. They put into action plans to smuggle as many of their friends (Jews) outside the Ghetto! They succeed, they save over 300 people from the Ghetto, later, they get caught, things go nerve-wreckingly fast and the German Army withdraw from Poland by the end of the war.


Now that’s the story of the movie, the interpretations that I had in my head were ten fold. My own memories are all awaken with this scenery and I taste my second tear. I saw in the agony and suffering of the Jewish people’s eyes, in the eyes of Urszula – the Jewish child who was a victim of child abuse and rape after she lost her family, in the internal struggle of Antonina and Jan’s little boy – Ryszard who saw the oppression of the occupier and wanted to resist even feeling useless… in the extreme desperate situation Jews lived under in the ghettos and in their pain… in all that, I saw the suffering and agony of Palestinians.

I kept asking myself, what all Jews do wrong to deserve this? what’s their fault in all this? What’s the crime Jewish kids and women and men committed to be treated this way! I kept wondering, who assumed the right to mistreat humans in such an inhumane way neglecting any forms of dignity or minimal respect for all forms of freedom or rights!



Then I repeat the same questions again… this time about the Palestinian kids and women who live in a huge ghetto called Gaza Strip where I am from and where I lived for 17 years of my life. A group punishment of families, thousands of them, Kids, women, innocent men doesn’t matter, as long as you are a Palestinian, then you’re tagged; just like as long as you’re Jewish, you were tagged too.

Its funny when you watch a movie depicts what happened 6 decades ago, and you relate to everything that happened in your life. I watch the movie and I remember my childhood, 5 wars I have lived not one. (2000, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015). I was 10 years old when the occupation came to our house, 18 when I first saw live bombings of my whole city, and I was 24 when two members of my family were killed in a war.

I watch the movie and I remember the look in the eyes of kids who lost their families in a bombing. I watch the movie and recall the courage of people who tried to smuggle food and medicine while Gaza is under siege. Gaza Strip and the West Bank are two Ghettos of Palestine… both filled with families who forced out of their houses, babies who grew up under bombings and all they saw in their lives was war, explosions and destruction. Filled with refugees who fled other cities in Palestine to be faced with a ghetto in Gaza.

Now, we are in 2017 and almost 6 million Palestinians live between Gaza and the West Bank Ghettos. Gaza has been besieged since 2008, no one is allowed in or out! Its the exact same situation, only flipped this time and 77 years later.




One thought on “If The Zookeeper’s Wife was Palestinian!

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