Monday, April 16, 2012

Memoire (out of many) of a Stolen Land...

I wrote this short story for an exam last year as a dedication to our people in Palestine,  and now I want to share it with the rest of the world! I want to share it with YOU and I would really appreciate feedback:) So, please lean back, enjoy and make sure to tell me what you think! And for all the Palestinians out there: I want you to know that there are people out there who care, and soon you will hopefully have your country back! 

I also want to say thank you to the great artist May Nasr, who is really sweet and who actually took the time to read the preview of my story. She also gave me an idea for the title. May is one of my biggest role models and a great inspiration. You can become a fan of her /HERE\.

(Just in case anybody wonders I am 100% Lebanese (living in Norway). I am not Palestinian, but I am a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause!) 

Remember to leave your comment! 
All my love, Ammouret Lebnen.

The story starts underneath the photo:)

It is said that love kills the time... It is said that time kills the love...I want to cling to love, like an infant clings to his mothers chest in fear that she will leave him... I want to run as fast as I can to keep up with time, so that I do not get forgotten in a past where the future is nothing more than a dream... A dream which will never come true... For what am I, in the middle of all this- in a world of hate and destruction-, other than a creature created with love? And what is life, other than a moment in time?

I open up my eyes, and I look upon the burned landscape of what used to be my homeland. The landscape where there used to be olive trees, and oranges which grew as big as watermelons. The landscape where there used to be houses built by my ancestors, and where I was always invited to have dinner and tea by total strangers when I walked home from school in the winter... And last but not least, the landscapes of the hometown which I always loved as a kid, and which I promised that I would never leave... Right now, by just sitting here, I am keeping that promise.

I see that the sun has begun to rise in the east, and the ruined houses and the burned fields bathe in the golden rays of sunshine. It hits me how the sun makes everything look beautiful... I had almost forgotten how beautiful the sun is, and how much it warms a persons heart... During the nights and days of bombing I barely saw daylight, and even less the sun. The only sun I knew back then was the sun of the songs. The sun I sang about by myself when I sat in the basement night after night in the refugee camp, with my head between my legs. The sun I sang about when the bombs fell down like hail, and when mama said that soon it would be over and we would return to our home in Jafa. I understand now that the sun is the source of life... At least it was the source of my life, in the moments when it looked like my life was getting to an end... A hope of seeing the sun again, is what kept me going!

I close my eyes again, and I let the sunlight warm my face. I suddenly get flashbacks of the past... A past that goes beyond the status quo, beyond the distruction. A time, a long time ago when jeddo and I used to sit terrace at sunrise. I used to make him tea, and jeddo used to play my favourite tunes on his nay flute. The most beautiful tunes in the world came out of jeddo`s flute and even now, many years later, I can still hear them as clear as I could back then.

I put my hand in my pocket and I feel the nay-flute that my grandfather gave to me on the night that he died. It hurts to think of him, because I miss him so much. I remember that he used to stroke my hair, and tell me that I have the most beautiful hair in the world. Afterwards he would put his hand in the pocket of the gray west that he always used to wear, and give me a sweet that he had exchanged at the souk for some of his olives. Jeddou used to plant the greenest, and tastiest olives in Jafa. He loved his olive trees and he took care of them as if they were human beings... I asked him once what his secret was, and he just smiled and told me that I will understand when I grow up. I now know what the secret is: Love. That is the reason why the trees dies... They died because of the hatred, and because jeddou was no longer there to give them the love they needed.

I look down at the big fig tree that still stands down there at the fields. I feel a bit happy because it made it through the war and I can`t help but smile. Me and Lamya, my childhood friend, used to climb on that tree when we were little. The times we got mad at our parents we climbed up to the top of it, and we did not come down before dark. We used to say that we wanted to live in the tree forever, and never come back down to the ground! And so we did. Well, at least until Lamyas mother came over from her house and stood underneath the tree carrying the most delicious dishes. Then we decided that the fight was not that important anyway, so we climbed down.

Lamya is not here anymore. She and her family were killed in 1948. They were slaughtered. The men first, and then the women and children. The women were raped and killed, after they had to watch their men die slowly and painfully. No matter how much they begged, they were not saved. The kids were killed at last. The echoes of their cry, still lingers in my ears. I still see the look on Lamyas face just before she died in my dreams every single night and it scares me. I was standing outside, and I saw it happen. Yet, there was nothing I could do about it. I watched my best friend and her family die, and yet they call ME a terrorist? I wanted nothing back then but peace. I just wanted them to leave us alone. To leave me, Lamya, her family, my family and all of us ALONE! The fig tree still stands there as a memory of a lost childhood, and as a reminder of the what this war has cost...

I stand up. The memory of Lamyas death makes me angry... I can`t even think about it without getting so mad, that I want to go and break the fences that they have made and yell at them, tell them what they have done! Tell them to go away! Everything used to be perfect before they came... The zionists. At first I used to think that “the zionists” was some kind of big, black monster with black hands which came at night and killed everything it came across. I used to think that the zionists had yellow fangs, and that it was what left the torn up bodies which laid in the streets. I never thought that a humanbeing could do such thing to another humanbeing. Well, I was proven wrong.

Everything used to be perfect before they came. I used to meet my friends at school, I used to help jeddo pick olives, and then help mama make the tastiest dishes in the kitchen. In the weekends we used to invite our jewish neighbours over for dinner, and they used to bring some of the tastiest dishes and sweets. I used to play with their son Kenan, and the adults used to sit and share their thoughts about politics and religion and we enjoyed the tastiest dishes from each others cultures. Nothing is like that anymore.

Who would have ever thought that I would stand here today and be a refugee in my own country? Who would have thought that I would be all alone, when my family itself could fit a village? I have lost my jeddou, my best friend, my everything- God knows where my parents and siblings are- and yet I am their terrorist?! Just because I want my country back... I have lost everything, and there is no way that I am going to let them take away my country as well... Where on earth are the Arab military forces, where were they back then? Where is the Arab “omma”, the arab brotherhood? Where are the leaders of the world? I want to scream at the top of my lounges! I want to scream out a prayer for rescue, as loud as I can. Somebody must hear me at last? Somebody must care?!

Dear leaders of the world, give me back my country! Make the killer-machine which calls itself Israel come to an end... Jews and muslims have lived together in peace in Palestine for hundreds of years, why does that have to change now? Why do I have to leave, for somebody elses agenda? Just so someone else can gain money, and maintain their power? Why is there someone out there who wanted to kill the ones I love and who wants to kill me?

Dear God! Please listen to me, I beg you. I need you, I really do!

Dear anybody! All humans have a country to live in... Except of me. I have a country that lives in me... Please give me back my Palestine!

Words:
Mama: mom
Jeddou: grandfather
Souk: market
Omma: Brotherhood
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3 comments:

syida's said...

hi, i'm from malaysia, and i do feel the same thing when i read, i saw, and i heard about them.. i'm a muslim but i can't do anything for them. one thing that i can do is pray..

Ammouret Lebnen said...

Thank you for your comment Syida and hopefully our prayers will help! What you can do however, is to share this and raise awareness of what is going on;)

Love,
Ammouret Lebnen

Anonymous said...

great story, it really opened my eyes to some of the cruel things in our world.