Fifty years on
I am trying to tell the story
of what was lost
before my birth
the story of what was there
before the stone house fell
mortar blasted loose
rocks carted away for new purposes, or smashed
the land declared clean, empty
before the oranges bowed in grief
blossoms sifting to the ground like snow
before my father clamped his teeth hard
on the pit of exile
slammed shut the door to his eyes
before tears turned to disbelief
disbelief to anguish
anguish to helplessness
helplessness to rage
rage to despair
before the cup was filled raised forcibly to our lips
fifty years on I am trying to tell the story of what we are still losing
I am trying to find a home in history
but there is no more space in the books
the arbiters of justice
have no time
for the dispossessed
and what good are words
when there is no page
for the story?
Fifty Years On / Stones in an Unfinished WallFor Palestine Lisa Suhair Majaj
Historically, Palestinian live in a broken globe, driven from their homes, or led to a safe village.Under International law, humans have the right to return to their homes ‘homes of origin”. Andany human being has the right of ‘free of exercise’. Or the freedom of movement. Are Israeli settlements actively essential to its security? This modern intensity, of the Israel tactics creates “docile bodies”, which how they make a mental imprisonment, full control of body and thoughts. The Israel’s observed, and records every step of control. And any slight change, would affect the modern soul. ‘watching over’. The state’s power is more like a public power. There discipline worked by controlling mobilization, and experiencing space and time.
Turmusayya, here we all stood, before we reached this village, I saw on the opposite side of the village, right on top of the mountain, the best strategic area. I see white caravans-outposts, and right behind them beautiful houses. At that moment I imagined Tuscany one of the famous regions in Italy, Tuscany is known for its enchanted landscape, also it’s positioned on top of the mountain. You also could see in this region fortress, watch towers, castles, and a town wall, appear everywhere. I hastened to inquire its name and purpose. But asked myself why this region has all this security. Doesn’t this security fences cause hardship for some Palestinians, it would limit employment opportunities for some, and for others, it might split farms or separate farm land from the owners home. These lands off course have owners; this means they were exiled by force. Sometimes I ask myself, did we win in the nakba , for Israel to have all this security, and make so many checkpoints.
Turmusaya's residents mostly rely on agriculture to make a living. Farmers depend on olive trees and fruit orchards as a source of income. They are most known for their olive trees.The main income flowing into Turmusaya comes from immigrants supporting and sustaining their village from abroad.Most civilians who live in this region, move from their rural village to urban cities. This often plays a significant role in the rapid urbanization and developing of rural areas. The people in this region migrate to urban areas in search of job opportunities; which these jobs do not exist in the village. Most villagers immigrated to America, for job opportunities. After the intifada, Israel blocked some of the roads coming in and out of this village; especially since they lie close to an Israeli settlement. Besides this none of the wars, 1948 or 1967, has ever affected Turmusaya.From what I observed, the people were suffering from what I call mental imprisonment. Turmusaya is located near the Shilo settlement and their municipal boundaries border each other. Much of the land of the village is used by Israeli for their settlements and security. Because of this, a large agricultural area is lost.
An area that the villagers could have use increases their income.People in Turmusaya are forbidden to build on their own land, “In the villages of Sinjil and Turmusaya, settlers ransacked villages, tagging walls with racist slogans.”Turmusaya has always suffered by the hand of Israeli settlers. They destroyed their crops and uprooted thousands of trees. More land is slowly taken to increase illegal Israeli settlements in this area like all other areas in the West Bank. Mahmud Darwish once said, “Something that had been lost and is still being lost”.