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Date posted: November 16, 2005
By Tala A Rahmeh for MIFTAH
New Page 1

According to William Wordsworth, one shouldnt write out of anger or extreme feelings. A good writer must sit back; filter his/her feelings and then articulate, interesting, well-processed thoughts.

I beg to disagree with Wordsworth, one of the creators of literary romanticism. If you were a Palestinian, you cannot but write out of pure, intoxicating and swallowing anger.

A few days ago, I tried to go to Jerusalem, and I say tried because it is always a risk, since green IDs or Palestinian ID holders are not allowed in. I still tried because its Jerusalem, how can a Palestinian live without seeing it or smelling its swift air. Everyday hundreds of Palestinians take the risk of getting harassed or arrested in order to walk through this magical city that retrieves some sanity inside of their insane world.

That day I took the risk, but got caught, two Israeli soldiers stopped me, took my papers after threatening to arrest me several times, then made me walk by myself all the way to the checkpoint while they drove behind me. When I got there, they made me wait next to their booth as they issued a paper stating that if I try to enter Jerusalem again, I will be thrown in jail. After I read and was forced to sign the paper, I tried to enquire about my rights in that case, even criminals are allowed to ask, but all the soldiers looked past me like I did not exist.

I walked back to Ramallah defeated, broken and unable to breathe. For the first time in my life, I wanted to fall down and die right there, I couldnt see and inhale life like I always do, I couldnt cling to anything, and that desire to the everything-ness I love died.

Death stopped being a far away thought; it transformed itself into a sensation that I visualized and felt at the tips of my fingers, and at the edge of my blackened heart.

The saddest part of our conflict is, the Israelis are supposed to be the only ones able, even partially, to comprehend our pain, because they feel it. They feel that fear, agony and sadness. Up until today, I always thought that at some point, they will look at me as a human, they will have compassion in them like the rest of you do, and they will retreat from all their infuriating hate. But today, they proved me wrong.

When I walked away from the checkpoint, I looked like a zombie; I was motionless, listless and numb. But when I reached my house, I cried for hours, not out of sadness, but out of utter defeat, my tears are not drying, even as I write to you.

They kept telling me, what doesnt kill you, only makes you stronger, but how many times do we have to shake and break until we either die, or breathe the life that remains?

Wherever you are in the world, embrace the life you have, dont let it slide, because in my country, it abandons you constantly and slips, even when you to cling to it with your nails and teeth.

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