I Am Who I Am. Recognize It And Deal With It.

I AM PALESTINIAN. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN PALESTINIAN. AND I WILL ALWAYS BE PALESTINIAN

After more than a year of unemployment, I received a rejection letter that broke this camel’s back. I have applied for every job under this sun. Or so it seems. My Linkedin total of jobs applied to has reached 6,000+ ages ago. That doesn’t take into consideration all the other jobs I’ve applied to using tens of other sites.

I’m drawn to humanitarian positions that deal with Palestinians, as I am Palestinian and feel very passionate about Palestine. Palestine is my mother, my sister, my child. Palestine is my everything and the reason I live and breathe. I’ve tried to put into words many times what it is Palestine means to me, but it never seems enough. As a writer it’s frustrating. As a Palestinian, I feel it in my bones, my veins, my lungs, my life, my every molecule. Palestine made me the woman I am. Again, Palestine is my everything.

And as my everything, you can imagine how upsetting it is when I get rejected time and time again from these organisations. I’m not bitter, I accept that I wasn’t right for the position and I move on. But every so often I get an email from an organisation saying that the reason I didn’t get the position was that I’m not Palestinian, and they gave the position to a Palestinian person. What’s infuriating is that these emails come from a white member of staff. You would think, someone who works with Palestinians and supposedly works for the cause of Palestine would recognise the struggle we face.

It’s been well documented that politicians such as Golda Meir and many Zionists alike ignore the existence of Palestinians. They ignore that we exist, they ignore our right to live, they ignore our right of return, our ownership of land, our human rights, our every movement and our every basic dignity in this life.

Being from Haifa, we get labelled many things: Arabs, Israeli-Arabs, Arab-Israelis, 1948 Arabs, Inside Arabs, and so on. “They,” the Zionists, the politicians, the Arab regimes, Europe, America, the media, the whoever you want to consider in this umbrella “they”— They’re the ones who label us. But only we can label ourselves and only I can label myself.

So why is it that I get these emails from these white humanitarian workers who feel it ever necessary to tell me I don’t meet their definition of Palestinian. No, I don’t want to work for an organisation that has such a narrow, colonised and Zionist definition of Palestinian.  I reject your rejection and assert my right to be addressed as a Palestinian. And more importantly, I reject your false participation in our movement.

Enough is enough. You either decolonize that self-righteous and false sense of so-called humanitarianism or you leave. This movement has enough struggle as is and we want participants who truly believe in the Palestinian right to exist, on our own terms, not by the ones you set up for us.

You cannot dictate who I am and who we are.

I am Palestinian and Palestinian I am.

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Where would you want to retire to?

Where would you want to retire to?

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Two words: New Zealand

I’m going to get myself a tiny farm with a cute cottage. Get myself a bunch of sheep, donkeys and other friendly animals.

I’m going to learn some Maori and make nice, retired friends and live a carefree retired, Kiwi life.

I’m going to watch Kiwi soaps, go swimming in pretty lakes and leave the world behind.

 

If you could have any job, what would you want to do/be?

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If I could be or do anything- the shallow part of me wants to be paid for doing nothing. Like reality TV-esque.  But I don’t think the intellectual part of my brain would ever forgive myself.

I love writing: fiction, nonfiction and academic. I’d love to be able to make a living off of writing. I also love fashion and could see myself being happy styling pretty outfits. I’m passionate about human rights and humanitarian issues, so working in nonprofit would be amazing as well. I’ve given great thought to working or opening up a orphanage. I’ve also thought a great deal about opening up my own school. I’d love to be a full-time researcher. Or maybe a TV comedy writer! I’m constantly thinking of ways to merge together my interests. That’d be the dream.

Off topic slightly, I wonder if I could become a professional TV or movie extra. That could be fun. You know what else would be fun, working with animals. I love animals. Had I been good at math and science, I could see myself as a marine biologist or veterinarian.

Truth is, I want to do it all. I’m inspired by the world around me and want to experience it all.

Would you go bungee jumping or skydiving?

Bungee jumping has always been a no-go for me. Even though I grew up watching Jennifer Lopez star in Selena and felt totally inspired by the entire movie with the exception of the bungee jumping part. That part, what make others feel free, excited or exhilarated by such an experience– well I believe that  if I went bungee jumping, I’d likely have a heart attack or piss myself. Plus I have two herniated discs in my back and I’m pretty sure bungee jumping would send me and my bad back to the hospital. So that’s a no-go.

Skydiving on the other hand- I might try. Everyone I know that’s gone skydiving has had a good time. I’d probably still be crazy nervous and my heart would feel like it was bursting from my chest, but for whatever reason, I think I’d like to try it. But I want to try it with a reputable skydiving company and only go and do it if I felt comfortable with them. You’re putting you life in the hands of strangers, so trust is necessary.

What is your favorite word?

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In Arabic my favorite word to say is: بنفسجي

“بنفسجي” is the Arabic word for “purple” which is interesting since I despise purple as a color, but I find the word so fun to say.

In English one of my favorite words is “bucket.” Every time I say the word I laugh. I don’t know what it is about the word, but it makes me laugh.

Another of my favorite English words is “brouhaha,” mainly because the definition very much matches the sound the word makes.

I also think “Jennifer” is a funny word to say. I don’t know why, but the other day I found myself saying the name over and over again to the point in which it became a loop of abstract sounds.

Words are funny things. All they are are sounds and squiggles on pages/screens that we have attributed meaning to.  They’re about as meaningful and meaningless as we want them to be.

#LoveMe Challenge: Day 16

Day 16

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Something I like about myself: I’m able to empathize. I spend a lot of time learning people’s body language and facial expressions. I’d like to think that I’m pretty good at reading a situation and acting accordingly.