I still remember my grandmother (she was born in 1920) when she was singing to me Palestinian folklore songs like ‘Ataba and Dal’ona. Also the nostalgic songs that full of sadness and the return-to the home-crave. I couldn’t forget her anxious and beautiful voice when she sang to me the great song, by Fairouz, “Zahrat Al Madaan” (The Flower of the Cities):
For you, city of prayer, I pray
For you beautiful city, flower of cities
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, city of prayer, I pray
Our eyes travel to you every day
Moving about the hallways of the temples
Embracing the old churches
Wiping sadness from the mosques
Night of the Isra, path of he who ascended heavenward
Our eyes travel to you every day, and I pray..
Her songs and stories are growing in my heart and memories. How can I forget her story when she was 18 years old, and she lost her son when they expelled from their home by the Israeli war in 1948. Since that we, my family, became just poor refugees in Gaza, while the Palestinian nation extends beyond the West Bank and Gaza to include those in the diaspora – in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, in the Gulf, and everywhere. And be aware that 97% of the camp’s inhabitants have never seen the towns and villages their parents and grandparents left behind.
There are another untold stories that my grandmother haven’t told me. Because, unfortunately, she passed away last year. And it was a big loss to me. I felt like I didn’t only lost her, but I also lost a long history with old songs that hold facts we don’t know about our land before the Israeli occupation.
At the time that Israel first occupied Palestine, the widespread propaganda machine of the American Jewish lobby was powerful, and played an important role in the unrelenting quest to drag people to their side. Newspapers and Media such the BBC (British), CNN (America), The Jewish Chronicle (Based in London), La Liberta (Italia), L’univers Israelitelite (France)… and so on.
On the other side, there wasn’t a Palestine propaganda, because the Palestinian people were stuffed with fear and they couldn’t help themselves as they were not too aware about what was really going on. Add to that, the Palestinian were not well educated, and the government was powerless either. But the main reason were that the strong countries, America, Britain, France and most of Europe stood with Israel, either their media and newspapers, which took a turn for the worse.
However, people have changed over time. And the brainwashing has gone so far that people no longer fooled by blur news. We are in the age of technology and communication, so that we can watch live news stream directly from online websites and social media news, which is the most powerful sources for news updates, such as Twitter, Facebook, Bloger, Google+ and YouTube. And the Palestinians have used that tools as a strong weapon during the last Israeli attacks on Gaza, and they have raised awareness of the Israel’s crimes against the civilian population.
“every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society.” R.W. Emerson. Yet, the truth of Palestine Land will never vanished, and the lie of Promised Land will die someday. Because true country doesn’t be built on lies.