Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Story of Palestine

“O country and home,
Never, never may I be without you,
Living the hopeless life,
Hard to pass through and painful,
Most pitiable of all.
Let death first lay me low and death
Free me from this daylight.
There is no sorrow above
the loss of a native land.” 


Palestinian loss of land from 1946 to 2000
There are many sad days in the history of Palestine, but two dates are historically remembered to be the saddest, May 15th and June 5th. May 15th is not just a sad day in the history of Palestine but the Arabs as a whole. It is known as "Youm al Nakba" which in Arabic means "the day of the catastrophe". It is an annual day of commemoration or rather "commiseration" for the displacement of Palestinian people that accompanied the creation of Israel in 1948.
After the Balfour Declaration and League of Nations Mandate  gave basis for Israel to establish a homeland in Palestine more than 750,000 Palestinians were expelled and forced to flee their homes and hundreds of Palestinian villages were depopulated and destroyed
Having carried out their massacres and having expelled over 725,000 Palestinians from their homes, and while the UN General Assembly was considering the Trusteeship Plan for Palestine, 37 Zionist leaders representing Zionist parties worldwide met on Friday, May 14, at the Tel Aviv Museum on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv to sign what they called a “Declaration of Independence”.
It said that “the state of Israel will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; it will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; it will safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We all know that this has not been the case.

June 5 is known as "Yawm an-Naksa" which in Arabic means "day of the setback". It is the annual day of commemoration for Palestine and the Arabs for the displacement of the Palestinian people that accompanied the Arab's loss of land to Israel's in the 1967 Six-Day Arab-Israeli War. The lost lands were the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria and the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. In the October War of 1973 Egypt defeated Israel and gained parts of Sinai and after the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979, Israel withdrew from the entirety of Sinai in 1982. However East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, remain occupied territories by Israel until this day. 
According to UNRWA as of June 2011 there are 4.8 million Palestinian refugees, of which 1.4 million  refugees live in 58 camps in Jordan, Palestine, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza. Amnesty International reports on the Occupied Palestinian Territories  Human Rights watch reports of Human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
The Child and her diary
She wrote in her diary every night
When bullets passed by her window… she wrote
When Israeli soldiers killed her mother she wrote
She wrote of the horrors she sees
And the nightmares of flames and destruction
She the Palestinian child
Writes in her diary every night
  To ease To ease her enormous pain
To sedate her fears and nightmares
That little Palestinian child
Had died while writing in bed
From Israelis bulldozing her home
And now she lies in her tomb
Forgotten…as if she never existed
But her diary will carry on
The suffering of every Palestinian child
And now on her tomb Israeli children play
And sing with no worries of tomorrow
Where she once lived is confiscated What are left from her family are refugees     A poem by Laila Yaghi                                        
More Poems about Palestine by Laila Yaghi: The child and her diary, Tears of blood and other poems press this link 
الخارطة (كنت أحلمُ بوطنٍ تملأُ فضاءاته الواسعة زقزقاتُ العصافير ، فوجدت وطناً لا تكفي شوارعه لأسماء الشهداء الذين سقطوا في الطريق إليه) ماذا أقول لطفلتي حين تسألُ :- - كيفَ أرْسُمُ شكلَ خارطةِ الوطنْ؟! - يا والدي الشكل يشبه خربشاتِ دجاجتي فوق الرمالْ آهِ من مُرِّ السؤالْ ! ماذا أقولُ و قد تعدَّدت الخرائط و الورقْ يا طفلتي هذا الذي يبكي أمامك لا أسميه الوطنْ هو بعضُه هو قلبُه هو قدسُه لكنَّه بعضُ الوطنْ يا طفلتي سنظلُّ نرسمُ حلمَنا مهما تفلسفَ في السياسةِ جاهلٌ أوحاول البُلهاءُ تشويهَ الوطنْ هيا ارسمي .... شكلُ الخريطةِ خنجرٌ ما أجملَ الوطن الذي يغفو على حد الخناجرْ هيا ارسمي ..... عكا تنامُ على ضفاف البحرِ تنتظر البلابلْ هيا ارسمي يافا و حيفا و الجليلْ هيا ارسمي الوطنَ الجميلْ هيا ارسمي القدس الحزينْ ولترسميه سنابلاً ولترسميه بلابلاً ولتزرعي إسمَ الشهيدْ علماً على صدر الشوارعْ - آهِ لنْ تكفي الشوارعْ
- فلتكتبيه على السنابلْ ولتعلمي يا طفلتي .. لن يهنأ الأوغادُ فوق ترابه ولتكتبي فوق الخريطةِ ما يلي :- سنعود يا وطني قريباً و الحصى بدأت تقاتل حتى الحصى بدأت تقاتل حتى الحصى بدأت تقاتل
 الشاعر مصطفى عثمان الأغا

For more Arabic poems by Mustapha Othman Alagha press this link.

For further readings:

1948 LEST WE FORGET – Palestine and the Nakba


  1. Thank you for writing about Palestine

  2. No need to thank me Dima. Palestine is forever in our hearts and minds.

  3. with the help of Allah swa Palestine will be ours sooner or later.

  4. assalamuallaikum
    i couldn't say anything
    n u can say that again. That palestine is in our heart and mind forever <3

  5. Good to see the love for Palestine among our Yemeni brothers and sisters.


  7. People are so ignorant, in the UK many people have never heard of Palestine. When I say my mother is Palestinian they look at me confused or say 'so shes Israeli' I wish people knew the truth behind everything!! Long Live Palestine!