A Refugee Is What I Am ~ by @YasirTineh

June 20, 2012 By Yasir Tineh | Beyond Compromise Weblog

Kuwait – A refugee is what I am, a person whose body resides far from where his heart and soul chose to live, heartless because as simple as the saying goes, home is where the heart is.
It is hard for most people to understand the love Palestinians hold for Palestine, bewildering to see how rooted the refugees have remained, how identity is something Palestinians have shaped and adapted as times and conditions changed around them yet their identity remained unchanged.

I come from a small village in Tul-Karem, a small village that was occupied in 1967 by Israel illegally just as Palestine as a whole was occupied illegally in 1948, a village where my family had land and homes, a village they were forced to depart under cover of the night as they feared death, a village that I call home and is where I hope to live and die; I come from Shuweikah, Tul-Karem.

I have never set foot in Palestine, even-though there is nothing I want more from life than just that, yet just because I’m Palestinian it seems impossible but Palestinian spirit deems the impossible possible which is why we are a people known for always resisting, always standing against oppression, always head high with pride whenever we are mentioned and whenever Palestine is the topic of discussion.

Yes I am a refugee and yes I am proud to be one, I am proud to be Palestinian, I am proud that my presence is fear-inducing to an apartheid state, proud that I come from a long-line of freedom fighters.
Return is a word tattooed across every fiber of my essence, resistance is an attitude I preserve in the manner I conduct myself, strength is what my mind maintains to battle injustice through thought and word, loud is my voice when I speak about my land & angry is my state.

I chose to follow the words of Mahmoud Darwish, Edward Said & Ghassan Kanafani, I chose to stand alongside Hanadala in every portrait Naji Al-Ali painted, I chose to follow the path of Dalal, walk the roads where Muhammed Al-Durra became a shaheed, I drench my clothes in the blood that was spilled in Deir Yassin, I carry around with me the smell of the martyrs of Sabra and Shatilla, I remain engulfed in dust from the homes demolished in Jenin, I have burns across my body from the phosphorus that was dropped on Gaza; I chose to never forget and to never forgive.

I chose to remain a refugee until the day apartheid falls and Palestine is liberated, until the day injustice dies in the holy-land, until the day I shed the word refugee from my existence just like martyrs shed their blood for liberation and mother shed their tears over fallen daughter and sons.

Liberation will come the quicker we burst into the faces of those attempting to occupy our lands and our rights, the sooner we scream together and echo the voice of the oppressed around the streets and alleyways of the globe; liberation will come when we begin to realize that we have more friends than enemies because we are on the right-side of justice and mobilize accordingly.

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