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This is a piece I wrote for Beyond Compromise – a brilliant online publication run by Palestinian youth from all over the world. I highly recommend you take part by sharing your stories, thoughts and/or opinions. They welcome contributors from all over!

Beyond Compromise - الثَّوابِت

United Arab Emirates – It was 1948. A mass exodus of refugees occurred.

Alarming radio broadcasts announced that the British army had turned over the country to European Jews and they in turn pronounced the land the State of Israel. As Arab armies interfered, they urged the people to leave, promising them that in no time at all they would be able to return to the Holy Land victorious and get all their properties, possessions and lands back. Alas, the armies were defeated as news depicted the inhumanities, massacres and monstrosities committed. And those who left remained refugees – people without a country.

That was how the story of my life started – forty years before I was ever born.

On that fateful day, the refugees amounted to approximately 650,000 individuals. Now, there are more than five million of us demanding the right of return to our country.

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About smshamma

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control, and at times hard to handle, but if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." - Marilyn Monroe


8 thoughts on “

  1. Purity of thought and straight from the gut. Passion and intensity written all over.

    Cant ask for a better read at 4.30 am, i will tell you that.

    Truth always prevails.


    Posted by VJ | June 22, 2012, 05:09
    • Hey Vijay, thanks for your comment. Can always count on you for encouragement and support! As always, I’m very glad you enjoyed it and appreciate the time you took to read it.

      The only thing keeping most of us going is the fact that truth always prevails, and as such, knowing justice will be served. Fingers crossed, right? =)

      Posted by smshamma | June 22, 2012, 10:25
      • There is a saying in our culture – “You are what your deep driving desire is. As you desire, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny”.

        Eyes on the Price. March on my friend.

        Posted by VJ | June 23, 2012, 12:50
  2. The first time in several months that I have clicked on “I’m Feeling Lucky” and finally got a sensible page. Thanks!

    Posted by site | June 24, 2012, 10:49
  3. once you stated that you are not a Middle Eastern and you are not proud. What has changed?

    Posted by TariG هاظا Al-Basha | June 25, 2012, 07:29
    • Not much has. I’m still not a Middle Eastern, and I’m still not proud.

      Not in the ways that matter. Not in the way I act or portray myself or think or anything else. I did say, “It is no fault but our own that we are going through a generation of lost souls. For a thing to be lost, it must be forgotten. And we have forgotten what it is to be Arab.” And I stick to that – but I’m trying to change it also.

      That does not, in any way, take away from the fact that I am Palestinian, and that I love my country, and that I hope to see justice served and for it to be free one day. It does not take away from the fact that I have a deep attachment and love to it.

      One of the things I said in my other piece was, “I have come to realize that it is impossible to not have an identity. Everything I say or do defines my identity.” You’ve just proven my point with your comment =)

      I am going through a process of self-discovery. I’ve written two pieces in two different time-frames. You will see a change from one post to the next – I hope so, anyway.

      Posted by smshamma | June 25, 2012, 10:10
  4. This is your best piece so far and all the more inspiring coming from a young woman in her early 20s. (All hope is not lost.) I’ve read my fair share of diaspora lit. Some of them are self-imposed exile, others forced, but almost all of them are written from a 1st or 2nd generation point of view, so it’s quite a revelation to see a granddaughter of an exiled palestanian family, write about the subject with just as much, if not more, poignancy. You said that it’s difficult to write about the personal when it’s intertwined with the political, which really resonates with me. Even though you did not really experience the political injustice first-hand(meaning forced dislocation),but when someone inflict that kind of pain to your family, and by extension, to your people, it’s impossible for you not to take it personally and not let that define you as a person. As a Taiwanese, I have to carry that ambivalence around with me like a birthmark all my life. Whatever I do with my life or wherever I go, it’s always in the back of my mind. It’s very confusing for me growing up because even though I criticize my culture all the time, even though I hate how certain people would go around claiming to speak for the entire nation when they are just speaking for themselves, even though I have nothing but contempt for those who are nonchalant or reticent on the subject, and even though I never want to be reduced to just being Taiwanese, despite of all that, every military menace & every bullying statement from China still leave me feeling deeply violated. I would suppose it’s more or less the same for you albeit the differences between Palestine and Taiwan. You need to go on writing and telling people about this, it will probably not physically free Palestine, but it will bring a sense of empowerment and freedom to the Palestanians all over the world, and in so doing, you are already doing a lot more than the politicians.

    Posted by Wanyun Chiu | August 19, 2012, 23:47

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