Quite often, I choose to distance myself from the news of the day in order to preserve my sanity. Unfortunately, I did not feel I had the luxury to look the other way when events began to unfold in Palestine and Israel more than a week ago.
Moon over Old City Jerusalem, November 2019
If you follow international news, then you might be aware of the military assault aimed at Gaza (though possibly not all the events leading up to it; that, I guess depends on the coverage of such events where you live). On the other hand, you may be like me and doing your best to stay away from all news that is bad news.
Further proof of my love of the moon, Jerusalem, November 2019
For those of you who don't know or might not remember, my husband is Palestinian-American with a large number of family still living in Jerusalem. We normally would go there once or twice a year to visit them, especially his aunt (whom he talks to nearly every single day by telephone) who is 90 years old, but obviously that's not happened in awhile. Our last visit there was November 2019.
When the pandemic and lockdowns started, she kept asking when she would see us again (note: she has been blind since the age of 2 because of some sort of explosion; we don't really know the exact story). It took a lot of explaining for her to finally realize that it's not that we didn't want to come, but we literally can't because of everything going on. We had hoped that with vaccinations, at some point things might start to open up and we could maybe, possibly get there by the end of this year, but with the recent attacks and unrest, that seems highly unlikely.
This land, considered holy, has been subject to much strife for centuries and yet I've never delved into the true history of the area. So, with everything that's been going on there and across the world, I've decided that it's time to educate myself on matters of importance rather than sitting on the sidelines feeling that there's nothing I can do.
On Thursday, I finished reading Freedom is a Constant Struggle and The Age of American Unreason, both of which opened my eyes to moments in history that I might have heard of briefly and others that I knew absolutely nothing about. A Map of Absence is short stories and poems by established authors and emerging writers from the time before and after the Nakba which was the mass expulsion of approximately 700,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948. This is the first time these writings have been translated from Arabic into English.
Some of my recent posts have mentioned the anxiety I'd been feeling, like a dark cloud was over my head and a low grade depression was seeping in, but I have to admit that a fire has now been lit to learn, grow, evolve. That's my misson each and every day.
Sending many blessings and good wishes your way.