From Palastine Correspondent Falastine M El-Ghezawi….
I was born into occupation. I was born in Palestine. My father was a member the P.L.O. (Palestinian Liberation Organization) and my mother always supported him. I was very lucky to have such rebellious father and patient mother.
When I think back to my childhood I always count myself as blessed to have had an opportunity to stay in Germany with some other children in 1990, three years after the onset of the First Intifada. The Palestinian children who went to Germany grew up under Israeli Tyranny and some of them suffered much more than I, having lost their parents, not to mention having been injured during warfare, losing their site or their arms or legs in explosions. The trip to Germany was a great chance for us to open our eyes to the world around us and escape the Ghetto that is Gaza.
In Berlin, everything was different; the language, the food, the people, even the weather. I was always so amazed how people got to simply live their life normally. They walked and talked, sang and danced, came and went wherever they wanted freely. They enjoyed their time and for them it was normal. When I thought back to my life in Palestine, it was as though we lived in hell. Living under the dictatorship of curfews, blockades, and checkpoints, our schools being shut down, being treated like prisoners in our own home. We used to throw stones at Israeli soldiers or burn tires when I was a kid, as it was all we could do to show our occupiers that we would never just accept their oppression.
I was also astonished at the fact that the world knew almost nothing about the Israeli crimes against our people. Throughout my time in Germany I often shared stories of my life in Palestine and many were very touched and appalled by the savage nature of the occupation we endured. After we returned home, we all had so much to say to say about our experience in Berlin and will always remember the German people as peaceful and calm.
Years later, when I was 15 years old, I got married. It was very tough experience for me to suddenly find myself responsible for a family, especially when I had my first son at 16. I made a huge effort to adapt myself to this new situation and things went well. I am now the mother of four wonderful children and couldn’t be happier.
Despite being a young wife and mother, I never give up on my dream of obtaining an education. I eventually went back to school and later on to college. In terms of my studies, my choice wasn’t an easy one. I always dreamed of being a journalist, but I had a stronger urge to study law because of my natural tendency to search for justice. And here I am, soon to be a lawyer.
It wasn’t easy, but my strongest source of motivation for my long and arduous journey was that my father always wanted me to become a lawyer. Sadly, he died before he had a chance to see our dream become a reality. He also witnessed my eldest brother arrested by Israelis and sentenced for 7 years in prison. My brother and I have always shard the deepest bond, always unconditional and unlimited in his support. I came to depend on him all the time and hope he will be released soon and that everything will be all right.
Deep in my heart, I believe the happiest moments of my life have yet to come and I spend my days an extremely optimistic person. I also believe the hardest moments of my life still lay ahead of me and preparing for the great challenges of my existence is an ongoing task. This may seem to be a contradiction, but such is my life; such is the way things have always been for me.
My country is my home, my country is my prison. I was born into occupation. I was born in Palestine.