What It's Like Being a Palestinian Woman in 2020

It’s pretty hard to be from a place you’ve never visited. Ever since I was a little kid, patriotism for Palestine was a prominent factor in my life. My grandparents from both sides are Palestinian natives but were forcibly removed from their homes, so even though I wasn’t born there, lived there or even ever visited Palestine, I still consider myself Palestinian through and through. 

It’s a day to day struggle to feel the strongest sense of belonging to this country that I have never even seen. Growing up in Jordan and then moving to Miami for my high school years, it’s very difficult for me to have a grasp on who I am or where I’m from. People find it odd that I am such an activist for Palestinian rights and am an avid BDS advocate, but they fail to realize that this is something I was brought up to believe. Even though my parents frequently moved us around in search of better economic and educational situations, the only constant in my life has been the Right of Return to Palestine. Having family members that experienced Al Nakbah (the catastrophe) firsthand, information and anecdotes are constantly circulating our family group chats and dinner tables, so it’s ingrained in me to feel such a strong sense of belonging to Palestine. 

Considering I only got my US citizenship during the summer of 2019, I was never allowed entrance to Palestine with my Jordanian citizenship. The Israeli occupation makes movement in and out of the country next to impossible for non-US citizens. What inspired me to write this article was a movie my professor played in my Arabic Cinema class called Salt of this Sea. This film is one of the only directed by a Palestinian woman that covers the story of a Palestinian girl who was born and raised in Brooklyn that visits Palestine for the first time. I feel like the reason it hit too close to home was because it wasn’t sad in the traditional documentary way, but it just made me feel very nostalgic and genuinely sorrowful for not experiencing the beauty of where I’m from. 

On a brighter note, Summer 2020 should be home for a trip to Palestine. After watching the film, I realized how much I can’t wait to produce my own short film while visiting the country because it sheds light on a story people need to know about. I am not the only Palestinian woman that doesn’t know where she’s from. Many people deserve the right to experience Palestine in its once peaceful bliss. 

Being Palestinian in 2020 is difficult, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is always in the limelight. With absurdities like Trump’s “deal of the century” being up in the air, it makes you realize the number of injustices the Palestinian people have to endure on a day to day basis. Hopefully, with the new presidency, more considerate solutions are suggested and peace to the Palestinians is restored. 

Hope to catch ‘ya when I’m in Palestine!

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