Andrea Sahouri: I Am

Monday, November 13, 2017 - 5:30pm

I am Palestinian.

Scratch that

Ana Falastinieh

Yeah — that’s better

 

It’s more than just a word

 

I am the olive trees that flourish in Palestinian soil

The soul of our country

I am the mish mish my Teta grows in Bethlehem

She knows they are my favorite

I am the Tutreez min Filasteen

Beautifully embroidered into our culture

I am the jewelry from the old city of Jerusalem

History made by Palestinians

Both pain and pride

Worn by the bodies of Palestinian women

I am the stomps of the dabkeh

We exist

And the patterns of the kuffiyeh

We will resist

We sing the song of revolution

To exist is to resist

Ana Falastinieh

Ana Falastinieh

Ana Falastinieh

 

I am a Palestinian woman.

Scratch that

Ana bint Falastinieh

Yeah — much better

 

God’s glory on Earth encompassed within women

Abused during war and exploited by greed

The strongest fight hard

And suffer the hardest

Today’s news:

Yet another mother in Palestine

Buries yet another father, son, brother

Tomorrow’s news:

Yet another mother in Palestine denied access to travel

Gave birth at a checkpoint

Yet again, no survivors

 

I suffer with my people. My women.

 

My mother.

 

I am haunted by the image of my mother being stripped

By the hands of a man who was not my father

Ignoring the wet from the tears that fell onto his hands

I remember the voice of the man telling her she cannot enter Filasteen

She cannot go home

The anger behind his voice …

It still rings in my head

 

I learned at a young age

The strength of Palestinian women

 

I am angry

Scratch that

Ana ghadbaneh

Do you understand me now?

 

I am told I cannot be angry

My people are being killed by the thousands

Displaced by the millions

I am told my existence requires dialogue

As if dialogue has solved anything

As if dialogue was not just a scapegoat to keep those in power

Stay in power

Dialogue masks our oppression

It does not liberate us

 

But we are strong.

 

We are the stomps of the dabkeh,

We are the patterns of the kuffiyeh,

Our women sing the song of revolution

 

Ana ghadbaneh.

To exist is to resist

Ana bint Falastinieh

 

No one can take that away from me.

No one can take that away from us.