Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Shikata ga nai

Jenin is on my mind today. It has been on my mind for a while. I have been hoarding the idea of it for a very long while. I have been resisting thinking of it for years. It has been resting safely in my sub-conscience. I was comforted by the fact that it was there, but more so by having the thought of it pushed away. Today, uninvited and for an unknown obvious reason it forced itself out.

No one talks of Jenin or of those Tanks of April 2002 anymore. As if the massacre is forgotten. Or is the thought of it resting safely in the sub-conscience of so many who, like me, are feeling comforted by the fact that it is there, but more so by the fact that no one is talking about it?

I wonder do you feel the way I do? Do you ever wonder why no one did anything even though the whole world knew that Jenin was next while mass graves were being dug elsewhere in Palestine? Do you feel so overwhelmed by what is going on that it is difficult to prioritize your grief? Do you feel so confused that you no longer know the difference between mixed up and mixed emotions? Do you feel furious while being totally incapable of fairly distributing your anger among the many injustices around? Do you feel absolutely helpless that you hate hearing yourself talking about it? Do you feel like a hypocrite for showing compassion? Do you feel like a bankrupt mute who believes in putting its money where its mouth is?

The overall sense of resignation is suffocating. The air of defeatism has permeated through me that I feel it in my bones these days.

The cure, I have decided, will be by regaining consciousness and conscience. This cure is the easy part. The difficulty lies in where to start. I will do so by starting with Deir Yassin. Or maybe with Tall Alzaatar, or maybe with Sabra and Shatilla, or maybe with Qana, or maybe with siege of the Nativity Church, or maybe with the loss of beautiful Jerusalem! I think I better start with the most important massacre, that of my conscience. I do not claim innocence. My one and only defense is that it fell victim to the greatest massacre of all, that of the Arab conscience.

Let us at least remember lest we forget!


Anonymous said...

We Must Never Forget

Especially the very young men of Jenin who held off the whole Israeli army for days until they were finally killed...
there was a picture of them online high school kids, some blond, some browned by the sun...a primitive rifle, jeans...

war is not heroism...but those young men are unsung heroes who should never be forgotten

Tallouza said...

Thank you Anonymous! Your comment made me think of what might have been going through these young men's mnds as they were carrying out these acts of heroism. Were these acts of hope or of despair?

Anonymous said...

the picture shows them smiling with all the bravery of extreme youth