I Do Not Know How It Feels Like
By: Hala Alsafadi
Tears knew their usual path to my eyes in no time upon hearing the news of Husni Mubarak stepping down. My mind could not really believe that he was finally able to comprehend his people demands especially that after each speech he delivered, I used to lose hope in seeing the revolutionists leaving the Liberation Square (Tahrir Sqaure) back to their own homes and families. I thought that Mubarak can not actually believe that after his long game of winning and moving forward to the next levels, he got a “game-over” .
Watching the report that announced Mubarak stepping down at that blessed Friday, made me feel like I were an Egyptian flying of joy. Soon enough, shots were heard all over Gaza celebrating the good news. Not only that, but also a lot of people went down the streets celebrating and giving out all kinds of candies for whoever they see. People in Gaza were extremely delighted to see their brothers and sisters in Egypt drawing a new era not only in Egypt, but also in the entire world. Their victory, if I can call it so, came as a respond to all those who underestimated the power of the Egyptians saying that “ Egypt is no Tunisia”. Whenever I heard that statement, I used to think to myself “ who said we want Egypt to be a second Tunisia! Who expected that Tunisians were going to do what they did and actually force their president to leave in the first place?!”. Tunisia was the trigger that awakened the Arabs up against all the dictatorship we have been living in for years and years. Therefore, Egyptians were able to revolute and put their demands right on the table. It is not a matter of a nationality; it is a matter of courage and holding the rights tight.
The youth generations in the entire Arab world have always been accused of being slackers, silly minded, Americanized, Westernized , and not even able to make a change. We are always given names such like “ Facebook generation”, “ internet generation”, “weak and corrupted generation”. However, this “ corrupted” generation was able to get rid of the corruption through Facebook!! Egyptian and Tunisian youth have been the change they wanted to see in their countries while their revolutions functions as inspiration for many Arab youth all over the Middle East.
Even though I was over the moon last Friday, February 11th 2011, because Mubarak resigned, something inside me kept me thinking about our situation as Palestinians. Witnessing how pleased the Egyptians were and how they shouted “ Free Egypt” made me wonder when Palestinians will shout ” free Palestine” ; how would I feel like if I wake up the next morning to a Free Palestine. I mean, yes I was so happy for Egypt but I wished I know how freedom tastes like. Gazans were celebrating the amazing news of Egypt; how would the celebrations of a free Palestine be like? Palestine has been occupied by Israel for over 60 years now. Palestinians have witnessed a number of wars, lost huge number of martyrs, and were forced to immigrate from their homeland. I wonder how we will feel if our rights were to come back to us.
If the recent revolutions were against injustice, I believe that Palestinians are the most nation on Planet Earth that have suffered from injustice from Israel. Consequently, Palestinians have all the rights in the world to revolute against Israel. However, I am pretty sure that if that would ever happen, Obama will not deliver a speech encouraging Palestinians to get back their rights which have been stolen by Israel for a pretty long time now. we would not see him talking about democracy, freedom, self determination values in his speeches like he did before or after each speech Mubarak delivered. I wonder why!!
After eye witnessing the freedom of Egypt, not even from an occupation like Palestine, I wholeheartedly wished that some time in the future I would enjoy the freedom of my Palestine. If Palestine is not to be liberated in my lifetime, I hope that my children and grandchildren would be living in a free Palestine. As Palestinians, we were born to an occupied land and many of us died without even knowing how freedom feels. Many Palestinians died or spent their entire lives abroad without even getting the chance to visit their homeland, thanks for Israel.
I wonder when I will write about the liberation of Palestine in my blog. Would I be even alive on that day? Would I know how it really feels like? I wish I would because I would be the happiest girl when I start saying I am from Palestine rather than I am from the occupied Palestine.