As Palestinians get ready to mark their catastrophe, we are less excited about the activities as we were last year and the year before. We could draw the whole series of events of this day before they happen. Demonstrations, sit downs, words and some more words, that’s all about this day. In all innocence, a friend told me “why do you guys still commemorate “Al-Nakba”, move on!” And at that point it struck me. What the hell are we doing?
Since the day of my birth, I witnessed more than 20 Nakba commemorations. Each one of them was an exact copy of the other. I heard people arguing that it’s how we keep it alive in our minds and the minds of our children and the world. But I figured out that we’re just hiding. We hide by showing up. By demonstrating and talking, we are running away from our duties.
People mark the end of disasters not their beginnings. You celebrate the beginning of a good thing. People celebrate the day of their independence, the days of their victories. The beginnings are celebrated. But we should mark the end of a disaster.
We should stop running away from our fears. We should face our catastrophe. In the anniversary of the catastrophe, we should start planning on how to end it. We should sit down and talk about our plans to go back home to our land. We should rally for our freedom not for our catastrophe.
Today we are just a year closer to freedom than we were last year. We’re tired of counting up years. We want to start counting down years. Let’s set down and discuss our options.