Since childhood, I have never known peace between Israel and Palestine, or for that matter between Israel and the Arab world. I am a Palestinian refugee who lived through the horror of the Nakba (i.e., disaster) of 1948. In this article I will tell my life story, reflecting on what it’s like to live under the occupation and suggest some thoughts on how to break the stalemate between the Palestinians and Israelis so both sides can move on to live in peace.
I was born in 1940 after the Great Depression and before World War II in the city of Jaffa in a Christian home. My parents got married in 1930 and had five children. Finding a job in the thirties was difficult for my father, but he managed to find odd jobs to provide for his family. However, in 1940 he got a full time job working in maintenance at Jaffa Club, which was reserved for the British who were in the country since World War I. Only the British officers had the privilege to come to the club for leisure, dining, and swimming at a beautiful beach setting by the Mediterranean. I vaguely remember chasing Max, our black and white dog, running between the many tables on that huge front porch overlooking the sea. It was a perfect playground for a little boy and his dog. I was much shorter than the tables and my older brother could not see me. I can still hear him yelling my name that it was time to go home. It is so vivid in mind when I made him wait by ignoring his command.
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