Adonis Diaries

Of Sand and Land: Women to keep up the struggle

Posted on: June 4, 2009

Of Sand and Land: Women to keep up the struggle (June 4, 2009)

It is mid July 1967.  Nada is trotted by three urchins, bare footed and wearing oversized blouses.  Nada is heading to the “potable” water truck; a long file of women waiting for their turn.  Nada lives in tent #56, street #7 of a makeshift refugee camp, 40 kilometers of Amman.

Nada lived a week ago in a house by the foot of a hill, and tended a small garden across from the Jordan River in the town of Bethlehem.  Nada’s husband Kamal is back to Amman for the nth time searching for a job.  The eldest daughter Amina is ten and attending the refugee’s school , in a tent run by refugee instructors.  The eldest son Farid is twelve: Farid is not seeing life in roses; life to Farid will be scarlet red: he is getting military training with the Fedayyins after school.

What was taken by force will be recovered by force: International Diplomacy has proven its inefficiency, 20 years earlier, when Nada’s parents were chased out of her home in Jafa by the sea, never to return.

The Israeli soldiers kicked Nada door in Bethlehem while sitting for supper.  The neighbor had been calling wolf  for ever: “they are going to blow the house”; the same kind of “caring” neighbor who called wolf 20 years earlier.

Nada is wearing her gold bracelets on her arm with pride: her husband and parents loved her and she showed her loving pride. It cannot look any poorer around the camp but Nada’s Palestinian robe with golden brocades fits a princess.

Mounira is a young and fragile looking woman; she is a delicate flower, sitting on an oversized couch in a villa in the Capital Amman.  Mounira was chased out of her land in Palestine; her husband has been studying and working in the USA for two years now, and is asking her to join him. Mounira is a militant with Al Fatah, the new Palestinian resistance organization in the Diaspora.

During the failed incursion of Israel in the village of Karama on the borders in Jordan in 1969, Mounira and 15 other women fighters and nurses joined the battle when they heard the news on the radio.  The Palestinian fighters could not believe their eyes; the militant women fighters came late, but resumed the task of taking care of the wounded and transporting them to nearby hospitals. (To be continued)

Note: These accounts were extracted from a French book published in 1970 by Laurence Deonna who reported on the conditions of Palestinian refugees after the June 1967 war.

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June 2009

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