Thursday, February 21, 2013

He wasn't died.

As my strange, fortuitous, incredible and tiresome day come to an end. I bent throbbing  temples on my desk trying to recall what I have heard  from Marzouk , my paternal Syrian cousin, who came two days ago from Syria .

 I want to narrate upfront what my grandparents told me:  " After the Nakba the whole family scattered  and the connection between us was a false miracle. Somebody swore that he saw Said -the elder brother of my granddad-  in Jordan at the year 1960 and he accompanied him to his small shop at Aqaba ." Between 1947 – 1948  a lot of people escaped from their own villages due to the massacres and ethnic cleansing to no way . Whereas some young, revolutionary and fearless men refused to leave and decided to fight . Said was one of them. He stayed at our field and decided to ask some fighters from the near cities  like al Majdal and Ashkelon to defend Ashdod and he went along with some fighters to smuggle fire guns from Egypt. We heard – my parents – that there was a strong, remarkable, and heroic resistance. Notwithstanding  there was a genocidal war against the indigenous. From that time we didn't know anything about Said ,some people who transferred later to Gaza said " He martyred while others said he got arrested, but that man swore that he is alive!"  ".  At 1994, my father's uncle, Ziad came to Gaza with the Palestinian authority and he gave surety the place of Said.  Said wasn't in Jordan but in Syria. From that time we quit thinking about Said. It was like a dilemma that is difficult to come over  ."

 As a child, I was fascinated about Said. He was like a secret or maze which I hope to go through . A  year after a year I was interested in collecting such stories . I heard varied similar things.  One of it was a story of a woman who was lost during the Nakba and her parents thought that she was one of the women who were slaughtered at the mid of the day in Hlekat, a small  village next to Ashdod.

 Umm Saleh narrated her story while she was  sinking in nonstop tears.   " I was so tired and there was a lot of people who flew from the neighboring areas . Hlekat was flooded with refugees and injured people . Neither there was  food, nor water. Nothing sufficient!  At that night, when the planes were bombing from the sky and the soldiers surrounding the village, they separated us and started to intimidate and kill  the women while their husbands and sons were under torture . At the end we left the village. Roads were endless, fear was fierce and hope was rare. I was only eleven years old. I searched for my parents but unsuccessfully then I gave up and stayed with a different  family for a whole year . I met my brother incidentally at khan -Younis who was shocked and scared. After that I went with him to  Beach camp where I cried beneath my parents feet."
More than once or maybe tens of times I tried to nominate and allocate the entire names of my family but at the end a splitting headache penetrated my head declaring that everything I've done was in vain. Said was an engraved name in my memory that  I can't erase .

He is alive, isn't he.?

 No,  no. He is died…

Maybe he is somewhere else .


Three hours ago I met him, he resembles my uncle Mohammed who martyred during the first intifada. He has deep eyes, with an eagle-like nose and weak body. It seems that he didn't sleep for an entire year. He has a lot to say but he didn't utter even a word, after a while his eyes were like a sky full of rain but he didn't cry. He sipped his plain coffee while puffing the smoke of the cigarettes out .

So, you miss your country, How was Syria ? " my grandfather murmured "

" I miss Syria and I love my country" the man said

Are you married? " my questioning granddad said"

" Yes, I am married with two sons and three daughters" the man said trembling

" Where are they? " granddad commented.

" I dunno?" the man with closed eyes.


I was sitting next to the door trying to hear what is going on and who is that man .

The voice was unclear and that man was so weak and hesitant. Suddenly the electricity went off , then it was my only chance to enter the room to offer a candle . Finally I did it . Now I can see and hear . All of my senses were sharpened  .

"She is Intimaa my elder granddaughter and he is Marzouk my nephew he is the son of Said " my granddad said while looking into Marzouk's face .

 I was out of words. I couldn't say anything nor say hello . I was foolish . It was a shock . I went far away to that song which called passport.

I saw Marcil Khalifa singing:

 They did not recognize me in the shadows
That suck away my color in this Passport
And to them my wound was an exhibit
For a tourist Who loves to collect photographs
They did not recognize me,
Ah... Don't leave
The palm of my hand without the sun
Because the trees recognize me
Don't leave me pale like the moon!

 Somebody opened the door and my father immediately came. He  kissed Marzouk and hugged him tightly.  I went to make the tea as quick as I can. Marzouk said that he flew from Syria and he no nothing about his family . He explained the situation there and how he lost his family. My granddad interrupted him by asking  how he ended up here  and how many brothers and sisters does he has .

 " My father died before fifteen years . I have only one sister who live in Saudi Arabia. We are not allowed to come to Gaza and we don't have Id's . It was difficult to reach you or to find a single information about the rest of the family . Actually my father had nothing to inherit us just our names and nationality, I know only that my name is Marzouk Said Ahmad from Ashdod.  The current situation in Syria pushed me to come here by the tunnels just to see if their anybody alive from my family. At Rafah I  asked about the family name. And I met some of them but they know nothing about Said. I asked for all the refugees from the same family but in vain. After all I asked about the citizens from the family and I finally arranged to meet you my uncle"Marzouk said.

 My grandfather took a cigarette and sighed: " Yes my son, It's another story, at the beginning my father refused to sign our papers as refugees. He considered  it as a matter of time and we will return soon. At the same time he believed that it's a shame. I mean to leave your son and your land. To ESCAPE . He regretted that and he wished to died there in Ashdod as Said , but even Said died in the exile "

Marzouk was so tired so he went in a deep sleep next to my granddad . He said that tomorrow he will go back to Syria 
I couldn't sleep. There is only one question inside my mind..Why??     

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