العودة

تسابق الصحفيون في كل صحيفة، المذيعون والإخباريون على كل شاشة وصفحة إلكترونية، و تسابق الناشطون على كل صفحة للتواصل إجتماعي. دق الجميع أجراس الأفراح و الأعراس، وتعالت زغاريت كُتمت لأعوامٍ بل عقود

 !لا، ليس بزفاف ملكيّ كلَّف ملايين الدولارات، ولا مهرجان سنمائي ولا عرس كرويّ ولا أولومبيات

.بل هو زفاف ومهرجان وعرس! هو احتفال بإنتهاء أطول الصراعات التي شهدها العالم في العصر الحديث.. إحتفال بحقٍ عاد لملايين من الناس

سلبت منهم أرضهم، وشتتهم المستمر لعقودٍ طِوال. أجيال تمزقت قلوبهم برحيلهم عن الديار التي أُحتفظت مفاتيحها حتى بعد هدمها وبناء مدن جديدة فوقها

كُتِبت وتلحَّنت أغنانٍ وأناشيد عن الفرحة، فرحة نصر.. فرحة العودة

اليوم، أُعلنت دولة فلسطين دولة مستقلة، حدودها من لبنان شمالاً حتى سيناء جنوباً، البحر المتوسط غرباً والأردن الشقيق شرقاً. من حيفا إلى غزة، ومن الخليل إلى بيت لحم، إلى القدس الشريفة، عاصمة الدولة

أُعلنت اليوم فلسطين دولة ديموقراطية حديثة، ينتخب أهلها صالحهم ليحكمهم، ويمثلهم برلمانٍ قوي ومستقل، يمثل جميع الطوائف والأحزاب. اليوم أصبحت فلسطين عضو في الأمم المتحدة والجامعة الدول العربية

توافد ملايين الفلسطينيين من شتى بقاع الأرض إلى أرضهم، التي لم يعرفوها سوى عبر قصص أجدادهم، ونشرة الأخبار

أعلنت الحكومة الفلسطينية الجديدة عن بدأ مشروع توسعة المسجد الأقصى حتى يستوعب ملايين المسلمين المتوافدين إليه،  وعن مشروع لتطوير مدينة بيت لحم حتى تستوعب الحجاج إليها

زخرت صفحات الإنترنت بصور لفلسطينين حاملين جواز سفرهم الفلسطيني، وصور مستعمراتٍ تحدثت جدرانها بالعربية، وهدم الحائط العنصري العازل، ونقاط تفتيش مهجورة، وعلم فلسطين مرفوع

تكتب “فلسطين” على كل خريطة في كل الكتب وصحيفة، وتوضع النجمة على القدس، العاصمة

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ربما لن أعيش إلى تلك الأيام، ولكنني أعلم أن أبنائي أو ربما أحفادي سيدخلوا فلسطين الدولة العربية الحرة

The First and Last of Times

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As I take my daily route to college, this time earlier than usual, I compare today to my first day in Stuttgart. That first impression I got of the city, which turned out to be much better than it sounded. (I think it should get a name change by the way). That first ride in the U-bahn, the first time I hit Konigstrasse (the main shopping street) and was confused why they had three H&M stores in the very same street (not to mention two New Yorker, two Mango, 3 O2, and of course 2 Starbucks, that if I didn’t lose count of some).  And of course, that first time I entered what will be my home for the semester abroad. That first time I went to the university building, how the bare concrete hallways stared back at me and how the view from the 10-storey-but-seems-much-higher building stunned me.

 

Not only the view from the K1 building, but mostly the views from all around Stuttgart: the vineyards blanketing over the hills, the cotton-like clouds scattering over the bright blue sky on sunny days and overcrowding on rainy days. The flowers  (oh the flowers) in all colors and textures, forming neatly arranged compositions on the corners of the streets.

Oh, and by flowers I mean tulips, which I think are my favorite now.

It’s not the first time today that I compare my first impression of Stuttgart to. It’s every single time I am accompanied by no one but myself. Every ride on the U-bahn and everytime I am ‘lost’ in the city’s streets.

I don’t only compare my daily and instant experience to my first impression, I keep comparing it to my last day in Stuttgart as well. Or what will be my last.

Yes, I imagine how it will be like to walk down to Konigstrasse and have my last ice-cream from that shop, to lock the apartment door behind me for the last time, to take the last ride on the U-bahn, and to land in Hauptbahnhof ( main station) for the last time, now sure of my way around. How it will be like when my mind will be jammed with even more experiences and more memories. How much more I will be learning and how many stories I will be telling. I compare my last day to everyday I am living here and to the day my plane landed marking the beginning of (I hope) an exciting story.

Losing the Magic

 

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A month later, the magic slowly fades. And you get to see the dark creatures rise late at night and circle the streets aimlessly. You get to listen to unspoken words only locals would speak. You get to hear the rhythm of the morning traffic and realize the patterns. Stranger’s faces become no longer strange. That beggar with two dogs sleeping by his side by that very same shop. That girl who plays the violin in a different metro station each day. The concrete walls and ceilings gladly absorbing each note she beautifully plays. Music which makes passersby who lost their way glad they did. Music which eases my anger and homesickness every time I luckily pass by her side. Music which adds the last theatrical touch to form a full urban scene.  A scene which is displayed along every u-bahn (metro) journey you’d take. A scene perfectly played in a sunny day in a main square or in Flea markets on Saturdays.

A month later, certain places look at you differently. That corner in the main station that was just once a path to a beautiful park, now filled with foreign eyes staring at you from the darkness. That very corner, which as it turns out, is a popular spot for drug dealers. The district famous for its large minority population and which holds a mosque, now holds a month-long festival. That passage, decorated with eighties interiors, usually empty and dull, sometimes is filled up our voices. That street where I was more than once lost lost, now is a shortcut which I take everyday on my way to university.

Supermarket cashiers. Those happy checkpoints in which once passed, you become owner of new things, now look at you differently. The way you have to pack your shopping goods as fast as possible before risking them being thrown away on the floor. Or toss the change back into your purse without counting them in order to avoid being pushed by other hurried customers whom you don’t exactly know why they’re in a hurry.

A month later, the city loses its sparkle. It loses its charm. It becomes real. Because it shows you its ugliness. After living in a foreign city for a month, it starts shouting out its truth, unhide its stories, release its secrets.