63 years ago, He shouted loudly “let your cooking and come quickly, it’s only an hour and we will come back!”
Nobody has thought even for a second that this hour might extend to become 63 years of displacement and waiting!
It was the 15th of May, but it was raining! Raining nothing but fire, flooding with nothing but blood! And they all were stumbling over nothing but corpses of their beloved ones!
No time to look down and see if it was a rock or something else, and no time even to touch their faces to identify what was that hot liquid on their cheeks, water, Tears? They knew finally that it was someone’s blood!
He tried hardly after 50 years to hold his pen and write his autobiography, as one of his sons asked him saying, “You are a witness, you know a lot about what had happened, you experienced the Nakba, please, write down all what you know”. He adds, “we all know, but others don’t”
His words kept repeating themselves in his father’s mind. He decided to write. He said “I will try”
The 75 years man didn’t know where to start from, “why shall I write? Why shall you make me live every single detail of those days again? Why shall I remember the smell of their blood? Why do you want me to bring all my painful memories back? Oh , what a killing work you want me to do!!”
he thought, how can a book sums up an age of darkness, how may it include millions of corpses, liters of mother’s tears, days and nights of shiver, an age of displacing and waiting! The old man just started to write, thinking of all of this at the same time, and asking himself, “would my memory tolerate this job till the end?”
he started to gather all things he used to keep, Photos, newspaper pieces, drawings of Naji El-Ali, and his family and village photos. He was gazing endlessly at the photos and feeling as if he were a bird. How the photos moved him at once to his town! Now, he could just see the homes of his town without being evoked by an Israeli soldier! He could enjoy wandering through the trees without being threatened! He could go wherever he wanted with no checkpoints! Oh photos, when will you stop killing us? When will you know that you are such a sharp dagger?
The old man went on writing every single detail as if it has just happened. Some times he got angry, some times sad, and many times he wanted to quit! He said, “Sorry dear, I can’t go on writing, this thing is killing me”. However, his son manages always to convince him continue the memories.
All of his grandchildren were reading what he wrote day by day. And he had to read for those who haven’t learned how to read yet before they went to sleep.
All of them wanted to know everything. The old man felt how much important this writing was. It was as essential as the breath, and as important as much painful it was!
He is now 88 years, but still talking with his husky voice about “before 63 years days” till those days are engraved in their hearts and memories.
63 years after, his grandchild opened the door suddenly and yelled, “pack our luggage quickly, don’t forget the key, we will come back”!