A SCREAM FOR THE PALESTINIAN DREAM

I dream someday that our living nightmare will end

I Dream ……

By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

I dream someday that our living nightmare will end. Images like a sister
crying over the body of her 14 year old brother Hasan Shalabi who was shot
in the heart simply for wanting to have a life. The video of the same kid
so full of life saying he dreams of getting a job to help his family of
nine in Gaza haunt me. He is just a kid and I cannot imagine the pain of
his family. I imagine someday I will not hear about destruction of the
Amazon rain forest or bleeching of coral reefs or another “trophy hunt” or
of a girl murdered (like Palestinian Swar murdered by cruel men for “honor”
or the 5 year old raped and murderedin India). I dream of India going back
to its anti-colonial days instead of buying billions in weapons it does not
need from Israel (a colonial state). I dream of days like when my
grandfather’s friend in school was a Jewish student (i.e. I dream of the
end of apartheid and all of us living together in one country in friendship
as before).

I dream of days when the world takes serious action to stop the ongoing
global environmental nakba (catastrophe) and stop marching towards a
nuclear holocaust. I dream of days when no child goes hungry (now 1/5th of
world children do) or days when the world stood up against rathewr than
cajored dictators like those ruling in Arabia. I dream of a future where
westerny governmenents do not topple democraticly elected governments in
natural resource rich areas to install puppets of neo-colonialism
(Mousaddaq in Iran in 1950s, Chile in Sept 11, 1973, Venezuela this year).
I dream of may things. But I am also realistic and thus work hard to change
what I can: give me the courage to change the things I can, patience for
those I can’t, and wisdom to know the difference.

I teach a course in biodiversity at Birzeit University for master students
in environmental biology. I teach others (formal and informal) of all ages
in logical thinking, in research methodologies, in human rights etc. I try
to convince myself that if these young students (some in high school or
younger) can and do respect themselves, respect others, and respect nature,
then there is hope for humanity. The young people always give me hope. I
had a dream last night where there are a gathering of white haired
Palestinian politicians (Mahmoud Abbas, Azzam Al-Ahmad, etc) with similar
other politicians (Modi, Netanyahu, Trump etc) but I was most worried about
two young children among them both with white hair who looked like
miniature of these politicians (copies, clones). I tried to approach them
but was shielded from them by the white-haired politicians.

Perhaps this is my biggest fear/nightmare: That some young people are
becoming clones of our political leadership and it is getting hard to reach
them. Bethlehem University is shut down basically because the student
council leaders (who happen to be Fatah members) want to prove themselves
ahead of upcoming student elections by opening files of practical training
fees applied three years ago. I hope this gets resolved soon and students
go back to classes. What encourages me and other volunteers who work even
seven days a week is that we do see things that need doing and do them and
no matter how modest these achievements are (see 2018 achievements here), we at lease preserve our sanity in this crazy world. But it is a bit
more than that, even on social media where I see many posts and opinions
without actions but the posts do precede actions. Knowledge is important
but we must keep pushing for actions.

So much for this Sunday “thinking out loud”. Now back to work: today I am
working on a grant proposal for peacemaking, preparing for talks to
internationals, working with a couple of brilliant highschool students,
museum administrative tasks, and answering emails. It is raining heavily –
otherwise I would have taken a hike…. Life/struggle goes on.

“We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN,” The
Guardian

Capitalism Killed Our Climate Momentum, Not “Human Nature” By Naomi Klein

1 Comment

  1. February 13, 2019 at 00:53

    […] DESERTPEACE: A SCREAM FOR THE PALESTINIAN DREAM. I dream someday that our living nightmare will end… […]


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