Welcome to Palestine! A country in waiting!

First Pubished on The Big Olive. And the waiting continues…

Welcome to the land of waiting.  People here are born waiting. Waiting to return to a homeland lost, and from the looks of it, in the most desperate moments, lost forever.  Waiting to return to a home they still carry a key for in their hand and a memory in their heart, an image hidden in the folds of their dreams, that sadly and in the most realistic moments, they know no longer exists.

 In Palestine you wait for Ramadan, just like you wait for a breath of fresh air in a crowded restaurant in NYC, you wait for a  tasree7 (permit),  you wait for the paycheck, or even worse you wait for the job.

You wait for schools to open, for the strike to end, for the checkpoint to be removed, for the accident rubble to be cleared. You wait for the Allenby bridge to empty, you wait for the doctor to finally come in on time.

In Palestine you wait. You wait for your dreams to happen.

You wait to leave the refugee camp, you wait to leave the village, you wait to arrive to Ramallah, you wait for destiny to embrace you, but she really never does.  In fact at the first stop she slaps you hard in the face and leaves her mark, and then you spend a lifetime waiting for that wound to heal. It never does. 

In Palestine you wait to graduate, you wait to find a job, you wait for the next job to be better.

In Palestine you wait to get married, then you wait to have children then you wait for them to grow, then you wait for them to become doctors…trust me they will not.

In Palestine you wait in line endlessly to receive permission to see Palestine that is yours.  And after you finally get a chance to see her, you realize she looks nothing like what your grandparents described, and nothing like the country your mother cries over.  You wait to see her, only to realize, she did not wait for you. 

In Palestine you wait for the birth of a child anxiously with the hope she is not born on a checkpoint.  In Palestine you wait for  the hunger strike to end.  You wait for sons and daughters to be released from prison, only to be rearrested again, at the next checkpoint on the next trip, on their way to find a job and start a life.

In Palestine you wait for your paycheck only to have it hijacked by hungry loan payments and red hot gasoline prices. 

In Palestine , you wait endlessly in Qalandia to get home.  Keep waiting…this might take hours. . 

You wait for the summer to end in the hopes that winter will bring more peace, and you wait for winter to end in the hopes that summer will bring more warmth. 

And in Palestine you wait  for the next eruption, the next intifada, the next incursion, the next war…And that always happens

Published by Riyam Kafri AbuLaban

School Principal, chemist by training, baker and writer by passion. I am interested in food writing, short story telling and memoires. I have published several pieces in This Week in Palestine, Mashallah news and other places here and there. I am a mother of twins (sometimes I do feel like the mother of dragons rather than twins) and here you will find the unhindered, with my guard down, enjoying the kitchen me, escaping the daily grind into ginger bread houses, layered cakes and everything in between. This is me baking myself happy and making memories for my children in a country where memory is a national treasure. Hailing from Ramallah, Palestine, with recipes and stories from all over the world. PS If you think I have elaborate dinner tables every night, don't worry, I don't. I cook or sometimes I don't as my time and energy permits! (Keeping it real)

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