1 August 2014

erasing my language, silencing my voice, erasing my smile. But I rise and smile

You try to scare me. Make me shrink. Further.
Make me walk the streets of my city
My city
Trying to take up less space.
For two whole weeks that I’ve been avoiding public transportation. And when I had to take the train, and wanted to take my laptop out to work, I remembered it had stickers in Arabic on it, saying: “my right to live, to chose, to be.”
So the laptop remained in my backpack. Along with my language.
When my friend called during that same train ride, I mumbled quietly, “aha, hmmm, yeah, ok, bye.”
Before riding the train back home, I had on a shirt with the writing: “the personal is political” in Arabic and Hebrew. My friend asked me if I was sure I wanted to wear this shirt on the train. I looked down at the shirt, and again, packed my language inside my backpack.
For two whole weeks, they have succeeded in crushing me, in erasing my language, silencing my very voice, even my smile. The feeling was one of complete paralysis.

But today I rise, and I smile. Because erasing my smile would mean they have succeeded in their mission of crushing me. And today I raise my voice and say: with all the devastation around us, with over 1,400 dead women, girls, boys, and men in Gaza, with the all permeating sense of helplessness, and the crushing sense of hopelessness, we will not give you the satisfaction of yielding. We will not be crushed. Our smiles will not be erased, no matter how hard you try! No matter how hard you try to erase my language, silence my voice, I raise my voice for justice. And I refuse to lose hope, and I refuse to give up on my smile. Because we, sir, teach life! In spite and despite all your attempts to crush the life out of us. We rise, we smile, and we teach the world life!

khulud, 1 August 2014